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Showing posts from 2014

Grive, the unofficial Google Drive client for Linux

A Linux version of Google Drive is still on the giant's to-do list , and many of us believe that it will never be released. The best alternative I could find is Grive , an unofficial open-source client developed by a former Google Drive developer. Combined with a package called  Grive-tools , which provides GUI support, it is all you need to have your files synchronized on your favorite operating system. Remember that Grive is an unofficial Google Drive client and installation is at your own risk. I followed these steps to have it running on Ubuntu 14.04 : 1) Click on the Start button and go to "Software & Updates" 2) On the "Other Software" tab, add the following source deb utopic main 3) Open a new terminal and type sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install grive-tools 4) Click on the Start button and go to "Grive-Setup" 5) Follow the setting up instructions That's

LRM, the right moment to make important decisions

Many times we tend to make premature decisions just because a generic process dictates to do so.  However, early decisions are hugely risky and often result in work that has to be thrown away. Similarly, if we delay the commitment beyond a limit ,  then decisions are made by default, which is generally not a good approach to making decisions.  That  limit is called the last responsible moment (LRM). Scrum process favors a strategy of keeping all our options open until the LRM, i.e.,  when  the cost of not making a decision becomes greater than the cost of making a decision . See this figure extracted from Essential Scrum . At the beginning of a development effort is when we have the highest levels of uncertainty. Scrum and Lean Startup processes help us to reduce all forms of uncertainty with validated learning , so that our knowledge about the process and the product grows over the time. According to the LRM principles, we are delaying commitment as much as

How to increase your team's productivity with the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is an efficient time management method that breaks down work into 25-minute intervals (called pomodori ) separated by 5-minute breaks in order to improve concentration and mental agility. During these pomodori, the user has to focus on a single task. You cannot check your emails, chat with your colleagues or answer the phone until the next break.  Every four pomodori you can have a long break (30 minutes). Let's be honest, we all have troubles managing our time . You are working on your code and suddenly you receive an email that makes you lose your focus. Not to mention if you have smartphone or Facebook dependency. Task switching is not efficient, having short breaks after a high-concentration pomodoro is. I have been using the Pomodoro Technique together with Scrum, where time tracking is not acceptable , but leveraging team members' performance is always welcome. The results are very positive.  My colleagues hesitated at first, but on

How to improve User Experience with Mouse Tracking

The goal of User Experience Design is to enhance customer satisfaction by improving the interaction between the customer and the product. You can follow some best practices that normally lead to a better performance. However, this is not an exact science, and most founders would love to know how their customers are actually interacting with their product. When the product is web-based, there is a technique called Mouse Tracking  that records the mouse movements, clicks, scrolling and keys pressed when they are visiting your site. It's actually like being behind your customers when they are browsing your website . I have been trying out Mouseflow , one of the leading mouse tracking tools in the market. After signing up ( free plan with 100 recordings/month), I just had to add a few Javascript lines of code in my target page (index.html in ). The results are incredibly positive . I was able to see how dozens of users were interacting with my

Evaluating Scrum management tools for a startup

I have been evaluating some cloud-based management tools for Scrum teams, with a special focus on tech startups with 10 employees. These are my thoughts. JIRA AGILE.   $20/mo. Free 7-day trial. PROS.  This is the most professional project management tool that I have ever tried. Especially adapted for Scrum or Kanban, Jira Agile will guide you through the process of creating your product backlog, launching your first sprint and getting relevant charts and reports. The dashboard looks pretty much like Trello, drag&drop driven with a nice look&feel. Limitless options for managers to set up the project, team and to get the most out of Scrum framework. Jira Agile has its own app store. Very easy to scale and combine with other Atlassian tools such as Confluence. CONS.  Perhaps it is too complex for a startup that just needs to launch experiments and make their MVPs evolve rapidly. Some features are not really relevant at this stage. Moderate learning curve for managers in order

How to rollback Google App Engine transactions on Eclipse

Sometimes, when we are deploying an app to Google App Engine from Eclipse, something goes wrong (connection is lost, process is stuck,...) and the transaction is never completed. In those cases, when you try to redeploy, you normally get an error message: Conflict Another transaction by user XXX is already in progress All you have to do in order to undo the transaction and go back to the initial status is: 1) Open the command line on Windows 2) Navigate to the SDK bin  folder on Eclipse. It normally looks something like this: C:\Program Files\Eclipse\plugins\\appengine-java-sdk-1.8.7\bin> 3) Type the following command, where the last parameter is the absolute path to the war folder of your GAE's project: appcfg rollback C:\Users\Arturo\workspace\Dialective\war 4) Use your Google App Engine credentials when requested. And that's it! --   --

How to deploy a static HTML site to Heroku

Heroku's Cedar platorm supports today’s most popular and productive languages and frameworks including Ruby, Java, Node.js, Python or Scala. However, you cannot deploy a simple HTML site without getting the following error: **-----> Heroku receiving push ! Heroku push rejected, no Cedar-supported app detected** Don't panic! All you need to do is to rename your index.html file to index.php and deploy again. It will work! --   --

How to find the cheapest .com domains

Most people register their .com domain names directly in  GoDaddy  and think that the $4.99  (1st year)  offer for the first year is the best they can find. Well, if you search on Google ".com domain"  they might find this other offer from GoDaddy that is not accessible from their web :  your .com domain for just $1.49 (1st year) . As far as I know, these are the cheapest domain names in the market as of today, but they tend to be more expensive after the first year. I promise that I don't receive commission on this :-) --   --

Hello World!

I have always been involved in the blogger community running corporate blogs,  participating in meetups  or even creating tools for bloggers such as Copromly . However,  I have never had my own blog , probably because it is a very time-consuming activity. Many times, when I am struggling with some technical difficulties and I manage to find a solution, I think that it would be nice to share it with the community and help other people facing the same problem the same way I benefit from their knowledge on forums and websites .  This is the goal of this blog. Welcome! --   --