Questions

Answering some questions about developer evangelism

I just had a journalist ask me to answer a few questions about developer evangelism and I did so on the train ride. Here are the un-edited answers for your perusal.

In your context, what’s a developer evangelist?

As defined quite some time ago in my handbook (http://developer-evangelism.com/):

“A developer evangelist is a spokesperson, mediator and translator between a company and both its technical staff and outside developers.”

This means first and foremost that you are a technical person who is focused on making your products understandable and maintainable.

This includes writing easy to understand code examples, document and help the engineering staff in your company find its voice and get out of the mindset of building things mostly for themselves.
It also means communicating technical needs and requirements to the non-technical staff and in many cases prevent marketing from over-promising or being too focused on your own products.
As a developer evangelist your job is to have the finger on the pulse of the market. This means you need to know about the competition and general trends as much as what your company can offer. Meshing the two is where you shine.

How did you get to become one?

I ran into the classic wall we have in IT: I’ve been a developer for a long time and advanced in my career to lead developer, department lead and architect. In order to advance further, the only path would have been management and discarding development. This is a big issue we have in our market: we seemingly value technical talent above all but we have no career goals to advance to beyond a certain level. Sooner or later you’d have to become something else. In my case, I used to be a radio journalist before being a developer, so I put the skillsets together and proposed the role of developer evangelist to my company. And that’s how it happened.

What are some of your typical day-to-day duties?

  • Helping product teams write and document good code examples
  • Find, filter, collate and re-distribute relevant news
  • Answer pull requests, triage issues and find new code to re-use and analyse
  • Help phrasing technical responses to problems with our products
  • Keep in contact with influencers and ensure that their requests get answered
  • Coach and mentor colleagues to become better communicators
  • Prepare articles, presentations and demos
  • Conference and travel planning

How often do you code?

As often as I can. Developer Evangelism is a mixture of development and communication. If you don’t build the things you talk about it is very obvious to your audience. You need to be trusted by your technical colleagues to be a good communicator on their behalf, and you can’t be that when all you do is powerpoints and attend meetings. At the same time, you also need to know when not to code and let others shine, giving them your communication skills to get people who don’t understand the technical value of their work to appreciate them more.

What’s the primary benefit enterprises hope to gain by employing developer evangelists?

The main benefit is developer retention and acquisition. Especially in the enterprise it is hard to attract new talent in today’s competitive environment. By showing that you care about your products and that you are committed to giving your technical staff a voice you give prospective hires a future goal that not many companies have for them. Traditional marketing tends to not work well with technical audiences. We have been promised too much too often. People are trusting the voice of people they can relate to. And in the case of a technical audience that is a developer evangelist or advocate (as other companies tend to favour to call it). A secondary benefit is that people start talking about your product on your behalf if they heard about it from someone they trust.

What significant challenges have you met in the course of your developer evangelism?

There is still quite some misunderstanding of the role. Developers keep asking you how much you code, assuming you betrayed the cause and run the danger of becoming yet another marketing shill. Non-technical colleages and management have a hard time measuring your value and expect things to happen very fast. Marketing departments have been very good over the years showing impressive numbers. For a developer evangelist this is tougher as developers hate being measured and don’t want to fill out surveys. The impact of your work is sometimes only obvious weeks or months later. That is an investment that is hard to explain at times. The other big challenge is that companies tend to think of developer evangelism as a new way of marketing and people who used to do that can easily transition into that role by opening a GitHub account. They can’t. It is a technical role and your “street cred” in the developer world is something you need to have earned before you can transition. The same way you keep getting compared to developers and measured by comparing how much code you’ve written. A large part of your job after a while is collecting feedback and measuring the success of your evangelism in terms of technical outcome. You need to show numbers and it is tough to get them as there are only 24 hours in a day.
Another massive issue is that companies expect you to be a massive fan of whatever they do when you are an evangelist there. This is one part, but it is also very important that you are the biggest constructive critic. Your job isn’t to promote a product right or wrong, your job is to challenge your company to build things people want and you can get people excited about without dazzling them.

What significant rewards have you achieved in the course of your developer evangelism?

The biggest win for me is the connections you form and to see people around you grow because you promote them and help them communicate better. One very tangible reward is that you meet exciting people you want to work with and then get a chance to get them hired (which also means a hiring bonus for you).
One main difference I found when transitioning was that when you get the outside excited your own company tends to listen to your input more. As developers we think our code speaks for itself, but seeing that we always get asked to build things we don’t want to should show us that by becoming better communicators we could lead happier lives with more interesting things to create.

What personality traits do you see as being important to being a successful developer evangelist?

You need to be a good communicator. You need to not be arrogant and sure that you and only you can build great things but instead know how to inspire people to work with you and let them take the credit. You need to have a lot of patience and a thick skin. You will get a lot of attacks and you will have to work with misunderstandings and prejudices a lot of times. And you need to be flexible. Things will not always go the way you want to, and you simply can not be publicly grumpy about this. Above all, it is important to be honest and kind. You can’t get away with lies and whilst bad-mouthing the competition will get you immediate results it will tarnish your reputation quickly and burn bridges.

What advice would you give to people who would like to become a developer evangelist?

Start by documenting your work and writing about it. Then get up to speed on your presenting skills. You do that by repetition and by not being afraid of failure. We all hate public speaking, and it is important to get past that fear. Mingle, go to meetups and events and analyse talks and articles of others and see what works for you and is easy for you to repeat and reflect upon. Excitement is the most important part of the job. If you’re not interested, you can’t inspire others.

How do you see the position evolving in the future?

Sooner or later we’ll have to make this an official job term across the market and define the skillset and deliveries better than we do now. Right now there is a boom and far too many people jump on the train and call themselves Developer “Somethings” without being technically savvy in that part of the market at all. There will be a lot of evangelism departments closing down in the nearer future as the honeymoon boom of mobile and apps is over right now. From this we can emerge more focused and cleaner.
A natural way to find evangelists in your company is to support your technical staff to transition into the role. Far too many companies right now try to hire from the outside and get frustrated when the new person is not a runaway success. They can’t be. It is all about trust, not about numbers and advertising.

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16 Questions you need to answer before you give a conference talk

When it comes to giving a talk at a conference the thing people freak out the most about is the delivery. Being in front of a large audience on stage is scary and for many people unthinkable.

terror-speaking-to-a-room

I don’t want to discourage anyone to do this – it is amazing and it feels great to inspire people. The good news is that by covering the things here you will go on stage with the utmost confidence and you will dazzle.

I wanted to note down the things people don’t consider about presenting at conferences. There is no shortage of posts claiming that evangelism is “only presenting at conferences”. Furthermore it is deemed only worth-while when done by “real developers who work on the products”. This is the perfect scenario, of course. Before you judge “just presenting” as a simple task consider the following questions. If you are a professional presenter and evangelist you need to have them covered. More importantly, consider the time needed to do that work and how you would fit it into your daily job of delivering code.

  1. 1) Do you know the topic well enough?
  2. 2) Are you sure about your facts?
  3. 3) Are you aware of the audience?
  4. 4) What’s your story line? How do you package the idea?
  5. 5) Where are the materials you talk about?
  6. 6) Are you sure you can release the talk the way you wrote it?
  7. 7) When are the materials due?
  8. 8) What does the conference need from you?
  9. 9) How do you get to the event?
  10. 10) Do you have all you need? Is everything going to be fine while you’re gone?
  11. 11) Who pays what – how do you get your money back?
  12. 12) Can you afford the time? Do you need to extend your trip to make it worth while?
  13. 13) Have you prepared for a presentation in the conference environment?
  14. 14) How do you measure if this was a success?
  15. 15) How do you make this re-usable for your company?
  16. 16) Are you ready to deal with the follow-up?

1) Do you know the topic well enough?

If you talk about your own product, this is easy. It is also easy to be useless. Writing a demo for a talk that can’t fail is cheating. It is also hard to repeat for the audience. It is a theoretical exercise, and not a feat of delivery. Writing a product in a real work environment means dealing with other people’s demands and issues. It also means you have to re-think what you do a lot, and that makes for better products. How you built your product does not make it a best practice. It worked for you. OK, but is that repeatable by your audience or can they learn from you approach?

To give a great talk, you need to do a lot of homework:

  • you need to read what the competition did,
  • learn what is applicable,
  • you need to understand how the topic you cover can be beneficial for the audience and
  • you need to do research about the necessary environment of your talk topic and issues people may run into when they try to repeat what you did.

2) Are you sure about your facts?

It is easy to make grandiose statements and wrap them in the right rhetoric to be exciting. It is also easy to cause a lot of trouble with those. If you make a promise on stage, make sure it is yours to fulfill. You don’t want to get your colleagues into trouble or delivery stress by over-promising.

You are likely to present to an audience who know their stuff and are happy to find holes in your argumentation. Therefore you need to do your homework. Check your facts, keep them up-to-date and don’t repeat truisms of the past.

Get the newest information, and verify that it is fact before adding it to your talk. This also means checking various sources and cross-referencing them. Legwork, research.

Work with your colleagues who will need to deliver what you talk about and maintain it in the future. Ensure they are up to the task. Remember: you are not likely to be the maintainer, so delegate. And delegation means you need to give others a heads-up what is coming their way.

3) Are you aware of the audience?

Your job is to educate and entertain the audience of the conference. To achieve this, you need to cater your talk to the audience. Therefore you need to understand them before you go forward. For this, you need to follow some steps:

Get information about the audience from the conference organisers:

  • How big is the audience?
  • When is your talk – a talk at the end of the day is harder to take in than one in the morning.
  • What is their experience level – you write different materials for experts than for novices. Peer pressure dictates that everyone tells you they are experts. They might still not understand what you do unless you explain it well.
  • What is the language of the audience? Are they native speakers of your language or do you need to cater for misunderstandings? Do your pop references and jokes make sense in that country, or are they offensive or confusing? If there is live translation at the event you will have to be slower and pause for the translators to catch up. You will also need to deliver your slides up-front and have a list of technical words that shouldn’t be translated. Your slide deck also needs to be printable for translators to use.

Then think about what you’d like to get out of your talk:

  • Try to think like your audience – what excites a group of designers is not the same a group of developers or project managers need
  • Look at the rest of the line-up. Is your talk unique or will you clash or repeat with another talk at the same event?

4) What’s your story line? How do you package the idea?

A presentation is nothing without a story. Much like a movie you need to have to have an introduction, a climax and a conclusion. Intersperse this with some anectodes and real life comparisons and you have something people can enjoy and learn from. Add some humour and some open questions to engage and encourage. How do you do that? What fits this talk and this audience?

5) Where are the materials you talk about?

If you want the audience to repeat what you talk about you need to make sure your materials are available.

  • Your code examples need to be for example on GitHub, need to work and need documentation.
  • If you talk about a product of your company make sure the resource isn’t going away by the time you give your talk.
  • Your slides should be on the web somewhere as people always ask for them right after your talk.

6) Are you sure you can release the talk the way you wrote it?

It is simple to pretend that we are a cool crowd and everyone gets a good geek joke. It is also easy to offend people and cause a Twitter storm and an ugly aftermath in the tech press.

It is also easy to get into legal trouble for bad-mouthing the competition or using media nilly-willy. Remember one thing: fair use is a myth and not applicable internationally. Any copyrighted material you use in your talk can become a problem. The simplest way to work around that is to only use creative commons licensed materials.

That might mean you don’t use the cool animated GIF of the latest TV show. And that might be a good thing. Do you know if the audience knows about this show and gets your reference? Thinking internationally and questioning your cultural bias can be the difference between inspiring and confusing. Or frustrating. If you talk about great products that aren’t available in the country you present. Don’t write your talk from your perspective. Think what the audience can do with your material and if they can understand it.

7) When are the materials due?

There are quite a few things that affect the time you have to prepare your presentation:

  • Your company might have a policy to have your slides reviewed by legal and marketing. This sounds terrible and smacks of censorship. But it can save your arse. It might also make you aware of things you can hint at that aren’t public knowledge yet.
  • The conference might need your talks upfront. Every conference wants at least an outline and your speaker bio to publish on their web site.
  • Do you have enough time for research, creation and designing your slides before you travel? Can you upload your deck to the web in case your machine breaks down?

8) What does the conference need from you?

Depending on what the conference does for you, they also want you to help them. That can include:

  • some promotion on your social media channels
  • information about your travel and accomodation
  • VISA requirements and signing releases about filming and material distribution rights
  • invoices for expenses you have on their behalf
  • information on your availability for speaker dinners, event parties or other side activities of the main event

This needs time allocated to it. In general you can say a one day conference will mean you’re out for three.

9) How do you get to the event?

Traveling is the biggest unknown in your journey to the stage. All kind of things can go wrong. You want to make sure you book the right flights, hotels and have a base close to the event. All this costs money, and you will find conference organisers and your company try to cut down on cost whenever they can. So be prepared for some inconvenience.

Booking and validating your travel adds and extra two days to your conference planning. Getting to and from your home to the event can be a packed and stressful journey. Try to avoid getting to the event stressed, you need to concentrate on what you are there for. Add two buffer days before and after the event at least.

Booking your own travel is great. You are not at the mercy of people spelling your name wrong or asking you for all kind of information like your passport and date of birth. But it also means you need to pay for it in some way or another and you want that money back. Finding a relaxed and affordable schedule is a big task, and something you shouldn’t take too lightly.

10) Do you have all you need? Is everything going to be fine while you’re gone?

You are going to be out for a while. Both from work and your home. Make sure that in your absence you have people in place that can do the job you normally do. Make sure you covered all the needs like passport and visa issues and you know everything about the place you go to.

Prepare to get sick and have medication with you. It can happen and it should not be the end of the trip. Stay healthy, bring some safe food and plan for time to work out in between sitting cramped on planes and in cars.

Do you know how to get to the hotel and around the city you present in? Do you speak the language? Is it safe? Is there someone to look after your home when you’re gone? Prepare for things going wrong and you having to stay longer. Planes and trains and automobiles fail all the time.

11) Who pays what – how do you get your money back?

Conference participation costs money. You need to pay for travel, accomodation, food, wireless, mobile roaming costs and many more unknowns. Make sure you get as much paid for you as possible. Many conference organisers will tell you that you can pay for things and keep receipts. That means you will have to spend quite some time with paperwork and chasing your money. The same applies to company expense procedures. You need to deal with this as early as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it gets.

12) Can you afford the time? Do you need to extend your trip to make it worth while?

A local event is pretty easy to sell to your company. Flying somewhere else and having the both the cost of money and time involved is harder. Even when the conference organiser pays – it means you are out of the office and not available for your normal duty. One way to add value for your company is to add meetings with local clients and press. These need to be organised and planned. So ensure you cater for that.

13) Have you prepared for a presentation in the conference environment?

It is great to use online editors to write your talk. It means people can access your slides and materials. It also means you are independent of your computer – which can and will behave oddly as soon as you are on stage. Online materials are much less useful once you are offline on stage. Conference wireless is anything but reliable. Make sure you are not dependent on a good connection. Ask about the available resolution of the conference projection equipment. Don’t expect sound to be available. And above all – bring your own connectors and power cables and converters.

14) How do you measure if this was a success?

Your company gave you time and money to go to a conference and give a talk. How do you make this worth their while? You have to show something on your return. Make sure you measure the feedback your talk got. See if you can talk to people at the event your company considers important. Collect all this during the event and analyse and compact it as soon as you can. This sounds simple, but it is tough work to analyse sentiment. A Twitter feed of a conference is pretty noisy.

15) How do you make this re-usable for your company?

If you work for a larger company, they expect of you as an evangelist to make your materials available for others. A lot of companies believe in reusable slide decks – for better or worse. Prepare a deck covering your topic that is highly annotated with delivery notes. Prepare to present this to your company. Whilst hardly anything is reusable, you are expected to make that happen.

16) Are you ready to deal with the follow-up?

After the conference you have to answer emails, contact requests and collect and note down your leads. Most companies expect a conference report of some sort. Many expect you to do some internal presentation to debrief you. What you did costs a lot of time and money and you should be prepared to prove your worth.

You’ll get more requests about your talk, the products you covered and people will ask you to speak at other events. And thus the cycle starts over.

Summary

That’s just a few of the things you have to consider as a presenter at conferences. I didn’t deal with stress, jet lag, demands, loneliness and other mental influences here. Next time you claim that people “talk instead of being a real coder” consider if what you’re saying is valid criticism or sounds a bit like “bro, do you even lift?”. Of course there are flim-flam artists and thinly veiled sales people calling themselves evangelists out there. But that doesn’t mean you should consider them the norm.

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Three Pre-TEDx questions

ear-radar-shiba-inu

I am excited as a puppy with three tails about the opportunity to speak at TEDx Thessaloniki later this year. It is very different from talks at IT conferences and has been a dream of mine for a while. Today the organisers asked me to answer three questions to get some more insight into what I think (there be dragons, believe me). Here’s what I answered:

1. What is the biggest change you’ve experienced in your life, in personal level, until today?

I was very lucky to have had the courage to make a clean cut when I had the chance. Leaving my home town and the country I was born in for a job is something most people dream of and a lot of others are too scared to do. By un-rooting myself and going to work in a country where I don’t speak the language natively I got a jump-start for my career.

This clear cut also gave me the courage to approach my work differently. For example, I am 100% sure that my career is based on the fact that I gave out everything I do for free and for other people to build upon. People called me crazy and my parents to date still wonder how I make money without charging people for everything I do. I love it, because it means my work gets used which gives me more satisfaction than a one-off payment would do. It also means that my thoughts and ideas live on even when I move to other goals or get hit by a truck or eaten by a tiger. I freed my ideas and thoughts and this inspires other people.

Liberating yourself from traditions and pressures of your background gives you an amazing sense of freedom and liberty to become more than you are.

2. What’s the biggest goal you have set until today? Is it accomplished? Do you still fight for it or you quit it, and why?

I think I once saw an interview with Stephen King where the interviewer asked him how much money he has and he answered he has no idea. He just wants to carry as much around as he needs to buy some new clothes or a sandwich. Whilst I am not a big fan of his work, this excited me. My goal is to feel happy with what I do and to share that excitement. I am doing really well in that, but there are still so many rigid ideas to fight. I want people to do what they love to do and make a living with it. We don’t celebrate these enough. Instead our media portraits the richest people as the most successful, despite the fact that not many of them are happy being in the rat-race.
I started as a radio journalist and quit my job when I discovered the internet. I loved the idea of a free medium open to anyone to publish and be heard and I spent years and years to show people that it can be done. Nowadays I worry a lot about this dream. The internet is on the decline – people are OK with governments censoring it and are fine with being told what hardware to use and that some materials are not available to them because they are in the wrong country. This is not the medium of the future. I will not give in to marketing telling me that this is evolution – I think we’re going backwards.

3. From what we have experienced the recent years, as a global society, what event would you describe as the biggest end or beginning for humanity?

Wikileaks. Hands down. It was a wonderful information bomb that exploded and unearthed not only lots of information that needed to be heard but also a wake up call for people. Are whistleblowers heroes when the information they leak is important to us? What if the same people leaked information about our security to outside enemies? Who are the enemies? Do they really exists or are we being told what to fear so we don’t ask too many questions?

Much good can come out of this, many important discussions to be had. Events like this can bring out the best in humanity which means to me the beginning of something great. It also shows me how many people are not even interested in questioning their governments as long as there is a new TV show to follow, which is a sign of the end of humanity. It polarises and that means we can now pick a camp. If anything, there is movement and a mass can only be a force when it is moved.

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A few questions and answers about “mobile web” and sites vs. apps

I just got asked to provide a few answers for a survey amongst “mobile web experts” and thought it’d be good to re-use those here. So here goes:

What is the difference between a web site and a web application?

There are a few differences. On a very basic level applications are catered for doing things whereas web sites are more catered for offering content for consumption. Web sites started as structured, interlinked academical documents. Later on we added multimedia content to make them much more engaging but all in all they are fixed in their state.
Applications are more dynamic. They allow for customisation of the interface and store the state of what happens so that when you get back to it you can go on from where you left off.

The use case of an app should always be to do something with it. This could be as simple as voting on a how much you like a kitten photo and go as far as editing video content live in your browser or on your device. Basic examples would be a webmail client as an application and a pure image gallery to click through as a web site.

Web sites are static whereas web applications have atomic updates and in of themselves have a very small footprint as most of the content gets loaded subsequently and changes every time you use it.

All in all it is a sliding scale though as for example an image gallery can easily become an application if it allows you to upload your own images or edit and remix the existing ones in your browser. That is one of the main benefits of web technology – it is very flexible and allows for quick and simple changes to the final product without being hindered by a complex compilation, packaging and deployment process.

What kind of features should a web site have to be qualified as a web application?

Again, there are many things to consider. One main thing is that an app does one thing and one thing well. It is there to help you do something.

Technically it should behave like the fat client apps of old: it should retain my state and settings, allow me to customise the interface to my needs and it needs to work offline. The latter is not a technical necessity in terms of definition but to me crucial usability. Seeing how flaky our connections are – I am writing this on a plane – our apps should make people as effective as possible and this means we shouldn’t be dependent on a connection. The interface should be usable whilst we are off the grid and sync as soon as we go online.

Customisation and personalisation of the interface and interactivity to me make an application. This could just mean a game where I can change my character and get extras the more I play. A proper “web” application to me also should use the web whenever it can. For example I am very frustrated with playing a game on my phone and when I go to my tablet playing the same game my score and achievements aren’t synced although the device knows who I am. Why be online then?

A lot of badly designed web apps are just wrappers for content like a news feed. For example turning a blog into an app is a pointless exercise. It just adds the overhead of having to install the wrapper, update and uninstall it when I am fed up with the blog but doesn’t give me the “do something” part that defines an app.

If I don’t interact with it other than reading there is no point in making it an app. You lose a lot of the flexibility of the web when packaging HTML as native apps with the most important thing being opaque updates. An app that is hosted on the web can be patched and upgraded without the end user having to download megabytes of data. That is incredibly useful on slow or flaky connections. Instead of the whole app you only download the changes.

What is the difference between a mobile-friendly site and a mobile web app?

A mobile-friendly site is a web site that detects the capabilities of the device it is displayed on and doesn’t make assumptions about how big my screen is and that I have a mouse and keyboard or not. It runs in the browser of the device and is thus hindered by its limitations – which in the case of older Android devices are quite limited indeed. It caters to the mobile space in terms of display changes – single column display, larger fonts, larger buttons.

A mobile web app is an application built with web technologies running in an own, full-screen wrapper and not inside a browser. It takes advantage of all the things the current environment allows for. For example it stores content and itself locally instead of having to be online and requesting everything new every time you open it. It can access the special features of certain environments like swipe gestures, accelerometer for interaction or accessing the camera to get content in. Its purpose is for me to do things with it and not just visit it like I visit a web site.

What would you consider is the key feature that made HTML5 (as opposed to Flash and Java) the number 1 choice for developing mobile web apps?

Flexibility is the super power of HTML5. It is easy to make an HTML5 app adapt to a new environment and to make an interface that shows and hides content and functionality dependent on the capability of the device or environment. Both Java and Flash are not “web native”, meaning you need to initiate and execute an own code environment inside a browser before you see the results. This hinders interactivity of the containing document and the content of the Flash movie or Java Applet. Whilst both Java and Flash have incredibly good development tools and capabilities once they are available they are very demanding to the hardware they run on. That’s why iOS devices don’t have Flash. There is already a fully capable environment available – the browser – and executing another one inside it means using a lot of resources. On mobile devices this means shorter battery life and the device heating up quickly.

With HTML5 we have the opportunity to improve what mobile, web enabled devices already have to have – a browsing environment. These are available open source and for free (Firefox, Chromium and others) and developers can build apps without needing to sign up for one company and get their SDK to get started.

All environments have their uses and there are things that are better done in Flash than in HTML5. Betting on open technologies and browsers means though that you are very likely to be flexible enough to cater to the next environment around the corner. The web has always evolved and mutated around the needs of the market. That’s why multimedia in HTML5 is just another element of the document and not a black hole that can not interact with the rest of the browser or the document.

Where would you say the mobile web is heading? Do you see a future for the mobile web?

There is no mobile web. There is the web. Right now we start consuming it more and more on mobile devices. That is cool. And the web is totally ready for that as it is flexible enough to adapt.

If you use web standard technologies to build applications that expect a certain device, a fixed size of a screen, a special way of user interaction or expect a fast connection you are building a very limited and very quickly outdated piece of software.

Over the last years we should have learned that hardware is a commodity and susceptible to very sudden change. An amazing piece of hardware that is the hot new thing now can tomorrow be embarrassingly outdated.

When you build your web apps to only cater for that you try to be native code and that is a race you can not win. A lot of native apps are built to promote a new piece of hardware and to get people to upgrade. That is a very old technique of selling more products called in-built obsolescence.

Web apps should be beyond this. Our job is to give end users the best possible experience on the current devices but not make them a necessity. We did this mistake in the past which is why you see web applications that tell you that you need a “modern browser like Internet Explorer 6” and “at least 800×600 resolution”.

Native apps on high-end devices are doing really well right now, but I can foresee that people will get bored of having to buy a new phone every year just to get new functionality that is not that important when you consider the cost. The web will stay and always be the open alternative for those who want to consume and create on their own terms instead of being dependent on the success or goals of a certain company.

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Want to fix the mobile web with us? Please answer some questions we have!

At Mozilla our main reason to be is to keep the web open and free for everybody. We are passionate about the web and love how easy it is to get started as a developer. A few years ago we fought against monoculture on the desktop and won. Now we have the new challenge to keep the mobile web open and allow anybody to use anything to consume content on their mobile devices.

When it comes to the mobile web there are a lot of open questions and there is a lot of misinformation floating around. We want to make sure that we are not working on false assumptions and paint a much darker or lighter picture than what is real which is why we’d love you to help us get started in our outreach to tool and library makers in supporting more than one browser engine and more platforms when it comes to tooling.

If you are a mobile web developer of apps or sites, we’d be very grateful for you to fill out our quick survey on library usage and cross-platform support on mobile to give us some more data to go on.

Thanks in advance! There is a lot from us to come on this topic, and you have the chance to be able to say “I helped”.

Cheers

View full post on Mozilla Hacks – the Web developer blog

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