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SpringOne Platform 2016
Speaker: Heidi Waterhouse; Documentation Mercenary
There are seven fights that I have over and over again, whenever I start at a company. I'm here to convince you that it's valuable for everyone to have these things in mind from the inception of a project. Having these fights early prevents you from doing the software equivalent of poking chocolate chips into an already-baked cookie Details Usually we think of compound interest as what adds magically to our retirement or makes our student loans last forever. But there is also a compound interest of technical debt, where a project is made harder and more expensive because of early "cost-saving" choices. I think it's empowering for developers and other people involved in the inception of a project to have tools for making the project better long-term. The seven things I think should be considered very early in development are:
-Localization. Are you ever planning on selling this to someone in another country?
-Security. Don't be the organization that has to pay someone for disaster PR. Building in security early saves you a bunch of time and user churn later.
-Extensibility. What makes you so sure this API will always be internal?
-Documentation. People do not buy software solely based on Powerpoints. You need public docs. The docs have to be more useful than Stack Overflow.
-Affordance. UI is not a word. The microtext matters.
-Acceptance. Have you shown this to any actual humans who are like the users?
-Accessibility. We all use computers different ways. Does your software allow that?
I expect this talk will be relevant to both senior people working on leading project teams, and empowering for juniors who don't have a structure for critiquing usability problems. I want people to leave with an understand of how small changes in the initial trajectory of a project can lead to greatly improved outcomes.