A developer's heroic tales of adventures through software delivery in the agency realm and the product realm. I provide career advice to developers and insights on new technologies, team building, product management, customer acquisition, and customer experience.
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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
The examples in the Titanium documentation write UI components in a way that is reminscent of Java Swing. This is fine but really, developers should be encouraged to use the right pattern for UI development. This would be Model View Controller. Here is the frmaework that is suggested: https://github.com/appcelerator/alloy.
Use keybinds to increase productivity
I'm a gamer -- I used to play World of Warcraft where I had every single ability bound to a key even if it was something as useless as targeting a specific mob. Anything you can do to shave off seconds will help you enjoy development more. Below are screenshots of my Eclipse keybinds.
Capture metrics and behaviours
Titanium has an API for tracking navigation events and feature events. If you come from Google Analytics or Omniture, we can easily describe these events as page views and custom events. Adding analytics will give you the insights you need to optimize certain views to increase XYZ action. For example, if you're creating an application with shareable data, you basically want to increase sharing throughout the network. Adding metrics around determining if users are seeing the Share button can be done to optimize this feature's value.
I've really enjoyed working with Titanium. I definitely will be using it other hacks. At first, it seems daunting but that's only because the documentation and SEO can lead you down a dark path. Look for the real sources and you'll find yourself being productive!
Markdown is awesome for quickly generating Readme's on Github. After looking at other projects using the strike tag, I've decided to create a custom keybind for it in my TextMate Markdown bundle. Here's how:
1) Click the + sign on the bottom left and click New Command.
2) Paste this into the editbox and make sure you name your command "Strikethrough".
For the input field, select WORD in the drop down.
For the output field, select "insert as snippet".
As for the keybind, you can totally map it to whatever you're comfortable with but I chose Command-D as it is the same thing in Microsoft Word.
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…
When you're practicing branch by feature with distributed version control, typically you'll get assigned a ticket or issue and that ends up being your feature branch. Instead of always typing in the branch name in every commit, you can edit your Git hooks (specifically prepare-commit-msg).
Assuming that this is a brand new git repository:
mv .git/hooks/prepare-commit-msg.sample .git/hooks/prepare-commit-msg
Edit the file by commenting out what was originally in the file and then add this:
Now, whenever you make a commit, it should show up like this in the log:
Since GitHub and Bitbucket both support Emojis inside commit messages, you can do something cute like this