Author Archives: stevek

Wizards and Dwarves

I wrote about interview puzzle questions recently to set the context for this article. A few years back, a colleague asked me to ponder a Wizards and Dwarves puzzle as a potential interview question.  A typical statement goes something like … Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Interviewing | 3 Comments

Puzzling

Some time ago, I had an amusing interview experience. A young fellow interviewing me asked a reasonable set of basic technical questions, had me code a few things on the white board (also reasonable), and so on.  The interview was … Continue reading

Posted in Interviewing | 3 Comments

Thrashing The Delivery Truck

I’ve previously compared software estimation to variations in the time required to drive to work. Dispatching delivery trucks is my mental model for comparison to changes in project direction.  This can help others to understand the impact when changes happen … Continue reading

Posted in Management, Software | Leave a comment

Hidden Chronicles

Today Zynga launched a new game called Hidden Chronicles.  Hidden Chronicles is a “hidden object” game in which you search for all the objects hidden within an illustration presented on the game screen (like the one to the right).  It … Continue reading

Posted in Zynga | 2 Comments

Ball Cookies

These round cookies are a family holiday tradition.  They are fairly easy to make, and not overly sweet.  Like potato chips, it’s hard to eat just one. This recipe yields about 50 cookies. Ingredients 1 cup butter, softened at room … Continue reading

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Technical Pecha Kucha

Pecha Kucha is a fun presentation format, bound in both content and time (20 slides of 20 seconds each – about 7 minutes long).  At NetApp we employed a similar format for “outrageous opinion” talks in engineering which I really … Continue reading

Posted in Communication, Pecha Kucha, Zynga | 3 Comments

What I Found in Panama

I feel a guilty need to read my share of books which are outside my area of expertise (I have friends who are substantially more prolific readers than I – they make me feel guilty). Once in a while, I … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Leadership, Simplicity | Leave a comment

Scoping for 90%

I’ve been working at Zynga since early 2010.  One of the challenges of running an online game (like Café World, on which I’ve spent most of my time) involves releasing new features on a regular, predictable cadence. As a result, … Continue reading

Posted in Management, Software, Zynga | 2 Comments

Quadratic Songs and Books

My son is 2 1/2 years old, and loves stories.  His favorite book at the moment is A Fly Went By. In the book, a boy sits lazily by the lake and observes a fly passing.  The fly in turn … Continue reading

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Klink’s Hierarchy of Train Wrecks

You’ve heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?  I’ve got Klink’s hierarchy of train wrecks. I was talking to a colleague recently about basic expectations for staff responses in adverse situations, based on their level of experience.  The further up the … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership, Management | Leave a comment