Paris Web is also the place to learn magic drivers and findings from experienced professionals, working hard to make their web project a success. Here are the main ideas I captured when going from one talk to another.
Choose your customer.
During an intimate talk, Frédéric Bon from Clever Age shared a possible segmentation of digital customers. He ranked them on two axis : digital intensity (presence on the web) and digital culture (management actually is requested to think digital). As CEO of web agency he recommended to work preferably with digeratis, the ones clearly involved in digital strategy, avoiding wasting time with digital beginners, with which projects could be complex and costly. In such economical context, time is not anymore about educating companies on digital but rather teaming with the ones who already got the train.
Frédéric presentation [fr] http://fr.slideshare.net/nlakhdari/paris-web-2013-cxm-listening-platforms
Develop smart and sustainable APIs (take one).
Rolling out web services is about designing APIs. And this is where the wise advices of Matthias Dugué @madsgraphics may help you.
- Make your APIs like galaxies, made of different light component, with low dependancy, and light fingerprint.
- Think about sandboxing services (keep clear your global context, expose only the needed feature)
- Share concepts with your colleagues/partners/customers, document, maintain a charter for naming/usage, work on versioning, to make your services usable and sustainable.
- re-use standard (\o/) technologies, framework, tools and expception to insuflate value in your main expertise area.
- once you have finalized tour project, do not forget to #sharethe love, feed the communities with your learnings and benchmarks.
Matthias presentation [fr] http://madsgraphics.github.io/prez/soyez_responsables__construisez_votre_api.html#/
Develop smart and sustainable APIs (take two).
Eric Daspet @edasfr focused more on pragmatic but key points to make your APIs surviving (r)evolution.
- dont miss the internationalization challenge, which imposes to include right international timing, language, coding format…
- Think large about pagination, do not see your collections as static, they are dynamics, thus use the next and previous features but never the fix offset trap.
- While you will always balance between maintenance of your old-bad-stuff, versus starting from scratch a brand new approach, versioning will always happen. As such, start from beginning tracking your project as ebing a v1 (including in urls, but this was discussed…)
- think about the structure of your pages, ulr should be predicable and discoverable, as such use low-case only (and avoid strange symbols) and never grow more then 3 levels in your project.
Eric presentation [fr] http://fr.slideshare.net/edaspet/bonnes-pratiques-api-paris-web-2013
Test while coding and vice versa (or die).
Due to the complex nature of web project, the test are now gaining importance. Cyril Balit @cbalit reminded that test is not about puting few breakpoints in your code or observing log. Testing is about a) thinking of integration test (all functions work separately, what about all together ?), b) functional test (is it what the user is epxecting ?), c) validating your test (re-use validator from W3C, for example), d) testing the front on every possible devices, e) inductrializing your test. Everyone knew in the room that testing sucks. But Cyril was able to convince us that starting by small tests was better then never testing anything.
Cyril Balit presentation [fr] http://fr.slideshare.net/cyril-balit/je-code-donc-je-teste-paris-web-2013
Think about when you will really be dead.
Your project will survive you or your customer, right ? How to transpose our archiving good practices from the physical world (nice boxes, attic arrangement, secret drawer) to the dematerialized world . How to re-invent that special color showing that time goes by on a picture, on your website (la patine du temps). This is the question that my friends Karl Dubost @karlpro and Olivier Théreaux @olivierthereaux highlighted during their talk. That curious question implies social parameters together with technical tools, but this is the job of the SEO manager to think about. Each project manager might have to find its own answer, using version, maintenance, redirect, deletion (without forgetting to announce that things have gone). All material of this presentation is available and the authors are expecting your contribution to help them to build guidance for making your project sustainable for centuries.
Karl and Olivier presentation [fr] http://www.la-grange.net/2013/10/11/rustyweb/
Lastly, if you think that you are on a hard project ? Think it could be even worse. Julien Oger @JulienOG explained 7 principles for making your project failing [fr] http://fr.slideshare.net/JulienOG/parisweb-2013-les-7-prceptes-dun-projet-rat . You can also watch ParisWeb opening session with an amazing parody of the worse project management ever (warning gigantic humor inside) : video and slides.