This week, I had the pleasure of traveling to one of my favorite places in the world: Antwerp, Belgium. Like last year, I traveled with the lovely Trish McGinity and spoke at Devoxx 2011. This year, my talk was on developing a web/mobile app with HTML5, Play, Scala, CoffeeScript and Jade. I was inspired to learn Scala at the beginning of this year and added CoffeeScript and Jade to my learning list after talking to James Strachan at TSSJS 2011. You can read more about how my journey began in my first post about learning these technologies.
I started developing with these technologies in August and wrote about my learnings throughout the process. Last week, while writing my presentation, I decided it'd be fun to make my presentation into more of a story-telling-session than a learn-about-new-technologies session. To do this, I focused on talking a bit about the technologies, but more about my experience learning them. I also came up with a challenging idea: create a video that showed the development process, how hard it was to test the app and (hopefully) my success in getting it to work.
It was all a very close call, but I'm happy to say I pulled it off! I got the app to work on an iPhone (thanks to PhoneGap) last Saturday, finished the first draft of my presentation on Sunday night (after pulling an all-nighter) and finished editing the demo video on Wednesday night. My talk was on Thursday afternoon and I had a blast talking about my experience to such a large, enthusiastic audience. You can see the presentation below, on Slideshare or download the PDF.
You can find the "demo" for this talk on YouTube or watch it below.
One of the reasons I really enjoyed this talk is it only represents one milestone in my learning process. I plan on continuing to develop this application and learning more about HTML5, Scala, Play and CoffeeScript and Scalate/Jade. Now that Play 2.0 Beta has been released, I plan on upgrading to it and leveraging its native CoffeeScript and LESS support. I hope to continue using Scalate and its Jade format. And it's very likely PhoneGap will continue to be the bridge that allows everything to run in the background.
Learning all these technologies has been a challenging, but fun experience so far. As the last slide in my presentation says, I encourage you to do something similar. Pick something new to learn, have fun doing it, but more importantly - get out there and Play!