User Interface Engineering Disciplines & Skills

One of the first things I did when I joined PayPal was rename the "webdev" to "User Interface Engineering". Now while there is nothing wrong with the title web developer, at PayPal webdevs were considered one step below a "dev".

Changing a title in itself is fairly meaningless. But at the same time names are powerful. Over the last year I believe we have been really growing into the title. Recently I started sketching all of the engineering disciplines as

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Lean UX & Agile Development. Rationalizing the Two Methodologies

I really enjoy Silicon Valley Code Camp. Lots of speakers, lots of local attendees. Very informal and always a good crowd. No different today. Really engaged audience.

One topic I covered was how Lean UX and Agile work together in harmony. Here is a diagram I shared that I have been using at work to explain how they are related and how they are different.

Lean UX & Agile: Two separate but aligned workstreams
Agile focuses on iterative delivery. It is by nature engineering-centric (though it has been applied

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Three Key Principles to Operating as a LeanUX Team

Coaching teams here at PayPal on what it takes to operate like in a LeanUX manner. I have typically boiled it down to just 3 key principles.

Three Principles

1. Maintain a Shared Understanding at All Times

This was key when I was at Netflix and I see it even stronger now. A lack of a shared understanding means you will have have to lots of documentation. Having documentation that is predictive in an iterative environment is problematic. It is

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The Who, What, How of Satisfaction for Frontend Engineers

This is an over-simplified view. But I was thinking about what really matters to frontend engineers (or any engineers) in their jobs (besides money).

It matters WHO they work with

  • They want to be challenged by people smarter than themselves.
  • They want to work for someone who gets it and values what they do.

It matters WHAT they work on with who they work with

  • The experience must matter. It must not be an afterthought.
  • The technology stack must be
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Forming a new Accessibility Team at PayPal -- Welcome Victor Tsaran & Srinivasu Chakravarthula!

I am excited to share that we are formalizing the already ongoing effort at PayPal in Accessibility by forming an official Accessibility team.

And to kick things off right, I am thrilled to announce that Victor Tsaran will be joining PayPal on Monday 9/10 to lead this team. Many of you know that for the past 7+ years Victor has been the face of Accessibility at Yahoo (along with the excellent Alan Brightman) And if you were reading my

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