• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
What I learned from making things
 

What I learned from making things

on

  • 2,260 views

A short talk about what I have learnt from making things

A short talk about what I have learnt from making things

Statistics

Views

Total Views
2,260
Views on SlideShare
2,184
Embed Views
76

Actions

Likes
2
Downloads
12
Comments
1

5 Embeds 76

http://lanyrd.com 66
http://lanyrd.dev 4
http://www.slideshare.net 3
http://www.lmodules.com 2
http://www.linkedin.com 1

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Apple Keynote

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel

11 of 1 previous next

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment
  • These are just a few of my personal projects I have worked on with Simon and by myself in the past few years, looking at just the sites and applications here <br /> <br /> you can learn an enormous amount from working on things that you want to work on in your spare time, it helps to develop your skills <br /> <br /> Simon and I have so many projects in the works now that we have a saying &apos;that&apos;s just what we need. we were looking for another personal project" <br /> <br /> my talk is called learning from making things
  • Setting aside time to work on a project is really important <br /> <br /> I like to write it in my diary that I am going to be working on wildlifenearyou tonight, sparkabout tommorow and do a blitz of liquid fold at the weekend <br /> <br /> you need to set yourself deadlines too otherwise you won&apos;t see it as a real task just something to do when you are board. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> http://www.flickr.com/photos/21046489@N06/3387189144/
  • So personal projects are all about learning but if you want to do things fast and you have the option to, then stick to what you know <br /> <br /> Sparkabout is a travel site Simon and I are working on, I tried to build it twice as my first django project but I ended up reengineering and over-engineering it so much, particularly the data models <br /> <br /> when Simon and i worked on it together then we got the django end mostly there in a weekend, it wasnt beautifully optimised but that wasn&apos;t the point
  • This is liquid fold a stats app for aggregating the viewport size of your users <br /> <br /> we built it on google app-engine because we were worried about scalability <br /> <br /> but it turns out the one thing that google cant do is count <br /> <br /> apengine doesnt do counters that scale, which is kinda important for a stats package so we never really launched it
  • it is a good idea to spin parts of your project into reusable components and open source them <br /> <br /> it will be useful for you in later projects as well as <br /> <br /> encouraging you to write reusable modular code now <br /> <br /> and if you are really lucky someone will improve it foe you because you open sourced it
  • The most important question you can ask at the start of a project is where does the data come from <br /> <br /> data doesn&apos;t just grow on trees <br /> <br /> its no goof saying you will just add the data later because the data is the core of your site or application <br /> <br /> and as such your data is coming from users you need to put a lot of effort into making it easy fun and worthwhile <br /> <br /> Wildlifenearyou has a whole bunch of code that will never see the light of day because we hadn&apos;t decided where the data was coming from before we built the feature, for example exercises for kids to do at zoos
  • When you launch an interactive site it is essential to have an insight as to what people are actually doing with it <br /> <br /> activity feeds are simple to implement and a great way of doing this. you can also tail your log files if you are that way inclined <br /> <br /> your activity feed doesn&apos;t have to look good its really only for you to look at. <br /> <br /> For example our feed for wildlife near you shows when anyone uploads a photo, suggests a species or creates a trip
  • one of the things with a personal project is you now have a responsibility, its like a pet <br /> <br /> if you are taking user accounts you need to look after your users probably long after you have lost interest in the project <br /> <br /> a good example of this is djangopeople desperately needs a delete your account function. <br /> <br /> it seams counter intuitive but the people who want it REALLY want it. we get about three requests a month and have to do it manually
  • you have to consider is the hype caused by scarcity and demand really worth it? <br /> <br /> you are putting a barrier in front of people who genuinely want to use your site <br /> <br /> people wont crash the site, scaling is not impossible now because hardware is cheap hardware is cheep, if we had done walrss now rather than then it would have been a different story <br /> <br /> invitation codes take a lot of development and UX to be done right and done wrong can be terrible
  • It is very easy to go down rabbit holes of over complication <br /> <br /> this is the opening hours entry form for a place on wildlife near you <br /> <br /> we spent hours arguing over the data model on the fort, where in hindsight a simple textarea may have been better <br /> <br /> remember you can release a rubbish feature and people will use it, you can learn from that and improve it later
  • we soft launched the site to friends about the same time simons talk from django con was released <br /> <br /> also to note some of the first requests you get will be a german language version we have had about 3 of these requests already and we have only been live a week,
  • When we launched djangopeople it initially didn&apos;t have openid or microformats and Simon and I got quite a bit of stick for that. I was worried the same thing would happen with wildlifenearyou <br /> <br /> On the fort I had crippling RSI and had to conduct three people with little experience of front-end. Consequently ever since then I have been working with legacy code but thankfully no-one cared.
  • It&apos;s really hard not to correct behaviour. Particularly if it is your own parents. <br /> <br /> Parents make a great test case so instead try to find out what they were intending to do and why they did it this way. <br /> <br /> Here my mum has labelled the species in this photo as a Simon and a &apos;don&apos;t pick up the penguin sign&apos; which while amusing isn&apos;t really the intended use.
  • Play is good, its a sign of success when people are having fun with your site. <br /> <br /> Except if they are intentionally trying to be disruptive and adding frozen chickens to your wildlife spotting site. <br /> <br /> Here this user has added New York wherehe saw a cockroach and a madagascan hissing cockroach and a rat.
  • Your users should have the smallest possible barrier to entry for getting in touch with you, <br /> <br /> This will make it more likely they&apos;l use it and you wont have to guess if they like it or not. <br /> <br /> The user only sees a box and a button if they are logged in because it is integrated into our site. we also store their username, email, ip, user agent and what page they are on. <br /> <br /> dont worry about spam <br /> <br /> because it is ajax people won&apos;t worry about sending you feedback midway through a form submission. <br /> <br /> in the database we also have notes and status for us
  • You&apos;ll need to watch the data people enter into your site, if you are getting bad data it is a symptom of a problem with your design somewhere. <br /> <br /> on django people, users didnt know they could move the map, we found this out because people said they lived in the sea. <br /> <br /> on wildlifenearyou and innaccurate data points and duplicates, because our add trip and add place workflow needs work.
  • Shortly after we launched Simon and I discovered a similar site with more funding, while we were initially concerned we then realised they didnt have our same sense of fun and wasnt the same niche. <br /> <br /> competition makes you reassess your goals and strengths and focus on what&apos;s important <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidkingham/3661515844/
  • have a proper local dev environment and automated deployment scripts that you are not scared of <br /> <br /> you will be more likely to make small incremental improvements, which is very important for a project you dont spend much time on <br /> <br /> also it keeps the site looking fresh and worked on <br /> <br /> we have a twitter account and blog to tell our users we are doing small changes and these then appear on the homepage of the site
  • its your project, you will need to balance whats needed with what is fun to make <br /> <br /> owls near you is a good example of a small achievable thing that was fun to make <br /> <br /> we have also learned not to work on someone elses baby <br /> <br /> you are doing it for fun for free so you need to be personally invested in the project
  • The most important thing you can do is to get things live no matter what state it&apos;s in <br /> <br /> its better to launch something non perfect than have a logarithmic arc of perfection <br /> <br /> you will feel so much different once its live & people are using it <br /> <br /> feelings of guilt resentment and shame will be replaced by pride ownership and responsibility <br /> <br /> most of all though knowing you made a thing is its own reward
  • The most important thing you can do is to get things live no matter what state it&apos;s in <br /> <br /> its better to launch something non perfect than have a logarithmic arc of perfection <br /> <br /> you will feel so much different once its live & people are using it <br /> <br /> feelings of guilt resentment and shame will be replaced by pride ownership and responsibility <br /> <br /> most of all though knowing you made a thing is its own reward
  • The most important thing you can do is to get things live no matter what state it&apos;s in <br /> <br /> its better to launch something non perfect than have a logarithmic arc of perfection <br /> <br /> you will feel so much different once its live & people are using it <br /> <br /> feelings of guilt resentment and shame will be replaced by pride ownership and responsibility <br /> <br /> most of all though knowing you made a thing is its own reward
  • The most important thing you can do is to get things live no matter what state it&apos;s in <br /> <br /> its better to launch something non perfect than have a logarithmic arc of perfection <br /> <br /> you will feel so much different once its live & people are using it <br /> <br /> feelings of guilt resentment and shame will be replaced by pride ownership and responsibility <br /> <br /> most of all though knowing you made a thing is its own reward
  • The most important thing you can do is to get things live no matter what state it&apos;s in <br /> <br /> its better to launch something non perfect than have a logarithmic arc of perfection <br /> <br /> you will feel so much different once its live & people are using it <br /> <br /> feelings of guilt resentment and shame will be replaced by pride ownership and responsibility <br /> <br /> most of all though knowing you made a thing is its own reward
  • The most important thing you can do is to get things live no matter what state it&apos;s in <br /> <br /> its better to launch something non perfect than have a logarithmic arc of perfection <br /> <br /> you will feel so much different once its live & people are using it <br /> <br /> feelings of guilt resentment and shame will be replaced by pride ownership and responsibility <br /> <br /> most of all though knowing you made a thing is its own reward
  • The most important thing you can do is to get things live no matter what state it&apos;s in <br /> <br /> its better to launch something non perfect than have a logarithmic arc of perfection <br /> <br /> you will feel so much different once its live & people are using it <br /> <br /> feelings of guilt resentment and shame will be replaced by pride ownership and responsibility <br /> <br /> most of all though knowing you made a thing is its own reward
  • The most important thing you can do is to get things live no matter what state it&apos;s in <br /> <br /> its better to launch something non perfect than have a logarithmic arc of perfection <br /> <br /> you will feel so much different once its live & people are using it <br /> <br /> feelings of guilt resentment and shame will be replaced by pride ownership and responsibility <br /> <br /> most of all though knowing you made a thing is its own reward
  • The most important thing you can do is to get things live no matter what state it&apos;s in <br /> <br /> its better to launch something non perfect than have a logarithmic arc of perfection <br /> <br /> you will feel so much different once its live & people are using it <br /> <br /> feelings of guilt resentment and shame will be replaced by pride ownership and responsibility <br /> <br /> most of all though knowing you made a thing is its own reward
  • The most important thing you can do is to get things live no matter what state it&apos;s in <br /> <br /> its better to launch something non perfect than have a logarithmic arc of perfection <br /> <br /> you will feel so much different once its live & people are using it <br /> <br /> feelings of guilt resentment and shame will be replaced by pride ownership and responsibility <br /> <br /> most of all though knowing you made a thing is its own reward
  • The most important thing you can do is to get things live no matter what state it&apos;s in <br /> <br /> its better to launch something non perfect than have a logarithmic arc of perfection <br /> <br /> you will feel so much different once its live & people are using it <br /> <br /> feelings of guilt resentment and shame will be replaced by pride ownership and responsibility <br /> <br /> most of all though knowing you made a thing is its own reward
  • The most important thing you can do is to get things live no matter what state it&apos;s in <br /> <br /> its better to launch something non perfect than have a logarithmic arc of perfection <br /> <br /> you will feel so much different once its live & people are using it <br /> <br /> feelings of guilt resentment and shame will be replaced by pride ownership and responsibility <br /> <br /> most of all though knowing you made a thing is its own reward
  • The most important thing you can do is to get things live no matter what state it&apos;s in <br /> <br /> its better to launch something non perfect than have a logarithmic arc of perfection <br /> <br /> you will feel so much different once its live & people are using it <br /> <br /> feelings of guilt resentment and shame will be replaced by pride ownership and responsibility <br /> <br /> most of all though knowing you made a thing is its own reward
  • The most important thing you can do is to get things live no matter what state it&apos;s in <br /> <br /> its better to launch something non perfect than have a logarithmic arc of perfection <br /> <br /> you will feel so much different once its live & people are using it <br /> <br /> feelings of guilt resentment and shame will be replaced by pride ownership and responsibility <br /> <br /> most of all though knowing you made a thing is its own reward
  • The most important thing you can do is to get things live no matter what state it&apos;s in <br /> <br /> its better to launch something non perfect than have a logarithmic arc of perfection <br /> <br /> you will feel so much different once its live & people are using it <br /> <br /> feelings of guilt resentment and shame will be replaced by pride ownership and responsibility <br /> <br /> most of all though knowing you made a thing is its own reward

What I learned from making things What I learned from making things Presentation Transcript

  • learning from making things
  • set aside time
  • stick to what you know
  • understand the limitations
  • write reu sable m odular c ode
  • how do we get the data
  • get an activity feed
  • add delete your account functionality
  • ion codes h invitat other wit don’t b
  • don't over-think things
  • your firs user is v t real ery excit ing
  • ot as critical as you think people are n
  • its hard not to correct behaviour
  • play is g ood
  • have dynamic feedback
  • data is a sympto m of des ign
  • competition makes you stronger
  • ings th ge chan ou'll y ikely e itl mak
  • keep it fun
  • just launch it - you made a thing!
  • just launch it - you made a thing!