Tinned Fruit Missives November 2018

The temptation to bin everything and rewrite a product from scratch is enormous, especially given the pace of change in the front-end landscape. New web platform features and JavaScript frameworks lure developers with shiny new toys to play with every day. How can we resist these evil temptations?!

Hopefully, some of the links in this month’s Missives will help to quell your rewrite urges a little by providing a healthy dose of realism, and others will give you some cause for realistic optimism.

Have a great month!

– Jim

Why You (Probably) Shouldn’t Rewrite Your SaaS Product - A Cautionary Tale - Kyle Racki

The ‘cautionary tale’ subtitle is absolute right here. If you’re considering rewriting your product and don’t have a world-class engineering team and an infinite runway, read this first to get a feel for some of the hidden challenges and costs that you’ve probably underestimated or not even considered. Gradual improvement might seem harder and less rewarding, but it’s far less risky. The Proposify team can consider themselves lucky that this didn’t destroy the company.

Only One Deliverable Matters - Josh Clark

I found myself nodding along heartily to this post about design deliverables. The only deliverable that really matters is the final product, so we should only be using intermediate deliverables like wireframes as learning tools. Production-quality work should be pushed as far downstream towards the final product as possible. In other words, learn as quickly and as cheaply as possible, but once there is evidence, validated learning should be embodied in your product as soon as you’re able to.

Everything You Know About Web Design Just Changed (Video) - Jen Simmons

Both a quick-fire history lesson of layout on the web, and a demonstration of how we’re in the midst of the web maturing as a medium. We’re at the start of an era where experimental web design approaches no longer need to ‘break’ the rules of the medium. Following on from this I anticipate a few hundred design conference talks referencing Marshall McLuhan.

Start Performance Budgeting - Addy Osmani

The Drift Into Technical Bankruptcy - John Cutler. This one hurts to read.

100% of the team in a mob for 12 months — taking mob programming a couple of steps further - Lea Kovac Beckman

Guidelines for Brutalist Web Design - David Bryant Copeland


The Strange Politics of the “Full-Stack Developer” - Dana Frederick

The Three Types of Performance Testing - Harry Roberts

You might not need JavaScript - Una Kravets

From Tinned Fruit (self-promotion section)

Create your own dysfunctional single-page app in five easy steps - Jim Newbery

Single-page apps can be hard for product organisations to execute well. Here are five common mistakes I’ve seen. Spoiler: they are mostly about people rather than technology.

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Tinned Fruit Missives is a monthly newsletter about web product development and front-end practices published by Jim Newbery, an independent coach and consultant from Edinburgh in Scotland.

I help growing B2B SaaS companies create profitable and sustainable web products. Find out more.

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