LearnMatt Week – Day three and where we're at


writes on July 2, 2008

Day three is upon us. We have had a few challenges along the way but all of the team are making progress.

There is a bit of an air of pandemonium, but all the team are weighing in with a tremendous effort. We are getting an enormously valuable insight into what web development companies have to go through day in day out.

Keir and Elliott are looking a little pale but assure us they are catching themselves up on the development schedule. They have faced some huge challenges in the last two days as neither has developed in the Django framework before. Elliott summed up the learning curve like this.

“Writing an app in a different language, or framework, is a great way of learning. The frustrating bit is that you know exactly what you want to do and how you’d do it in your environment of choice – and then we have to translate these ideas into a completely new system, with a new set of tools. Everything’s in different places, the setup is always different, and you’re writing in a foreign language so you have to re-learn even the most basic syntax and bits of code. The best way to get around this is to keep messing around with bits of code, and using examples and tutorials from the web – then you start to get a feel for the way things work and you’re not stumbling around in the dark. It’s kind of like writing an essay in French – before learning French.”

They really went for getting all the code to work by the end of the day yesterday but hit a few stubborn obstacles along the way. We caught up with Elliott and cajoled him into briefly describing the progress in the development …

“Well, apart from some source control issues this afternoon, things have started coming together. We’ve got the login and authentication going, and we’ve built our queue system for queuing up our mass tweets. There was a funny moment where I was testing the queue system and forgot that I was using my @elliottkember account, so suddenly people were congratulating me before I realised I’d even sent anything! Now we have to tie up the loose ends, and slap everything into the fantastic templates that Mike’s producing. We’re looking good for Thursday!”

Mike really is the man under the most pressure in this whole project. He has to not only think creatively to design all the elements of the web app, from sketch book to screen. He also has to lay all of his fully formed ideas out into the templates for the pages that make up the app. The work he has done so far is nothing short of incredible. The Matt character is great but really just scratches the surface of all that he has achieved. We can’t offer any more previews at this stage but Matt’s world will be a lovely place to tweet.

Will and I got through to a few choice journalists and started conversations that we hope will generate publicity. They are chasing up the media like champion trails dogs today.

Natasha has made some great contacts in TV and is hoping they will be interested enough to come and see us. She is also busy organising the launch event, this is great as she really knows how to break ice and keep people happy.

Louise has pretty much written all the copy for the app ahead of time, which is fantastic as she is now pitching in with the PR effort.

Jo has been the internal media queen, busy filming and photographing us for the blog posts. She has been ably assisted by Matt’s on the spot reporter and interviewer Ryan Carson. All this media is being uploaded (not without a large dose of connectivity trouble) to various places:

Last and undoubtedly not least, Ryan is going to be writing a guest post tomorrow for the most gigantic online technology oracle there is, awesome.


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0 Responses to “Matt Week – Day three and where we're at”

  1. Eirik & Brian – Thanks for following the whole Matt saga 🙂 Love to hear what you think when we launch.

  2. Eirik & Brian – Thanks for following the whole Matt saga 🙂 Love to hear what you think when we launch.

  3. I am loving MATT week! The challenge in and of itself is awesome, but the documenting of it is my favorite part of the whole deal. I love this peek into the window of a great creative firm under pressure.

  4. Man! I would so love to work in the carsonified team right now, you people are so creative and sharing. I think this is a great idea and I can’t wait for the next post. 😀

  5. Thanks Matt and Scott – appreciate you following along.

  6. I love this idea. The other four day challenges where really cool, but this is on a whole new level. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  7. Great stuff guys, can’t wait to see the end result.

    If you can leverage in mapping information from the Ordnance Survey, medical information from the NHS, neighbourhood statistics from the Office for National Statistics and a carbon calculator from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), you could stand to win a £20,000 prize fund from the Government more here!

    Not bad for a weeks work.

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