Archive for November, 2008

Employee Optimization

Friday, November 14th, 2008

From a company’s prospective, employees are fixed cost resources. While they’re working, they’ll contribute to the product that they’re working on, but what about when they’re not working? A simple way to test is to come up with estimates for a product, use a weighted system such as a system which factors in experience, accuracy in estimation, and etc., to come up with the estimates. Then you apply changes to that worker and see what the effects are. If you see an increase in productivity keep it, if you see a decrease in productivity remove it. Now in order for the experiment to properly execute, you need to control for all the other factors that might affect the worker. As in, you need to prevent anything other than the said changes to affect the worker, this way, if there is a change, you know exactly what caused it. If you introduce too many variables at once, you have no way to figuring out what contributed to what. The combination of factors that might’ve worked for one worker might not work the same way for the next, which is why in order to best figure out what works and what doesn’t, you need to limit the things you’re introducing.

I think open communication is key to employee optimization, you need to figure out what works best for the employee. If at any time the employee feels that there are reasons for him to not openly communicate, then all forms of communication will start failing, and you’ll no longer have the insight to optimize the employee as you did before.

Election Monitoring Sites

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

For this post, we’re comparing Google, CNN, and CBSNews.

I am very disappointed in both Google and CNN, but frankly quite impressed with CBSNews. In this modern day and age, when the word “real-time” is used, we no longer expect the need to refresh the page, and CBSNews has risen to the occasion. CNN’s flash based website requires a page refresh in order to load the data. Google on the other-hand, at the time of this blog being written, isn’t even working.

Not only are page refresh yesterday’s news, but it also consumes more bandwidth because you’re loading the entire page, not just the part that changed. They should seriously put more resources on pages they expect a lot of people to see. I can expect CNN, a news site, not having the most “1337” (elite) programmers working on their site, but not Google. I’m frankly quite disappointed.

It’s this growing expectation that visitors have of web functionality and the lack of it that reinforces my belief that web development is still an increasingly important field.