Developing real-time communications applications used to be god-awful complicated – I know…I used to do it for a living. Between the various APIs, the C programming language, drivers, DLLs, and operating system bugs, it was a miracle that we were able to get anything to work “back in the day.” Today’s developers have much better tools, thanks to improved scripting languages, better APIs, the Web, and cloud technologies. Meanwhile, there is a whole new crop of web designers and developers coming out of college that find themselves needing to make web applications that “reach out and touch” users with SMS, voice, and collaboration features. But how do you do this?
To help developers get started, we’ve teamed up with Telestax and organized a traveling one-day, hands-on WebRTC & Cloud Communications Workshop series, instructed by Michael Lazar, Vice President of Telecom at DataArt and Vince Puglia, Developer Advocate at Dialogic. I had a chance to sit down with both Michael and Vince to talk about what they have planned for the workshop during a podcast on the Communications Developer Zone.
First, a little background on the workshop. As Vince notes “Dialogic has been helping developers build communications applications for almost 30 years … but if you look at the evolution of the industry…there’s a huge paradigm shift…,” noting that instead of forcing the developer to learn proprietary APIs, they can focus on new, easy-to-use, industry-standard APIs. Vince sees this workshop series as an opportunity to show developers how they can build applications with these new standard APIs, simplifying their lives and enhancing their development skills, which seems to be a smart career move. Michael chimed in noting that “There’s a huge need to get applications out faster, be more responsive, and scale better.” All of this seems to be driving interest in WebRTC and real-time communications.
Surely potential participants wonder “is this for me —do I need to be a hard-core developer?” We address that concern, and as Michael noted “there are two types of participants, one is the traditional telecom application developer…and the new web developer community.” Knowing that these two worlds are slowing coming together, the content of the program is designed to speak in terms that both sides can understand and bridge the gap. When addressing the specific programming skills, Vince noted “the workshop is designed to start at the very beginning, without any programming skills…and using examples and plenty of help,” work with the participants to make them successful.
We’ve all been to workshops where the presenter promises “to keep things interactive,” then proceeds to present 100 slides without stopping. Fortunately, Vince and Michael are acutely aware of the issue and “have planned for a number of hands-on exercises for the participants.” “We want them to learn by doing,” noted Vince “and our goal is to give participants the skills to be dangerous (assuming dangerous with knowledge).”
An example exercise is showing how to develop a “click-to-call” button on a website, allowing visitors to the fictitious website to initiate a real-time WebRTC call with a real estate broker. Other exercises will show how real-time communications can be integrated with Internet of Things (IoT) devices, allowing embedded systems to notify or interact with users with SMS, voice, and video. Pretty cool stuff that I hope to learn myself.
With stops in the Metro NY/NJ area, San Jose, CA, Chicago and other cities, there are plenty of opportunities to get on board. You can see the current workshop schedule, agenda, and reserve your seat today at the WebRTC & Cloud Communications Workshop.