The news is out and public now that I’ve joined Skyfire in full. I’ve had to dance around the subject for a while. Luckily I was already doing some consulting with them before I joined, so I was able to hide behind that (sorry to the folks who asked me nice simple direct questions and got convoluted answers back). We wanted to make something of a PR push around me coming on board. I just started to get the point of doing PR around hiring this past winter, when I began recognizing some of the names in the releases and realizing I thought about the companies differently after I knew some of the folks there. In the case of Skyfire however we have another goal, we need people. Engineers in particular.
My official title is Scalability Architect, but my cards say Deliverator:
Both are very accurate. We’re standing at the intersection of a bunch of tough problems both within mobile and in the context of building large online systems in general. We have the normal challenges of building and delivering a native application for multiple mobile platforms, running and scaling an internet service meant to be used by large numbers of users concurrently, accommodating partnerships and other specialized business deals, and developing our own content meant for mobile devices.
As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve also got to figure it out in a way that’s best for the existing mobile set of services as well. We don’t want to steamroller all of the efforts that are out there already to provide customized content to mobile devices. However that system has always been very difficult to navigate. It’s a relatively fragile mix of technologies and standards based as much on heuristics and best practices as on any cohesive standard or platform. Even if you figure out how to make things work technically there’s no unified set of expectations from the user point of view. Look at some of the discussions around Opera Mini for example. Sites that have both mobile and desktop versions can go either way on Opera Mini. If they deliver the desktop version there’s always something screaming that it’s stupid to give the full desktop version when there’s a mobile optimized alternative. If they deliver the mobile version there’s always someone screaming that “of course they want the desktop version, that’s why they use Opera Mini.” Frustrating and confusing, but we’re also working to find a way to navigate those dangerous waters.
So if that’s the kind of stuff that tickles your fancy, or if you love the hard problems that go along with implementing systems that are meant to handle hundreds of thousands of active users and tens of millions of requests a day, or if you’re into how to design mobile optimized content in rich functionality browsers – check out the positions we have open and let us know if there’s something that pushes your buttons. We’ve got a great team working on a fantastic product, and it’s certainly the right time to hop on board if you love hitting things at the early stages.