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2010 at a Glance…

2010 has been a wonderful year for Intridea, especially as far as our blog is concerned. One of our commitments this year was to encourage all of our employees to contribute articles. We’ve been fortunate enough to bring you new tidbits every few days on a variety of topics relating to web and mobile development, in addition to some of the unique experiences we encounter as a heavily distributed team.

Mobile Devices

Since its release in April 2010, the Apple iPad actively excited our mobile developers. Eagerly, we updated several of our mobile applications, such as our crisis response application for the Gulf Coast oil spill, Oil Reporter, to take advantage of the new platform. But we’ve also been looking at other mobile platforms to see how we can take advantage of their unique qualities. Here are a few snippets from posts over the year:

From A Web Developer Goes Native (with Android)
It was certainly an interesting week and I’ve been learning a lot. Android development is starting to come more naturally (looking things up on the API docs maybe every 5 minutes instead of every 30 seconds) and I’m actually starting to enjoy myself. It’s really satisfying building something that I can immediately run on my Nexus One, and I definitely look forward to working more with the platform in the future. Read more…

From The iPad at Work
In an effort to find out how well the iPad holds up for professional use, I asked three Intrideans to share their user experiences. I gave enough time for the initial euphoria to wear off, and now we’ve got some great insight into how a developer, designer and QA manager are using the iPad at work! Read more…

Flexible Authentication with OmniAuth

Our Director of Product Innovation, Michael Bleigh, was hard at work this year writing a Ruby library to simplify all of the different logging-in strategies that today’s web applications try to leverage. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, or even FourSquare, the OmniAuth library handles it all with ease. The library was used heavily in the 2010 Rails Rumble competition. Here’s what Michael had to say about the tool earlier this year:

From OmniAuth: Flexible, Unassuming Multi-Provider Authentication for Rack
OmniAuth has been my worst-kept secret library for some time now. I’ve been using it as the go-to authentication strategy for new projects big and small for the last few months, and it feels really refreshing to have so much control over authentication without losing the drop-in ease of use. If you need external authentication but have found existing solutions to lack flexibility, please take a look! Read more…

The Intridea Community

It hasn’t been all work and no play, however. We’ve also gotten to know our teammates a lot better over this past year. Our Community Manager, Renae Bair, has worked tirelessly to investigate the lives of Intrideans for our Intridea Insider series. But we’ve also discovered a few areas which we all seem to have in common.

From From Super Mario to Super Developers
The gaming industry has given us many exceptional developers. A lot of programmers that I talk to tell me that their first encounters with programming were during their younger years, and say that it was gaming that initially got them interested in programming. Our Director of Mobile Development, Brendan Lim, says that gaming as a kid resulted in him becoming a programmer later in life. Read more…

From Friday Coffee Hour at Intridea
Every Friday at 4:00 pm, the Intridea team takes pause from the pressing tasks in which we are immersed. For an hour we set aside open tickets, bug fixes, running tests, reading code, and writing emails, except for the most urgent requests. From different parts of the country we pick up the phone and join one another in what we call, “Coffee Hour.” Read more…

This year, distributed Intrideans have made a concerted effort to travel frequently and meet up with each other at events in the community. Check out our Flickr page to see the photos that capture those experiences.

It’s been a wild year, but we’re really looking forward to continuing to provide you with new and varied articles covering mobile and web development. From all of us at Intridea, have a great 2011!

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