Continuing on our firm belief that it’s not the code, but the people, which drives the success of software, we had a special treat today: WebFWD’s very own Jaisen Mathai, founder of OpenPhoto stepped up as our first team presenter.
Among Jaisen’s observations was just how central APIs can be in building community. Beyond simply a way to extend features and functionality, APIs can be a core way for projects to communicate with and build their communities. Jaisen also emphasized the need for projects to be using the same APIs as their communities; the benefits of “dog-feeding” these internally are often greater than any tradeoffs.
In addition, Jaisen called out the value of creating tools like PHP libraries to make things as easy as possible for developers to begin contributing. Often these tools aren’t complex, either: he cited a post about making a project’s GitHub ReadMe page simpler with a few easy steps.
This isn’t just theory: through adopting these practices, OpenPhoto has harnessed the power of its own community to deliver iOS, Android and WordPress plug-in features…hardly trivial inputs!
The overall presentation, of course, was a real embodiment of our vision for both distributed, open development and learning: the teams got to teach one another through both the presentation and the Q&A. And Jaisen did this all in the comforts of his own home, using the BigBlueButton remote learning platform (and WebFWD portfolio project). It was very cool to see - and hear - the vision in action. And as always, you can too: