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Showing posts from October, 2012

Plenty of Fish - Lessons Learned Meetup

Today, I had the fantastic opportunity of going to a retrospective by Plenty of Fish. As you may know, Plenty of Fish is the largest online dating site and it was all started by a local BCIT graduate named Markus Frind.





Below are notes that were taken on my iPhone. I do apologize as I am continually editing this blogpost.


What is Plenty of Fish? An online dating site.
Why enter the dating market? Back in 2003, it was the only thing that was interesting to build. Markus already knew ASP but wanted to learn more about building web applications with ASP.NET and improve his skills on his resume. 
How do you deal with the network effects problem? In the early days, Plenty of Fish gained traction through Vancouver and Toronto.  There wasn't any silver bullet or magic around it -- Plenty of Fish heavily relied on organic user growth and SEO. The focus was to retain users more than go out and acquire new ones.
What are some early challenges you faced? Markus actually ended up doing every…

Running MongoDB on Windows Azure

It has been an exciting journey so far in trying to grow the Vancouver Windows Azure meetup with my business partner Jef King. Our mission has always been to inspire the community to build solutions on top of Windows Azure -- Since the release of many different SDKs, developers are now able to bring value to their users easily with common technologies. These technologies include Python, NodeJS, PHP, and Java. We are now at over 130 members with 10+ meetups that average 30 people coming out.

Check out the video! John Woakes, lead software developer from iQmetrix done a brilliant retrospective on running MongoDB on Windows Azure for the past few years. It's been an exciting ride for him and his team!

Cheers,
Jaime

Inspiring talk by Kyle Vogt, co-founder of Justin.TV/Twitch.TV

Truly inspiring talk -- especially where he dives into the trough of sorrow. Here are the notes I took in regards to the 16 lessons learned:

Buy catered lunch -- employees would be waiting at long lineups or walking far just to get lunch -- Keep them at the office so they can socialize.Use Google Apps -- Simplifies email, calendars, and document sharing.Use data-driven development -- metrics on new features / AB TestUse hiring screenersKeep your job interviews shortDon't hire a PR firm -- Marketing associate instead, leveraged his own connections..full time thinking about the productPut one guy on fund-raising -- This should be a focused initiativeWork from home -- You don't need an office nowadays, keep costs down... need one room for a separate phonecallUse the cloud while you're small -- don't buy actual hardware unless you're a hardware company.Listen to your users the right way -- Users can tell you what's wrong..not what they want, observe the pain points…

Why I wrote node-twitchtv, a NodeJS client for TwitchTV API

I use twitch.tv daily -- some of the main gamers I follow are nl_kripp, kungentv, kingkongor, and reckful. They're really . The mission is simple for Twitch: connect gamers with their audiences, anywhere and anytime. It is open sourced on Github and can easily be integrated into your existing NodeJS solutions by using "npm install node-twitchtv".

After searching on npm for a TwitchTV / NodeJS client, it seemed like no one has attempted this. I decided to take the deep dive and give it a shot. In part of the design for this module,
Round 1: Retrieving basic data like games, channel streams, users
Round 2: Authentication with OAuth2 (server-side workflow)
Round 3: Video streaming as easy as "npm install node-twitchtv" (once the APIs are open)

Where I was going with this: NodeJS runs on all platforms now, it even runs flawlessly on Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system (which uses the same tools for Tablets and PCs). My heroic vision was, If you wanted t…

Lessons Learned from Titanium SDK

It's been fun hacking together projects that integrate with Facebook's Graph API. In a matter of a few minutes, I was able to get login working, fetching friends, relationships, and profile information. Titanium team has been doing an amazing job at providing examples and documentation.
Don't trust the comments in Q&A section
Sifting through pages and pages of questions and answers that seem somewhat relevant to your issue will take an exhausting amount of time. Adding to that, some answers are 3 years old! I don't even know why they keep that sort of information around -- it is incredibly misleading. I really wish they would move to StackExchange.
Dig into the Objective C libraries
When I couldn't understand why I wasn't able to set http headers using the out-of-the-box HTTP Client in JavaScript, I figured out that there are only specific times you can set HTTP headers. Thankfully, I built a Service Locator and Service class that poly-filled everything fo…

Using PHP and Git-based Deployment on Heroku without Facebook Apps

Getting PHP up and running on Heroku is easy. Although you can easily deploy PHP applications on your own traditional web hosting provider (Monster Hosting, 1&1 Hosting), PHPFog, or Windows Azure, in this blogpost, we quickly go through how to get up and running on Heroku.

Just before going into it, a while ago, there was a partnership announced between Facebook and Heroku. As an application developer, if you wanted a place (for free) to deploy your social application, you could use Heroku -- and you would have a lot of automation behind setting up your canvas/tab configuration. This was back in the day when they had Page Tabs!
Traditionally, developers would use web hosting companies like 1and1 where you needed to pay a small amount per month and you would have a web site; however, the question was, "will it scale?". Being on a platform like Heroku, Windows Azure, PHPFog gives you the options you need to scale accordingly based on your social application's virality…