Make Smarter - 20 Things, Open Data Day Hack, Web Designers Rorschach

First up in this month’s Make Smarter (mostly because I’m working at home right now) is Jason Fried’s TED Talk Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work. It talks about why people don’t really do work in the office, and how to improve that. My favorite bit: Meetings are just toxic, terrible, poisonous things… If your boss has an irrational fear of teleworking or a fascination with meetings, you might want to slip this video under her or his door (or, for the modern office, lob it over their 5x5 cube wall).

Google created a really cool HTML5 “book” called 20 Things I Learned About Browsers and The Web. Aside from a great tutorial for casual and novice web users - going over things like the history of the web, the cloud, browser plugins, DNS, cookies, etc. - it’s also a really slick HTML5 app in and of itself, with lots of subtle animations and effects.

Open Data Day HackJason Sanford used Open Data Day to create a really slick mashup with some Mecklenburg County data. It’s something we wouldn’t have thought to do, and even had we thought to do it Jason’s such a great coder and designer I doubt anything we would have done would have been as slick and user-friendly. Big thanks to Jason for participating in Open Data Day. He’s also open sourced his code, which you can find here.

Via Reddit comes a great post called What Killed Waterfall Could Kill Agile. It covers some of the basics of agile and waterfall methodologies, but the main point is that elitism entering into Scrum could wind up killing Scrum (although the adage in project management often seems to be that which really should have killed us makes us stronger). It talks about how the process coach position went in different directions in Scrum and XP. A very interesting read.

It seems like I can’t go a month without mentioning something from the tuts+ family of sites, and this month is no exception. This past month they posted a great video by Remy Sharp called HTML5 JavaScript API’s, given at CODEBITS. While most of the HTML5 talk has been about the markup, this talk focuses on the JavaScript API’s to access and modify that markup. It also goes into some of the API’s that aren’t technically HTML5 but are often lumped into that category - storage, sockets, geolocation, etc. Another great nettuts+ post is 10 CSS3 Properties you Need to be Familiar With, which goes over a lot of the usual suspects (border-radius, box and text shadow, etc.), but also includes a lot of innovative ways to apply those CSS properties.

And now a few quick hitters: