I've seen the future. It's in my browser.

01 Apr 2011

HTML5_Logo_512Five weeks ago, I packed up my office and made a quick tweet and then drove across 520, no longer a Microsoft employee. Microsoft was an awesome experience, and I’m super-proud to have been able to work with the great people that I did, and some really great products. But, after almost ten years (May 17th would have been my 10 year anniversary), I decided it was time to turn my life upside-down and try something completely different.

Within a week, the movers showed up to pack my condo and help me move south to San Francisco. A new challenge was awaiting me there, and something I’m really passionate and excited about. Today will mark the end of week three at Google as a Developer Advocate on the Chrome Web Store team.

There are a lot of aspects of the role that drew me to it and have excited to go into work every morning - for example, I get to write code again! I’m an engineer at heart, and would much rather write JavaScript than a value proposition. Heck, I’d rather write low level assembly than write another value propositions again! I get to participate in community events, conferences, hack-a-thons and meet ups (PS - if you’re looking for a speaker for an event, let me know)! But most importantly, I get to work directly with the web developer community to build awesome new web applications using open web technologies like HTML5 and CSS3.

I’ve been really amazed with the Chrome Developer Relations team - they’re absolutely brilliant and I’ll learn a lot from them (hopefully they’ll learn stuff once I get over the information overload of the new guy on the team). If you haven’t already, check out http://html5rocks.com, I sit within about a dozen feet of the guys who built it – not the agency, but the real people who did the work and keep the site up to date, adding new and fresh content all the time. The site is a great jumping off place for all things HTML5, and includes an overview of what’s in HTML5 (through the slides), as well as all kinds of cool tutorials, and a code playground. I’ve started writing my first tutorial on device orientation and hope to have it up shortly!

cwsI admit that when I started I didn’t really know or understand the purpose of the Chrome Web Store, but as I talked to the team, and learned more about what we are trying to accomplish, I realized that it’s just another mechanism for web developers to use to get their web applications out there and used by people like my Mom. It’s not about a pay wall, or browser war, but it’s about making great web experiences easier to find, giving developers a great distribution model, and putting your web applications in front of more than 120 million Chrome users world wide.

If you want to put your web application into the Chrome Web Store, there’s a great tutorial at http://code.google.com/chrome/webstore/docs/get_started_simple.html that will walk you through everything you need to do. Basically, you create an application manifest file (a single JSON file), package a couple of icons in there, zip it up, and upload it to the Chrome Web Store. If you’ve already got a cool web app and want to get it in front of more people, this is another great opportunity!

If you haven’t started playing with HTML5 yet, it’s definitely time to start - there are a bunch of great tutorials on HTML5Rocks at http://www.html5rocks.com/tutorials/. And also check out Paul Irish’s HTML5 Boiler Plate, I’ve used it quite a bit on a couple of projects so far, and it’s super helpful. And if you’re looking for inspiration - and want to see what’s possible with HTML5, check out http://makeawesomeweb.com/


PS - the Google campus, aaaa-mazing! But I’ll save that for another post later!

PPS - Happy April Fools Day, I don’t know what the joke will be today, but I’m excited to find out!!