The Evolution of Technology in the Context of Software Development & Design Process: Take-away from PatternFly Conference

Last Sunday, I returned home, India, after attending a series of collaborative sessions in Raleigh, NC, with many designers and developers across Red Hat and the open-source community, at the UX Summit and the PatternFly Conference. The whole experience was inspiring, informative and at the same time thought provoking with many takeaways, out of which the most interesting for me was that cumulatively all the inspiring talks from the speakers of the conference were implicitly hinting towards a clue. How our attempt to solve the existing technical solutions also impact the existing work process and thereby demand a rethink on the process blocks we use.

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Improving user experience for mobile APIs using the cloud

For your end users, one of the most important aspects of your API is the perceived response time — if your mobile application takes an excessive amount of time to load data, users will get frustrated.  

In this series of blog posts, we’ll cover three ways to approach building a RESTful API that leads to better user experience by minimizing perceived response time. These strategies include: processing requests quickly, reducing payload sizes, and eliminating requests entirely, or only downloading data that has changed. And, we’ll show you how to do each by providing sample node.js code that can be deployed ‘as is’ on Red Hat Mobile Application Platform to build a better mobile API.  

But, before getting into each strategy, why are these important? The user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are extremely important to the success of mobile applications.

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Are “Web Components” in the future for PatternFly?

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Web development has become increasingly complicated in recent years.  The questions of which framework to use often can eat up much time at the start of a project.  I can’t remember the number of times people have asked me while working on a Knockout project if I’ve heard of Durandal, or when considering Angular 2 – what about React/Flux or Aurelia?

Patternfly is a community project that promotes design commonality and improved user experience. Its offerings include open source code, patterns, style guides and an active community that helps support it all. But, this complexity, choosing web frameworks, also affects PatternFly.  Our goal is “to build a UI framework for enterprise web applications”.  That requires that we remain outside of the discussion of which framework is best and provide a solid set of patterns and designs for developers to rely on.

How can you build a UI framework when there are so many choices and so many strong feelings about the different choices?  In my opinion, it’s important for developers to choose the framework that is best for the project and fits their skill set.  There isn’t one choice that works for everybody and it’s important that we support all developers that want the benefit of well-designed components that can be used in enterprise applications.

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Keeping track of my subscriptions using the Red Hat Content Delivery Network API

In a previous post, where-have-all-my-subscriptions-gone, I mentioned that you can access the Red Hat Content Delivery Network (CDN) using its API — allowing you to query CDN for subscriptions and their usage, registered hosts, and more as well as unregistering hosts, and more.

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Where have all my subscriptions gone?

Red Hat’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a great tool to help ensure systems have the latest supported packages available to install. Simply register your system, attach it to a subscription pool id, and start installing packages. This is great, this is easy.

There is a nice interface on the Red Hat Customer Portal ( http://access.redhat.com ) that allows you to manage your CDN account. It allows you to see when your subscriptions are expiring, information about the individual systems that are registered, among other things. However, what I would like to do is easily look at a subscription and see which systems are using it or when they last checked in. If they have not checked in for a while, we can probably reuse their entitlement.

If you are like me, it can be a challenge to keep track of the systems that have registered and are using subscriptions. I have 20+ people registering systems to this account, we can easily spin up dozens of systems a day during testing. We redeploy these systems multiple times during a day, a lot of times these systems have random names. If they do not get unregistered before they are reinstalled then they consume subscriptions within CDN. Eventually we run out of the needed subscriptions.

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Seven must try user experience tactics for developers

Users have higher expectations than ever from applications. Your website or application has only 10 seconds to make a good impression, and only 20 min to help your users achieve a goal where they feel successful.

How many of you are developers? (99% are developers in DevNation 2016 audience) How many of you have worked with a UX designer? (40% have worked with a UX designer). Regardless of whether you have a designer or not, you are responsible either alone or as part of the team for making your user experience excellent.

Learning UX will make you a better developer, and make sure that you spend your development effort in the areas that have the biggest impact on your users. Here are seven tactics you can try on your applications to not only meet, but exceed your users’ expectations.

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