Christian Heilmann

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Archive for the ‘keynote’ Category

Explaining Developer Evangelism

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Ever since I got the fancy title of “Developer Evangelist”, people look at me cross-eyed and wonder what that is. The reactions reach from “oh so you don’t code any more” to “that’s marketing isn’t it?”. Both are wrong.

I see the job of an evangelist to validate your company and its products in the outside world. This means that you need to keep an eye on what your company is doing, give feedback and stop bad documentation and too complex systems from going live. In order to achieve this you get to know systems before they go out, play with them and write or help write their documentation. You also go out into the world, speak at conferences and go into companies for “brown bags” and find out how people use your employer’s products. The feedback you get from that helps you validate or defeat internal assumptions about “what every developer needs” and “how people use things”.

I am in Bangalore, India at the moment and was asked to train evangelists for the local market. A bit of a weird concept as you find evangelists internally – you do not train them to become one.

In a two hour session I was asked to outline what it means to be an evangelist and what to do and not to do. Here’s the outcome on slideshare:

[slideshare id=674444&doc=developerevangelism-1224563721992430-9&w=425]

280North bring Keynote to the web

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

I’ve first seen a preview of this at the first JavaScript developer meetup in San Francisco earlier this year, but now the 280 North guys have released their very Keynote-esque presentation editor for the web.

Have a play with it and especially check the key-commands and drag and drop support. The shape designer is also pretty nifty. That said, I am on a hefty MacBook pro, so I’ll check the performance on the old work-horse Thinkpad at home later.

The most amazing thing about this is happening under the hood: the developer wrote a library that abstracts browser rendering engines using Canvas, SVG and Flash (on a per-need basis) into a unified language – Objective J which is – as the name suggests – a mapping from Objective C to JavaScript.

I tried to milk them for more information when we met briefly (yes, the guys involved did work at Apple before – obvious, isn’t it), and will try to cover this interesting concept in more detail soon on Ajaxian or YDN.