Portfolio and Technology Blog
by Kevin Boyd

Searching For Nearby Places In Silex

Let’s say you’re building a mobile app in Silex (a PHP microframework), and you want to add location-based search to your features. You’ve got a data set with a bunch of street addresses, like this CSV that lists all facilities in British Columbia that are licensed to sell or produce liquor.

A quick example:

Joe's Beer Shack125 Nowhere LaneVictoria
The Whinery420 Toker StreetEsquimalt
Spinnakers308 Catherine StreetVictoria

Not that I’m thinking of creating a “nearest booze” app. I’ve got better things on my mind. Anyway, that’s off topic. Uh oh! Now I’ve decided to make the app.

I’m going to call it DrinkyDrinkyThing.

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March 18, 2014

Tags: dev, development, coding, silex, howto, composer, gps, geocoder, gis, latitude, longitude, geolocation

Don't Forget the Catfood

You’re probably familiar with the concept of Dogfooding - rolling out your products within your organization. The goal is to have many internal eyes on the products so employees will be empowered to fix pain points that bother them. It’s largely a successful idea, but it can be difficult to foster organization-wide adoption. This is especially true when trying to integrate a new product inside an established ecosystem.

In fact, mandating dogfooding practices can actually alienate your employees. In some cases, that very alienation is also a form of dogfooding - it gives your marketing and sales people an opportunity to pitch the product internally so they can brace themselves for the onslaught of the real world. They should embrace this opportunity to educate themselves about your own product’s market fit.

But what about the competition?

If you only use your own product, you’ll naturally fall into usage patterns that minimize pain points. This is what real-world users end up doing, and it can have a negative impact on your product’s perception in the marketplace.

Enter: Catfooding.

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February 11, 2014

Tags: dev, development, opinion, entrepreneur, management