Inside Picnik: How We Built Picnik (and What We Learned Along the Way)

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Building an RIA from scratch can be a daunting task, especially for a team with little web experience. Over the last year Picnik has grown has grown 1400%. Decisions that we had made the year before helped up to scale without much difficulty. We’ll provide an overview of how we came to choose some of the technologies that we use in our Client and Server (Flash/Flex, Perlbal, Mogile, Xen, AWS) and how they’ve grown with us (or not!) over the last couple of years. We’ll be candid about why we made the choices we made and what we’d do differently.

Most sites consume 3rd party APIs like Flickr, Facebook and MySpace, and more and more sites build increasingly intricate dependencies on outside services such as Amazon Web Services. Well offer up something thoughts that you should consider when working with these kind of services.

Fortunately, there is a ton of good information and technologies available on the web to get you from bare metal to web 2.0 in little time. How do you pick from all of the good choices out there? Join us for an hour that can save you weeks of frustration. We’ll cover many of the technologies that we use and talk about their pros and cons.

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Justin Huff

Google, Inc

Justin’s diverse software engineering background includes earlier projects of sonar, home automation, and high performance databases. He has also been running and administering Linux systems for 10 years, and brings all that experience and more to his work at Picnik. Being a member of that rare breed, a native Seattleite, Justin doesn’t even notice a weather report of “cloud cover with a chance of rain.”

Mike Harrington

Prior to Picnik, Mike co-founded Valve Software where he was the director of development for Half-Life, an industry phenomenon that sold more than 10 million copies and won more than 50 “Game of the Year” awards. PC Gamer magazine, the best selling PC games publication, has repeatedly named Half-Life “the best PC game of all time.” Prior to Valve, Mike worked as a development manager for the Microsoft consumer division, Microsoft Windows NT User Interface team and the OS/2 graphics engine team. Mike loves getting into the outdoors, and recently bought a mountain bike that seems to be beating him up.

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Justin Huff
04/07/2009 5:08am PDT

Slides are up at:

Carl Tanner
04/04/2009 1:13am PDT

I could not attend. How can I get a copy of the slides?

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