re: I'm a co-founder of, ask me anything! VIEW POST


When I first started working with Ben, I was definitely guilty of the "JUST" mindset. I didn't have a full appreciation of how difficult and de-moralizing it can be to work with a non-technical stakeholder that doesn't have adequate insight into the technology. Constantly changing the specs, assuming major changes are trivial, etc.

We often internally cite the XKCD Tasks comic to explain the disconnect.

Over the last several years, I've made a substantial effort to ask thoughtful questions, and improve my overall understanding of the technology we use and decisions we've made. I do my best to write detailed issues and can usually identify the right "approach" as I suggest features and provide feedback. I'll often peruse the code included in PRs to ensure I have a vague recognition of what went where and what it did.

I think it's critical that everyone on the team — even if they're not committing code regularly — has an appreciation for and understanding of the code-base and it's moving pieces. I plan to try and take on more "approachable" issues in 2018.

  1. It's amazing how important shared stories and metaphors (like this comic) are to good communication.
  2. It's also amazing how far computer vision has come since this comic was made. It's been three years and there's been so much progress. She clearly got her research team request!
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