Project Priorities

Migration to a New Server

There was a bit of lag in the posts to the blog, as we were migrating to a new server. It seemed easier to freeze most our content during the migration rather than unnecessarily add another step to the migration. In any case, we’re now successfully running node.js and Apache on the same server, using an node.js http-proxy-based “reverse proxy” to delegate the requests on port 80: I owe the internet an eventual post on how we did that, as there was not an abundance of specific information on how to do it already out there (but there does seem to be an audience for how to simply host node.js servers and WordPress blogs on the same physical machine without a complex configuration).

Worth Reading

Say what you see – another excellent post on TELLING INFORMATION. For me, the key insight of the article is summed up nicely in this quote from Lulu Pinney’s post:

…a successful piece of visual journalism is when the visual functions as a piece of journalism itself, telling the same story as the headline it sits under.

The Old New Thing – I’m astounded how prolific Raymond Chen is &mdash and that the articles on the blog are consistently interesting. Nothing in particular about linking to the blog today rather than any other day, rather it’s a general note that if you’re a tech person and don’t know about the Old New Thing, it’s worth taking a look.

Ramblings: Project Priorities

We give every project 110% and performance, stability, and user experience are all #1 priorities to us!

Of course, that’s not possible — but it doesn’t sound dissimilar from what you sometimes read and hear as part of early project pitches. It certainly would be nice for the final product if it could be true. In a literal sense, obviously the most you can give any project is 100% and the team can only have one #1 priority at any given moment in time…

Here’s a kind pass at the potential, sometimes conflicting priorities for a technical project (in no particular order):

  • Performance
  • Scalability
  • Stability
  • Security
  • Architectural Complexity
  • Extensibility
  • Agility
  • User Experience
  • Aesthetics
  • Accuracy
  • Time to Completion
  • Effort to Completion
  • Cost

It’s an interesting thought experiment as part of the project planning phase to come up with an ordered list for that project’s priorities. If push comes to shove, which is more important the deadline or the performance? Absolute confidence in the data integrity or a visually impressive design? The ability to build upon this code base in the long-term or short-term agility to prototype alternate designs? Meeting the exact client requirements or delivering at half the cost to the client?

The answers vary, no ordering would likely hold true across the entire course of the project, and often any choice is a balance between a collection of those priorities — but nonetheless, over-simplifying the priorities as part of the project plan can give some insight and (perhaps more importantly) focus into what’s most important for a particular project.

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