All posts by barry

Web Developer, Entrepreneur, Ultimate Frisbee fanatic, Traveller, Dancer and Single Malt lover.

The next stage

Everyone wants to matter. Yet, how many of us truly feel that the work we do “matters”? Or even that our contribution to that work “matters”?

Too many conversations about the dreaded “job” revolve around the negative aspects: office politics, dreading Monday morning, the unfairness of that thing that happened, not getting paid enough, boredom or the pointless nature of much of the work.

That’s just depressing.

There are three places where I have been honoured with the opposite conversations. And by “the opposite” I mean conversations dominated by the positive. Perhaps not perfect, maybe even very far from perfect, yet voices and faces become full of enthusiasm and energy.

Continue reading The next stage

Google Analytics cross domain tracking with server side redirect in ASP.Net Webforms

Google Analytics cross domain tracking allows tracking of multiple domains (or sub-domains) in a single Analtics profile.  There are loads of great resources for how to implement this, including in unusual client side navigation.

I have come across an issue when using ASP.Net Webforms, where there is a single form for the page and multiple submit actions (server side button onclicks etc) and when we also need a simple form to submit to a different domain.  It then becomes more complex to call the relevant client side Google Analytics methods.

Continue reading Google Analytics cross domain tracking with server side redirect in ASP.Net Webforms

Thailand and Digital Nomad-ism

Simone Working Koh SamuiI am constantly blown away how rewarding, challenging, fun and generally a “good thing” being location independent is.

If you are stuck in a rut or miserable with your job then you need to start looking at the joys and benefits of simplifying life.  You don’t necessarily need to go so far as to be travelling the world, setting up office where ever your laptop happens to be, but the principles are invaluable. Down sizing, focusing on what is important and prioritising the level of freedom and control  that you want from life can really be world changing.

Continue reading Thailand and Digital Nomad-ism

How an Information Imbalance causes painful failure in software projects

To actually deliver valuable software or websites on time and on budget can seem amazingly difficult.  The horror stories of large, enterprise and public sector IT projects that have gone disastrously wrong are often in the news.   However, even more common, I suspect, are the smaller projects that have wasted time and money and resulted in failed products or (even worse) long, drawn out suffering for everyone involved.

The scrapyard of failure
You know the kind of thing I mean: where small companies or individuals have started a software

development project with shinning eyes, dreaming of the life changing impact the planned product will bring.  Then, over months, or even years, they are dragged over the expensive, incredibly painful, burning coals of a screwed up project.

I imagine a virtual scrapyard full of the twisted, broken output from this type of project and a world full of the scarred and suffering former dreamers now looking at any software development with cynical eyes.

Its a shame; because these sorts of failed projects are totally avoidable.  There are ways and means to avoid the pain so that even when a project hits some bumps everyone walks away without the scars and not adding to that virtual scrapyard of horrors.

There are loads of buzz words to label the tools we use to guide us to success; some cover the ways to increase technical success, some how to make sure the project output brings value and some to keep the people involved smiling.  If you are thinking of things like agile development, lean startup, MVP or some of the many others then you are absolutely correct.The correct mix of these approaches is the recipe for software project success.

However, there are a few underlying pitfalls that are worth pointing out, so that you can be sure to avoid them even before getting started.

Continue reading How an Information Imbalance causes painful failure in software projects

Work/Life balance? What nonsense!

The phrase “work life balance” (or “work wife balance” as my brother in law says) makes no sense to me (hmm, actually work wife does seem potentially more useful… but I digress).

I have struggled with it for many years and am only now beginning to realise why it bugs me so much.  Basically it fundamentally conflicts with my view of life and, indeed, of work. The phrase doesn’t work (sic), its incomplete, its trite and just silly.  Its like saying “wall paper to house balance” or “ball to tennis balance”; its just nonsensical.

What is “life”?
Its this huge, incredibly all encompassing concept.  Massive and complicated and short and inspiring and so much more. Why is work not part of that?

What is “work”?
Something that means completely different things to different people at different times and in different places. Why does it need balanced?  Why is it separate from the rest of life?

Continue reading Work/Life balance? What nonsense!

Women are better than men?

Recently I’m being followed around by this message: Women are much better at business than men.

Nonsense!  “Glass ceiling, sexism, men have all the high paying jobs, etc, etc”
Yeah, but that’s not the fact that keeps rearing up where ever I look.  So don’t confuse me.

Yeah, but it is a generalisation. And all generalisations are bad!
That’s true (wait… what?), but this is really about me articulating an important point I am attempting to learn in a slightly disingenuous way.

OK, so what do you mean “followed around”?
Glad you asked.  Here is a completely un-random sample:

  •  An off hand statement over coffee from Eoghan MacKie, who is the force behind Challenges Worldwide (they do amazing work matching talent to businesses in low income countries). I’ll paraphrase: “One of the major indicators of a successful and sustainable business is a high percentage of women involved“.
  • I have spent years watching (with a little envy it must be admitted) the successful growth of SKChase into an amazing culture and an inspirational company. SKChase was founded by Kaye Clarke and Steph Wilson and is almost entirely female.   They accidently employed a bloke a few years back, but that doesn’t seem to have held them back too much (sorry Ben).  I did a lot of web dev for them over the years and wish I could learn more about non-techie things from them!
  • I just finished listening to the episode of Tim Conley’s Foolish Adventure show where he interviews Mark Manson of  In the interview Mark throws out some data about how (I assume in the US) women under 30 are successfully turning the old gender assumptions on their heads.
  • We don’t have any women working for us AND the company hasn’t made me millions yet!
See? I’m haunted.  It adds up to incontrovertible proof.