Story Nanoslicing

By on in Development

It’s the start of a new project for our team, and we’re all excited to get development rolling. The Product Owner’s grand vision sounds great, but how do we get from that vision to the day-to-day detailed stories we’ll need to work on? We’re not about to go off into a cave to build in isolation for months, since we know our understanding of the problem will evolve over time. We want to get a Minimally Viable Product live, see what makes customers happy, and adjust the parts that aren’t satisfying or profitable.

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Creating Successful Online Banking Products – Agile Growth Workshop Recap

By on in Development, Events

Banking and financial institutions are rapidly working on digitizing products to stay relevant and better serve customers, but, the truth is, modernizing banking experiences is incredibly difficult. A digital project in the banking world is nothing short of an order of magnitude. The requirements behind developing successful banking products are staggering compared to the average consumer product, but the high ROI of launching a successful banking app makes it all worth the effort.

Carbon Five hosted a panel discussion on Expert Insights for Creating Successful Online Banking Products. During the conversation, panelists shared first-hand experiences working with some of the most well-known banking and FinTech brands, including Capital One, Citi Ventures Studios, Chime, Commerce Bank, FNBO, Plastiq, Square, Wells Fargo and more.

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A Tale of Two GitHubs: A Practical Guide

By on in Development

Let’s say you have two GitHub accounts: one is a work account that you use for professional projects, and the other is for your top secret hacker projects. This can cause problems like trying to push to a repository with an account that doesn’t have access or having the wrong GitHub author in your commits. For people with 2FA enabled, juggling ssh configs can also be hugely annoying. Here’s how I clone, pull, and push to GitHub repos using multiple GitHub accounts on one computer.

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Designing Our Way Through Uncertain Times – San Francisco Design Week Recap

By on in Design, Events, San Francisco

We’re in a moment of unprecedented change.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many product designers to face a variety of new professional challenges. We’ve paused co-located work. We’re unable to see users and co-workers in person. We’re required to explore new ways of collaboration, all while navigating the ups and downs of today’s economy.

Furthermore, the changes caused by the pandemic aren’t the only powerful force shifting our society right now. The push for reforms around social justice are also reshaping our lives daily. These experiences, combined with a feeling of uncertainty, have created many new questions for designers to examine.

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Pivoting and User Research During a Pandemic

By on in User Research

Creating a consistent feedback loop with users through quantitative and qualitative user research is the foundation of any lean, user-centric product team.


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We often invest the most in user research when the product roadmap is new and unproven. The early focus is on product-market fit. Early-stage questions to solve include:

  • Do the people we think have this problem actually have this problem?
  • How do they solve it now?
  • Is it painful enough a problem to change the way they are currently doing this?
  • Is this solution the one to solve this problem?
  • Will people pay for this solution? How much?

By the time you’re into the growth phase of a product or company, you have found product-market fit and are now asking questions about optimizing user experiences, creating more value for your users or testing out new solutions to reach more potential market segments.

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It’s Never Been Better to Get Started with Cypress Web Tests

By on in Development, JavaScript

If your project could at all be described as a web application, your UX pipeline would likely benefit from adopting Cypress. Beating out Selenium on speed as well as breadth of testing tools, Cypress provides automated testing of your website’s critical features in a matter of minutes.

A testing framework built on top of many familiar techs — Mocha, JQuery, Chai — Cypress can be a frustrating product because, though it looks familiar, it behaves in unfamiliar ways. But its powerful tooling means mastering this framework is well worth the effort.

Here are the most important things to know as you dive into Cypress.

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How to Deploy Elixir Releases with Ansible

By on in Development, Elixir, Ops

In my last post, I described how to generate a platform-specific Elixir release. Now, the only thing left to do is to put it on the world wide web.

To follow along with this post, you’ll need a few things:

  1. An IP address for a remote machine (preferably running Linux) you want to deploy your application to.
  2. An RSA keypair, with the public key placed on that remote machine. Read more about how to do this here.
  3. Ansible (on your local machine). Read more about Ansible here.

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Reflections in Go, for Cats

By on in Development, golang

Several months ago, I had a story requiring metaprogramming in golang. I wasn’t very familiar with reflections in Go, and the available docs and write-ups aren’t the best for me, since I’m a learn-by-example kind of person. Having come to Go (ha) as a Rubyist, the lack of generics left a little bit of a hole in my heart, but a stiff upper lip, I pressed on and learned about reflections. Since I had to write my own examples anyway, it made sense to clean this up and turn it into a blog.

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Shifting to A Work From Home Policy: A Mini Survival Guide for Your Company

By on in Process

Given the COVID-19 crisis, most companies that can have shifted to temporary work from home policy. While about a quarter of those companies are likely already adept at working remotely — at least to some degree. The rest are completely new to this way of working and it’s not an easy shift. I’d like to share a few tips from our experience working with remote-first companies and across distributed teams.

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