- October 30th, 2009
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Link: Stack Overflow Dev Days
Well, I was lucky (or unlucky) enough to attend stack overflow’s Dev Days. Now, I’m a big fan of Stack Overflow so of course when I had the opportunity to attend (for free, courtesy of my employer) I was super excited.
Now, it’s been a couple weeks (at least) since I attended and I’ve been able to digest the best things I took away from that Dev Day. So here they are in no particular order.
1) You will never make a ton of money developing iPhone apps. I’m not saying you won’t be able to make money, but I’m going to listen to Rory Blyth on this one. You won’t make money doing this.
Rory was hands down the best speaker at Dev Days. I’m not counting Joel Spolsky since he basically spoke every moment he could. If you’re reading, Joel, I heard you had a great opening speech, sorry I missed most of it. Anyway, good demo overall pitch of how iPhone dev is the way to go if you really want to do it. His points, which aren’t new, were
- Apple has rules, and they make for a great user experience. All you haters keep on hating, but it works. (Psuedo-quote)
- You know the hardware you’re developing for so less to think about when you’re coding.
- App store (he repeated this 3 times)
I’m sure there were more, but I think he made his point well enough. Andriod and MS Mobile both suffer from not having a better established App store and having to develop for different hardware devices.
From a developer perspective, it’d be easier to jump right into Andriod development with Java and the Eclipse IDE than using Objective-C and XTools (the only free options for iPhone development). With more and more handsets coming out (such as the The Moto Driod ) it’s hard to argue in favor of a flooded iPhone app market. Maybe there are greener pastures ahead for Andriod dev, that’s all I’m saying.
All in all, if you’re a developer trying to figure out what you want to do, I would say develop for iPhone if you own a Mac and an iPhone. You already have the groundwork, might as well go all the way. But understand this, iPhone is just the flavor of the week, so stay sharp and always keep an eye out on the horizon.
Oh and as a side note, Rory looked like he hit some coke before he went up on stage.
2) JQuery is awesome. The presentation itself was a little light because all of the demos couldn’t be accessed due to internet problems. If you get a chance, everyone should learn a little jQuery. I’ve personally found it to be very useful. Respect to Cody Lindley for toughing through the presentation that should have been heavily based on demos.
3) Peter Mourfield was the joke of the day with his presentation of the “easy to use” ASP.NET MVC. I think he made the case that ASP.NET MVC wasn’t easy to use if anything. Peter Mourfield could put an insomniac to sleep.
4) Daniel Rocha and his presentation of the Nokia driven QT was valiant. He showed a ton of great examples of the QT’s ability to work on a bunch of different platforms and OSes but the tools he used to demonstrate basically made Nokia look like they were back in the late 1990s. This was especially true after the iPhone app development presentation. So props to Daniel Rocha for trying to pitch a nearly defunct product but all the momentum is with Apple iPhone, Andriod, Windows Mobile or even Palm Pre.
5) Google App engine is awesome. I’m not sure how I (or anyone) can make any money off of it, but it is seriously some cool stuff going on over there. Check it out . I would say if you have a cool idea for a webapp, it’s possible with google app engine. At least you’d have street cred if you developed it. Again, I’m not sure how you’ll make a dime doing it, but there it is for the taking.
6) The Python overview that Mike Schiraldi gave was good. I wouldn’t say I learned anything but he did bring to my attention this: Peter Norvig’s spell checker Basically, a brilliant piece of work. Peter friggin’ Norvig is a genius and he works for Google. How many of these guys does Google have? Seriously. Genius. Oh, and learn Python , it’s fun. No kidding. I would suggest 3.0 instead of 2.+ but a lot of people love version 2.+ (including Google app engine)
7) FogBugz is awesome but how are you going to beat JIRA? I know JIRA is seriously flawed, but it’s just so entrenched in software development. Anyway, I would love to one day use FogBugz, Mercurial and Kiln but I just don’t see that day coming any time soon.
Alright, that’s it for now. See you all around.