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LABS
Do the Google Hangout Hop

Bit.ly + static hangout links = quick feedback loops.

Quick feedback loops are core to the Pivotal process. Effective communication enables successful agile projects. Pairing, stand-ups, and retros are all designed to facilitate information exchange. But regular ad-hoc conversations between teammates are important too.  

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LABS
Doing it right

A famous American man called Theodore Roosevelt once wrote:

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

I am somehow drawn to this, while at the same time, believe that with most things worth doing, there is a hard, and an easy way to approach them.

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LABS
Oracle Motorsports

TL;DR: Troubleshooting Oracle performance issues is non-trivial. Pay attention to Oracle’s memory management settings when experiencing local slowness, particularly if running against Oracle XE (express edition) where memory thresholds a quite conservative by default.

In circuit racing, there’s an old mantra,

Slow in, Fast out.

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LABS
Trying Out RubyMine 6.0

Last week, JetBrains released RubyMine 6.0. The most significant feature is multi-project support; perfect for component-based Rails architectures. However, in this post, we’ll look at OS X keyboard shortcuts for some of the other new features.



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LABS
Productive Rails View Development in RubyMine

RubyMine includes several commands to simplify working with Rails views. In this post, we’ll look at OS X keyboard shortcuts for view navigation, creation, and previewing; ERB code generation and refactoring; and HTML code generation and navigation.



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LABS
Laptops Not Invited

At Pivotal Labs we have a few basic rules for meetings. Number one: No Laptops Allowed.

At first this may seem counterintuitive and inefficient, especially for a software development firm. However, client and team members alike are pretty quick to convert once they experience the benefits of this simple rule, which has an immediate and profound effect on productivity and engagement.

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LABS
Software engineering team objective: minimize dark time

Like most engineers, I do a lot of optimizing, often just for fun. When walking to work I seek the shortest route. When folding my laundry I minimize the number of moves. And at work, of course, I optimize all day long alongside all my engineering colleagues.

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LABS
Minimum Viable Deliverable

As a business, design is built around deliverables: clients pay for wireframes, mockups, prototypes. As a practice, these deliverables are a means to a single end: communicating design decisions. The Agile Manifesto prefers “Working software over comprehensive documentation”, so why are designers spending time on artifacts the user will never see?

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LABS
Hiding the Details in RubyMine with Code Folding

By selectively hiding and showing sections of code, code folding allows you to focus on what’s relevant, while ignoring irrelevant details. Code folding is also a useful way for quickly getting a high-level overview of a large section of code. RubyMine adds custom folds to the standard list of editor code folding features.

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LABS
Efficiently Find Files with RubyMine's Navigation Bar

RubyMine’s powerful “Go to file” command allows you to quickly jump to a particular file in a project. This is a great way to get started, but a development session often ends up being confined to a small set of files and directories.

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