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Keynote: The Engineer, The Designer, And The Dictator
Presenter: Michael Lopp
Day - Time Slot: Thursday, May 23 - 09:00am–10:15am
Michael Lopp brought a very different and important perspective to DrupalCon. The perspective of the product(The question of whether Drupal IS a product is still up for debate).
- Your job has an expiration date.
- Resumes - They show how we bore easily.
- After three years we say want’s next. What problem am I going to solve next.
- Michael said he was bored at Apple 6 months before he left
- You are three years away from building something new
The Engineer, The Designer, And The Dictator
- The Engineer(makes it work)
- The Designer(makes it work for humans)
- The Dictator(make sure it gets done)
- Without an Engineer you have chaos
- Tron Legacy(worlds longest screensaver with a great soundtrack) was designed for engineers
- Have the false idea that there is a perfect system
- The engineering mindset. Striving to reduce chaos because it’s inefficient
- Believe there is a right and wrong answer that can be discovered
- Prepare for the unexpected by being paranoid.
- Go to insane lengths for marginal efficiency
- Love signal and hate noise
- None of this is work, it’s how engineers work
- Urge to build a new thing. Every three years.
- Facebook, Quora, and Google all have engineers for CEO’s
- Humans will use the product
- File save. Why the word save? Because we are waiting for something to explode
- What are we saving it from? The engineers
- Kernel panic / BSOD
- Engineer’s are not the product’s target audience
- Without designers you get the old gmail UI
- Fundamental tension: Who owns the product?
- What is a designer? NOT someone who knows Photoshop
- A good designer’s traits:
- prioritizing focusing and describing what users want
- surprising and delight users to exceed to expectations
- Panic Software (Creator of Coda)
- Cabel designed Coda in photoshop first
- Figuring out exactly what users want
- Experts in designing the want
- Delighting users: Setting the first impression of the product(Apple packaging)
- Designers have the same urge as engineers. The urge to build a thing
- Fundamental tension: Designers vs Developers - Battle between art and science
- So who owns the product?
You Need a Dictator
- You get nothing without a dictator
- Over engineering(A twitter for dogs)
- Beautiful design but it doesn’t work(Outsourced engineering ending up with 50% of what you wanted)
- You need a moderator, and decision maker
- Dictators know what they want
- Dictators make a decisions
- Dictators need to be experts
- Popular dictator: Steve Jobs
- Tosh: Webstock in Wellington in New Zealand
- She wants to make sure you feel Awesome. “You are Awesome”
- Steve Ballmer is not a dictator. Bill Gates was a dictator
A Good Dictator
- A Good dictator kills inconsistency from politics
- Consistency - Steve Jobs - “The Fear”
- VP’s were afraid of fear
- Kept big egos in check
- Kills ambiguity
- Steve Jobs killed the clones. The Grid. Moved from 16 products to 4
- Shortened the product cycle
- Why is this a problem? IBM, Oracle, and HP are no longer product companies.
- Creates Velocity
- Dictators can say No.
- Why do we care about velocity? We have to ship it. Speed matters
- Jobs abstracted the file system on iOS. No save
- Force of nature because they know what they want
- You are in a hurry
- You are horrifically bad at something. What is it?
Q & A
- Engineer is catch all for programmer/developer
- Is there is place for a dictator in Open Source? What do want out of your product? Dictators speeds things up. You probably need an auditor. This is a very continuous topic.
- How do you grow and produce dictators? Need a validation process and a way to eject them if they are not doing well.
- Should Drupal 9 have a design lead, engineering lead and more leads? Maybe they can be micro dictators.
- What is the right mix of designers and engineers? Do a survey to find out? Is it easier to use? Does it meet your needs?
- Business cards are dead. Resumes are next: Resume is really a press release. The digital signature is the repos and blogs you have in public.