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InfoQ Homepage Presentations Making Apps That Don’t Suck

Making Apps That Don’t Suck

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Bio

Mike Lee (@bmf) has worked on apps for Alaska Airlines, Delicious Monster, Tapulous, United Lemur, Apple, and Nextive, producing such hits as Delicious Library, Tap Tap Revenge, Obama '08, and Apple's Mobile Store. His goal is to save Madagascar, his homepage is at le.mu.rs, and he has the world's largest collection of plush prosimians.

About the conference

QCon is a conference that is organized by the community, for the community.The result is a high quality conference experience where a tremendous amount of attention and investment has gone into having the best content on the most important topics presented by the leaders in our community.QCon is designed with the technical depth and enterprise focus of interest to technical team leads, architects, and project managers.

Recorded at:

May 20, 2011

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Community comments

  • Funny with useful suggestions for better user experiences

    by Faisal Waris /

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    and Mr. Lee has garnered wisdom that belies his youth.

  • Great fun

    by peter lin /

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    I didn't know what to expect, but the talk was a load of fun to watch.

  • Experience without rules

    by Michael Poulin /

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    A statement like "a software engineer makes great applications not because he follows good rules but because he has a better way of looking at the world and he learns from experience" scares me.

    To what criteria the application is great if there are no rules that set the objectives?

    If someone starts with no experience, how many chances s/he has to get this experience if I would not buy produced application (because it was made w/o rules and experience)?

  • Re: Experience without rules

    by Russell Leggett /

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    I don't think he was saying no rules, I think he was more saying that you can't just follow rules and get good software as a result. It's like art - "An artist makes great art not because he follows good rules, but because he has a better way of looking at the world and he learns from experience." I think it still holds up. Sort of like saying - knowing how to draw is not enough.

    And I will say that it depends on what part of the spectrum you are working. User interface / user experience, are much more design problems than engineering problems. As such, they require more knowledge of people - soft skills, as opposed to hard. And its not just the visual design. There are plenty of rules for that too - color, whitespace, etc. Someone could easily do a presentation on that - there are plenty of books as well, but what Mike was getting at is more about the values that don't boil down to rules. Heck, each of the things that Mike pointed out COULD be made into rules, but that would be seeing the forest for the trees.

  • Awesome Presentation.

    by Richard Clayton /

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    I love it. Very accessible and not necessarily specific to software.

  • Wonderful, wonderful presentation -- one of the very best

    by Mario Lanza /

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    I have always subscribed to the principle that by noticing what sucks about something you can learn how to improve it. Mike Lee really hits the nail on the head. He is a very entertaining and engaging speaker. Well done!

  • Ship it today and fix it tomorrow is a terrible idea, because you only get

    by Daniel Ribeiro /

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    One of the most anti-lean comments I've seen. Which is kinda surprising to see on this week, where Eric Ries hosted Startups Lesson Learned Conference advocating MVPs for maximize learning, and overcoming the "My baby is ugly" syndrome.

  • Excellent

    by Roy Wilson /

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    Excellent presentation!

  • Great style and I learnt a lot

    by Imraan Jhetam /

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    Great presentation. Very useful to all developers.

    If only this site was not in Flash so I could watch it on my iPad!!!

  • Re: Great style and I learnt a lot

    by Fabrice Marguerie /

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    If only this site was not in Flash so I could watch it on my iPad!!!

    If only iPad supported Flash...

  • The presentation software kind of sucks now

    by James Watson /

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    I was struck by how coincidental it is that the slides do not display properly while watching the presentation and how the frustration Mike Lee was describing matched my own experience of not being able to see the slides.

    I don't know what changed with the presentation viewer but its broken now.

  • Saw 3/4 of video in full screen before realizing that slides were apearing

    by Al Scotch /

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    Saw 3/4 of video in full screen before realizing that slides were apearing below.
    Now that sucks! :)

    But a very entertaining and motivating message, nevertheless.

  • Excellent presentation that applies to humans

    by Brian Edwards /

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    ...but more importantly, am I the only person who wants a Harry Potter Sonic Obama backpack?

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