Topic: Software Development
Conferences are very important to professionals, particularly in the technology industry, where developing new ideas and services often begin as part of brainstorming. Eric Norlin discusses his work in running conferences, including Defrag, Gluecon, and Blur. He also reviews the issues related to user interfaces, the main subject of Blur.
Facebook is faster, and now comes the hard part. With many millions of users worldwide, and a constantly changing interface, Facebook's engineering team must continually strive to optimize their software to handle billions of page views per day. Robert Johnson shares many tips and lessons learned as he explains how his engineering team keeps pace with the demands for social networking.
Jef Raskin started Apple's Macintosh project, and he wants to set the record straight. He decries mistakes in published accounts of the creation of the Macintosh. For example, he cites the "creation myth" that the Mac was built by "college drop-outs and intuitive engineers flying by the seats of their pants." Jef spices his account with anecdotes of square pixels, one-button mice, bit-mapped fonts, and more. A longtime BayCHI member, Jeff passed away a year after this program, the last of his six BayCHI appearances since 1994.
Facebook's David Recordon discusses the history and evolution of the LAMP stack, and how this simple idea is central to the way that open source-backed web sites are built today. By now, the open source community offers a huge number of software choices for solving a wide variety of scaling challenges; David covers just a few of the ways that Facebook chooses the right tool for the right challenge.
Incident responders can use social media as they rush to put aid in place after disasters. Jeannie Stamberger, of the Disaster Management Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, shares her studies of crowd-sourcing. When disasters impact populated areas, social media helps agencies quickly identify the extent of the damage. This audio interview covers utilization of social media for disaster response, planning and risk analysis.
Good user interface design reflects the realities of human psychology, which has evolved over eons. Jeff Johnson studies the relationship between technology and human perception. In our daily use of computers we form goals, make plans to achieve them, and evaluate our progress, all in a fraction of a second. We consciously experience very little of this of decision-making. Jeff uses vivid examples to explain the perceptual constraints that good designers must keep in mind.
Constant performance improvement is essential to converting page views to sales and Shopzilla has the numbers to prove it. After analyzing the impact of site performance slowdowns, they committed to improving their customer's experience and their bottom line. They succeeded. Through the changes, they proved that while constant attention to performance is not free, it pays in page views and conversions.
The Mobile Sensing Group at Dartmouth College is helping lead the way in turning the everyday mobile phone into an open global mobile sensing platform for personal, social-nets and societal-scale sensing. Led by faculty member Andrew Campbell, the group is working to be involved in new ways to use mobile devices. He gives an overview of the work carried out at Dartmouth with his colleague Tanzeem Choudhury.
GreaseMonkey is a powerful tool for customizing web pages after they are rendered in a browser. Kent Brewster of Netflix demonstrates how you can delete elements from a page, splice in data from another source, or change the way parts of a page are displayed. Designers can use this to make working prototypes before they go to the engineers that need to implement the changes for real.
Opposite Google, Facebook and Twitter, there is Gowalla--a location-based service that sits on top of its bigger, more established internet cousins. Gowalla's proposition, using collectible virtual goods and digital souvenirs, helps the relatively young location-based social networking service carve a unique name. In this Where 2.0 episode, CEO and co-founder Josh Williams talks about the beginnings of his company. Gowalla encourages its users to travel and explore the world...outside of cyberspace that is.