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Watching The Wonder In The Eyes Of Others – Why I Love Building Software

September 9, 2008

For the past few weeks, I’ve been at our office in South America helping to mold the next few weekly releases. It’s still winter here so it’s cold (only by local standards, mind you, not even close to cold by U.S. standards). That said, it’s a great time to bunker down, break out the Jolt cola, and build some cool software.

I always know when we “nail” something – the silence and the eyes of the person using our software growing wide with unbelief usually gives it away. It happened today. We’re building a local real estate brokerage website heavy on video and based largely on our new multimedia and marketing web developer APIs. At Big Software Co(tm) where I worked before, relying on a day to day basis on your own beta product was called “eating your own dogfood”. We ate large gobs of dogfood throughout the day while working on this site. fnally, we reached a point where we could show a demo based on the 2-3 hours that we had put into the site.

Everything about the content is dynamic on the site and is completely administered from with our real estate social network. There was a fair amount of interest when dragging and dropping a file into or out of a workspace folder to make the content appears or disappears from the site. but not much else.

The mood subtlely shifted when I talked about add a social element to sharing content within your network. It seemed so simple and straightforward to me – let others in different accounts add content like real estate videos to a site by simply dragging and dropping a sharing icon onto content that meets the same contextual criteria as the site. My part was over in a second as I dragged the sharing icon over while logged into a completely different social network account and then hit refresh on the website. I didnt even catch the cotent magically appearing on the screen in its proper place because the eyes…that momentary reflex of disbelief and the silence…..they said more that I could ever say here.

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