Designing a new Infrastructure is like buying a new car

Because I happen to be both buying a new car and deploying new infrastructure the realization dawned upon me about how similar these two activities are. You start the investigation with some preconceived “gut-level” notions. code: Multiprocess distributed job engine is what I need car : I want a Mazda 3 with “Zoom Zoom” Everybody has a story about why your choice is bad code: “In my last job I used a python-C++ wrapper from vcron” car : My cousin"s friends brother had a mazda and the engine fell out on 95...

June 17, 2009 · 3 min · Aaron Held

HOA - Case study of failed political systems

I love to rant over how bad HOAs are. There are so many case studies in my life where otherwise happy friendly people become tyrants when given a bit of power. From the band leader that threatened my wedding would be a failure to the people that run the Home Owners Associations. It takes a certain type of fellow to run an HOA. My buck’s county HOA is much better then the one in Manalanapan....

June 15, 2009 · 1 min · Aaron Held

Google's iterative design for search

The google blog recently put up a remarkably content-free post on their product blog about how they use iterative design and usability studies to develop enhancements to their core search offering. Official Google Blog: Behind the scenes of the Search Options panel. We do similar testing for our search product ( and we actually run 8-12 live tests at any given time. The real users using the product in the wild give us fantastic insight that is combined with the more traditional studies in order to guide us....

May 22, 2009 · 1 min · Aaron Held

Insta-Tag Cloud

Cute tag-cloud generator off my feed []( ““Wordle: Aaron’s Blog”)

May 22, 2009 · 1 min · Aaron Held

Paper prototyping success!

Over in CIM we are working on a major CMS overhaul based on Alfresco. Alfresco gives me the solid foundation of what I need in terms of content APIs, scalability and workflow. Unfortunately the UI leaves something to be desired. I’ve decided to focus my teams efforts on the Editorial interface of the CMS and really want to get it right. CMS projects in general are prone to dissatisfaction and most people using ‘enterprise’ CMSs don’t really like them....

May 22, 2009 · 2 min · Aaron Held