7digital Pusher hackday

Last Thursday Martyn and I paid a visit to the guys and gals at 7digital for a Pusher-powered hack-fest. We haven’t done this before, so we made it up as we went along. The format was simple:

  • a little introduction to Websockets and the realtime web
  • all-out Pusher-hackery

The participants had thought about what they wanted to do ahead of time, so it was possible to launch into the code. Martyn and I hung around and gave a bit of assistance where necessary (which wasn’t very often). Mainly we were just observing how easy it was to get started with Pusher, and what the sticking points were.

What we learned

We were really pleased to find that it really didn’t take too much effort for people to get going.

However, we did learn that:

  • We need to support microsoft developers better :(
  • We need to explain the difference between event names and channel names
  • There are a couple of tools we could make that would help building UI code.
  • We should prepare our presentation so it works anywhere :/

The hacks

All in all it was a great experience, and we were very happy with what was created in an afternoon. The hacks included several ways of visualising sales and user activity, and new ways of visualising exceptions. All in real time.

Unfortunately, we can’t show them off here, but suffice to say it was pretty impressive.

Going forward

We liked the format, and would like to introduce more companies to our Websocket wizardry.

If anyone works at a company (in London for the moment) with a sizeable development team, and wants to know about how easy it is to make cool stuff with Pusher, then get in contact.

You will generally need to have an idea of what you are building beforehand. If that involves building APIs to your existing data, it’s often a good idea to do that ahead of time.

We’ll ask for your feedback at the end, and that you say nice things about us, but that’s pretty much it!

We won’t be able to accept everyone, but would like to gauge interest. Just send us an email to support@pusher.com, and we’ll take it from there.

Cheers!

P.s. Have you built realtime apps with Pusher? If not, go on, create a free Pusher account and let us know what you think!

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