Russ Olsen is on fire!

Russ Olsen has been fiddling with his site meaning that the news feed has updated: old gems have re-surfaced, and this is no bad thing. Over the past few months, Russ has written a whole series of articles about building successful application development teams that everyone should read. One post that really piqued my attention at the time, and that has popped up again in the newsreader, is It Works Right Out Of the Box! It is superb, and really gives you an insight into what makes a software project—specifically an open-source software project—successful:

…one thing I do know is that making it easy to get your code up in running is absolutely critical to getting people to try it. This applies to a one person open source project just as much as it does to a major commercial production. And the converse is also true: “I played with it for 20 minutes and couldn’t make it work.” is about as damning a review of any software as I can think of.

I am guilty of this kind of thing as the next person: sure, DominoWiki has some documentation and a quick-start guide, but it really could be a whole lot better. As I finalise my release schedule for the next 6 - 12 months, this has been taken into account, rest assured :-o

(As an aside, Russ’ most recent piece was about office space, and Joel Spolsky has weighed-in on this controversial topic too. Go read!)

Uh, sorry, I meant “Go read!” only if you are not one of my colleagues. If you are, don’t read: these links will just depress you given current and future events…

Comments on this post are now closed.


I’m a software architect / developer / general IT wrangler specialising in web, mobile web and middleware using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5 and more.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. You can read more here.