Nerd Alert: Cool stuff I learned at NCDevCon

If you are new here, I should explain.  While most of my life would seem to be over run with Pinterest projects, snot faced toddlers and moonshine, I am in fact a nerd.  I love math and science,  I have a double engineering degree and I spend my day in my dream job making software.  Not any software, mind you.  Software to enhance the world of teaching…for free (for the user…I sure as shit get paid). Not to mention I work at the best place in America. To read more about that, go here. Now if you don’t give a crap about web development and were here to read something funny, try this one where I rant about old school playgrounds. If you are nerdy, proceed….

Anyways, this past weekend was NCDevCon.  Lucky for me, it was a 20 minute drive and a few hours from my weekend and $60 (work paid though). It was totally worth it.  Great sessions and I came away with a lot of new things to look into.  Now while most of the stuff will be for work, it does spill over here a bit.  I have left this blog pretty plain…I haven’t had a lot of time and JP set me up with a great theme that takes care of a lot of what I need.  That being said, I am planning on incorporating a little more of my skills over here.  Maybe some neat widgety pages, maybe just some unique posts…not sure yet. Some of this may be old news to most but whatever…

Some key things I learned:

Google analytics

  • Lots of customization available
  • New version in beta now (you can switch to that view now)
  • New version will be able to track social interactions by default (FB, tweets, +1s)
  • Campaign tracking is a powerful tool.  Create your own links for vendors and ads to track referrals more accurately.
  • Someone recommended Piwick for real time analytics since Google does them in batches(next day).  I haven’t looked into it yet.
  • Subdimensions have a lot of possibility to create multiple levels of reporting.
  • I just need like a day to go through everything to understand…alas I never have time.
  • see presentation here
jQuery Mobile and Dreamweaver (combo of 2 sessions) 
  • It is the cat’s pajamas.
  • It is so stupidly easy.
  • HTML5 highlight is the use of “data-XXXX” in regular tags(heavily used in jQuery mobile).  Part of the DOM that you can manipulate.  Cross browser…pretty simple
  • Dreamweaver in CS5.5 fully integrates with jquery and jquery mobile.  even had templates and connections with the emulators for Android and iOS
  • Examples here: http://www.jqmgallery.com/
  • PhoneGap seems like a great tool for cross device development and it is integrating into Dream Weaver now.
  • Dreamweaver looks a lot better to me now than a few years ago…especially with the jQuery being native.  The code assist and CSS editing looked awesome. Now I just worry about running 3 IDEs at the same time on my machine.
  • Adobe Edge looks pretty crazy.  Animation tool based on HTML5, javascript and CSS3.  She showed a rollercoaster and ferris wheel that were amazeballs.  This might be beyond my abilities but I think the designers at work could have some fun.
  • See presentations here and here

 Javascript tips

  • use the .find() method in jQuery to minimize the searching of the dom
  • $(‘#divName’) is the fastest vs using a class and $(‘h2#selector’) doesn’t speed it up
  • minimize dom manipulation by compiling a large object to add to the dom instead of incrementally.
  • .length () is an easy exists check
  • use === and !== to ensure type comparison
  • See beer infused presentation here
Well that is the quick report back.  If anything, I think it just gets you thinking on ways to improve overall in your work…so off to work I go. For all the presentations, go here. Get ya nerdy on.
Now back to your regularly scheduled blog about crazy toddlers and boobs….

8 Comments

  1. You can get real time Google Analytics, you just have to go to the calendar and only select today. It’ll give you an update on how many people have visited your site.

    As for the rest of GA, I’ve barely scraped the surface.

    And, much like you, I have grand ideas for what I’m going to do to my blog but haven’t done any of them…

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