Summarizing the Native Developer Experience Review


Guest post from Suavek – Ed.

Yesterday was a long day spent scrutinizing every aspect of developer experience, tools and application development. We have filled out the whiteboard and have summarized the main points:

  1. Platform Choice is a bit confusing (we need some more explaining here)
  2. Technology/Tools line of separation is unclear. Why would I choose C/C++/Qt/Cascades™? (If I’m a Qt developer, this may seem like a familiar world – yet Cascades is different. We need a better way to highlight this)
  3. We have found distinct documents for accomplishing the same task (and not all paths gave the same result). This duplication needs to go.
  4. For the Gaming/Native SDK developers, the End-To-End flow experience is broken. From start to finish there are too many issues before a game can be deployed.
  5. There is little guidance when the IDE is launched. What should I do next? Create a Native or Cascades application. The Wizards could use some wizardry and help to get the developer a few steps closer to the app they really want.
  6. We realized we need better integration of IDE, Wizards and Online Docs to focus on getting started and highlighting ‘Key’ samples. We’d all like to see a few key samples for gaming and apps and a clear path to get them running right from the IDE.
  7. Our open source developers found that the path of navigating between Open Source libraries and development environment needs to be improved. It’s not made clear how a library could be integrated into the IDE.
  8. Our new folks were often using search engines to query for BlackBerry® specific development tasks. We have found that this also needs to be improved. Wouldn’t it be cool if search results for “break points BlackBerry® 10” or “touch inputs BlackBerry 10” actually gave links to our documents?
  9. As much as things have improved in the signing key world, we still have found a lot of pain points there. Folks kept forgetting the multiple pin/passwords that they had and having to re-register. Security, can we not just have a single pin/password?
  10. The device discovery, simulator availability and generally having the IDE notified what’s connected needs to improve. (When on VPN we could use a notification that a device can’t connect)

And one more thing: We have found that a lot of us in the room were looking for pre-baked recipes that contain both documentation and samples. We could all benefit from a few recipes (ie. top 10 things you’ll most likely need when doing cascades development). What do you think?

We have also found bugs, which we’ll be tracking and following up on. A more detailed summary will follow next week. Meanwhile, we are interested to know what you think.

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