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Employment in the News

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 Title   Date   Author   Host

by Sam

March 15, 2012

We've been busy tightening the nuts and bolts on the all-new Basecamp in the wake of last week's launch. As part of the process, I decided to take a closer look at client-side page load performance.

Shaving even a tenth of a second off of page load time can have a big impact on perceived performance, so it's a worthwhile investment. Profiling the JavaScript page load event led to a surprising revelation. On pages with many to-dos, an overwhelming majority of the time was spent initializing sortable behavior. The culprit looked something like this...

by Dave Driesmans

February 8, 2012

Here he is: our default profile picture. You may know him as "Generic Avatar".

He's the picture you get when you create a new account and profile on Basecamp, Highrise, Backpack, and Campfire. Mr. Default is a standard guy. He's found everywhere on the web (in variations): message boards, comments, activity streams. He forces everyone to look like him regardless of gender, race, and physicality. He's also very boring.

by Jeff Putz

February 8, 2012

Often times, when we look at a problem, we turn to Rails or something similar, because when you have a high-performance precision screwdriver, everything starts to look like a finely engineered screw.

Sometimes, what you really need is a big hammer, because what you're looking at is a nail. Our public sites - sites like and - are a perfect example of this. Let me tell you about our journey with these sites over the years, and how we've landed on a simple solution that boosted conversion rate by about 5%.

by David Tolsma

February 1, 2012

It used to be one of the biggest pains of web development. Juggling different browser versions and wasting endless hours coming up with workarounds and hacks. Thankfully, those troubles are now largely optional for many developers of the web.

by Far the Biggest Cause of Failed Email Delivery We See Is Due to Bad Email Addresses That Were Entered in to the System-Problems Like 'Joe

February 1, 2012

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is about how we handle mail delivery and ensure that emails are making it to people's inboxes.

First, some numbers to give a little context to what we mean by "a lot" of email. In the last 7 days, we've sent just shy of 16 million emails, with approximately 99.3% of them being accepted by the remote mail server. Email delivery rate is a little bit of a tough thing to benchmark, but by most accounts we're doing pretty well at those rates (for comparison, the tiny fraction of email that we use a third party for has had between a 96.9% and 98.6% delivery rate for our most recent mailings).

by David

January 23, 2012

Working US hours from Europe has flipped my day. Mornings are now for leisure and evenings for working. This completely changes what that leisure time is spent on.

January 10, 2012

Over the last 20 years, my primary computing environment has gone from Windows 3.1, to Mac OS 6/7/8/9, to Windows for about a decade, and then back to a Mac a couple of years ago. Recently, I switched to using a Linux desktop as my primary computer.

I can't say that there's a dramatic reason why I switched (it's not some political statement about free and open source software); I just wanted to use some hardware that was impractical to get from Apple. Something crazy happened when I switched: absolutely nothing changed.

by Ryan

January 6, 2012

Back when 37signals was consulting, we gradually weaned ourselves off of documentation. It's normal practice in the design world to produce lots of artifacts.

You see IA diagrams, flow charts, OmniGraffles, and all kinds of illustrations of what the final product will be. In the early 2000s we noticed that our clients only cared about the deliverable, so we dropped nearly all of the paperwork. Since then we've often advised other companies to spend less time on paperwork artifacts and more time on real prototypes. But just saying that isn't enough. How does a team that is accustomed to a heavy paper flow wean themselves off of it?

by Jason F.

October 11, 2011

I've been thinking more about how I review a design - both my own and someone else's.

So over the past couple days I've been writing down every question I've been asking when I look at a design-in-progress. Some of these I say out loud, some just go through my head, some are in person, others are posted to Basecamp or Campfire. These are in no particular order, and I don't ask all of them every time...

September 20, 2011

It's a good question, and one that's important to understand.

Running an A/B test without thinking about statistical confidence is worse than not running a test at all-it gives you false confidence that you know what works for your site, when the truth is that you don't know any better than if you hadn't run the test. There's no simple answer or generic "rule of thumb" that you can use, but you can very easily determine the right sample size to use for your test.

Carschooling by Diane Flynn Keith

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