Scrum, the hard parts

by Cedric Dugas on June 1, 2016

If your team is trying Agile for the first time, then there is a big chance you guys are using Scrum. Scrum is an easy proposition at first glance, push out product increments at a consistent pace with stakeholders feedback, who would say no to that? Obviously, there is a lot more than what you see at the surface, effectively doing it is hard, implementing Scrum in a company that has been doing waterfall for ages can be highly disruptive, it tends to create naturally side effects that can be hard to overcome, that is especially true for web software.

Continuous deployment?

The way a sprint is handled works against continuous deployment processes. As you are leading teams into a sprint the attitude tends to be…

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Hiring devs

by Cedric Dugas on April 23, 2016

The way a company hires developers can say a lot about their culture. Is there a very strict HR followed process, tests and the type of those tests, culture-fit interviews, etc. While the point of all this is to test the candidate, it can give great insights to the other side of the table. In this competitive market, you can be sure that candidates are taking notes while being interviewed.

The concept of false positives

Tests are the gate to the company, however testing talent is hard. While you may keep some bad apples from joining your company you may loose some amazing people in the process; every test is flawed in some way and yours are too.

This article from Zack Holman relates exactly the issues with tests.…

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Jira, stakeholders and release notes

by Cedric Dugas on March 29, 2016

Jira influence over Agile project management tools is undeniable. It’s old, big, has lots of add-ons and a mountain of configurations that your big tech department management will love. However one thing Jira never seems to get it right is the UI. The web interface tends to be slow and convoluted, it’s not great either at giving stakeholders an easy overview of their projects.

Now one thing I always prone in agile development is transparency, I want stakeholders/key people to understand the decisions taken in a sprint. One big part of that is the sprint release notes. Release notes…

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My controlled input dilemma with react & redux

by Cedric Dugas on January 28, 2016

“An input that does not supply a value (or sets it to null) is an uncontrolled component. In a controlled input, the value of the rendered element will always reflect the value prop.”

The input onChange event is something I always been careful with. You do not want to execute too much code while a user is completing a form, it’s already an unpleasant experience in the first place without having sluggish inputs. That is why I am having a bit of an issue being told that I should handle all inputs state at all time.

The goal of controlled inputs is predictability and reliability™. While react setState approach is generally fine performance wise, with redux it’s another story. Passing down actions, executing middlewares, to finally get…

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Thoughts about React, Redux & javascript in 2016

by Cedric Dugas on December 30, 2015

The Javascript language is transforming, with ES6 & new frameworks following different philosophies, if you are currently doing some ES5 with Backbone; it’s time you give it a look before the whole ecosystem changes without you.

To put this piece in perspective, I started ten years ago as an HTML/CSS/Javascript integrator with IE6, lived the birth of jQuery, and then backbone. I got into those techs as soon as I discovered them. I never cared much for angular, I found it weird at first and not solving anything I needed to be solved. I’m fast with my backbone stack, really fast, and I like to build apps, not architectures.

All that being said, as a web developer you need to listen to the wind. We are paid…

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Email on Acid support added to Inker

by Cedric Dugas on July 19, 2015

You can now test your campaigns with email on acid as an alternative to Litmus with Inker.

Email renders differently in every email client. Gmail or Outlook? iPhone or Android? Email on Acid preview your email in 42 different email clients and mobile devices in minutes.

Email on Acid also decided to sponsor Inker development, a big thank you for that!

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Being a student at DesignLab

by Cedric Dugas on June 5, 2015’t you feel that everybody is a UX designer these days?

It’s one of those things that everyone has an opinion on, but not everyone is good at it. These days a lot of online schools have come to fill some specific gaps like learning to be a front-end developer.

Design is a bit of another story, it’s much harder to learn to be a good designer online & results may vary greatly.

Recently I was contacted by Designlab to try their online course. For 2 years now I have moved into product management, which changed a bit how I usually works with UX & UI designers, I thought it was the right time to deepen my knowledge into user experience design.

The Premise

For me the really interesting thing…

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Rethinking how we manage email development & transactional delivery

by Cedric Dugas on May 4, 2015

Coding emails is one of the most depressing tasks in front-end development. From coding to sending we tend to want to push those tasks as far from us as we possibly can, but emails are a very important part of any system, and it is important that we take the time to do it right.

A deeper look at email rendering engines

Prior to 2007, coding emails wasn’t actually so bad. Depending on the type of campaign you would be doing you could even use divs and floats. Yes, you heard me. You could absolutely use anything IE6 had to offer at that point in time.

Then, something catastrophic happened. Microsoft decided to replace the IE engine from Outlook with the Microsoft Word engine. As you can guess,…

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Where did my Google Drive “shared with me” tab go?

by Cedric Dugas on February 16, 2015

Update: Google changed Incoming back to Shared with me.

Without even probably realizing it Google Drive have become an integral part of my day to day toolset, everyone in my company use it to share documents across teams & departments.

For a tool to be useful It is important that our workflow is as painless as possible, forgetting to share a document to someone or having a coworker unable to find a document can impacts the company productivity.

This get me to last week when one of my coworker asked me where was all the documents shared by the company on the drive, I was a bit baffled. Personally I always hit the “shared with me” button to look at company documents. But that tab was gone, he had…

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Inker, transactional & marketing email development workflow evolved

by Cedric Dugas on February 10, 2015

tl:dr Download | Documentation

Any front-end dev will tell you that email template integration is one of the worst part of their job. It is often a task given to interns or to one of those cheap third party companies, & for good reasons.

It takes experience/time to build solid email templates, testing in different browsers/email clients is also hard & costly. If you use a senior dev it costs even more money, oh and you will also probably piss him off.

I understand this too much, not only did I work for web agencies, I also worked a couple of years at CakeMail building 2 wysiwyg email editors. If you think building an email template is hard, try building a good wysiwyg email creation tool.

A beacon of hope, ink

When Zurb…

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