SXSW Day 2

2014 SXSW InteractiveI took a dev track on day two of SXSW, starting of with Star Trek UX | UI Rules for phones, tablets and TVs. The idea was to take the simplicity of Star Trek UI into regular UI, such as plain graphical elements, leverage from voice commands and audio, leverage from large screens and keep things simple.

Next up De-Suckifying Third-Party JavaScript with Kent Brewster on how to ship widgets that will run on other web sites. Among things, he’s been working a lot on the Pinterest API. Key take away: Be very careful when building this kind of stuff or you’ll break others websites and host your code on github or equivalent. As a user of this stuff, you’ll have to trust the author, so select widgets with care. Consider self hosting. Kent’s presentation is here (navigate with arrows).

Next up was CSS Pre-Processor Myths with Ramon Lapenta. I’m happy to see his survey that the majority of developers (~80%) in Europe leverages from such tools. Strange it’s almost the other way around in America. To summarise, do use it!

Then I took a short trip to the SXSW Gaming Expo and SXSW Create. Nice to see all these creative kids playing around with 3D-printers building hexacopters, sewing E-textiles and creating all sorts of cool stuff. I also had the time to say hi to the nice guys at Sparkfun and check out a laser cutter. The Gaming Expo on the other hand, unfortunately, wasn’t worth the ten minutes I waisted there.

Instead I headed back to the keynote conversation with Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson. A really entertaining speech about education and inspiring people to learn stuff.

Continuing my dev track, I went to Jeremiah Lee Cohick great speech, full of energy, on Design Patterns Beyond REST. He summarised all the things we developers always should do, but sometimes finds excuses not to. One of my favourites was developers complaining about it’s hard to make an API do this and that… “Well, I don’t care if it’s hard for you. Solve it, and make it easy for all others that’s gonna use it!”. Jeremiah argues that API’s should be simple, descriptive and intuitive, so they are simple to understand, debug etc, and I couldn’t agree more. My favourite quote: “The secret to machines talking to machines is to speak human first”.

Jeremiah’s and Kent’s sessions was by far the best dev sessions today! Thank’s! The others wasn’t really up to the level I expected unfortunately.

What could be better than wrapping up a long day with a panel discussion about cats on the Internet.