OUT OF THE BOX

OUT OF THE BOX

How Twitch Learned to Make Better Predictions About Everything

As someone who loves statistics and numbers, I found this article fascinating. But you don't have to be a maths nerd to appreciate the power of the findings here. Of course it isn't going to make sense for every decision or even every organisation, but it goes to show that predicting the success or failure of different things isn't just something that some people can do and others can't - it can be learnt.

We’ve learned a lot from our experiences at Twitch, and discovered some best practices for how organizations may implement their own forecasting training programs, create a culture of forecasting, and better anticipate the future.

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What is the Discovery Phase and Why Do I Need It?

This article could easily have been writted by someone here at Brown Box - it resonates amazingly closely with our own experience and thoughts on splitting larger projects into separate discovery and delivery phases. I also particularly like the quote below - it really encapsulates what we do in terms of development.

Building software is hard, but estimating software is even harder. After all, it’s rare for us to build the same thing twice. Though we work with WordPress, it’s actually quite impressive how little of our work deals with the actual blogging component. WordPress has the basic, expected features on lockdown, and so what we end up building is ways to make WordPress do something unique.

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The monster that is a poor database schema

While this article goes into specifics of dealing with cleaning up a database schema, the first half in particular is a good reminder to all developers - always plan for your project to become much bigger than you can imagine right now. Good planning at the beginning can save massive amounts of rework later down the track. Of course the trade-off for this is that it requires more time and effort up-front - and when you're working for someone else it can be hard to convince them to make that extra investment. It's a fine line and one that we always try to be mindful of any time we work on a project, whether it be for a client or for ourselves.

Step back in time two, three, four, or even 10 years and take a look at the development decisions you made then. What do you notice about them? Unless you are a one-in-a-million statistic, you probably look at those past decisions and say to yourself what was I thinking?! Why did I do it that way?! Welcome to the real world of actual development.

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It’s Task Management, Not Time Management

For most of us, time management is a real struggle. This article has a refreshing perspective - you can't manage time, but you can manage what you plan to do with that time.

No matter who you are or what you do, there are 24 hours in your day the same as there are for everyone else. Yet still, some people manage to be so much more productive than others, despite having so much more to do than they should be able to “fit” into that same 24-hour span.

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