|Collaboration||User Experience||Cool Languages|
If you're not developing for the end user, who the hell are you developing for? Whenever you launch a new product, you've got to convince every single person who sees it that it's worth their time. Keep this in mind when making decisions about product. Less is more and if it's not immediately compelling, you've lost a potential user -- the back button is your enemy.Fortunately, most software does such a terrible job with user experience that there are loads of markets ripe for disruption. You can win on design alone (see: hipmunk.com, seatgeek.com, instagram to name a few)
Reddit, co-founded by Alexis Ohanian and friend Steve Huffman, has become one of the World Wide Web's most striking examples of democracy in action. Founded in 2005, it grew a user base of tens of thousands and quickly attracted the attention of publisher Condé Nast, which acquired it in 2006. Unlike "social bookmarking" sites (such as Delicious), Reddit fashions itself a platform for "social news," where the readers themselves control the front page by voting stories up above and down below the fold. Ohanian left Reddit in his official capacity in 2009, but continues to be involved with the site's direction as a sort of godfather, dispensing friendly wisdom (and t-shirts) from his user account, kn0thing. Of late, he's focusing on Breadpig, a hub for geeky books and merchandise where all the profits are donated to charity (over $100,000 given away so far in just 2 years). In early 2010, he spent three months in Armenia as a Kiva Fellow. He loves hummus.
Computer science is built on a shaky tower of abstractions, but we've been distracted by other things until we believe it is reality. And we've imposed this on our users in ways we no longer even realize. Yet as developers we have two users: the mechanical users of our software, and the people who will use this code in the future to change this software. This talk teases apart some of the tangled abstractions that have become so common they are invisible yet impact important decisions. I cover languages, tools, platforms, and burrow all the way down to fundamental concepts. This wide-ranging keynote answers these questions and more: * Why does my keyboard look the way it does? * Why is the iPad is the most revolutionary device in the last 30 years? * Why do some people hate Maven so much? * Is hiding always a good thing?
Neal Ford is Software Architect and Meme Wrangler at ThoughtWorks, a global IT consultancy with an exclusive focus on end-to-end software development and delivery. He is also the designer and developer of applications, magazine articles, presentations, and author and/or editor of 6 books spanning a variety of technologies, including the most recent The Productive Programmer