Laurie Petrycki

Laurie Petrycki is Publisher at O'Reilly Media, Inc. where she's responsible for the company's technical line of titles and Missing Manual line. With a 25 year publishing career, Laurie has held many interesting roles and enjoys the opportunities in the ever evolving world of publishing. She's currently focusing on the needs of coders and those to want to learn how to code.

What CMS Is Right for You?

Choosing the best content management system for your needs

I had the opportunity to sit down with Cassandra Wolff a Software Engineer II, Softlayer an IBM Company and talk about how to choose a CMS. Cassandra specialized in LAMP and open source technologies, such as Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, and PHPBB. She stresses the need for effective communities.

Key highlights include:

  • The value of using a CMS. [Discussed at 0:30]
  • How getting up and running quickly adds value to your web presence. [Discussed at 1:10]
  • Visualize your growth to determine your next step. [Discussed at 2:03]
  • Getting a look at the top solutions, advantages, and disadvantages. [Discussed at 2:33]
  • How to get started with a platform. [Discussed at 4:35]
  • Becoming comfortable as a beginner in a new community. [Discussed at 5:30]
  • Moving to the next stage when adding advanced functionality. [Discussed at 5:46]
  • Encountering and avoiding pitfalls. [Discussed at 6:54]
  • You can view the full interview here:


Knowing and Understanding Your Audience

Measuring impact and changing behavior

I had the opportunity to sit down with Laura Klein (@lauraklein) and talk about the importance of creating effective user experiences. Laura is a UX expert and consultant. She stresses the need to figure out what works by talking to users and determining what works through usability testing. She’s also author of O’Reilly Media’s UX for Lean Startups: Faster, Smarter User Experience Research and Design. It hit home when Laura told me, “If people aren’t getting it, you’re probably doing it wrong.”

Key highlights include:

  • How to figure out what works, so you can avoid a poor user experience. [Discussed at 0:19]
  • It’s important to avoid porting a traditional process to a new product and service. Instead you need to think about how to design a new and natural experience. [Discussed at 2:16]
  • Think about context when designing new processes. [Discussed at 2:37]
  • The first step in creating a successful UX is knowing and understanding your audience. [Discussed at 3:49]
  • Using these principles beyond web sites. In all good UX applications, the goal is not to notice the interface. [Discussed at 5:16]
  • It’s critical to observe people, so you’re not assuming a knowledge base. [Discussed at 7:35]
  • The importance of A/B Testing. And how design is not an art; it’s trying to solve a problem. [Discussed at 9:54]
  • How the build, measure, learn lean methodology fits with UX design. It’s all about measuring the impact and changing behavior. [Discussed at 11:11]
  • You can view the full interview here:


Getting Started with Interactive Data Visualizations

Sourcing, Cleaning, and Processing Data to Create Interactive Data Visualizations for the Web

I recently sat down with Scott Murray (@alignedleft), Assistant Professor of Design at the University of San Francisco and Code Artist, to talk about creating interactive data visualizations. He’s also author of O’Reilly Media’s Interactive Data Visualization for the Web: An Introduction to Designing with D3. Scott and I discuss obtaining a clean data set, planning, consistency, accuracy, format issues, and the tools you should consider.

Key highlights include:

  • While we all have access to multiple data sources both public and private, how to ensure you have good clean data? [Discussed at 0:19]
  • Learn about the importance of consistency and format issues when creating your data visualizations. [Discussed at 1:40]
  • Using tools and scripts to clean your data. [Discussed at 2:39]
  • How to determine what’s interesting in your data and identifying the story by using both exploratory phase and explanatory review phases. [Discussed at 3:53]
  • Scott talks about how to obtain visual honesty. [Discussed at 5:52]
  • When designing your visualizations, how to avoid being accidentally dishonest. [Discussed at 7:21]
  • How to create your own toolset to meet your needs and match your skills. [Discussed at 9:02]
  • Learn about adding interactivity to make your message more powerful and valuable. [Discussed at 11:11]
  • You can view the full interview here:


Working in the Hadoop Ecosystem

Working with big data and open source software

I recently sat down with Mark Grover (@mark_grover), a Software Engineer at Cloudera, to talk about the Hadoop ecosystem. He is a committer on Apache Bigtop and a contributor to Apache Hadoop, Hive, Sqoop, and Flume. He also contributed to O’Reilly Media’s Programming Hive title.

Key highlights include:

Read more…

Purposeful Design Principles for Behavior Change

How to design products and services that help users change behavior

Steve Wendel (@sawendel) is the Principal Scientist at HelloWallet where he develops applications that help users take control of their finances. He’s also currently writing Designing for Behavior Change. I recently sat down to talk with Steve about the importance of testing and iteration, role of psychology, and resources and tools.

Key highlights include:

  • Describing the general principles of designing for behavior change. [Discussed at 0:16]
  • When we get it wrong, how to turn it around. [Discussed at 2:12]
  • Good examples of products and services. [Discussed at 4:45]
  • Read more…

New resource for developers

O'Reilly's new site for all things related to programming.

Welcome to O’Reilly Media’s Programming blog, our resource for all things related to programming. Whether you’re a professional developer, hardcore hacker, or student, I hope this site provides you with interesting ideas, ways to learn new skills, exposure to alpha geeks, and the opportunity to interact with our talented and unique editors. The best part of my days are conversations with our editors and authors, and I’d like you to benefit from the same exchange of ideas.

We’re building this blog to meet your needs with news, information, and analysis. Whether you work on front ends, back ends, or middleware, open source software or commercial, there’s something here for you. Over the coming weeks and months we’ll be publishing how-to information, interviews, and our opinions in addition to exposing you to O’Reilly’s vast products and services.

We’ve seen an explosion of interest in the creation of software over the last two years. Groups like Codecademy promise to teach anyone willing to code, even people like Mayor Bloomberg of New York; one of the most important factors in the legal fight between Google and Oracle was a judge who knew how to code; and groups like Code for America are transforming the civic landscape.

With O’Reilly’s Programming blog, we intend to serve a broad and diverse group. If you’re a web designer, a C# developer working in SharePoint, creating more efficient JavaScript code, need to figure out how to build apps for mobile and other devices, a designer building effective user experiences, optimizing your company’s websites, deciding whether to deploy an app in the cloud, think Perl still rocks, or trying to get your product development group to work better together, we’ll provide you with the tools and information to be productive.

Open source remains one of the pillars of the programming community, but we’re building a very large tent — a tent that includes Windows developers, iOS developers, Oracle developers, and more. We’ll also pay attention to non-technical issues that affect programmers: jobs, developer culture, and occasional tangents into other obsessions (like food).

O’Reilly’s readers created the world we inhabit. Now, we need to bring a new generation into that world and expand it for those already making a difference. While we have a lot of ideas for the Programming blog, we want to hear your thoughts about what you want to see on the site and how you want to participate. Please let us know what you think through the comments or email me directly.

Why use Scala

Alex Payne on Scala's upside and combining object-oriented and functional capabilities.

Alex Payne, co-author of the "Programming Scala," talks about the advantages of using Scala.

Editorial Radar: Functional languages

The benefits of functional languages and functional language techniques.

O'Reilly editors Mike Loukides and Mike Hendrickson discuss the advantages of functional programming languages and how functional language techniques can be deployed with almost any language.

Christopher Schmitt and Simon St. Laurent discuss HTML5

What to watch for in HTML5, CSS, and the open web.

HTML5 author Christopher Schmitt talks with O'Reilly editor Simon St. Laurent about why it's a great time to be a web developer.

Editorial Radar with Mike Loukides & Mike Hendrickson

Discussion on machine learning, 3D printing, devices and JavaScript

In this first episode of "Editorial Radar," O'Reilly editors Mike Loukides and Mike Hendrickson discuss the important technologies they're tracking.