Using Chunking for Better Usability

Using Chunking for Better Usability

There's a valid psychological reason why most of us are more likely to remember a 10 digit phone number rather than the first 10 digits of the value of Pi.  It has to do with how we commit information to our short term memory.  We are much better at memorizing lists or numbers in chunks.  In UI design it's called chunking and it's the technique of breaking many units of information into smaller, limited units or chunks, so that the information is easier to process and remember.

Over Engineering Software Like a Pfifltriggi

Over Engineering Software Like a Pfifltriggi

When you begin the habit of writing code to solve problems that you don't have - that's a real problem.  Joel Spolsky famously called these people Architecture Astronauts.  They create such ambiguous, high-level abstractions in the code that at a certain point the code becomes unreadable and, for all intents and purposes, unmanageable.

There is a somewhat lesser known space trilogy from CS Lewis and in the first book a human from Earth visits a foreign planet that is mainly inhabited by three different classes of physical creatures: the Sorns, the Hrossa, and the Pfifltriggi.  At one point in the story the human asks one of the Sorns (its name is Augray) where he got his impressive oxygen mask from.  Augray answers the human somewhat sheepishly...

Building Big Data on Azure Table Storage

Building Big Data on Azure Table Storage

When I accepted the position as Director of Business Intelligence at 3xLOGIC in 2013 I was immediately tasked with creating a cloud-based exception reporting platform for the retail industry.  The hardest part about taking that challenge on was that the company was operating on a shoe-string budget at the time and there was also almost no help available to me as far as development resources.  I was going to have to build the entire app - front-end, back-end, database, cloud processes - almost entirely on my own.