find bar location and UX/Product oversight/review

Mike Connor mconnor at
Tue Jul 30 16:20:11 UTC 2013

On 2013-07-29, at 6:37 PM, Mike de Boer <mdeboer at> wrote:

> Don't worry, I wasn't offended at all.

I am quite happy to hear that!

> To be honest, my first reaction was more along the lines of "Oh noooos, mconnor says we did it wrong and now we have to pull it out!", which is a simple emotion I was able to discard when I read between the lines (see below).

First off, let's be clear here: I do not have a veto here, Gavin is the module owner, and doing a great job of a very difficult role.  When I'm chiming in here, it's with the sole intention of constructively trying to help the team do better.  Please feel free to question my ideas, I don't presume to be a source of absolute truth, just hopefully some useful experience.  I also try to be entirely forthright in what I say, and do my best to declare my motivations up front.

In terms of what went down, the primary concern I had is that a lot of people seemed to be spinning wheels in the various bugs without having the same context or a shared purpose, because the rationale that supported this change wasn't shared.  When the rationale is out there, people may disagree with parts of it, or they may have insights that will yield an even better outcome.  When it's not, we have a pretty nasty case of information asymmetry between the community and the people working on a particular bug, and aside from the amount of time defending and explaining those fixes, we also don't leverage the insights of the broader team or community.  I believe we are strongest when we can get better ideas from others, just as we're better when we get people improving our code.  (I know there's a lot of bad ideas mixed in with the good ones, but there's a lot of good ideas to be found there too!)

> Sometimes it takes a couple of iterations until everybody gets on the same page, groks the intent and strike the real issue at its heart (this might just be a Dutchism[1], please forgive me). It's a matter of words, English and some more coffee. I think you did that here and I, too, am keen to hear suggestions to improve communication in the near future.

Words are indeed stunningly imprecise at times.  All I can say for sure is that if anyone sees me say something that seems or feels like an attack on you or someone else, it's almost certainly not intended that way, and I'd actually really appreciate knowing that I wrote something that had that effect so I can learn from it.

-- Mike

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