Runar Ovesen Hjerpbakk

Programmer. Software Architect. Technical Manager.

We're all individuals together

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking to my local IxDA chapter. My talk pitched the necessity of practicing working together, even in autonomous cross-functional product teams. Other teams of specialists do this regularly, so why shouldn’t we also do it in the software world?

Thus I introduced 4 exercises that anyone can do with their team to increase trust, set common goals and mitigate risks:

  1. Make everybody draw their life and share it with the team.
  2. Private answer three simple questions: What are we making? For whom? Why? And then reflect on how the answers differ within the team.
  3. Create a team working agreement by using a consensus process.
  4. Run a pre mortem, a post mortem before the potential failure has happened.

My slides are available below and the talk can be viewed in 🇳🇴 on Facebook.

App spring cleaning

Spring is the season of growth and rebirth. So also for my apps. Version 2021.1 of many of the apps are ready and here are the changes:

Book Barcode Scanner

  • Every Amazon site is now available as a source for books. The US store is still the default, but any other store can be chosen.
  • can now be used by you lucky few who know Norwegian.

And for every user:

  • The scan history can now be shared using your preferred citation mode, using either a bullet list, markdown reference list or Bibtex.
  • From History we can now quickly navigate to the book source using the swipe menu.
  • And navigation from book details to the source is easier than ever.

Golden Ratio Calculator++

  • Small performance improvements.
  • Navnedag gjør det nå mulig å søke etter akkurat det navnet vi leter etter. Og det er flott, siden det finnes så mange fine navn i Norge.
  • Nick! Appen har nå også kommet seg inn i 80-tallet og vi kan nå se når en venns nick har navnedag. Wicked!
  • Og en del tekniske rettinger og forbedringer.

Using F# in Xamarin Apps

Christmas Eve is near and so is the end of this year’s educational marathon: Bekk Christmas. And after my last post, I got some constructive feedback:

Being a quick learner, I remind both myself and you my dear readers that F# exists and can be easily used alongside C# to really utilize each language unique strengths in the post Using F# in Xamarin Apps.

F# is perfect for domain modeling, even on mobile.

Functional ... C#?

The door to my first post of this year’s Bekk Christmas has finally been opened. My article, Functional … C#?, tells the story of immutability in the C# language and gives a quick introduction C# 9’s new, life-saving feature: records!

A record is immutable in that none of the properties can be modified once it’s been created, and the with keyword will help with creating new objects where some of the values should change:

public record Person(uint Age);

var me = new Person(37);
Person meAYearOlder = me with { Age = 38 };

So listen to the meme-advice, stay immutable, STAY SAFE.

Wishing you all a very Bekk Christmas

For us family oriented developers, advent is usually a time of joy and major stress. Not only must our households be made ready for Christmas, but we also need to finish the various online advent calendars. Preferably ahead of our peers.

Bekk Christmas

This year is no different and I’m proud to be a part of the old (in computer terms) tradition of authoring a couple of posts in Bekk’s collection of 11 calendars of technology, design, strategy and innovation: Bekk Christmas.

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Navnedag - Norwegian name days 🇳🇴

Navnedag is my latest Norwegian app highlighting, the age old tradition of name days. A name day is day where you can celebrate your given name and get a free dinner at IKEA. This app shows you all the Norwegian name days, when your contacts have name days and the etymology of the various names.

Hent Navnedag på App Store

Dear Google Cloud - Your Deprecation Policy is Killing You

Many of you have already read this masterpiece, but this rant is one of the great ones and deserves all the readers it can get.

The gist of it is that in order for you to be a trustworthy platform player, even on a small scale, you need to take backwards compatibility seriously:

Backwards compatibility keeps systems alive and relevant for decades.

And GCP does not.

Backwards compatibility is a design goal of all successful systems that are designed for open use; that is, implemented as open source, and/or guided by open standards. I feel like I’m stating something that’s so obvious that we should all be awkwardly embarrassed, but no. It’s a political issue, so I need examples.

Birthday Reminder++ 2020.1

Never forget a birthday

We’ve all got a lot of people in our contacts, some that we care more about than others. For these special someone, we import their birthdays from Facebook, Twitter or our own brain. But keeping track of these important events can be a hassle, both in a calendar filled to the brim and in the contact app itself.

Enter Birthday Reminder++, the app which keeps your congratulations on track, making your relationship with your closest friends and family even more meaningful.

Get Birthday Reminder++ in the App Store


  • See today’s birthdays from your contacts
  • See future birthdays sorted chronologically by upcoming birthday
  • Edit your contacts quickly from within the app
  • Remove birthdays from contacts faster than any other app

Golden Ratio Calculator++ 2020.1

Golden Ratio Calculator++ version 2020.1 is ready for iOS 13 and dark mode!

I’ve also added improvements based on your feedback:

  • The calculated value is automatically added to the clipboard for easier sharing with other apps
  • The ratio selection box is no longer empty when no named ratios are selected
  • Width and Height can be separately adjusted in any orientation

Golden Ratio Calculator++ is the best and fastest way to easily incorporate the golden ratio in your layouts or designs!

Buy Golden Ratio Calculator++ on the App Store

Perhaps More Than Ever – Truth Matters

Steven Novella is a personal hero of mine. Not only is he the primary host of my favorite podcast, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, he’s also an excellent communicator of science, skepticism and neuroscience.

The latest post on his blog really hit home, encouraging us to step out of our bubble, dig deeper and indeed challenge ourselves to understand each other better.

Humans are tribal by nature. We now know from years of psychological study that we tend to plant our flag with one group, one ideology, one narrative – and then defend it at all costs. The more we identify with a position, or see it as a marker of our group, and the more we do, the greater our motivated reasoning. For things we don’t care about, or do not identify with, we tend to revert to a fairly rational approach – listening to new evidence and incorporating into our view. So we have the capacity to be rational, when our identity does not get in the way.