Why Tricks and Snippets Beat Custom Tools for Developer Experience

A common pattern I see programmers try is to write little scripts and utilities to streamline repetitive tasks. A program might arrive with a small app in “./bin/utility” you can add to your $PATH and quickly execute on things. These scripts and utilities are well meaning, but long term they tend to break. Once they do, their value proposition evaporates.

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The Best Tech Stack is the One You Have

A meme that tends to ricochet through Civic Tech Circles involves criticizing volunteers or consultants for using a new programming language or library that the existing organization is unfamiliar with. In some cases the organization has a programmer or two on staff, in other cases none at all. The well meaning criticism implores people to adapt to the environment they are helping in and “meet folks where they are.” Unfortunately it ignores the needs and motives of the helpers. The trade-off organizations face is not “pick a programming language” but “accept help or do not execute on the project.”

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We Need Full Stack Contractors

When I first moved into my home I needed a repair to my HVAC system. My wife dutifully contacted a repair company that came to inspect it. Unable to fit in our crawl space the technician cut through our drywall to access it. He then proclaimed it fine, charged us $250, and left. I had both a hole in my wall and my wallet.

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The Apple Vision Pro Review

You do not need to buy Apple Vision Pro. At $3499 plus taxes before you purchase accessories and add on the aggressive $499 warranty, it is the most expensive headset on the market. Plenty of less expensive options exist: Meta’s Quest 3 and Quest Pro, Playstation VR, HTC Vive. Despite Apple’s aggressive marketing campaign this is a first generation device for enthusiasts, not a mass market hit.

That said, Apple Vision Pro is different, not merely a small improvement on the existing technology. It passes through video of your surroundings so you do not feel trapped in virtual space. It uses AI and cameras to mimic your eye movements on an external screen. It tracks your eyes to serve as a cursor. Where other headsets are an escape from the real world, this headset remains a part of it.

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The Case for The Vision Pro

Today Apple releases its long awaited Vision Pro. I have not used one yet, but I have used plenty of VR headsets. This no longer nascent category has found a home in gaming. Suburban teenagers have a large library of content on the Meta Quest. Arcades and museums offer VR headset experiences. So why are we all talking about the Apple one?

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.