Detecting language please wait for.......
I'm posting into this forum because I know more developers read this one, so please read on, your opinion is very valuable for us.
Earlier this year we ran a hackathon in San Francisco during SDL Innovate. We put quite a lot of effort into seeing who could attend and who could not, and as most of our developers are in Europe we unsurprisingly had plenty of comments that if the event was in Europe then it would be easier to attend (we did have some Language Developers attend that though and I believe they got a lot from it). So, in September we are planning to run a Hackathon in Europe, in Amsterdam.... hopefully you are all aware of this as it's been advertised in here and we sent mailers to all the registered developers.
To register for the event you go here and click on register.
Unfortunately so far we don't have anyone registered from the Language Community, so this of course makes us wonder if there is any interest at all? So I've got two questions I'm pondering with:
You can see I'm of the opinion we don't have too many full time developers working for themselves in here. But perhaps I'm wrong and you're all too busy to see the things we are doing to try and help grow the community.
I'm, we're, interested in your feedback so I hope you can take the time to respond and help us get a handle on what we should be doing that would be of more interest for the Language Community of Developers.
Looking forward to your feedback...
It is disappointing to hear that we are not getting more involvement here from developers in the industry. I can't help thinking that this might not be anything to do with the desire of the developers themselves but more to do with the policies of the companies that they work in; I have experienced this.
Not sure if this helps, but I would think that there are more than a few factors that could influence this, as follows:
Companies exposing talent to the open market
These competitions offer an amazing opportunity for the developers themselves; as well as the self learning nature of these events, the developers enter the world of expanding their networking=> in building up a relationship with other developers and creating an awareness of all the other possibilities that they might not have thought about.
From the companies perspective: after investing many years in their developers working in a specific domain, it might be a scary thought of exposing talent to the public like this, even though having a technical representative for their company at this level has an enormous advantage with marketing and offers a huge learning curve with hands on experience including direct contact with the developers from the Studio team.
Sharing is good but surprisingly some companies don't see it like this :-) It could very well be that the policies for some companies have restrictions in this respect that don't permit their developers to share their code; and/or there is a vague nature associated with it that enforces a sort of unsure or not sure what code can be shared... The developer simply doesn't want to risk possible confrontations of that nature with their company.
The developers are simply not aware of the competition, whether this is a problem related to the companies they work in or developers not following the forums... I have seen some developers in companies that work with the Studio API but have never connected to the OX forum. Some developers might very well have everything they need from the SDK and API and never need to ask a question or follow up with the forums; as strange as that seems... the API is pretty complete and there are some pretty good examples available from the SDK
I must admit that when I first started working with the Studio API it was a bit unclear to me how to get started, simply getting over that first hurdle with understanding how to implement the interfaces etc... this was back in 2010; I think I must have been one of the first developers to get involved (seems like forever ago now :-) ). Anyway, most developers from the our industry, even though they have studied Computer Science and have degree's in their area of expertize, this does not automatically assume that they are at a level that permits them to start using the Studio API without a sufficient learning curve.
I think the first impressions are the most important in that respect; you need to cater for the extremely adequate and other extreme as well if you want to get the most out of it. It's then up to the developer if they have the desire to commit to a more adventurous involvement or not.
The Studio API is not the easiest that I have ever worked with, but the dedicated OX forums along with the example projects, ensures that developers 'should' have all the tools they need to create their own solutions.
The easier the API is to understand and work with = more involvement from the community = more competiveness = more idea's and marking for SDL
Location and Expenses
Amsterdam is an amazing city; lived there for over 3 years (when I was single) & would highly recommend anyone to go visit :-) (btw: my wife would never go for allowing me to travel there now on my own hahah)
You have to consider that travelling to a new destination like this might be intimidating to some people, including the cost of travelling and staying there for a few days might not be financially feasible for all developers.
hope this gives you some idea's as to why,
Hello Paul, I can speak only for myself, but I guess, generally the point you make about most language developers being not full time independent professional developers is correct. If I look at my own situation, I am clearly project driven when it comes to developing a tool etc. So, if there is a project I can do for a customer I sit down and write the code. Most of the time, though, I do something else for a living and since there is not much money in selling add-on tools, it is at most a side business and has the "hobby" feel to it. This is, why I would not dare to measure my coding skills against those of a professional developer in the course of a hackathon. In addition, I do not meet some of the prerequisites such as having an online code repository etc. I do not even use a programming language that serious developers would acknowledge as a "real" programming language (I still happily use VB.net;-)). So, all in all - the SDL Hackathon feels like something that is not for me and my skill level but more like what professional developers would go for. One more thing is the timing: I would need to know about an event at least 2 or 3 months ahead in order to plan it in, otherwise chances are that the dates are already booked by a customer (which is the case this time as well). And last but not least, I am not such a frequent events visitor. I have problems doing a lot of "small talk" and often I am distracted by my daily business and get into writing emails, working on issues etc. etc. while sitting and trying to listen to a presentation. This is why I rather seldomly go to events if I am not a speaker myself. Generally, I like the idea of the Hackathon, though - its great that you organise something like this and I wish you all the best with it! Cheers,Tom
I'd like to thank you for all your feedback so far, and if anyone has anything else to add (especially if it's different) then we'd be very pleased to read it. I think it's clear from all of this feedback that there are things we can do in the future that would be more appropriate for this audience so we're going to go away and think about this. In the meantime we are cancelling the Hackathon part of the Open House week in Amsterdam. It's an expensive event to run, and without sufficient interest it makes little sense to do it.
So apologies to Henk Boxma who seems to be the only person interested at the moment.
BUT!! Don't forget we still have the two days where we are open and anyone can come along to ask any question they like, get some training etc. I'll be there (not that I can help with the developer stuff!!) and so will Romulus Crisan and we're looking forward to seeing anyone who can make it.
So bring your laptop, bring your questions, and I'm sure these two days will be a great opportunity to progress anything you are working on, to get started if you are just thinking about it and would like a kick start, and to enjoy a bit of technical cameraderie in a friendly environment where you can learn as much as you've got time for!