By Frances Advincula
When I was young, I wanted to be a fashion designer. But then I grew up and realized I actually have to be able to eat food and pay rent, so I became a software engineer instead.
Fast forward a few years, and here I was, I thought, forever un-creative in that sense (I, too, rally that programming is in fact, an art. So that sense.) Until now. I’m not really sure what happened, but it seems like all of a sudden, I became super interested in the intersection of user experience and programming. I admit, I was always a bit scared to be a “designer”…Photoshop makes me nervous! But that little spot where UX meets code? Yeah, right now, that’s my heaven.
In case you’re interested in it too, here’s a roundup of things I’ve been playing with. If you have any other golden gems that you’ve come across, share them in the comments, and I’d be forever grateful!
On Designing Pretty Things
This great post in Quora lists must-read sites and books, from the classic Don’t Make Me Think to a myriad of other books. Personally, I’m currently reading Designing the Obvious, and it’s a great introduction to the fundamentals of UX. Also, here’s Joel Spolsky’s book which he posted on his blog, which of course, has great list of articles for software designers.
On Building the Pretty Things
The API can be daunting, so here is what you must know in the order that I found most helpful.
Obviously, start with Getting Started, but in Guides, this is what made the most sense to me:
Read up on the things under “Concepts.”
After you tackle “The MVC Application Architecture”, hop on to “The Data Package” which explains models and stores in depth, and then go read the 3-part series “Architecting your App” under “Tutorials”.
Finally, here is a demo for the different types of layouts that you might find useful.
As you all know, I’m a big aficionado of unit testing, and ExtJs officially uses the Jasmine BDD framework. I had to do some UI unit testing research way back when I was an intern which obviously I cannot share, but I did run across this site that does a pretty good job of comparing the different testing paradigms and frameworks available.
I can’t stop raving at how cool this is! I mean, even the company’s motto is “Code strong.” How can you not fall in love?
If you’re curious about Appcelerator, here’s a few links:
Zero to App, a series of videos to get you up and running!
Quick Start Guide, learn the fundamentals of the platform
Building Native Mobile Applications, a comprehensive video series to get you into the “rockstar mobile dev” status!
Titanium Development, a newsletter than rounds up news and blogposts on the topic.
Frances just graduated with a degree in Computer Science with specialization in Software Engineering. She works as a Software Developer for Accenture Software. She also contributes toThe Levo League, Women 2.0, and STEMinist. A proud geek girl, she’s sure she is the only one who can’t play video games. Follow her random musings at @FranAdvincula.