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initRIA… first event for Rich Internet Application hackers in India

initRia_1198149680787.pnginitRIA is a tech event for Rich Internet Application hackers that took place last weekend in Bangalore. Surprisingly enough, this was the first time (in India) the RIA folks were getting together for a common event. On more ocassions than one, we’ve thought of putting together something like this in Delhi, but Bangalore beat us to it! Though the event wasn’t publicised much and I learnt of it through the blogosphere once it was over.

initRIA was organised by the Bangalore Flex usergroup and the venue was HoneyWell. Check out these blog posts for how the event fared and for the photos on flickr.

RIA technologies have played a huge role in web2.0. The engaging graphical interfaces and the intuitive user interactions that we take for granted in the web2.0 world are possible due to client side advances that happened as rich technologies came to the fore post 2002-03. One of the huge problems that I see in the RIA space (and I have a fair bit of experience) is the availability of talent. No, this goes beyond the generic manpower shortage that the IT industry faces. RIAs are completely an acquired skill; fresh Indian software graduates are unexposed to this during their engg courses, unless they learnt it themselves. Added to it is this insanely nonsensical belief that frontend engineering (using technologies like Flash, Flex, Javascript etc) is more of a designer’s job and may not be as “hardcore” an engg skill to acquire as server side technologies like Java, .net, C, C++ etc. What this finally means is that some of the smartest, brightest software brains that this country produces never thinks of front-end engineering as a chosen career alternative. And this factor feeds into the lacking design sensitivity that afflicts most Indian software development teams.

Hope initRIA will be a catalyst in greater experience sharing about rich client engineering and how they are built. Next time this happens (whenever, wherever) I’m attending.

Related: pipesCamp, an unconference for Yahoo Pipes developers is taking place in Chennai on 23rd Dec. This is the blogpost announcing the event and here’s the wiki where you can signup.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Mrinal Wadhwa December 21, 2007, 7:00 pm

    Hi Amit,

    Since this was our first time, the scale of the event was small, our primary mediums of publicity was the blogosphere and mailing lists … I just did a round up of the event on my blog for people who care to know what happened at the event.

    I understand your concern around the lack of RIA developers (we are a rare breed :)) … but this is slowly changing … RIAs are rapidly gaining popularity .. check out the traffic on flex-india and you’ll know. The group grew almost 10 times in the last 10 months or so and we today have 780 developers on the list.

    I hope the event helped a little in this growth.

    Mrinal Wadhwa

    Organizer initRIA
    Manager and Contributor Flex India
    Manager and Contributor Bangalore Flex User Group

  • amit December 23, 2007, 2:27 pm

    Mrinal,

    Thanks for taking the initiative to organise this..I’ll stayed glued to the next initRIA meetup

    amit

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