Speaking at 360Flex this April

23 03 2012

360Flex: Maven by Example

Thoughts on Kickstarter

13 01 2011

The more I look at Kickstarter, the more opportunities I see for my friends and family.

If you don’t know about Kickstarter – it’s a startup that allows anyone to create a project, and set the amount of funding they require and the amount of time to raise it. They then advertise it to their social network (or anyone really) and users pledge a sum of money to the project. The crux of the idea is that the “pledge” is just that – if the project doesn’t reach it’s goal in pledges, the project is cancelled and no money changes hands.  It allows you to both crowdsource funding, build interest in the project and get a hint if it is viable in the real market.

It seems the best projects that suit Kickstarter are tangible items. The pledgers like to get something back for their commitment (as you’d expect). A great example is the iPod watch that has almost sourced $1M from users.

A counter example is Diaspora – the new open social network, where users own their own data (as opposed to FB). They offer tangible rewards, although it seems the pledgers are more into the project idealistically.

Regardless, I can think of plenty of examples where Kickstarter could help – particularly for my not-so-technie relatives. My sister who is putting together some Medidation CDs? A friend who wants to do more with her sewing? A close friend who’s been dying to shoot a short film idea she has?

Techies – tell your friends and family. This may be the edge they need to release their creative beast.

Silverlight, HTML5 and the state of RIAs

4 11 2010

So you’ve obviously heard about these statements regarding Silverlight – insinuating that Microsoft is going to abandon it in favour of HTML5 due to revelations at PDC2010. If you haven’t, here are the main links in this debacle:

One issue I have with this hype about MS abandoning Silverlight is that most of it is based on the following statement from MS, in an interview by ZDNet (see first link):

Silverlight will continue to be a cross-platform solution, working on a variety of operating system/browser platforms, going forward, he said. “But HTML is the only true cross platform solution for everything, including (Apple’s) iOS platform,” Muglia said.

Inferring from this that MS is pulling the plug on SL is pure hype. I daresay MS haven’t helped their cause by being more tight-lipped that usual over the issue, but PR has never been their strong suit.

Unfortunately, it tends to be people like MG (the TechCrunch article author) who jump on the sensationalist bandwagon. It may turn out that MS will eventually abandon Silverlight, but I seriously have my doubts. I honestly believe that they logically see their original goal of true “reach” severely hampered; what with iOS and Android now thrown into the mix since conception. Adobe haven’t done much differently – except that when they announce their HTML5 strategy (as they did last week at MAX), it’s to thunderous applause; they’re obviously much better at crowd-control.

Both of the big boys seem to understand that they cannot expect their platforms to be a presence on every single device, and they need a complementary strategy to remain viable to us developers – enter “HTML5”.

I can understand the apprehension amongst the RIA community – the religious connotations that permeate most of the Flex/Silverlight debate (RIA evangelists anyone?), would make one think we’re arguing about our very souls, rather than simply a career choice. Even if both Flash and Silverlight died tomorrow, we’d be in a pretty comfortable position to shift allegiances to any other rich client technology out there.

Let’s face it – RIAs are not going anywhere. The users have spoken.


New York Relocation

27 08 2010

So, after a lengthy interview process, I’ve moved to New York City, starting work with Lab49 in downtown Manhattan.

Lab49 are a bleeding-edge consulting firm for the financial services industry. They have offices in both New York and London, and have a swathe of highly talented developers that are quite frankly, the cream of the crop.

Interestingly, they are one of the few software houses that happily incorporate .NET (WPF/Silverlight), the Flash platform and the Java stack – a big reason that I was so attracted to them in the first place.

My role is primarily in the Flex space, working in their LabInteractive department.

One unusual aspect of the job is the regular onsite work across the city. For weeks to months at a time, developers are typically deployed in teams within client offices all across Manhattan, and in fact, the entire country.  These teams work closely with clients to produce highly customized (now I live here, I concede to spelling like an American) pieces of software that typically have to withstand some of the most intense data beatings  imaginable.

I relish the opportunity to live in one of the most exciting cities in the world, surrounded by some of the most competent, capable and established individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.

Wish me luck!

Blogging on InsideRIA

25 06 2009

I’ve started blogging on InsideRIA recently, and I must say – I’m enjoying it.

Latest post is on Flash & Silverlight.