What your dev team can learn from Greg McKeown’s principle of essentialism

Everyone wants to get more done in less time. However, that is not what Greg McKeown’s New York Times bestseller book “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” is about. It is rather a book about getting the right things done and focusing on the things that are essential while eliminating the clutter.

In the last few weeks, we covered productivity and communication topics here on our blog and asked how they can be applied to working together with your dev team.

In this article, we want to take a look at the tipsMcKeown’s is suggesting and ask how they can work when you are building digital products with your dev team.

Happy reading!

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4 reasons why you should integrate visual communication into your workflow

Our communication is becoming more visual every day. We send emojis, gifs, pictures. We Instagram, Snapchat, or use the latest Facebook Filters to add some visual elements to our video chats. Visual communication is everywhere – and it’s faster, more effective, and fun.

Business communication is not exempt from integrating visual elements and giving everyone more and more opportunities to communicate visually. From Trello boards to Basecamp organization to our very own Usersnap (a visual communication tool for web developers – check it out!) visual communication is everywhere!

Why should you care? And why should you make sure to integrate visual communication into your daily work? We have 4 reasons for you to make you love visual communication even more!?
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Is your dev team lost in communication?

Communication is a key strength that is required no matter what you do for a living. Since tech companies have defined the “team” as the basic unit of an organization, communication skills take on a new significance.

However, not every developer possesses the same skills, when it comes to communicating ideas, exchanging feedback, and articulating thoughts on a new product update or feature.

In this article, we are looking at ways to improve communication for your dev team and show how visual communication can help you not only communicate faster and more effectively, but also in a way that’s fun. Continue Reading “Is your dev team lost in communication?”

How to collect feedback & track bugs with the new Jira Experience!

In 2002 the software world looked quite different.

Bugzilla was the main bug tracking tool available, and a small company named Atlassian just launched its software, named Jira.

Jira, in reference to Gojira (Japanese for Godzilla), was intended to be a modern alternative to the market leader Bugzilla. Fast forward to 2018: Jira is used by more than 75,000 customers globally, who use JIRA for their entire software development lifecycle.

While all sorts of department and teams use Jira, its core use case is still its issue tracking and ticketing functionality.

And with this article, we show you how to collect feedback from colleagues, and track bugs with Jira more effectively.
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7 Easy Steps to Motivate Your Dev Team to Go the Last Mile

Everyone knows about the 80/20 rule. Here’s how Richard Koch defines it in his book “The 80/20 principle”:

“The 80/20 Principle asserts that a minority of causes, inputs, or effort usually lead to a majority of the results, outputs, or rewards. Taken literally, this means that, for example, 80 percent of what you achieve in your job comes from 20 percent of the time spent.”

In his book, Koch illustrates in which areas the 80/20 principle holds true and how to use it to optimize work.

However, you might think that in our highly competitive world, achieving 80 percent is not enough. Sometimes, it seems that with growing customer expectations, giving 100 percent is just barely okay.

So how can you motivate your product team to go the last mile? How do you instill a culture of curiosity and learning?

Or in other words: What does it take, to make your team go the last 20 percent?

Here are our 7 practical approaches.

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What the best dev teams do differently

Teams have become the fundamental unit of an organization. That’s the reason why there has been a lot of research on how to improve team culture, collaboration, and communication. The question is no longer around what individuals can do, but how they can work together. Especially when it comes to web development projects, teamwork is key. In this article, we want to spotlight a few things that the best teams get right.

We take a look at three critical things: 1) communication, 2) culture of learning, and 3) psychological safety. Our goal is to provide a few tips of actionable advice so you can work better after reading this. Better as a team, of course.

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Let’s UAT: A practical test case illustrated on the example of Trello

User Acceptance testing is an important – yet often overlooked – step in every software development project. The principle of UAT is simple: It allows you to verify if a solution/software/application works for the user.

Yet its implementation in real life software development teams and processes is something a lot of companies struggle with.

In this article, we guide you through a practical user acceptance testing example, illustrated by testing a Trello feature.

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Which Programming Languages Should You Learn in 2018?

“Which programming languages should I learn this year?” is one of the most common questions I get asked.

It’s a valid question, but it’s difficult to answer without knowing more about you and what you want to achieve.

It depends on…

  • What is your current web development knowledge?
  • What is the purpose of you studying programming?
  • How much time do you have available?
  • Do you want to work for yourself or for a company?
  • Do you prefer frontend or backend?
  • How much are you willing to invest in learning?

In our post about the “Best Programming languages for 2017” over 10,000 readers voted for their favorite language. Here are the results. (Don’t worry: You get to vote this year, too. Just scroll to the end of the post) Continue Reading “Which Programming Languages Should You Learn in 2018?”

How to develop a chrome extension in 2018

Browser extensions in general and chrome extensions, in particular, are small “software programs that customize the browsing experience”.

If you’re thinking about building your own Chrome extension, we provide you with helpful resources and tips in this article.

Our very own Usersnap Chrome extension is used by thousands of people, and we are happy to share our knowledge on how we built (and maintain) our extension with you.

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How to make your website accessible in 2018

In the last hundred years, dozens of legislative acts have been passed to make our environment more accessible for people with disabilities. These include laws such as making public transportation wheelchair accessible (Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1970) or protecting disabled people from housing, education or job discrimination. Accessibility also applies to websites and creating accessible web experiences.

Accessible online experiences are no longer a nice-to-have, but are legally binding for governmental institutions (and their suppliers) as well as for big corporations such as airlines.

If you are thinking about making your website accessible or are in charge of a WCAG 2.0 implementation, this article will illustrate a process on how to get started. It will show you what accessibility for a website means and how you can make your website inclusive for people with a disability.

Continue Reading “How to make your website accessible in 2018”

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