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Revamping my website

I'm afraid my website is slowly becoming a big ball of mud.

Basically, it was organized as three blogs in three vaguely-overlapping subject areas, but then I got a blog on ... so it's four.  Sorta.

Here's the site:

(Imitiation, flattery, yeah, I know.)

Here's my thoughts:

Reorganize the site:

  (A) Leadership-Ish Stuff
  (B) So you're thinking about an Advanced Degree in CS?  PPTs, papers, and programs.  (Think of it as "OpenCourseWare Lite")
  (C) Faith
  (D) Software Development
  (E) Quality Through Agile Methods
  (F) Perl
  (G) Professionalism is software development

I'm thinking of marrying D&E or even D, E, and F.  Maybe G as well.  The span of control, as it stands now, is too big.

Also, the terms need to be shorter.



Matt H.
Wednesday, November 19, 2003

How about you make sure it can run through without any errors?

I won't even start a rant, but the amount of 'web design' companies who can't make valid HTML. Anyway, everybody should be sure any page they make passes through the validator from

Wednesday, November 19, 2003


I'm so glad you post this.

I spent ages the other day trying to find your website.

Ged Byrne
Wednesday, November 19, 2003

I find it really amusing that whenever anyone posts for feedback on a website, there are always several validation police lurking by the way side to criticize your lack of validation.  Validation only matters to the degree that you intend to use your data.  If your website renders in all of the major browsers in a way you are happy with, then that is all that matters. 

Not everyone is intending their site to be consumable by any odd application.  Personally, I make every effort to conform to the specs.  But If you have a crappy site that conforms to the specs it is no better than a crappy site that does not.  (I am not implying anything about your site Matt  :) )

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Regarding your "core assertion," I think you're forgetting the fact that Optimus Prime could not only turn into a giant robot, but also had the trailer that could turn into a mobile battle station.  None of the other Autobots had that.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

>> If your website renders in all of the major browsers in a way you are happy with, then that is all that matters. 

In my mind, having a site that passes validation isn't about being able to properly display on the current generation of browsers (that's what testing is for...). Validation helps to insure that what you're doing doesn't break on the _next_ generation of browsers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

I agree with anonymous - Optimus Prime was awesome. And what about this guy:

If I recall correctly (it's been almost two decades), he took the helm after Optimus Prime died and everything was fine. So they had a good leadership program.

I remember when I got the above toy for Christmas one year. Damn that was great.

Dan J
Wednesday, November 19, 2003


I've looked through your site several times. I suppose it could do with a facelift.  One thing that always puzzles me is that you have a large number oof articles and postings you have written about things you have learned managing and developing big complex systems, and yet, looking through the site I can't find any background information regarding your project battle xeperience, so to speak. A page outlining your qualifications and giving some hint as to the project backgrounds where you have learned from experience all your insights would be really helpful. I guess it would be similar to how a private might like to know what battle experience his commanding officer has had.

Dennis Atkins
Wednesday, November 19, 2003


Thanks.  I've thought about putting my CV up ... something like that?

Matt H.
Wednesday, November 19, 2003

That depends. Is the purpose of the site to seek employment, to seek consulting gigs, to give you more credibility at your current employer, to be a blog or ?

I was thinking of maybe just a paragraph somewhere "Matt H. has been a developer for X years. His clients include A, B and C, and he was the project manager of the Q and Y projects."

Probably only potential employers would want to see a full blown formal CV, so I'd go CV only if it's a site to attract job offers, or to include on your personal calling card you hand out on interviews/meeting potential clients.

But if it's something else, the paragraph might be a better approach.

Another thought regarding the web site structure -- maybe all your personal stuff should be in a type site and the site there be strictly development related.

Also, I would hide the fact that some of your projects were school projects for specific classes with class numbers. The numbers won't mean anything to anyone and the general impression I got from the list was that you had just graduated, whcih if true, would make someone wonder how you could have all these development experiences or if you're just repeating stuff you've heard. I'd suggest making downplaying the classes you took and making it more clear where you got this experience. If your actual experience is only from books and classes, I would remove all the articles about high level development and project management issues and wait until I had some real life experiences about those things to compare to whether or not the common wisdom and book theory is correct. If, on the other hand, you do have extensive experience in those areas and you are speaking from it, I would make that more clear.

Dennis Atkins
Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Matt, not to be picky, but you have a typo:

" In 1997 I graduated with a Degree in Mathmatics". That's Mathematics, of course.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Just to be clear Dennis, I've been working professionally in the software development field full-time since 1997. I've earned the MS at in CIS at night while working full time - about half of my experience is shrink-wrapped, commerical software development for the windows platform, but I've also worked at a dotCOM, in healthcare, and on some telecommunications "ConsultingWare."  I thought that was clear from the website, but I guess it isn't.  hmm ...

I think a link called something like "who the hell are you?" might be a good idea.

Yes, my overall idea is to separate the OpenCourseWare stuff from the regular software development stuff.  That way, people who want to know what's covered in a university MS program that isn't MIT can get a quick feel for the flavor, and people won't be conused with "is all this stuff just school projects?"

Then, the home page becomes more like a portal to an interest area.  hmm.

thanks for the idea  -

Matt H.
Wednesday, November 19, 2003

I like the archive page, it's pretty clear.

I'm not sure what the "tabs" across the top have to do with the main content of the site. By virtue of their spanning both columns, visually they appear to 'own' what's below it and be the main navigation of the site, yet they appear to be basically "meta" information not related to the main content of the site.

In Mozilla at least, the title of the page appears to be very indented, which diminishes it's appearance of ownership of the content below it.
Wednesday, November 19, 2003

>Matt, not to be picky, but you have a typo:

Hey, no, thanks.  I'm an open sourcer.  I'll trade massive peer review for my ego any day of the week. :-)

Matt H.
Wednesday, November 19, 2003

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