Why Your Startup Shouldn’t Hire Consultants

Don't worry I'm a consultant

Hired guns. Code mercenaries. Consultants.

Whether you are early stage or have an established product, bringing a consultant onto your startup can be a dicey prospect. Here are reasons not to and some things you may not have thought of.

Mentoring & Apprenticeship for Software Engineers

blacksmith glassblower software engineer mentoring apprentice

What we software engineers (and designers) do is very creative and, in general, best learned through experience. Computer science and color theory can be groked from a book but client communication, handling conflict, and other less tangible disciplines are gained in the trenches. Learning on your own is slow and error-prone; you can miss out on stuff or learn something wrong based on the project work you get or who you happen to work with.

I view the apprenticeship mentoring model for software engineers (as with a blacksmith, glass blower, ceramics or any of the high-skill, difficult to master traditional crafts) to be the best way of accelerating growth, increasing retention, and creating the kind team your organization really needs. What follows is my approach to such an apprenticeship model that works in both client services and product teams.

Creating a custom OpenLayers build by profiling usage

OpenLayers is a great library for integrating maps especially when creating custom mapping interfaces. However, with great functionality can come great size. Weighing in at nearly 1MB for the full library, you should pair it down to only the modules used.

openlayers-instrumenter creates a custom OpenLayers build profile by instrumenting the JavaScript dynamically and tracking what’s used.