Archive for category Computers
So recently at work I’ve gotten tasked with making a kids/educational game for the iPad.
Rather than re-invent the wheel I choose to go with a nice little app called Kiosk Pro (http://www.kioskproapp.com/). This app handles all the heavy lifting as far as locking users into the application and is able to run a nice little local web server (no WiFi needed). We went ahead and spent the $5 and went with Pro (as we didn’t need all the remote updating capability with Plus). An additional feature is you can drop the files right into the app with the free version of DiskAid (Mac).
I used the following libraries to give it some zing:
jQuery – used this for fast development, but if performance becomes an issue I can probably switch this out for Vanilla JS
HammerJS – (don’t hurt ‘em) this library is a nice library for multi-touch and gestures (think swiping and tapping) http://eightmedia.github.io/hammer.js/
iOS Overlay – neat little library to display iOS style alerts. http://taitems.github.io/iOS-Overlay/
Move.js – for CSS3 animations. This works well to animate the HammerJS gestures. Swipe left and make the screen move left. If done right it can emulate native iPad transitions. http://visionmedia.github.io/move.js/
I look forward to seeing how the kids interact with the game.
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It can be a frustrating, time-consuming, seemingly non-productive experience which can be compounded even more the bigger the knowledge gap (or “management gap” as I am calling it).
In the web world (and even the I.T. world) we casually throw out tech terms. REST, Ajax, MVC, etc. And that makes sense to each other, but how do you even approach this with management or peers who have no concept of the fundamentals, but who are the decision makers?
I know of many people in the field that suggest just forgetting it and look for another job. And, I get that. Maybe you don’t have the desire to address the problem and it definitely is the easier way through.
But, what can you do if you DO want to attempt to make it better?
Here are some strategies I’ve found. If you have some to add please share in the comments as well.
In I.T. we deal with this one all the time. On twitter recently someone tweeted about developers: “You might know a lot, but you don’t know everything”. My addition to this is if our minds are so great why can’t we keep our own emotions in check enough to just have some patience? If we can’t do that then maybe we aren’t as great as we think we are.
Admittedly I have been guilty of this many times. I have lost my cool and felt that superiority before, but I’m aware and trying to work on it. It takes time.
Don’t Talk Down
This is a hard one too. Talk to them with compassion and give them some dignity. It will go a long way in fostering your working relationship.
It might be all you can do not to pull your hair out and want to run to your office and tune everyone out. Problem is you are still all in it together and the problem will just get worse rather than better.
Instead offer to have them sit down with you for a step-by-step. Offer some training. Point is if you not at least attempting to inform then you’re really not doing anything to help the problem either.
Share Their Frustration
Technology can be difficult and it’s changing constantly. Relate your experiences. Remember what it was like when somebody helped you when you were new. It might give you a little more compassion and will definitely make dealing with them better.
There is no silver bullet and I do believe there are some gaps that are too great, especially if they are unwilling or there are roadblocks such as time or just plain ability.
All I can say is give it a shot and maybe things will get better.
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