Announcement 4.0

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Announcement 4.0

Developer Relations (devrel) has been fun, from 100+ talks/keynotes/workshops in 2.5+ years covering some 420,000kms it’s been awesome to connect to developers and communities throughout travels. While never easy a decision to make i’ve decided it’s time to pursue some new opportunities and as such at the end of November i have decided to leave Xero.

Whilst Xero in particular has been fun and i was able to work with some amazing people, and with a super cool brand and platform. It’s been an absolute blast these past months especially working alongside the amazing and highly talented CoderBec who will continue to bring the awesome.

For me personally devrel has been a way to work with and encourage developers throughout the world bringing new ideas, technologies and helping connect with communities my new role i’ll be able to do that albeit in a new way.

Something you quickly realise as an Evangelist particularly as you build networks out and being able to share new and emerging technology is that not only are you never far from some interesting opportunities there are a great many doors available, it’s more a question of what you want to do next and which door to open.

Xero is hiring

Leaving the Xero Developer Evangelist teams means there is currently an opening to join one of the most awesome devrel teams in Australia. Working alongside the most excellent Rebecca Martin (aka CoderBec) from the Xero campus in Melbourne you will get to work with one of the bigger active developer networks in the country plus help run and manage the ever growing marketplace.

If you want to find out more we would love to chat.

Just spill it already….

More to come on that although needless to say its going to be a fun new adventure while still being the type of challenge that i always love.

Ill still be out and about doing talks which of course means i’ll still have those awesome awesome puns and developer jokes that everyone has grown to love and yes the 2kg sticker bag will never be too far away so expect to see that on the circuit as well.

I dont want to give too much away at this stage and there will be more to be announced soon in an upcoming Press Release …..

Stay Tuned

Stay Tuned

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Announcement 3.0

It is true that nothing lasts forever, even if you want it to. Like Firefly, BattleStar Galactica, those lazy sunday mornings. For me especially its the global team i’ve been a part of for the last 2 years.

Yes sadly this means that I am finishing up with PayPal as one of the APAC Developer Evangelists.

<3 PayPal

I have a long history with PayPal which all started back in 2009. The first ever PayPal Innovate conference in San Francisco. As a developer I was able to help them with various developer initiatives over the years after and was flown back for Innovate conferences in 2010 and 2011 before joining full time 2 years ago.

It’s been a crazy fun ride, 377000 KMs (234256 Miles) according to tripit, in the last 2 years. Ive covered over 110 events in 9 countries and keynoted/spoken/workshopped at around 80 of those.

Its been amazing to meet so many awesome people from language founders, devs, designers, startup gurus, I was able to help connect people, mentor, share ideas and techniques over so many countries and communities in whole new ways.

The PayPalDev/Braintree_Dev team

What can you say about a team like the one PayPalDev/Braintree_Dev team, For starters i’ve never been in a team quite like it. For me personally it was like I really belonged, you felt a part of them as much as they were of me and while that may sound sappy that helped us do the amazing things that we did.

While we were often separated by distance (particularly me) you always knew that someone was always there if you needed them, and on the rare occasion that we came together it was like no time had passed at all.

For those that saw us in action at BattleHack and some of the other events throughout the world that’s what we were like all the time.

We were given the freedom and support to go out and do amazing shit and that’s exactly what we did.

Discoveries and reflection

There’s a bunch of stuff that i take away from all this and in reflection there’s a few things that i came to realise.

  • Love sharing new ideas/technologies, it’s something i’ve always done and i think this really helped me discover that more and certainly something i want to do again. Mentoring especially and sharing of my experience as an Analyst/developer/tech head.
  • I’m an enabler, love connecting people so that awesome things can happen and even if they dont its just great that people can connect.

oh and of course I love the occasional pun (lol yes that was a pun).

So where am I going?

Good question, where are we going in this universe of all the things and more importantly why is the batteries to my xbox control not charged…

Stay tuned for the answers to this and many other questions soon….

…. Just kidding as if i’d be able to do that..

It’s hard to go back into devrel again after being part of an awesome team but what better way to be joining another awesome team.

So as of April i’ll be doing few things…

The first announcement is about becoming the API Evangelist for a company doing some really cool things, I’ll be working closely with the payments integration team to ensure users/merchants have everything they need to make life easier, faster and better.

To find out which company i’ll be doing that for click the grooooovy Austin Powers gif below…

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When hacking isnt hacking

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As more and more international technology companies come to realise the value in the Australian market we are more and more being introduced to some old terminologies being used in a different way, from “Hacker” to “Developer Evangelist” these are terminologies that aren’t what they seem.

The term “Hacking” which achieved pop culture notoriety since the internet boom of the 90s has been around since the early days of technological pioneering and is a term that most will associate to illegal online activities of breaking into accounts or the stealing of account and personal sensitive information.

Gone are the days of the stereotypical views of the youthful hacker type living in a darkened room, scrolling through lines and lines of code trying to lift your life savings from ill gotten account information. Hacking has been rescued in recent years by the likes of Facebook, Google and PayPal and is today commonly used to describe the development of web and mobile developers working for the betterment of the end users usability of open platforms.

Thats not to say that hacking in the traditional sense still doesn’t happen (sadly it still does) but like with anything there is always a good and a bad use or to use a industry term “a white hat” and “a black hat”.

A “White hat hacker” is someone that will develop useful apps/games for people to use without any malicious intent, while a “Black hat hacker” is someone that will develop what will seem like useful apps/games for people to use but will be secretly stealing your information or causing troubles to other users (or worse infecting your computer).

Fear not fellow technology user!

As we start seeing “battlehack”, “hackathon” or “code hack” appear more and more in the days to come think not of  a room full of developers breaking down the walls of society to cause chaos and disorder but instead of a room of developers building opportunities of the future.

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An announcement 2.0

 

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Not long ago i made a big announcement about moving me and the family back to Sydney as part of Traffik‘s growing digital team where i have been able to work on some very cool projects using web, mobile and server and also specalised hardware spec using technologies like Bluetooth BLE.

So today i am excited to make a second announcement, I have accepted a position with PayPal as the first APAC Developer Evangelist. While i wasn’t expecting to make this change so soon personally PayPal has always had a special place in my developer history.

I have been developing for over 10 years, originally as an analyst, code development was a way to get the job done inside unusable corporate CRM’s and deal up massive amounts of reporting data to sales managers and internal stakeholders and i got so good at it, and was completely unrecognised for it, that it forced my hand freelancing and my own projects as a way to compare my skills to that of the wider industry.

Alongside working full time and freelancing on the side (and working on my own projects) i took part in the 2009 PayPal developer day in Melbourne. At that stage i still didnt actually consider myself a developer but it was there that i realised that there were people like me who loved to code.

It was only a few months later that i got a call from PayPal Australia asking to send me as one of two developers to San Francisco representing Australia at the launch of the adaptive payment API’s. At innovate, half a world away, being able to network and connect with thousands of developers from around the world at PayPal innovate i suddenly realised … i am developer!

So what is Developer Evangelism, Its a position that many big technology brands have created over the years as a way of connecting to a user/developer community to encourage adoption of its tools/platform/services through innovative example, support and thought leadership via demonstrations, talks and code samples.

For me personally i have always loved using PayPal as a consumer, a merchant and especially as a developer, love it or hate it its a globally trusted brand that reaches all over the world.

This is an opportunity for me to help offer something back into the APAC developer community as a representative of a company that helped influence me into the developer world likewise i now get to help (and hopefully influence) developers be all they can be and help show the awesome work APAC developers do to the world.

Our first major event in Australia is of course the first Australian Battlehack which is scheduled for July 26 and 27 in Sydney where developers will battle it out for a chance to represent Australia at the Battlehack world finals in November. Of course you’ll get to hang out with some really cool developers with food and drink a plenty and some lucky team/dev will win a cool axe trophy and get to battle it out in the world finals in November.

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Self Hosted E-Com

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For any one starting an online E-Commerce business getting the right website solution in place is as critical  as sourcing the products to sell on it. While there are many E-Commerce options to choose self hosting (having your own web-host and domain name) is only one option.

Self-Hosting means you (or your developer) has the freedom and ability to change any part of the solution as you need to because you have full access to the code and database.

These are just my preferred options based on experience and best fit for a self hosted solution to ensure all bases are covered depending on project requirements,

WordPress

Im a big fan of WordPress, out of the box it has a very comprehensive and extremely well documented admin panel although it is easily broken by the novice randomly installing plugins (i couldnt count the number of Hijacked WordPress sites ive fixed) and themes it can be a very easy and quick way to deploy a website.

As far as E-Commerce goes it doesnt do it without the aid of a plugin (or 2 depending on which plugin you use) and while WordPress is an excellent CMS it really does lack the power needed to operate as a larger scale E-Com.

Overall while WordPress can work as an E-Commerce solution it feels more like fitting a round peg into a square hole. For those just starting or with a low product inventory (no more than about 30 products) it is perfect to start out on especially on a budget.

Magento

This is a serious E-Commerce platform which when deployed and built properly can be quite powerful, it offers a lot of features from customer groups and the ability to setting up very specific customer rules to multi domain sites allowing you to run multiple e-commerce websites from a single install all with different products.

As a E-Commerce business owner Magento is an awesome solution, as a developer it can be quite painful to develop in with a theme structure that leaves you wondering “why oh why”. One of Magento‘s failings is its CMS side and navigating its admin panel can take a while to get used to.

While Magento is a serious solution it will come with a very serious cost and will need regular maintenance (So be very very nice to your developer), It also has a temperament time to time so be prepared for some panicked emails to your developer to get you back up and running again (did i mention be nice to your supporting developer).

Prestashop

While not as strong a solution as Magento Prestashop is a strong middleweight option for those not yet ready to take on the full Magento E-Commerce solution but too big to fit into WordPress, it has a very good support network with a multitude of themes available but does lack some of the more versatility of a full blown E-Commerce solution like multi domain and customer groups that you find in something like Magento.

One thing i always liked as a developer about Prestashop is how clean and easy theme development is, this also helps make Prestashop an excellent mid-weight solution.

Custom Build

There are times where an out of the box solution just wont fit (even with modifications) and for that developers will usually look towards the myriad of open source frameworks to speed up development like CodeIgniter, Laravel or Symfony which will easily support most custom built E-Commerce solutions while still maintaining a level of serviceability from additional developers if required.

Of course being a custom built solution this option wont come cheap nor quick so be prepared for a lengthy and costly project and be sure to have a very good project scope in place before build starts.