Monthly Archives: October 2010

Tidbits :: Friday October 22, 2010

Johnathan Stark on On the Popularity of Instagram: My big takeaways from this are:
– Define target market as narrowly as possible. One persona is ideal.
– Ruthlessly trim features until you have the concentrated essence of
the app. It’s like reducing a sauce: you end up with less liquid, but
more intensity.
– Gorgeous design (icons, graphics, typography, etc) helps.”

The First Lost Tooth

Major Milestone: Magnolia's 1st baby tooth fell out today, with lots of wiggling of said tooth.

Fri 10.22.10 – Major Milestone: Magnolia’s 1st baby tooth fell out today, with lots of wiggling of said tooth. The best part is that Magnolia is one week shy of her 5th birthday. I call overachiever status for loosing her first tooth at 4.98 years old. ;o)
Photo taken with Ms. Jen’s Nokia N8.

DIY Dev: Program or be Programmed

Fifteen years ago, to prove a snotty engineering student wrong who said artists couldn’t make websites, I taught myself in less than 2 hours how to code a website. Ten years ago, I wanted to do more than just write HTML and use Photoshop, so I checked myself into Long Beach State’s Extension and took a class on Javascript and one on Flash Actionscripting, more classes and trainings followed. Five years ago, I wanted to learn even more programming and checked myself into a graduate program that took 1/2 designers and 1/2 programmers and taught them both disciplines.
My programming professor at Trinity after our classes were over encouraged me to learn Python, of which I have done over the course of the last few years. In the last two years, I have had the opportunity to write several full web apps from the ground up. All of this has been hard, satisfying, and more than a bit of a stretch.
But I am glad that I have pushed my own boundaries and didn’t listen to the naysayers, not the ones 15 years ago or last week, who said that an artist/designer/webdev can’t learn to code/program.
If you can learn to speak/write/read a language and can reason, of which most of us have done at least once, you can learn to program.
Over the last few years, I have found myself getting increasingly frustrated that there is not the mobile app that I want out there or the one that is out does not have the features that I want, etc etc etc. Up until recently, at least from my perspective, programming a mobile application has been hard as one has to be a “real” programmer, the kind that learned Java/C/C++ in a four year Computer Science bachelors degree.
I am an optimist and frequently over commit myself by getting excited about how easy it will be to learn a new technology or language and then find myself more than a bit overwhelmed. But a funny thing happened along the way, C++ doesn’t seem so obscure/opaque and/or hard any more. In experimenting with it recently, I found myself delighting in how easy it was for me to learn it and make simple apps. All that programming in python for Google App Engine over the last 18 months has paid off.
This has me excited. Excited enough to go two weeks ago up to San Francisco for the Nokia Developer Day at CTIA to see the demos and presentations on Qt. Excited enough to then go to the Qt Training Days in Austin this week.
I have mobile app ideas running around my head and now is the time to start programming to get them out and about.
Ms. Jen’s DIY Programming Series:
DIY Dev: Program or be Programmed
DIY Mobile Programming: Get Started with HTML, CSS, and Javascript
DIY Programming: Should HTML be Required for Literacy in the 21st Century?

Austin, a Small Slice

Looking up at downtown Austin from the Congress St bridge Day of the Dead Skulls Dinner at the Snack Bar with Beth Martinez
Photos by Ms. Jen with het Nokia N8.

Update: 10.20.10 – 7:34am – Just checking to see if all the photos came up correctly as I directly loaded them from the N8 to the website last night when I got home and they did – Go little Nokia N8, go!
I had a bit of trepidation to come to Austin when it wasn’t SXSW (odd, but true), and I have to say it is absolutely delightful. Austin is not just a lovely city to come to a conference in, but it is a lovely city year around. I got a ride from one of my Qt Training classmates into downtown and then I walked from 4th & Congress to South Congress to meet up with Beth Martinez for dinner, the weather was balmy, it was fun to walk over the bridge, down south Congress peeping in store windows and taking it all in with no rush.