Huge Thanks to everyone who attended my first mojoPortal Developer Training Class on Yamisee last night! And extra special thanks to David Dean and Yamisee for making it possible!
The class was yesterday evening at 6PM EST. I was going to blog about the event before hand, but the available seats sold out quickly and I was reluctant to blog about it once no-one else could sign up. We purposely limited the virtual room to 25 seats for this first session because it was a test also for the Yamisee service which is brand new and still in its early stages.
Yamisee.com, as you may notice runs on mojoPortal. David Dean, the master mind behind Yamisee has developed a number of custom features on top of mojoPortal to support the Yamisee service. What Yamisee offers is an easy way to schedule, manage, and conduct online classes and meetings. One of the ideas behind Yamisee is that for various interest groups there may not always be enough interested people who live close enough together to hold classes or meetings in a specific local market, but there may be substantial numbers of interested people who are geographically dispersed. So Yamisee is striving to provide virtual class room and meeting environments and a service to allow these interest groups to self organize online classes or meetings. While the class I provided last night was free, Yamisee has full ecommerce integration so that knowledge experts can potentially charge for their online courses or classes. So all of the management and ecommerce functionality is built on mojoPortal while the actual virtual rooms are provisioned behind the scenes through various providers and partners of Yamisee. Our meeting for example used a virtual room provided through WebEx. I think the Yamisee service has a lot of potential and encourage others to give it try for classes, courses, or group meetings.
About Our First Yamisee Class
My goal for last night's session was to step by step show how developers can setup their own projects for custom development to keep their custom code separate from mojoPortal code while still working with the mojoPortal source code from our subversion code repository. It was unscripted and unrehearsed because I didn't want to gloss over any stumbling blocks that developers may commonly encounter, I wanted to encounter some and show how to overcome them. I did actually stumble a little more than planned due to making typos and being a little nervous about my first class and not really knowing what to expect. But I think these little stumbles and recoveries were actually helpful. I really wasn't sure how far I would get since it was not rehearsed, the class ended up going over time by about 30 minutes and I still would have liked to have got further along. Time flew for me, it was fun.
Of the 25 seats reserved a few people did not show up and a few others were on standby in case some did not show, we ended up with 20 people in the room and most of them stayed for the whole session, only 2 people left before the end and that was probably my fault since I did go over time by 30 minutes. It has been quite a while since I have done any live presentations and this was my first one ever in an online virtual room. I was able to share my desktop and a video and audio stream. Looking back at the session I can think of lots of things I could have done better. As I got going on my talk I had the chat window and other windows on my other monitor but I had arranged them too far to the right and as result I wasn't noticing the chat window very much and I never noticed if anyone raised their hand. I apologize if anyone did raise their hand because I forgot about monitoring for that once I got going. Just a matter of getting more familiar and comfortable with the virtual room tools.
We did manage to cover setting up custom projects for web UI, Business, and Data layers, as well as how to configure custom projects to use the installation and upgrade system in mojoPortal. I also demonstrated some code generation using Codesmith to speed up development. At the end, the developers who attended were also interested in getting a .zip of the source code created during the session, so here is a link: abc_projects.zip. It was also asked if the session would be available to download as a video. I'm not sure about that, I'll have to check with David if he recorded it, but my guess is not since it would have been an hour and half long it would have been a very large file. It is possible to record so maybe we will do it next time, but I'm not sure where we can host very large video files for download.
Shall We Do It Again?
Those of you who attended, please share any feedback about what we did wrong or what we did right or whether you are interested in attending another class. If we do another session should I just continue where I left off or would you rather have a more ad hoc question and answer session? How soon should we schedule the next one? What do you think of the idea of having a virtual user group meeting on a regular monthly basis on Yamisee? Would anyone else be interested in presenting a topic about something cool you've done with mojoPortal or skinning/design techniques? Also don't forget that Yamisee is interested in your feedback about the Yamisee service as well, both positive and negative, especially any ideas you may have to improve the experience. Please post any feedback or suggestions in the comments.
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