Engines and developer accounts

Episode Notes

  • Dogfooding
  • Amazons is aws’s first best company
  • How does this apply to happy cog?
  • Game as a service

With great power

Coming to this episode so late is a bit of a bummer since we now know that the judge in the case will find that Apple does not have the right to cut off Epics Unreal engine, at least not right now.

That said the idea of these engines and the power they confer is an interesting topic regardless. I personally love the idea of these engines and platforms and they are essential to how we have made progress as in technology.

Nearly everyone in the technology field agrees it make no sense to write binary code anymore, everything we do is a higher level abstraction on top of that. A game engine, in this way, is similar in a lot of ways to a framework or even a programming language, it removes the amount of decisions and work that has to be done in order to make something.

The challenge is how much should be shared and how much is custom. At Happy Cog we commonly use a CMS of some sort, mostly Craft CMS, but we have been resistant to using front end frameworks like bootstrap or tailwind UI. Tailwind itself has caught on with the team but many of them see something like tailwind UI as going a bit to far.

I disagree, I think the only way we as company can really scale the business is to dramatically cut down on the amount of front end work we do. It eats up huge precentages of the budget and its the clearest case of us solving the same problems over and over and over again.

Weather its form validation or responsive three column layouts these are solved problems and yet we treat them like novel ones that need to be solved largely from scratch every time.

I dont yet have an answer to this problem but its clear that the tools Happy Cog uses could be taken up a level in the stack. Tailwind UI feels much closer to the level we should be starting from. If both design and development used that at a starting point a lot more of our work would look and work similar to each other but unlike a lot of folks I think thats a good thing. That means we are free to focus all our hours on solving the real novel problems that each of our clients have instead of assuming every clients blog need a bespoke design and solution. Novel solutions can be fun but they are also incredibly risky for us and the client. We have to make a lot of assumptions about the client and what will work for them to recommend them and what happens if we are wrong, theres almost never time in the budget to validate these solutions much less fix any mistakes we make along the way.

In in-house product development theres lots of time and energy to innovate but as consultants I really believe we are doing our clients a disservice. Our value to the clients is in our understanding of the latest trends and patterns and our expertise in appling them. That expertise only comes from doing the same thing over and over again.

It’s a near universal truth that the larger the menu at a restaurant the worse the food will be. The best restaurants may only have half a dozen things to pick from. But that means they are truly great at making those six things.