Project management is not a glamorous job. The better you are, the less you’re noticed: things just hum along nicely, with no major conflicts or serious misunderstandings. If you’re diligent, skilled, dedicated and competent, someone else will get credit. The software, application, website or rebuild you so lovingly slaved over will be attributed to your boss, your client, or – if you’re lucky – to your developers or creatives.
In fact, the only time a project manager can rely on getting any real attention is when things go wrong. A host of complex issues may be present – problematic management behaviour, shifting requirements, lack of necessary cooperation from the wider business, underinvestment in skill or resource – but the blame is ultimately yours. You’re the project manager.
Management roles have traditionally focused on issuing assignments and offering rewards. For much of the industrial age, this worked well. In the vast majority of situations, people do work harder if they know they’ll get a financial bonus or more recognition. Primed with 100 years of business advice, managers feel they have the tools they need to get things done, retain their staff and hit their targets.
But when they find themselves at the helm of a team of developers, or a mixed team of designers and developers, managers get confused. The promise of rewards only goes so far. Sometimes, incentives fail to generate any interest and may even lead to resistance. Developers who never voice any dissatisfaction put in their notice and move on without any explanation, leaving you scratching your head. It’s really confusing, and there are no easy answers.
I remember when I first heard about the Iron Triangle. It sounded sinister, Evil Empire like, and not really something I could embrace in my fluffy idealistic agency brain. Just to be clear in this article I am talking about the Project Management version, not the US political system version… which is sinister and is just like the Evil Empire.
Back then I was speaking to my then boss, a man who I credit with opening my eyes to a great deal to how an agency works and, more importantly, how it should work. He was explaining in typically simple eloquence, how he wanted us to set expectation with clients.
Much to the dismay of the advertising and publishing industry, Adblock is indeed here to stay. But, what is the industry doing about it? For the most part, pointing the finger and accusing the end user of underhanded tactics. To that I say: Pot, meet Kettle.
Over the last few months I have noticed an increasing number of articles surround Adblock usage, most of which are coming from advertisers and publishers perspective. Within these articles the underlying theme is that Adblock is evil and people using it are:
I was once told that If you put a £5 note for sale in the window, you can sell it for £5 or maybe even more, but if you put it way at the back of the shop, hidden away and try to sell it for 50p, it still won't sell.
Lesson: No matter how good the product is, if it's not where your customers can see it then it's worthless.
Most publishers will have you believe that adblocker users are monsters, thieves that want free content, these users wont stop until your business is dead!
Adblock is nothing new, it is a representation of the collective voice of internet users screaming "WE WANT CHANGE!", in an industry that is so far behind, we should thank these users for waking us up.
The more we browse the web the more our experiences influence how we design and develop our own products. We isolate and extract the best experiences and replicate them to help guide and inform users as best we can. But are we really in the best position to decide what works and what doesn't? The simple answer is, no!
Over the last few months I have been working on a major new section of a website and I was recently invited to sit in on one of the user testing session that was set up to test the work I had done. In the run up to the user testing sessions we had identified that parts of the user journey were quite complicated for new users and decided to pre-empt any confusion by implementing IntroJS so we could highlight the main parts of the product and tell the user what they were expected to do.
Symfony2 is a fantastic framework for developing your web applications and services and installing and configuring Symfony2 is extremely easy. With the use of composer and the Symfony installer you can get started in just a couple of minutes and with only a few simple commands.
Symfony2 uses composer as the package manager for managing all of the dependencies within your applications and is a prerequistie to developing with Symfony2 so we will install this first.
Validating Schema.org tags, open graph tags and testing how sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will treat a link from your site has always been difficult to test in development.
Some tools have allowed you to copy and paste HTML and although it is not necessarily the most convenience way to do things, it did allow you to progress. Other tools require you to enter a URL which is crawlable in order to perform the validation but while the code changes reside in your development environment it can be a rather challenging to make these available for testing and generally there have been 3 options available to you:
The landscape of search engine optimization has changed drastically in the last 3-4 years. Even as it changes, a lot stays the same. It has been very challenging to see a multitude of friends and colleagues approach me with problems that often seem beyond repair with clients that they have worked with for years.