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How to launch software changes without pissing people off

How to launch software changes without pissing people off

Signal v Noise Signal v Noise 14 March 2017

Software designers and developers are all about NEW. We like to experiment with far-out ideas and make shiny things. Our livelihood depends on it. We’re so addicted to NEW that sometimes it clouds…

What six weeks of work looks like

What six weeks of work looks like

Signal v Noise Signal v Noise 07 March 2017

A few months ago I wrote up a post sharing the details of how we structure our teams and work in six week cycles at Basecamp. It turned out to be very popular article. Here’s what our core product…

Just starting out? Ditch the “full stack developer” label

Just starting out? Ditch the “full stack developer” label

Signal v Noise Signal v Noise 25 February 2017

The vagueness and confusion around the phrase “full stack developer” has been lingering for years. Google it and you’ll find plenty of discussion about why it’s such a loaded term. Given that long…

Your software just isn’t mission critical

Your software just isn’t mission critical

Signal v Noise Signal v Noise 15 February 2017

Programmers love to invoke the vocabulary of importance. We don’t just have guidelines, no, we have fucking LAW OF DEMETER. Good and bad ideas alike are dressed in big words so we can all seem oh so…

Foggy thinking in design (and how to cut through it)

Foggy thinking in design (and how to cut through it)

Signal v Noise Signal v Noise 01 February 2017

They sound meaningful but they don’t point to specific trade-offs or product attributes. They’re dressed up ways of saying “I like this better.” What actually makes it easier, or what specifically is…

New in Basecamp 3: Jump Menu

New in Basecamp 3: Jump Menu

Signal v Noise Signal v Noise 25 January 2017

Any time we launch a new feature in Basecamp, the support team likes to keep track of what customers say about it after release. When we launched the new Home screen a few months ago, customers loved…

The Calm Company (our next book)

The Calm Company (our next book)

Signal v Noise Signal v Noise 04 January 2017

It’s about time for something new. What follows is the introduction to our next book The Calm Company. We’re working on it now, and will be shopping to publishers soon for publication later this year…

The books I read in 2016

The books I read in 2016

Signal v Noise Signal v Noise 30 December 2016

At Basecamp, we have a monthly automatic check-in called What are you reading? It’s a great way to discover new books by recommendation of what your colleagues are reading, but it’s also a great way…

Writing software is hard

Writing software is hard

Signal v Noise Signal v Noise 27 December 2016

Good software is uncommon because writing it is hard. In the abstract, we all know that it is hard. We talk incessantly about how it’s hard. And yet, we also collectively seem shocked — just shocked…

A shining example of how to teach

A shining example of how to teach

Signal v Noise Signal v Noise 12 November 2016

I was recently fumbling my way through a programming problem. I couldn’t figure out the root issue, so I cobbled together a shaky solution and posted my ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ on Basecamp. Then Sam Stephenson…

Behind the scenes: A/B testing at Highrise

Behind the scenes: A/B testing at Highrise

Signal v Noise Signal v Noise 24 October 2016

Highrise launched in 2007 and was a leader in teaching folks about some successful marketing split tests. Today we’ve got a few new lessons…

Hunting for great names in programming

Hunting for great names in programming

Signal v Noise Signal v Noise 22 August 2016

One of the real delights of programming is picking great variable, method, and class names. But an even greater treat is when you can name pairs, or even whole narratives, that fit just right. And the very best of those is when you’re forced to trade off multiple forces pulling in different directions. This is the story of one such case.
UX idea for Uber (or Lyft, or…)

UX idea for Uber (or Lyft, or…)

Signal v Noise Signal v Noise 22 July 2016

Here’s an idea to make it easier for the driver to identify who they’re picking up, and for the passenger to feel more confident that they…

Feature Flags

Feature Flags

Signal v Noise Signal v Noise 25 April 2016

Why I love ugly, messy interfaces — and you probably do too

Why I love ugly, messy interfaces — and you probably do too

Signal v Noise Signal v Noise 06 April 2016