Pete Freitag Pete Freitag

Agile Software Development with Jason Fried

Updated on December 06, 2023
By Pete Freitag

I don't listen to podcasts regularly - only when I see one that looks interesting, or someone points me to one. My brother Steve pointed me this IT Conversations podcast with Jason Fried of 37 Signals, on Lessons learned while building basecamp. Jason has a lot of good advice for building simple, and solid software. Here are some notes:

  • Less Mass is easier to move, change.
  • People need to be good writers - thats how people communicate these days - IM, email, etc.
  • Embrace Constraints - small teams, time differences can be good things (gives them time to work on their own) keeps the team focused.
  • Less Software - Start with less. Means less problems to fix, less support, better software. People usually don't need the extra features. Build half a product, not a half assed product.
  • Say no to feature requests - listen to the product, listen to customers.
  • Don't make decisions until your ready to, just in time.
  • It's ok to make changes - make them in small iterative changes
  • Start with the UI, spend most of your time with what the users see.
  • Everything should be simple, even expert features.
  • Scalibility shouldn't be focused on too much. If your agile you should be able to fix it when you need to. You don't need to launch on a clusterd mega server.
  • Don't spend a lot of time for admin backend stuff, focus on front end. Build backend tools as you need them. Basecamp had a free 30 day trial, and they launched without a way to bill people.
  • Feel the hurt - developers should do the tech support so they are motivated to fix problems that come up often.
  • Tell people when you make mistakes. It builds trust.
  • Pay off your debt - get rid of bad code as fast as you can.

business software development 37signals basecamp podcast agile

Agile Software Development with Jason Fried was first published on September 27, 2005.

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