I was lucky to be one of the speakers at the WordCamp Mumbai, Mar 15-16, 2014. When I stumbled upon their Call for Speakers, I was excited with the speaking opportunity and an uncanny chance to visit Bombay after so many years. Thankfully, the organizing team accepted my proposal and thus, presented and spoke on, “A Smarter WordPress Theme Design & Development Workflow with node.js, ruby, sass, bower and grunt.”
It all started with an eagerness to create one of the simplest WordPress Photoblog. After a rough work with the first version of Autochrome, the second version saw a huge improvement in speed, crispness and a clear focus to the photos. Autochrome v2 leveraged the powers of WordPress while achieving minimalism and simplicity to give users a no-nonsense WordPress Photography Theme.
What we wanted to achieve with Autochrome v3
We really wanted to push the limit with Autochrome v3. We knew we needed to do something different so users can achieve more with the third version. There were few interim version of Autochrome which were never published but rather thrown away because they were not good enough, not worthy to be the successor of Autochrome v2.
While continuing and even pushing the envelope on minimalism and simplicity, we knew Autochrome v3 have to be faster, way faster, and have a laser focus on the Photographs and nothing else.
At the MetaRefresh 2014, I’m doing a 3+ hours workshop on how designers can leverage modern design workflows, weirdly titled – The Design Superheroes who uses Modern Design Workflows.
Today, the rate at which Front-End Development Tools and Utilities get introduced is mind-boggling. It is indeed quite hard to keep up. Getting familiar with few of these tools and mastering it will help designers get things done quicker, better, produce optimized results and participate with the whole team – contributing to writing production-ready codes and be able to run repeatable task easily. The result will be that designers can concentrate, focus and dedicate more time to designing products, applications, and systems instead of just ‘making things work.’
The purpose of this workshop is to initiate and ignite that idea amongst designers who code and breath life into their static designs. Check out the Workshop’s Companion Site for more details.
It will be a long way from this workshop for a designer to become a ‘superhero’ in design but it should be a good start.
Quite often, one of the suggestions for developers and designers is to have a tool or a utility to access your Clipboard History. There are indeed quite a free few good tools which sits in your menubar that does the job very well. Some of the most recommended free ones are Jumpcut and ClipMenu.
Hello Ruby is a children’s book that teaches programming fundamentals through stories and kid-friendly activities.
An interesting initiative by Linda Liukas, who teaches programming and makes the world of technology more approachable through a non-profit called Rails Girls.
She is on a journey to combine software with storytelling. She is writing and illustrating a book for young children about the magical world of technology – Hello Ruby.
She is raising $10,000 on Kickstarter for Hello Ruby (already over-subscribed).
After multiple delays and hesitations, I have finally released Theme6, a site dedicated to carefully crafted and well designed themes and templates. I’m lucky to have partnered with an awesome designer – Saneef Ansari. Our first release is a Typographically tailored theme for WordPress – Acorn.
Acorn is a mobile-first, retina-ready responsive theme focused on typography and content. It is designed to be clean, simple, minimal and to stay out of the way to focus full attention to your blog posts, articles and content.
Our idea is to keep it as simple as possible, without the need for any additional plugins nor custom fields. It would work without any special need to add/edit the contents of the blog posts or articles.
We are thrilled and would be adding more well designed themes in future.
I have known Rohit Singal for a while though we never met in person until last month, to talk about Sourcebits’ new initiative – its innovative Product Studios model.
Sourcebits is one of those rare service companies in India, who can churn out beautifully designed products backed by an equally high calibre of engineering. Their primary focus is in mobile strategy, design & development.
Sourcebits has done work for giants like GE, SAP, Intel, MIT, P&G, Hershey’s and Coca-Cola, as well as emerging technology companies such as Skyfire, Knocking, Peel, TwitPic, CloudOn and Sling Media since 2006.
In May, 2011, Sourcebits raised $10M from Sequoia Capital and IDG Ventures. They are currently head-quartered in San Francisco with design and development centers in Bangalore (India), Niigata (Japan) and Mexico.
Many people, especially those who are just starting off with a new online website and/or business, go straight for the cheapest web hosting provider they can find. It’s actually important to look for established and reputed providers such as Mediatemple, 1and1, Hostgator, Bluehost who offer the right balance between price, features and a high standard of support and service.
Just as transit services are the life blood of a city, so web hosting and telecom networks are the life blood of the Internet. But there’s a difference. If the buses and trains stop working, the city grinds to a halt and then gets back to normal when services resume. If your web hosting server goes down even briefly, you lose visitors in droves and it’ll cripple your online business permanently.
It is even more damaging if the problem is something chronic, like slow page loading speeds. Even a second delay in page loading results in sizable drop in customer satisfaction and reduces the conversion rate too. Then there’s security, use of tools, pricing, scalability and any number of issues that are critical to your online business and its survival an growth. That’s why you need a rock-solid web hosting provider who knows what website owners need and provides it without fail.
Today, let’s pick a developer tool to help enhance a designer’s workflow – Grep. Grep is a command-line tool for searching plain-text data sets for lines matching a regular expression. Linux and Mac are very likely to have Grep with their OS. Windows user can grab the Grep for Windows.
According to Gartner, global IT spending is poised to hit $3.8 trillion by 2014. But how much of it should come from your startup? Big corporate giants have massive IT budgets that help them upgrade and keep up with the latest cutting-edge technology that gives the company a competitive edge and enhances productivity. Startups, sadly enough, often have very little or nothing in terms of an IT budget.
Even so, a new startup still in the conceptual stage has to come up with a business plan that clearly maps out how much the company can afford to spend on hardware to be used as IT infrastructure and to keep employees connected.
In terms of the company’s IT infrastructure, make sure to come up with a system and components that are scalable and will not cause disruptions through down time. Getting a high-end wi-fi router may be a lot more affordable in the end than buying a cheap one that keeps dropping the uplink to your ISP and slows down you work.