July 12, 2013

Looking Ahead to DevCon5 with PointRoll

DevCon5 is less than two weeks away, and TMC (NewsAlert) is gearing up for an exciting conference with industry-leading HTML5 developers and designers. Before heading off the Kimmel Center in New York, however, TMCnet sat down with John Percival, senior creative technologist at PointRoll, Inc., a provider of multi-screen digital advertising technology and services, to get a small preview of what to expect.

PointRoll provides display advertising products including video, mobile, rich media, social, standard display and emerging formats, across all digital screens, using the latest Web technologies. The company will be sharing its HTML5 insights and experience at DevCon5 on July 24th and 25th

What has been the biggest surprise to you about the adoption of HTML5?

It’s becoming a household name! Well, maybe not quite, but so many people far beyond the web/tech industry know about it. They may not know what it is or how it affects them, but they do know of it and that’s pretty shocking.

We have all sorts of frameworks, JavaScript, and now Operating Systems. How do you choose what to use and do we run the risk of having interoperability issues beyond the browser?

I’m a firm believer that you should use the right tools for the job. I personally have tried using frameworks, plugins, and scripts, just to later strip out the code and develop a leaner or more customized solution for my needs. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for speeding up the development process, but every project has specific needs, and the majority of the time you’ll need to roll out your own solution or leave in the extra code bloat, which isn’t advised.

What advice would you give to developers just starting with HTML5?

You’ve selected a very fruitful career, and there is so much to learn and be defined. Stick to it, and create the future of the web.

Should we expect the entire Web to move to support mobile?

Undoubtedly. Mobile is just a term we’re giving for the Web on all these new devices and screens that we can take with us. The fact is that the web is headed everywhere, and we (as developers and designers) should expect to support it in its journey into the unknown.

What is the relationship between Web development and the cloud?

Enterprise web application development will always need to scale with the needs and requirements of its user base. That said, I believe leveraging cloud-based services affords Web developers a relatively inexpensive way to manage and store user data, while providing consistent sync throughout the rest of the app’s touch points – whether it’s a Web app, native app, or Web service via an API.

Should we expect all HTML5 sites to be good or, like apps, will the sites be hit or miss?

I wouldn’t expect all sites using the latest and greatest of HTML5 to be good. Just because Web technology is advancing and the browser’s are giving us so much more, doesn’t mean we, as web developers, can sit back and hit an “easy” button to make something work for our clients. We’ll still need to work hard to turn creative concepts into functional masterpieces, regardless if you’re building a simple landing page or a fully architected web app.

Who do you pay attention to on Github and why?

Everyone and anyone! There are so many smart developers posting some seriously awesome open sourced goodness for all of us to absorb, hack, and iterate on. I can’t tell you how many times I thought of developing a solution – only to find someone has already beat me to it. The open source community is truly amazing!

How much of your work is now using HTML5 (JS/CSS3), and how do you see that changing by the end of the year? What percentage will it be by the end of 2013?  

100 percent, and has been for the past 3-4 years.

What question should I have asked you, and what would be your answer?

What are you speaking about at DevCon5?

I’m doing a joint presentation with my good friend and super smart HTML5 guru, Cory Hudson of AOL (News Alert), on HTML5 advertising as well as discussing HTML5 animation on a panel with Cory and Nate Altschul of Nickelodeon.

What are you hoping to achieve at DevCon5 in New York?

To talk shop with the HTML5 dev community.

Can you join us in Universal City, California, December 10-11, for the next DevCon5 conference?

I’d love to!

Edited by Blaise McNamee


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