I’ve spent the last week in San Francisco at Google Next 2017. It is nice to be at Moscone for something smaller than DreamForce. 10,000 people this week feels so much more manageable than 140,000 at my last Salesforce.com conference.
Big things coming for G Suite (fka Google Apps). My favorite new announcement is App Maker. It is totally Microsoft Access for the web. You can build web apps using drag and drop and add App-Script where you need something really special to happen. Only bummer is they are planning on limiting it to G Suite for Business (the $10/user plan).
I’ll do a series of blog posts over the next week with links to my favorite sessions. Machine Learning is definitely something Google is trying to win. They rolled out a set of APIs with fully trained models for Speech, Translation, Image Recognition, and even Video Classification.
The Wayland Barn loves PyCharm. I’ve been using Google App Engine and Django with Eclipse for about a year and I finally took the plunge and switched to a dedicated IDE. What a difference!
I shouldn’t complain. The Eclipse add-in I had been using, PyDev, was free and worked pretty well. In fact, I’d never have switched except that Google broke the dev_appserver about 3 months ago and I lost my ability to do step debugging in Eclipse.
After a very short learning curve with PyCharm, I’ve got my projects, databases, GIT source control, and deployment all working in a neat package.
I was talking with Google Enterprise Support about how reasonable my bill was last week and I couldn’t believe my ears. He told me that Google App Engine (GAE) was now supporting PHP. Check it out here. I know that sounds geeky (’cause it is), but it is also really great for me and everyone who wants to use the platform.
Google App Engine is a super way to build web apps that can scale without system engineering. But you needed to work in a bit of a non-traditional environment. Now I can build teams with PHP developers, rather than needing Python (and Django). Not that there’s anything wrong with Python — but it is a smaller pool of talent.
Here’s another great take on the news. VentureBeat estimates that 75% of the web is presented with PHP. Wooah.
Today we had a breakthrough on prototyping a new app. After umpteen hours of notes and ideas and sketches it all came together. We went from feeling lost in our Wayland office, to having a plan of attack — in one breakthrough hour.
We decided to mock it up (again) in Balsamiq so we could be sure it would work right. Then we realized that the new thinking is such a great simplifier, that we can mock it up in HTML and Django just as fast. And we’ll really get a feel for how the app hangs together.
Not sure what created the breakthrough. Maybe the soak time, a good nights sleep, our track record of great teamwork, who knows. Stay tuned…we’ll see how it turns out.
It’s been awhile since I used a web CMS. Launching a personal website using a “builder” tool used to be a sign of weakness. Now with WordPress and all the killer plug-ins, you’d be crazy to hand-stitch a site.
If you’re building interactive web apps, not just marketing sites, you’ll need more than WordPress. I’ve gotten into Google App Engine, Cloud SQL, and Django as tools of choice. The GAE stack has been solid the last 12 months building and launching PowerWeek.com.
GAE isn’t the cheapest, but the value is just right — big time stability and scalability, real developer productivity, and no system engineering required. All for just a small premium over roll-your-own hosting like AWS.