Thursday, 3 May 2012

It's not art, it's design

I recently read Eric Ries' Lean Startup, it's excellent, a must read for anyone doing any sort of product development, not only software.

The nutshell version that I wish every developer & designer should would take to heart:

What you're building is not art, it's a functional workflow. Your design is an experiment to make that interaction the most satisfying user experience possible. You are not your user.

New beginnings, new ideas

What an amazing time to be a developer. It seems like 10 year old hypothetical situations have suddenly exploded into reality. Node.js, github, NoSQL, Metro, WinRT, ASP.NET OSS, it's like a whirlwind. As someone who's always specialized in not specializing it's almost overwhelming to try keep up.

What I do know is this:

The web won. 
So long Silverlight, Java and Flash. JavaScript wins (as frightening as that sounds) I think we owe "alert" a bit of respect, time to learn how to do it properly, even on the server.

Javascript, HTML & css are now the lingua franca of everything, not just the net. If you think Apps are better, you miss the point, you can write apps in HTML and Javascript thanks to PhoneGap and Metro. (I can't come up with a decent acronym for it, JHaCss? CJaH? CEH? - techincally it's ECMAScript).

Even databases, I don't think it's a case of "Why NoSQL?" anymore. In most use cases I have to ask "Why SQL?", and do I really need to host my own? (Quick plug for Cloudant and MongoLab ;) ) 

Javascript still sucks.
As my Mum always used to say, winning isn't everything. And my the rules of  portability don't change. Write once, debug everywhere holds more than ever. If you're fluent in something like C#, javaScript is incredibly aggravating. 

To the point,

I'm starting a new learning app, it's a Metro C# music sequencer I've dubbed "Seque Beat" for a bit of fun.

Nothing really there at the moment, I want to explore portable assemblies, TDD, all the good stuff, feel free to join in.