resisting the feature creature

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Presentation at the Geekmeet in Craiova, Romania talking about the adoption of APIs and libraries as a way to prevent unmaintainable products.


  • 1. Resisting the feature creatureChristian Heilmann Geek Meet, Romania, November 2008

2. I useVI! We are developers. 3. And as developers we have one thing that always keepsus from making our lives a *lot* easier. 4. The feature creatureCreature: 5. The feature creature is that little advisor we have in our head... 6. ...who gives us bad ideas. 7. Like, what? 8. You can do that in 5 lines of code after all you dont need to test before you applynowadays 9. Documentation is for pussies, real men learn from source code 10. JavaScript sucks, just write awrapper that generates JavaScript from Ruby and translates via Python 11. Go ahead and add that hack. It only has to work in IE6 anyways. 12. Comments in your own language make a lot of sense.If you use English, whodknow where code ends andthe comment starts? 13. Yeah, Yahoo and Googlehave a solution for this, but you are better and can createa smaller one! 14. All of this stuff is very dangerous. 15. Right now, the market is going downhill... 16. ...which means that the quality of your work is measured by how fast andefficient you are. 17. Ive given a talk about thissome weeks ago in Paris. 18. 19. Where I showed people how to save time and money by using things that areavailable for free. 20. Design Patterns, Design Pattern StencilsCSS frameworks: YUI grids, YAML, 960, BlueprintExceptional Performance Tips, YSlow, HammerheadFix your picture sizes with smushit.comPage widgets (things not in HTML): YUI, jQuery UIBuild an own search engine with Yahoo BOSSYouTube APIAmazon S3 for storageBatch video conversion with Amazon S3 and EC2Captioning on a shoestring with CastingWordsMechanical Turk 21. Basically this could be thesame talk... 22. ...but this is more about theunderlying issue... 23. ...of us as developers not trusting other peoplessolutions. 24. We all work on solving thesame problems. 25. And some of us solveproblems for large,distributed teams. 26. In large corporations. 27. Or even for a massiveaudience. 28. And yet as developers we tend not to trust solutions ofthose companies. 29. Building web applications and web sites is much more than coding a solution. 30. It means working in aconstantly changing environment. 31. Constantly under attack byhackers and spammers. 32. Collaboratively fixing theseproblems and releasing patches and new versions area solution for that problem. 33. Do you have the time and dedication to do the same forall of your hand-rolledsolutions? 34. I have written a massive amount of bad code in mylife. 35. I also find myself doing work that in retrospect doesnt make much sense or is available as a native method. 36. The point is that as a developer I act first and then start reading the instructions. 37. This, I found, holds me back. 38. SDKs and documentation arebuilt for a reason. 39. They make the access tosystems and building software on top of themmuch easier. 40. Case in point. 41. Say you want to help your clients find good keywords to promote their product online. 42. You can do some research, surf all the competitors sites and note down thedescriptions, keywords and titles. 43. You can be a man and use CURL to write a script to dothat. 44. Or you can keep your eyes open and check if there is an API for that. 45. 46. format=xml&appid=... 47. format=xml&view=keyterms&appid=... 48. All you need to do is gettingthe top 20, analyzing the keyword frequency and create a top 20. 49. 50. Then you take YUI CSS grids, and spend 30 minutes playingwith colours and fonts. 51. And you have aproduct: 52. So in essence, what I amsaying is... 53. There is a *lot* of *awesome* *free* and *good* stuff out on the web. 54. Spend some time reading upon it and using it. 55. People like me spend a lot of time convincing people in big companies that giving freeaccess to our systems is agreat thing... 56. help developers andsmall companies become a success by not having to repeat the same mistakes we did. 57. Our main argument for all these free goodies is that gifted people like you willcreate things faster and better. 58. Because you are not hinderedby a big corporate machine and red tape. 59. So help us show the system that innovation works outside if the inside helps the community. 60. THANKS! Creature: Heilmann |