University Marketing & Communications

April 25, 2014

Friday link roundup – April 25


Mobile prototyping, JavaScript frameworks and contagious online marketing, oh my! It’s once again time for Web Team’s weekly roundup of awesome links.


I’m really interested in playing with MEAN, a fullstack JavaScript MVC framework, and possibly using it to write my first JavaScript app. It uses a language I’m very comfortable with, a software pattern I love, and some modern technologies I haven’t yet used.


Codeacademy is a free, online learning program anyone can use to improve their coding abilities. I’ve been using it recently to deepen my knowledge of JavaScript. Other good sites that offer web and app development education at a reasonable cost are Treehouse, Code School and


Marketing tactics so contagious, even a professional isn’t immune is an overview of the book Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger. The article outlines Berger’s theory on what makes content engaging (and viral). Now, I’m generally suspicious of anything that claims to answer how to make viral content. But the model Berger developed appears to be more about creating useful, usable content that might become more popular as a consequence.


We’ve all heard of CSS, JavaScript, HTML, Java, etc. But how are all the local Seattle startups using these languages to build such seamless products? I had a chance to visit the headquarters of Porch recently and learned about the technologies they’re using for large-scale integration, such as Dropwizard (a Java framework for RESTful web services) and products by Jetbrains (a smart developer tools vendor).


With the rumors swirling that Nike is ending its FuelBand, I couldn’t understand why they were shuttering such seemingly next-generation wearable tech product. As it turns out, they may just see the writing on the wall. To quote the article, “Nike probably sells $3 billion of athletic socks with substantial profit margins every year,” but “FuelBand revenue is no more than $150 million to $200 million.” Plus after seeing the potential of the iPhone 5s M7 chip, I don’t blame them for abandoning ship.


Origami from Facebook is a great prototyping tool for mobile development. Basically, it transforms a static design into an interactive experience with no coding necessary. It can be used to prototype iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and iPads alike. Even if you’re not making an app, it’s a great tool for mocking up a mobile site. Learn it!


Check out this online photo editor called Pixlr. Perfect for editing photos in a pinch when Photoshop is not available.