Wern Ancheta

Adventures in Web Development.

I7 Storm

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Last Friday (December 14, 2012) I attended the i7 Storm Seminar(Inter-Collegiate Ignition of Ilocandia Institutions for Innovational Information Infusions). Which was held at Rose Bowl Steak House Bauang La Union. I’m here to backup and share the things that I’ve picked up(learned) from the event.

Mobile Application Development

Didn’t really pick up much in this talk. Though thanks to the teacher who asked a question about the salary of mobile application developers that I was able to pick up something. Here are some of those:

  • Mobile application developers that are developing free applications can actually still earn money via ads.

  • Mobile application developers especially the mobile game developers can earn a lot of money if their app is popular and that many people are downloading and using their application.

Main takeaway: Mobile application developers can be millionaires if they create an app that would become popular. And that there are a lot of opportunities in mobile application development.

What it takes to be a Web Developer

Pretty much the only talk that I was looking forward in the event because I’m specifically interested in Web Development. Based on the talk here are the technologies that you need to learn to be a web developer:

  • HTML & CSS
  • JavaScript
  • MySQL
  • PHP
  • Wordpress
  • Joomla
  • Drupal

Nothing really new as I’ve heard about these before. But haven’t really played around Wordpress, Joomla, and Drupal.

You can basically make a living by just being proficient in those technologies but if you really want to become a web developer that is updated with the current technologies then you must learn all of these:

  • HAML
  • SASS
  • Ubuntu
  • Rack
  • NginX
  • Sinatra
  • Rails
  • jQuery
  • CoffeeScript
  • Backbone.js
  • Redis
  • MongoDB
  • Heroku
  • Apache
  • PostgreSQL
  • Thinking Sphinx
  • Apache SOLR
  • HTML5
  • Compass
  • Amazon Web Services
  • LESS
  • Capistrano
  • Git
  • Pivotal Tracker
  • Vim
  • RVM
  • Cucumber

Ok maybe you noticed that most of these are just Ruby Tools. Yep that’s right because the web developer who gave the talk is a Ruby-guy. There’s a different stack for every web framework so there’s actually a lot more to learn if you plan to be the Jack of all trades developer who can do a little bit of everything.

The speaker also gave some suggestions for those who do not want to learn new tools and methodologies every year:

  1. Legacy Code Maintenance – the example that was given was Cobol.
  2. Selling sub-standard software
  3. Scamming Clients
  4. Call Center

There are 4 areas which web developers should at least be able to do:

  • Core concepts of Software Engineering (Design patterns, DRY, YAGNI, etc.)
  • Presentation (Web Designers)
  • Domain (Programmers)
  • Infrastructure (Database Administrators, System Administrators)

The speaker also suggested some books:

  • Don’t make me think (Steve Krug)
  • Envisioning Information
  • The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
  • Code Complete
  • The Mythical Man Month
  • The Pragmatic Programmer
  • Refactoring
  • Head First Design Patterns
  • Peopleware
  • Rapid Development
  • The C Programming Language
  • Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

And some online resources:

And some news sources:

Main takeaway: if you want to be a web developer you should have a passion for learning.

Importance of Feedback Loop

Points to Remember

  • Create 2 UI’s then have 2 groups of people test each UI to see which is more user friendly(A/B Testing)
  • Let people tell you what they don’t want

Main takeaway: User feedback is necessary when building software.

Thinking About The Future of IT

Pretty much the talk that was different from the rest of the talks which makes it very unique and interesting. I like how the speaker presented his ideas and shared his dream to us. His dream was that there will be no more traffic in the Philippines. And he will basically use IT as a tool to fulfill that dream.

Main takeaway: You can use Information Technology as a way to contribute to the environment and the community. You just have to think of ways to use IT.

Web Security

I basically tried to sleep during the talk but here’s what I’ve picked up while trying to sleep:

There’s actually 4 levels of security that software developers has to think of:

  • Server
  • Network
  • Application
  • User

Points to Remember

  • Always validate user input (both client-side and server side)
  • Code defensively
  • Be aware of security threats (parameter tampering, sql injection, xss, csrf, etc.)
  • Handle errors properly (don’t show error messages in production as they might reveal some of the variables, database fields to an attacker)

Main takeaway: Always program defensively. Be a negative thinker when programming. Think of ways that the application that you’re trying to program can be compromised. Think of the parts where the program can fail. Think of the worst-case scenario and try to make the program avoid that.

Storage and Beyond

A very informative talk. Though I felt like most of the talk was just an advertisement of the Data Recover Center. I’ve learned that lost data can actually still be recovered with the use of proper equipment and technology like the clean room technology.

The Open Cloud

The talk that I liked the most. Because the person who gave the talk is a good speaker. He also gave a lot of demos which made the talk much more interesting. Here are some of the things that I’ve picked up:

  • IAAS – Infrastructure as a Service (Virtual Machine)
  • PAAS – Platform as a Service (Cloud Services and Websites)
  • SAAS – Software as a Service (Cloud Services and Websites)

Server Infrastructure

To be honest, I didn’t learn anything from this talk. But I gained the idea that data from the database can actually be replicated or mirrored to another database that will serve as a backup.

The Drupal Ladder of Success

A very inspiring talk from someone who didn’t have a background in IT / Computer Science but ended up becoming a Drupal Developer. It must have been a hard transition from a non-computer course to a career in drupal development and not all people has that courage of making a career out of their domain (the course that they took up on college).


That’s all. Overall it was a good event. Food was great, speakers were awesome and I learned a lot.