Are you Creating, Curating or Consuming?

I've been thinking lately about my own interactions online, especially around content. There are three main ways that I work with content: creating, curating and consuming. Each has their own place but I'll start by outlining each one.

Creating content is all about putting your own creations out for others to share. I've had this blog longer than I care to discuss and certainly since before microblogging was really a thing. It's much lower investment to throw out a quick tweet about something and in lots of cases it's a more appropriate medium Continue reading

Support for Speakers

I've been a conference speaker for 10 years; I've given many talks, been to many events, organised a few events, and now have Opinions (TM) about conference speaking. This tweet showed up in my feed when someone tweeted at me to thank me for my support in their talks.

My approach to supporting other speakers is not really about the audience I would like (we're all different!), but more about making two things happen:

  • someone being the best they can be
  • them getting credit for that

In fact I've been a speaker coach and mentor for a few years and have variously watched rehearsals, suggested where to stand and not stand, walked nervous speakers around outside before their talk, fetched water ... all sorts of things. However this twitter thread (I got a bunch of tweets and the replies are also great) shows that _anyone_ can give great support to any speaker, whether you know them or not. Here are my favourite three things to do to support anyone giving a talk. Continue reading

Documentation First: A Recipe for API Success

I've shipped a handful of greenfield APIs in recent months for different clients, and in each case I've been building the documentation before the API. I hadn't really recognised it as a pattern until someone else commented on it, but I do find this approach has worked well for my projects, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on this in a bit more detail. Continue reading

Simple One-to-one Meetings

Recently I was giving some advice (that I was asked for, which is novel) regarding one-to-one meetings between developers and either team leads or management can be structured. My thoughts really boiled down to some very short points (this is why sometimes, those meetings take 15 minutes and other times they take 3 times that for a monthly update!). In case they're useful to anyone else, here's my meeting outline:

  • What's going well/what are you excited about?
  • What's tedious/annoying or actually a problem?
  • What could I be doing that I'm not?

Continue reading

Ada Lovelace Day: The Allies

It's Ada Lovelace day, a day when we celebrate women in technology. This year I'd like to mention a group of people who make the biggest difference in the tech life of any minority: the allies. Continue reading

Ada Lovelace Day: The Women Who Share My Journey

It's Ada Lovelace Day. If you don't know what that is, you can read more about it here: http://findingada.com/. Go ahead, I'll wait.

While being a woman in tech can be isolating, the women I meet along this journey make the experience what it is. I have fabulous male friends and mentors also, but today I'm focussing on the women around me. They are the modern-day equivalent of the cousins that you grow up with, share stories with, laugh and cry with. They have shared the personal and the professional, the joy and the fear. Today seems like a good time to call out some of the women that I'm so glad to have around me. Continue reading

Ideas Of March: Don't Read The Comments

It's that time of year again, time for an "Ideas of March" post (you can read more about this initiative on Chris Shiflett's blog). Most years many bloggers pledge to write more often, start or restart their blogs, and generally embrace the idea that some thoughts are worth more than 140 characters. Chris himself wrote this year about the demise of google reader, and about blogging as a way of curating and retaining ownership of your ideas, which I thought was an excellent point to make. Continue reading

Study Days: Keeping on Top of the New Shiny

One of the biggest dangers in this industry is getting left behind as the tools evolve very quickly. For me, working alone or as the most senior person on a project in most cases, this becomes doubly hard as there's nobody in my office to show me a new trick or share an idea that he or she learned in a previous job. So how do I deal with this?

I take "study days".
Continue reading

Five Clues That Your API isn't RESTful

I get a lot of emails asking me to get involved with API projects, and that means I see a lot of both implemented and planned "RESTful" APIs. Now, I absolutely love REST and for a data-driven application, it would be my first choice. A service of some other description may work better for other scenarios or skill sets, and non-RESTful services can be very, very useful. If you tell me that your service is RESTful, then I expect it to be. If you're not sure, look out for these clues:

It has a single endpoint

I don't really care what else is going on in your API, any "RESTful" API which has a statement such as "all requests are made to http://example.com/rest" is ... not RESTful. REST is all about handling representations of resources, each is represented by its own URI and we operate directly on that. If it looks like "pretty URLs", then it's probably along the right lines. Continue reading