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The New Builders Podcast

Today’s applications are central to decision-making at all levels of society – whether it’s helping municipal governments monitor critical infrastructure using smart sensor data, or helping consumers find the nearest store to buy their favorite brand of cereal. The New Builders podcast features interviews with the innovators behind these apps, in which they reveal their best practices, latest projects and favorite tools.
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Dec 1, 2016

The Offline First community is certainly fond of unplugging for a few days. Earlier this month, the group hosted its second Offline Camp (@OfflineCamp), a weekend retreat on the Central Coast of California. We ventured into the wilderness to interview a whole new group of campers and organizers, each with different perspectives related to Offline First app development:

  • Steven Trevathan (@strevat), a co-organizer of Offline Camp, kicks it off by talking through the origins of the event, the influence of previous UX Camp events he's organized, and how he got involved with Offline Camp. (7:30)
  • Mikeal Rogers (@mikeal) has been involved in the Apache® CouchDB™ and PouchDB projects since their earliest days, and is currently leading community organizing for the NodeJS Foundation. Mikeal talks about how his current work with peer-to-peer technology and the decentralized web are relevant to Offline First app development. (15:28)

  • As a Front End Engineer at Facebook, Jesse Beach (@jessebeach) specializes in accessibility and improving the platform's user interface. Jesse explains why we should expand the idea of accessibility to access and why we should think of network disruptions as creating friction in a user experience, the same way a disability would. (22:47)

  • We hand the microphone over to Offline Camp co-organizer Bradley Holt (@BradleyHolt) for a conversation with Microsoft's Nolan Lawson (@nolanlawson), also of PouchDB fame. Nolan explains how he got started with PouchDB, how being a "performance junky" has informed his work at Microsoft Edge, and his favorite Offline First apps, including his own Pokedex.org(30:35)
  • CURE International's John Kleinschmidt (@jkleinsc) explains the value of Offline First apps to remote hospitals and his belief in "making offline the baseline." We also replay John's Offline Camp Passion Talk, "The Day the Internet Died," a thought experiment around the causes and consequences of a worldwide internet outage (Note: This fictional story was written and performed prior to the 2016 U.S. election). (46:23) 
  • Maureen McElaney (@Mo_Mack), an IBM Developer Advocate and two-time offline camper, does some reflecting on the first Offline Camp in the Catskills and shares some of the themes present at both camps - from security to mapping and notifications. Maureen also shares a few teasers - including a planned Offline First curriculum through Girl Develop It and an upcoming panel she'll be moderating at SXSW, "From Mobile First to Offline First." (55:20)
  • Ray Daly (@raydaly) has been building Offline First apps for years. He worked on the team that built the Washington Post's first mobile web app - designed to function offline - back in 2012. Since then, he's worked on several other Offline First apps, including one for his 65th birthday, called Senior Discount Party, and an address book for extended family.  (1:02:34)
  • Marylou Lenhart (@maryloulenhart) pulled double duty at Offline Camp, attending as both a camper and a yoga instructor for the weekend. She talks about her interest in database schemas and how it translates to Offline First app development, her role with Girl Develop It Pittsburgh and diversity in tech, and why she started Yoga for Engineers. (1:07:43)
  • We wrap up Offline Camp with a fireside chat between two camp co-organizers, with IBM Cloud Data Services' Teri Chadbourne (@EventTeri) interviewing Hoodie's Gregor Martynus (@gr2m). They reflect on the weekend and preview what's next for Offline Camp, from a European event in Spring 2017 to a return to the East Coast next fall. (1:19:20)

To learn more about Offline Camp California, see Maureen's post, "Camaraderie, Offline First and Tarantulas," on the IBM Cloud Data Services blog and Teri's post, "Iterating on Offline Camp," on the Offline Camp blog. And keep an eye on the Offline Camp blog on Medium to read posts from campers recapping sessions and see videos of passion talks.


You can find new episodes of The New Builders on developerWorks TV and SoundCloud. Find out more about IBM Cloud Data Services at IBM.biz/forbuilders. Contact hosts Doug Flora and Jim Young on Twitter (@DSFlora, @JW_Young) or email (dsflora@us.ibm.com, jwyoung@us.ibm.com). The show’s music is provided by School for Robots. Check them out at schoolforrobots.bandcamp.com!

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