This is the second year I’m attending Javazone in Oslo – a large IT-conference of the highest international standard, by and for the Java community. Although the Java technology is at the core, the topics range from front-end to back-end and infrastructure, security, architecture, patterns and processes. In short, you don’t need to be a Java developer to get something out of this conference, which now has its 15th year anniversary.
The media industry has and is still going through tremendous and rapid change. The transition from print to digital, from desktop to mobile, from traditional display advertising to programmatic, from primary news distributor to content provider for new social distribution platforms, from broadcast journalism to personalised experiences, from local competition to competition from global tech giants. Add to this personnel cutbacks and the challenges appear overwhelming. The only thing that is consistent is change.
Managing this ever changing media landscape is challenging. Systematic, coherent and well coordinated focus from all departments is required to tackle these challenges.
Objectives and Key Results, or OKRs, is an organisational planning methodology VG and Schibsted have begun using. Its main goal is to connect company, team and personal objectives to measurable results, making people move together in the right direction. Creating a clarity of purpose among all departments, teams and individuals in an organisation.
Apps are evolving to be more than just functionality available behind an app icon on a users home screen. Custom keyboards, widgets, notifications, 3D touch, extensions and siri integration are among the many ways developers can now engage with users outside the confines of the traditional smartphone app on the homescreen.
Advertisers don’t want to pay for advertisement placements that people don’t see. An ad loaded doesn’t necessarily equal an ad viewed, the publishers and advertisers have caught on to this and are naturally shifting towards valuing ‘viewable’ ads rather than served impressions. VG has been working on improving the percentage of ads viewable on our website, we are now guaranteeing a minimum of 70% viewability of ads on vg.no.
We need to do something about this and we need to do it now. Web development should not be frustrating. In fact I believe that it has never been as exciting and fun as it is now.
As mentioned in the article above several people are trying to find a solution to this symptom, all with different goals and ambitions. I would like to go ahead and present one such solution, one that I have personally been involved with, Roc.
Tiny libraries. Doing one thing well. A blessing and a curse?
VG’s premium digital product, VG+ recently celebrated its fifth anniversary with over 70 000 paying subscribers. VG+ is a five year old publication published by a tabloid newspaper with no history of subscriptions.
VG+ is now the fourth largest newspaper in Norway with ambitions to surpass the 100,000 subscriber milestone in 2016. In a country with a population of just over 5 million people the subscription numbers are starting to be substantial.
On a cold Thursday in December, we held our annual Hack Day on the top floor of the VG building in Oslo. 30+ eager developers, designers and product people huddled together in front of the fireplace, to experiment, create and have fun with VG’s products and technology.
Surrounded by soda cans and bags of snacks, and entangled in wires of all kinds, we sat for 18 hours, churning out lines of magical code and golden pixels. Continue reading to see some of the things we did.
Every once in a while, I see or hear someone complaining that a basic React application ran through Webpack ends up being 700 kB or more. I think it’s important to take a look at why this is happening – cause it’s usually all about the environment.
When you’re in development, what you want is:
- Quick builds
- Being able to trace an error back to the correct line number
- Warnings if you’re doing something wrong
When you’re in production, what you want is:
- Smallest bundle size
- Fastest execution