Category Archives: To ponder about

Collaborative Consumption Reputation Score – A way for various platforms to work together?

Think of it as your Klout score, but instead of measuring social influence, it’s a aggregate score of your reputation across various collaborative consumption platforms. Implementation wise it can be as simple as an automatic crawler that collects these statistics from the public profiles from each platform, or having each platform adhere to a standard set of rest endpoints returning the scores for each user in the platform.

It would be a place where people can find out whether you trashed your last AirBnB room, whether you returned the car in proper condition on iCarsClub, whether you provided accurate description on RentTycoons, or even if you did return the items you exchanged on Leendy by the stipulated time. In time, this score might be as, or even more, valuable than your social influence score. Especially when Collaborative Consumption isn’t a trend, it’s a way of life and it’s here to stay.

The score itself might be represented as a percentile within each system. e.g. if the user’s rep is above 75% of all users in AirBnb, his component from AirBnb would be 75, etc. Then each component from different platforms would be normalized by the the number of actions/transactions made on each system, and in time it may be modified with recency as well.

12 Reasons why developing software is like raising kids (and life in general)

  1. Spend some time in the alpha version before rushing (or skipping) to beta. Early childhood development is important but often overlooked.
  2. It’s easier to modify feature sets before they reach release. Habits, like badly designed features, takes a long time to phase out and remove completely without user frustration.
  3. You can release updates, but it’s up to the user to get them. You can bring the cow to the water but not make it drink. Sometimes it takes a major data corruption, service failure, or some other crisis to make the user install the updates you have been pestering them to install months ago. Similarly, kids often need to experience it themselves before they learn the lessons.
  4. Good looking software can trend, solid features will stay. Users may be attracted by sleek interfaces, but they stay for its features and reliability, and history has shown that appearances can go out of date way faster than features. Barring a successful career on the runway, solid skills and a good personality generally matters more in life.
  5. Even a single line of bad code can affect the overall quality of the entire app. Foster a healthy environment by surrounding yourself with role models and generally people with good influences. mysql_query($_GET[‘query’]) anyone?
  6. Continue reading

How to unseat Google through bribery

A famous loose-cannon/American billionaire has a plan for unseating Google from its search-engine throne – and at a mere $1bn, his idea is significantly less expensive than the billions Microsoft is sinking into that Bing thing. co-founder and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s idea is simplicity itself: Just pay the top 1,000 websites a million bucks per to de-list themselves from Google.

Read the full article at The Register.

Anyone can write code. Not everyone can throw it away.

An article by Esther Schindler discussing how it is often a good idea to start coding from scratch instead of trying to patch the big mess you created the last time when meeting a deadline.

Becoming a Great Programmer: Use Your Trash Can

I’ve come to believe that all great software is written three times. The first time you write it, it’s to see if your idea can work at all. It’s the digital equivalent of scratching something out on the back of the envelope, leaving out the fancy stuff and just concentrating on the basic feature or algorithm. Once you figure out that yes, this might be a good way to solve the problem, then you write the code a second time, to “make it work.” But it’s the third time you write the code, when you’ve had the opportunity to learn from the mistakes from the “try to make it work” phase, when your application will be the best it can be. (Well, almost. There’s often a 3.1, too. Even great software has a few bugs.)