I just read a good post over on Steve Clayton’s blog about DeepZoom, it perfectly illustrates a conversation I had last week about the SeaDragon technologies.  At the time  I didn’t have net access so couldn’t demonstrate my point, but Steve’s quick mock up with some Paul Smith stuff is a great example of how DeepZoom could be used. 

Hopefully I’ll build something like this into a site I’m building for my better half, though I need to get my head back into dev stuff first!

Having seen DeepZoom, I’m really looking forward the release of the PhotoSynth technology, having the same zoom capability but also being able to move around the products in 3D will be amazing.

Add Lightness, what IT can learn from cars.

I’m a car nut.  There’s something about driving that captures my imagination.  I’m never sure whether its the act of going somewhere, the sensation of reading the road through the steering wheel and the seat of your pants or just the cars themselves.  Whatever it is, for me the journey is often as enjoyable as the destination.

There’s lots of cars that I like, and quite a few car companies I admire, but Lotus really stands out in my affections.  It probably started as a James Bond thing (I still want an underwater Esprit) but if you look past the fast cars and former F1 glories, there are some pretty sound principles that I think apply beyond the realm of sports cars and racing.

Lotus was started by a guy called Colin Chapman, and under his guidance a relatively small set of people set about changing the world.  They were innovative and successful, always pushing the limits whether they be the limits of technology or the rule book.  Helping with this success were some underlying principles and ideas, and one in particular which Colin referred to as ‘adding lightness’. 

Why make something more than it needs to be?  You don’t need huge amounts of power to move something that is agile and light.  Add lightness to it, add simplicity, trim away all the excess crap you don’t need.  A lightweight car will accelerate quicker, brake better and go round corners faster.  Good things that will help win you races or make your customers smile.  Isn’t that also what we want in IT?

Whether its code, infrastructure or organisational structures anyone who works in IT will know that simplicity is always the best policy.  Sure it’s not always possible, but as an objective or principle it’s hard to beat.

By it’s nature Code is complex, so is infrastructure.  Even so there can be a certain elegance to their design.  I’m not developer, but even within the scripting I’ve done before there’s a certain pleasure in writing a script that applies a simple, elegant solution to a problem.  Something simple will run faster, use less resource, be easier to support.  Even easier to copy and paste into tomorrows project.

If you’re solving problems or delivering projects, in my experience a small, highly motivated team of people will deliver faster and with better results than a complex heavyweight organisation.  Give them some simple processes to use and a lightweight framework of standards and you’re laughing.

Add lightness.  You don’t need those cup holders.  They’ll slow you down.

Thanks Joel

I just spent a few minutes going though some unread posts in Google Reader and noticed that Joel Oleson is moving on from MS.

Joel’s blog has been an amazing SharePoint resource for ages.  In my previous role I was working on SharePoint 2003 and 2007 deployments and his blog often had more – and better – info than any of the official docs that were available at the time.  Just yesterday I was forwarding some info from his recent posts to the guys who look after SharePoint here now. 

It’s seems a little strange to be be writing a post about someone leaving a company I don’t work for, after all I’ve never met Joel and other than a couple of comments and emails we’ve never spoken.  But without knowing it he’s helped me out of SharePoint shaped holes more than once and was almost like a silent member of the team.

So thanks for all the help Joel, and best of luck in whatever the future holds. 

Oh… and keep blogging! :)

Old vs. New

Just spotted an interesting link on Twitter (I can’t remember who mentioned it – sorry!) that kinda follows on from my Selling Microsoft post a few weeks ago. 

Sam Lawrence has written about his experience at the SharePoint conference that was going on at the same time as Mix.  From what he’s said, and from what I’ve read elsewhere, it seems like the old vs. new camps in MS are alive and well over in the US as well as the UK.