Archive for the ‘Websites’ Category

26Oct

Office lifeBetween buzzwords, mail server explosions and graphics designers falling through there were many issues that reminded me why web development is difficult. The concepts of cloud computing although not difficult to comprehend have infiltrated everyone’s mind and some how as a web developer I should deal with this. How necessary is it for a small business website with global customers? My guess is not very; however, considering the amount of new hosting solutions I suppose it is not too difficult to implement :).

This project reminded me how crucial having a solid team is, how every cog needs to fit right or else another team member ends up taking all the work load. 1 Month with no solid design caused the project to be delayed by two months. I hate getting off of deadlines; however, this one slipped out of my hands. Being the guy in charge has its benefits, but when you need to report to a client you can’t exactly say hold on let me find a new designer. So one thing leads to another and you need to take matters into your own hands.

The First Concept

For a while, I was untrusting and would never let anyone else join my team. About a year ago I started to diverge from that mentality and brought people on board. My first team member proved to be awesome so I decided looking for a designer. I posted an ad on craigslist which yielded 150+ resumes and portfolios in about an hour of which my eyes could only look at about 10 of them. Lots of people looking for experience. I took a bet, and started the person on smaller projects before throwing them into the fire. After a while I realized they can’t take it. Graphics design and art of any kind is tough. You need to learn to take criticism and work with it well. People don’t know what they want, and it is every team members job to try to decipher what someone else wants (just like a developer). Trying to manage everyone’s design opinions is also difficult. I still like my original design  the best (ha).

The final design

I don’t quite know what to make of all of this. Much of this seems pretty obvious; however, I suppose now I will revise my needs for team members. I can’t just have someone who is eager to learn. The passion needs to be there, but it needs to be more than that. Hiring is difficult :(! I now know what hiring managers must feel like at big corporation. They already have great teams, and bringing another person in could break the chemistry. Lets not even get on topic of politics.

On the other hand as a smaller developer I do have some awesome opportunities that employees of larger companies don’t have. For example this BSR website is the first live example of the CakeCMS my team is developing. We have some cool wordpress like features we are currently working on implementing like auto updating and a plugin database with the easy install. Plus we have taken concepts from joomla like their menu manager and AJAX’d it out (that currently works). Also merged tagging with SEO stuff. We have a bunch of stuff on that list!

Conclusions: life is good :).

Check it out: http://www.blueskyresearch.com

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14Sep

So based on this one article within the bakery I made a carpool app with the google maps api. The coolest addition was that incorporated google maps api v2, and marker placement in real time via prototype. It kinda functions like craigslist where you would enter in your email and password and it would let you make a post. It is there for a limited amount of time and then it disappears.

A big issue when coming up with this concept was that people would not want to enter in their addresses. Luckily the solution was already built in. So rather than typing in your address, you can type in Safeway and a street name and it will drop a pin there! Not sure what I want to do with this one. I have a few ideas for google maps + letswoosh, but I want to keep that under wraps for now!

Check it out: www.parrisstudios.com/carpool

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26Jan

Yea… Sorry for the delay. Christmas + work during winter break took up all of my time. Anyways, the new version of let’s woosh is up and running! It is completely written in cakephp. I wrote a new paypal component and made modifications on the swfupload component which was in the bakery.  Also I implemented a photoflow, kcaptcha and a few other cool things.

2 things I will release pretty soon for everyone is the paypal component and the kcaptcha component.

I think you guys will like the paypal component in particular since it is about 150 lines of code and all you need to do is supply an array with all the user’s info and it returns the result array. It does NOT use pear, but instead uses the much simpler curl library. I am not a big fan of having 5mbs of extra php files on my server when 150 lines gets the job done!
Also, the cool thing about the swfupload component modifications I made is that I don’t need to use sessions at all and was still able to get ajax style thumbnailing to work. I also followed one of the swfupload examples to get a progress bar to work properly.

Check it out: http://www.letswoosh.com

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12Sep

For the past 1-2 months I have been working on the new Brand RBX website; however, it just got scrapped and we are starting over with a new design. I will definitely use some of the actionscript I developed for this in the new version. So this entire site has 3 flash files: intro, photogallery and text pages. It probably would have had 1 or 2 more if it were made final. The main page never changes, but I use javascript to load in the different flash files and input parameters about which xml file(s) to use, what background color the page should have and what effect it should have on the menu. I also built in a dynamic reflection system, which is visible the best within the portfolio section. The site also features a custom slider bar for the text pages. There are so many small stupid little features that i don’t even want to think about it right now! At the end of the day, it was decided that the entire design scheme all together just didn’t work and it was scrapped for the most part! Oh well, I have a new copy/comp now and I’m reworking it.

Here it is: http://www.parrisstudios.com/ramina

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12Sep

So here is another article I dug up. I just read it last week even though the article came out last semester. It is pretty cool worth a read. Plus it has like 3-4 paragraphs on me which is cool :)!

Let’s Woosh Article Spartan Daily PDF

Let’s Woosh Article Spartan Daily JPG

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