Hi, I'm Ryan Singer. I design products and manage teams at Basecamp.

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May 10, 2011

Podcast interview on Project Idealism: Managing Software Design

Andrew Wicklander interviewed me for his Project Idealism podcast and our 45-minute chat is now online. Andrew’s background in software project management led to a lot of questions about how we work at 37signals. I was glad to dig into a number of topics including:

  • How we emulate our “cowboy days” with teams of three
  • How a growing company is like a cocktail party
  • Picking and choosing from XP and Agile, and why basic values are more important than methodologies
  • Why methodologies lose their meaning over time
  • Why features become bloated when they are made for cases you don’t understand
  • The overlap between UI design and product design
  • How programmers and designers should negotiate on cost
  • Who should manage projects: a designer or a programmer?
  • How to not get lost in a project and the central challenge of doing just one thing at a time
  • The costs of unfinished work
  • The power of working in small steps and being in a “known state” between steps
  • How doing less is still the hardest standard to keep
  • and why 37signals won’t be competing with Cisco anytime soon

Thanks a lot to Andrew for interviewing me and asking such thoughtful questions. The podcast is on his website and also available as episode #11 on iTunes.

What do you think?