April 12, 2016 - 1 comment.

Why we host a conference just to help our competitors

OpsConf

OpsConf attendees track how they're connected to each other

If you think it’s crazy to gather 19 of our competitors from 16 companies across three continents just to give them free advice … well, yeah, you would actually not be the first person to think that.

But the truth is that I started OpsConf — short for Operations Conference — at a time when I desperately needed some free advice of my own. Table XI was growing, and we were figuring things out on the fly. In the development world, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing you’re the smartest, that you have all the answers you need. But two years ago, trying to figure out how to scale Table XI without giving up the things that make us great, it was pretty clear that I did not have all the answers. I needed a bigger sounding board. So I built one.

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April 5, 2016 - No Comments!

How we use the GV design critique to find problems before they cost you money

GV Design Critique

I usually explain it to clients with this story: A bunch of admirals were asked to plan out a military campaign for a written exam. They were all accomplished strategists, but when confronted with a blank piece of paper, they all failed the test. So the navy paired them off, allowing each team to share notes. Instantly they started acing the test. All it took was that little bit of outside perspective, all of the sudden you see a bigger picture.

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March 24, 2016 - 1 comment.

How our strategy inception found a future for The Wabash Lights

The Wabash Lights

As engineers and problem solvers, we like good ideas, but we like good ideas implemented even better. To help somebody coalesce their vision into something that's actionable — that’s a process that’s rewarding for us. Doing a strategy Inception gives us an opportunity to interact with people who are just ridiculously smart in their domain and to add tons of value by forming an actionable plan around their expertise.

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March 22, 2016 - 2 comments

How trust brought me to work at Table XI

Why I trust Table XI

The following is unfiltered Zach, as close to my thought process as anything I've ever put to pen and it comes with my potty mouth. As such, it is unlikely to reflect the views of Table XI.

I work at Table XI and that wasn't part of my plan. I had a system and Table XI fucked it all up.

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March 17, 2016 - No Comments!

MIT’s Polaris can cut page load time by 34 percent — what you need to know

Polaris server-based framework

All that gorgeous photography and stylized copy that makes your product sell so well — it’s also what’s taking precious seconds to load when you call up your site on a smartphone. You need rich media to properly showcase what you’re selling, but you also need your site to be speedy enough to load quickly on small screens and conform to web standards. Amazon estimates that every extra 100 milliseconds it takes a page to load cuts its profits by 1 percent. It’s not just that users won’t wait around for 10, 20 seconds for your site to load — Google uses site speed in its search rankings. Slow sites will take an SEO hit, hurting the odds of your customers finding you organically — i.e. without paid advertising.

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March 10, 2016 - No Comments!

How testing new programming languages helps our developers solve problems

Testing Programming Languages

For non-developers, it may seem like a new computer language is created every day, each with an uninformative name. Even developers sometimes feel that way. At Table XI, we’re always assessing ways to solve our clients’ problems, whether that’s a new schema for critiquing design or a new language well-suited to a necessary function. Still, the pace of new languages can make it difficult for our developers to try them out — and their new ways of solving problems

To broaden our thinking, this week several members of the Table XI team participated in a challenge: to take the coding exercise we ask our interview candidates to complete, and to build it in a language that’s unfamiliar. Each developer then presented the results to the group, so the whole team could each get an understanding of the new languages available, and an understanding of how our teammates approach a new language.

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February 11, 2016 - 1 comment.

How to write an RFP — don’t

We get asked about the RFP process and how to write an RFP all the time by companies that are just starting to think about building or redesigning a product. They want to know what to include and how they can attract a star development shop to submit a response.

Easy: Nothing, and you can’t. If you want to find the right development shop, an RFP won’t help you. In fact, writing an RFP could cripple your project before it gets started. Here’s how, and what you should use instead of an RFP ...

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