Today we lunch GDL IL. What is it? Google developer live is GDL and IL is our famous short for Israel. It is going to be a weekly show on WED 14:00 (so mark your calanders please). We are going to talk about the latest and greats news in technology. From Android to HTML5 and back to Cloud, Google APIs and anything that is interesting for developers. As ‘startup nation’ we will hosts some of the cool, interesting/amazing startups that will tell their story and will share some of their real life experience. For the first show that is focus around Chrome extensions, I had a pleasure to interview Tal from Equire (a CRM Chrome extension that integrates with Gmail and making your life better). We talked about the life of a web developer that choose to build a product in Chrome (extension and/or App). Since Tal is working from The Hub we covered what is unique about this ‘working space’ and how to be productive in such an environment. One of the key questions I’ve asked was something like: “What are the top 5 things to keep in mind when we are coming to build a chrome extension?” Tal answered:
- Don’t rush to do the same things you always do when first building an app, think about the new architecture, understand it, it’s a different mindset, it’s not just a regular web app. The major difference is the limited ‘screen’ you have and some strong APIs – so use it smartly.
- LocalStorage… give you a lot of power to save state/data of users.
- Metrics – measure everything so you could improve over time and give more insight to your users.
- APIs – There are many APIs that are available only inside Chrome so learn them and use them!
- Very challenging UX issue – not a blank canvas like a web app. You have an option to give notifications and be ‘infront of your users’ but there is a delicate balance to strike to make sure you don’t get uninstalled.
There are many more things we covered… Some of these are covered in this post “Six Strategies for building great extensions“. However, if you want all the good stuff, you will need to watch it until the end when our next week guest will show up 😉
We finish the episode with 3 things/tools that Tal recommend.
- Mixpanel – An analytic tool that answer any question you have about your code/users. You should start early and get a feel for it. The nice part is that you do not need any backend.
- CoffeeScript – take a week, learn it, it will give you back 3 months of your year.
- Backbone – especially for chrome extensions. It was a simple for Tal to start and be productive with it.
Until next time… Enjoy and Shana Tova!