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37 Signals on Launching Softly

Over at Signal vs. Noise, sound advice on the advantages of launching softly: … You don’t need a big bang – slow evolution is what you want. Unless you absolutely must “open wide,” abandon the mass introduction strategy. Instead, launch softly. Restaurants start off by serving friends and family before they invite the media. Movie studios use test screenings to fine tune movies. The people behind the scenes kno
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Hedge Fund Analytics in Flex

Please install Flash to see this video player! We just published a case study on a Hedge Fund Analytics application developed in Flex. It’s an extensible Flex based platform for real time analysis of hedge fund performance data, with dynamically updating charts, graphs and sophisticated filters for cumulative performance, return distribution, alpha, beta and correlations, commissions and fees, credit and sector
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Ten Keys to Successful Software Development: #10: Tools and Infrastructure

After last month’s post on the five deadly sins of software development, I thought it would be good to write about how you can overcome those sins (present in every project) to successfully develop software. The list we use internally roughly parallels that of the Standish Chaos reports, and I’ve illustrated it with the patterns we use, as well as some antipatterns we’ve seen and experienced. #10 on
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Pathfinder Launches Beer Hunter, A New Flex + Ruby RIA

We just launched a new rich internet application for Destinationbeer.com, called Beer Hunter.  It was written in Flex and Ruby on Rails and features mapping and 150 beers from around the world.  We think it’s pretty cool, so check it out, and let us know what you think.  One of the things I really like about it is that the design pattern can be applied anywhere you’re filtering products geographically and
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The Five Deadly Sins of Software Development

There’s a list of deadly sins out there for just about anything related to information technology. Some have seven items, some have five, some even have nine. I haven’t seen one with 21 deadly sins yet, but I won’t be surprised if I do. Some focus on IT departments, some on unused software, some on agile software development, and quite a few on whatever they’re trying to sell you. We’ve
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Writing Agile Requirements

The beginning of a project generates a lot of great ideas. But until a structure or cohesion is applied to these ideas, they end up being a loose collection of separate ideas with no direction. Writing agile requirements brings cohesion and direction to the noise. We’ve been continually improving user driven agile for a while now. Click through the presentation below to see the approach that works for us. Agile
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Which Mobile Platform Should You Target – Other Points of View

Our two part series Which Mobile Platform Should You Target – on web apps and on native apps – generated a fair bit of feedback, especially from those targeting cross platform development. Here are a few other points of view on the subject – there is certainly no shortage of opinions and angles: Mobile OS Shootout: The Cross-Platform Developer Point of View The VC Point of View (or a couple of them)
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Which Mobile Platforms Should You Target? (Part 2)

In the first installment, we covered the simple case, where your application is really a web app, not really using any device features, without local storage, just pulling data from a web application.  This time, we’ll tackle true native applications.
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Which Mobile Platforms Should You Target? (Part 1)

Our company gets a lot of requests for mobile application development.  Most of the time the request is for a specific platform like the iPhone or Blackberry, but every so often we get a request for “all major mobile devices.”  That request usually changes when people realize that developing on iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile, Palm, etc. really means developing five or more separate applications.  The nex
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Everyblock, Another Missed Opportunity for Newspapers

Earlier this year I attended TECH cocktail’s first Chicago conference. They’ve been filling a much needed local networking role for technology entrepreneurs, and their first conference here was both well attended and had a number of good speakers, with a heavy Chicago focus, from Threadless‘ Harper Reed & Scott VanDenPlas to Everyblock’s Adrian Holovaty. Recent events in the newspaper indu
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