advice

Questions I'll Ask Your Startup

Mon, Jan 9, 2012 - 4:49pm -- Isaac Sukin

I talk to a lot of startups. I have a lot to say about what (not) to do if you are on the hiring side of this exchange, but for now I'll cover the minimum set of information you should be prepared to discuss if you want to hire a developer for your early-stage company. This is the first real interaction you'll have with a potential coworker. If you struggle with convincing someone to join your company, you can bet you'll struggle with convincing someone to buy your product or service, so you should be prepared with the information a potential hire will want to know. These are questions I will pretty much always ask you about your startup in an interview, and they're pretty similar to what a VC would want to know. When I say "I" below what I really mean is "any developer" but it's more convenient to write in the first person.

TODO: Make code prettier

Sat, Jan 7, 2012 - 8:38pm -- Isaac Sukin

I'm writing a game in JavaScript for fun (I'm almost done, it'll be out within a few days). I've written dozens of games in traditional desktop languages, and I've written a lot of JavaScript designed to make user interfaces prettier, and I've even written some useful JS tools -- but this is the first time I've written a full application in JS complete with complex hierarchical entities. That is to say that I've never had to care much about the fact that JS more or less supports OO architectures before. I could have made this an opportunity to learn about OOP in JS, but I didn't. Instead I wrote the game basically without using (custom) objects at all, resulting in some redundancy and confusion. I did this because it was fast and easy and I already knew how to do it. The code's a mess, but so what? It works. It's good enough. I had fun, and I'm about to ship.

But I have this little note at the top of main.js:

Engagement by Design: Principles of Building Engagement among Website Users

Sat, Sep 10, 2011 - 6:17pm -- Isaac Sukin

I've been building open-source social networking software for the past four years, which has given me the unique opportunity to be involved in a wide variety of projects to build social networks and related tools. My experience has revealed a number of insights into the way that user interaction patterns are designed on websites that encourage a website's engagement and adoption to the point that it can grow organically from almost nothing – or, conversely, that doom a website to silent irrelevance in a distant corner of the web.

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