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Resisting The Feature Creature
 

Resisting The Feature Creature

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Presentation at the Geekmeet in Craiova, Romania talking about the adoption of APIs and libraries as a way to prevent unmaintainable products.

Presentation at the Geekmeet in Craiova, Romania talking about the adoption of APIs and libraries as a way to prevent unmaintainable products.

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    Resisting The Feature Creature Resisting The Feature Creature Presentation Transcript

    • Resisting the feature creature Christian Heilmann Geek Meet, Romania, November 2008
    • I use VI! We are developers.
    • And as developers we have one thing that always keeps us from making our lives a *lot* easier.
    • The feature creature Creature:http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Salacious_B._Crumb
    • The feature creature is that little advisor we have in our head...
    • ...who gives us bad ideas.
    • Like, what?
    • “You can do that in 5 lines of code – after all you don’t need to test before you apply nowadays”
    • “Documentation is for pussies, real men learn from source code”
    • “JavaScript sucks, just write a wrapper that generates JavaScript from Ruby and translates via Python”
    • “Go ahead and add that hack. It only has to work in IE6 anyways.”
    • “Comments in your own language make a lot of sense. If you use English, who’d know where code ends and the comment starts?”
    • “Yeah, Yahoo and Google have a solution for this, but you are better and can create a smaller one!”
    • All of this stuff is very dangerous.
    • Right now, the market is going downhill...
    • ...which means that the quality of your work is measured by how fast and efficient you are.
    • I’ve given a talk about this some weeks ago in Paris.
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lejoe/3035690503/ http://www.slideshare.net/cheilmann/working-in-the-now-presentation
    • Where I showed people how to save time and money by using things that are available for free.
    • Design Patterns, Design Pattern Stencils CSS frameworks: YUI grids, YAML, 960, Blueprint Exceptional Performance Tips, YSlow, Hammerhead Fix your picture sizes with smushit.com Page widgets (things not in HTML): YUI, jQuery UI Build an own search engine with Yahoo BOSS YouTube API Amazon S3 for storage Batch video conversion with Amazon S3 and EC2 Captioning on a shoestring with CastingWords Mechanical Turk http://www.wait-till-i.com/2008/11/14/paris-web-working-in-the-now/
    • Basically this could be the same talk...
    • ...but this is more about the underlying issue...
    • ...of us as developers not trusting other people’s solutions.
    • We all work on solving the same problems.
    • And some of us solve problems for large, distributed teams.
    • In large corporations.
    • Or even for a massive audience.
    • And yet as developers we tend not to trust solutions of those companies.
    • Building web applications and web sites is much more than coding a solution.
    • It means working in a constantly changing environment.
    • Constantly under attack by hackers and spammers.
    • Collaboratively fixing these problems and releasing patches and new versions are a solution for that problem.
    • Do you have the time and dedication to do the same for all of your hand-rolled solutions?
    • I have written a massive amount of bad code in my life.
    • I also find myself doing work that in retrospect doesn’t make much sense or is available as a native method.
    • The point is that as a developer I act first and then start reading the instructions.
    • This, I found, holds me back.
    • SDKs and documentation are built for a reason.
    • They make the access to systems and building software on top of them much easier.
    • Case in point.
    • Say you want to help your clients find good keywords to promote their product online.
    • You can do some research, surf all the competitors’ sites and note down the descriptions, keywords and titles.
    • You can be a man and use CURL to write a script to do that.
    • Or you can keep your eyes open and check if there is an API for that.
    • http://developer.yahoo.com/search/boss/
    • http://boss.yahooapis.com/ysearch/web/v1/donkeys? format=xml&appid=...
    • http://boss.yahooapis.com/ysearch/web/v1/donkeys? format=xml&view=keyterms&appid=...
    • All you need to do is getting the top 20, analyzing the keyword frequency and create a top 20.
    • http://developer.yahoo.net/blog/archives/2008/11/ boss_keywords.html
    • Then you take YUI CSS grids, and spend 30 minutes playing with colours and fonts.
    • And you have a product: http://keywordfinder.org
    • So in essence, what I am saying is...
    • There is a *lot* of *awesome* *free* and *good* stuff out on the web.
    • Spend some time reading up on it and using it.
    • People like me spend a lot of time convincing people in big companies that giving free access to our systems is a great thing...
    • ...to help developers and small companies become a success by not having to repeat the same mistakes we did.
    • Our main argument for all these free goodies is that gifted people like you will create things faster and better.
    • Because you are not hindered by a big corporate machine and red tape.
    • So help us show the system that innovation works outside if the inside helps the community.
    • THANKS! Creature:http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Salacious_B._Crumb Christian Heilmann http://wait-till-i.com | http://scriptingenabled.org http://twitter.com/codepo8