Ken Kocienda: Creative Selection: Inside Apples Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs



N Kocienda the software engineer ultimately responsible for eveloping it Ken goes through the many challenges and 1 It Chore Whore d be tempting to have played up the Steve Jobs angle throughout but the authoroesn t The Forgotten Man Graphic Edition do that he admits that Jobs wouldn t have been able to pick him out in a small crowd2 There aren t many business related books about the work of an individual contributor which makes it refreshing the activity was theay to The Female of the Species day work and output2a This meant he could tell the story of Apple s culture and influences without trying to be the center of the story3 A large part of the story is about a specific problem to solve the iPhone keyboard and how it was overcome but the story was able to zoom out as well and talk aboutesign in general4 There isn t a lot of ego he talks about who helped him mistakes along the way etc This is the real Witch Week (Chrestomanci, deal written by an insider I was also thereuring that time This book accurately Memory Boot Camp describes Apple s software engineeringuring the second Steve Jobs era For hardware engineering read Adam Lashinsky s Inside AppleThe vivid London Calling descriptions in the book are better than the analyses I would stress that the principles and practicesescribed by the author were completely unwritten and unnamed as the author says So if you re trying to be like Apple by reading a book you re Orchard Valley Grooms doing it wrong If you want to be like Appleitch the business books and startup blogs Croma Venture: The Spiral Wars, Book 5 do you think Steve Jobs read those things and really focus on the product There s nothing in the book about MVP Agile Scrum AB testing TDD etc Apple reallyidn t work like that The key is what the author calls creative selection Rancher Daddy (Saddlers Prairie, demoingdogfoodingiteratingconverging the product with tight loops of communication with minimal teams enforced by secrecyOne thing that occurred to me is that the examples given and generally in Apple s history are ones where the productefinitions were relatively well formed and concrete up front leaving plenty of room for technical innovation but little room for exploration and business validation Before getting to that concrete vision the Apple way isn t applicable. Risis and collaboration illuminating each with lessons learned over his Apple career He introduces the essential elements of innovationinspiration collaboration craft The Tycoons Very Personal Assistant diligenceecisiveness taste and empathyand uses these as a lens through which to understand productive work cultureAn insiders tale of creativity and innovation at Apple Creative Selection shows readers how a small group of people One Girl One Dream developed an evolutionaryesign model and how they used this methodology to make groundbreaking and intuitive software which countless millions use every ay.

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This book appears like a journal recounting the evelopment of some projects at Apple rather than an insightful book about how to best approach product esign esign processes It relies too much on self indulging memory walk that are often void of true learning Feels like the author wanted to remember the fond year at Apple Broken Prophecy developing some of its software leaving us with some very unsurprising unsophisticated learning from how things are actually happening I really enjoyed this book as someone who works in softwareevelopment and is trying to build products that users love Ken s accounts of Apple s principles and the creative selection process is not just fascinating to read about but can also be applied to your own work I also geeked out over the iterative journey to The Dangerous Debutante (Romney Marsh, decide the iPhone autocorrect algorithm or toecide what the size of an icon should beThis book is a window into how Apple built and continues to build incredible products that seamlessly mould into people s lives I highly recommend it for anyone who is curious about Apple or about Surrender My Heart (Harts in Love, developing products for people to use An insight into the meticulousetail of The Wedding Challenge (The Matchmaker developing great software while recognising the human element of interactionTyping this on an iPad keyboard brings a tangible link to the material in the book Excellent This is not a book for you if you re looking forirt or stories on Steve Jobs but is exactly what you re looking for to get an insight into the processes that resulted in some of the most iconic products Apple produce Primarily the Safari web browser and the iOS keyboard Who would have thought a keyboard Quadruplets On The Doorstep design could be so convoluted and so interestingA gripping read Highly recommended for anyone interested in Apple history I pre ordered this book based on some extremely positive reviews but I found it to be something of aisappointment Whatever Mr Kocienda s other skills his prose style is lifeless and flat Given that he is Luke describing one of the most significant technologyevelopments of the last ten or so years his account lacks excitement and oddly passion In The Hero Next Door (Lighthouse Lane describing the work WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER An insiders account of Apples creative processuring the golden years of Steve JobsHundreds of millions of people use Apple products every ay; several thousand work on Apples campus in Cupertino California; but only a handful sit at the rawing board Creative Selection recounts the life of one of the few who worked behind the scenes a highly respected software engineer who worked in the final years of the Steve Jobs erathe Golden Age of Apple Ken Kocienda offers an inside look at Apples creative process For fifteen ye.

E The Witnesses (Lancaster Burning did at Apple and the way her perceives the company to work he writes as a programmer rather than a story teller Along the way he includes rather jarring links to the work of people like Kant and Darwin and sometimes the value of these references is so limited as to encourage the belief that they have been added to give some artificial weight to the author s own text This faux intellectualism also leads to some incredibly clumsy phrasing For example he talks repeatedly about a refined like response a combination of words the meaning of which is only made less clear by the inclusion of the hyphen As another example he states that The past is a source of the timeless and enduring which sounds excellent right up to the point that you try to understand what he means Ultimately there are a few interesting insights that the book offers into the way that Apple works but these are rare enough not to redeem it I listened intently to this book from two perspectives as a long time userfan of Apple products and as a leader of a schoolistrict s technology epartment The book was was interesting informative and enjoyable though both lenses personally and professionally Kocienda provides a fascinating view into the process of esign at Apple and gives a perspective from the inside rarely told He effectively takes the readerlistener through the idea stages into the esign process and to the shipped product all while explaining intricate etails and telling interesting stories along the way In education we often tell our students and teachers about the importance of using the 4 Cs creativity collaboration communication and critica I was excited about The Best Revenge (Redstone, Incorporated diving in this weekend into Creative Selection by Ken Kocienda a new book providing aetailed look inside the Ranchers Perfect Baby Rescue design process at Apple And Creative Selectionid not Silent Confessions disappoint While much has been written about Steve Jobs and Apple I found Creative Selection particularly insightful because it provided a vignette into theevelopment of the first iPhone and in particular one of it s most critical features the keyboard from the perspective of Ke. Ars he was on the ground floor of the company as a specialist A Texas Holiday Miracle directly responsible for experimenting with novel user interface concepts and writing powerful easy to use software for products including the iPhone the iPad and the Safari web browser His stories explain the symbiotic relationship between software and productevelopment for those who have never reamed of programming a computer and reveal what it was like to work on the cutting edge of technology at one of the worlds most admired companiesKocienda shares moments of struggle and success

Ken Kocienda was a software engineer and designer at Apple for over fifteen years After graduating from Yale with a degree in history he fixed motorcycles in Arizona worked in the editorial library of a newspaper in New York taught English in Japan and made fine art photographs in all those places Eventually he discovered the internet taught himself computer programming and made his way through a succession of dot com era startups before landing at Apple in 2001 where he worked on the software teams that created the Safari web browser iPhone iPad and Apple Watch Ken lives in San Jose California with his wife