When I’m working on developing an OpenTok application, I want to move fast. As a software engineer, I have loads of little workflow shortcuts, scripts, tricks, and favorite tools. When I started to build optk, I wanted to shave off just a couple seconds off of something that I had to do dozens of times a day.
As much as we love using OpenTok to get face-to-face with colleagues, friends, and family all around the world, its still important to physically get out there and talk to users to hear how they feel about our product. Last week a few TokBoxers, including myself, took a trip to Amsterdam for the annual TNW Europe conference. The venue was beautiful, the sessions were insightful, but most of all the people in attendance made our experience meaningful.
While WebRTC has been innovating at an impressively rapid rate, the users of the web and mobile apps have been delighted with lots of new experiences. We’ve started connecting to people across different timezones, countries, and even continents in real time, on just about every sort of device. But when we ask developers, the people who dream up the next wave of crazy ideas, what they need in order to keep delighting their users we hear a few things over and over.
One of the most requested features of the platform that developers are patiently waiting for is WebRTC broadcasts at scale. The technical challenge is about getting the right stream (with the right bitrate, and the right encoding) out to all the different types of people who are watching, with their vastly different networks and bandwidth capabilities.
What happens when you take an API evangelist for OpenTok and introduce him to a bunch of developers in a place he’s never been to, for example Tel Aviv? Yeah, I had no idea either. It turns out that in a place like Tel Aviv, where there are some brilliant startups springing up, there’s no shortage of awesome developers with endless creativity.
TDHack, the first Telefonica Digital Israel hackathon, took place this past weekend. I saw it not only as an opportunity to go meet some our extended family, but to jump out of the American startup scene that I know so well and see how things are different (or the same) in Israel.
Developing an iOS App itself is a huge undertaking: you want your product to be beautiful, interactive, and functional. That’s why Parse makes so much sense, it helps you avoid writing a backend server to power your App by giving you a data store and providing the most basic web services. These days many web services are incredibly powerful and help developers do really amazing things, like OpenTok, but they are targeted at having a backend. That’s where Parse Cloud Code comes in: it gives developers the ability to leverage the best of a back-end server in the path of least resistance.