How it all started, or your own startup

    For more than three months, Web Optimizator has been living and working. I hope that his main task - to change the idea of ​​the speed of loading and the operation of sites - is somehow achieved. More and more web developers are using “advanced” technologies to create their products. Consciousness of users begins to get used to the idea that “fast” is when a site loads in 2-3 seconds, and not 10-20.

    I want to talk a little about what lay in the background of the project, about the emergence of the very idea of ​​how the world can be made better (= faster), and its materialization in this form. About how you can find ideas for creating high-tech projects and services. About how you can develop. Maybe someone will draw confidence and optimism from this story, and someone will just give practical advice.

    So, it all began, in fact, a year ago. A year ago, RIT 2007 was held , terribly advertised and announced. Now, as I understand it over time, it was just another crazy idea - to turn the world of web development in Russia. And she succeeded. Society swayed, tipped and cracked, from which actively swarms to sprout new shoots and trends.

    RIT 2007

    A year ago, I got to RIT only as a participant. I considered myself a pretty advanced webmaster, but as it turned out I knew nothing about CSS Sprites , nor about semantic layout , nor about microformats , nor about “unobtrusive” JavaScript , nor about WCAG or ATAG . And also a couple of dozens of buzzwords and abbreviations, trends and people who are at the head of them. In general, he did not know anything.

    Label One: Keep an eye on trends and activities in your area . Some of them can and should be visited.

    Web Standards Group

    First of all, after RIT, I signed up for the Web Standards Group ( Russian wing ) (yes, I already knew that in addition to IE there are Firefox and Opera, but I did not think that the movement to introduce standards is so widespread). The main source of information was the mailing list.

    Label two: watch for professional news feeds . If in the last month you have not learned anything interesting from the channel, then you can safely unsubscribe from it.


    Three months passed before I decided to register on the same hub, because he was (and remains, perhaps) the most massive and informative source of IT knowledge in Runet. However, the first pancake is lumpy: after several unsuccessful (= unprofessional) comments, the user was minuscule, and publishing something under it became problematic. Oh well, let's start from scratch. And created a second user .

    Mark Three: Do not be afraid to start several times . Sometimes starting from scratch is much more economical than restoring what was lost.

    Self development

    So, in August, Habr was blown up by dozens of translations . I translated everything that seemed to me at least a little interesting. Sometimes it was really interesting, sometimes not very. But readers voted and raised rating karma. Every now and again. You say: fi, spend your time creating content for Habr. However, this is still my content (I can delete it from the resource at any time). And I gained invaluable experience and knowledge in the translation process. When translating an article, I had to understand the topic well in order to present it in Russian more or less clearly.

    Translations, in fact, yielded a lot (not counting, of course, 15 places in the rankingat the beginning of September 2007). They gave a good idea about the world of client technology, plunged it into the area that I liked most. They helped me determine my interests and gave just the information that I did not have on RuNet and which I wanted to receive. A simple reading of the articles (in Russian or English) still does not produce the same effect. It was like a theoretical course and practical tasks on it.

    Fourth mark: study your subject area as deep as possible . If there are not enough materials in RuNet, do not hesitate to learn languages ​​and read them in the primary sources. Try to work out the material obtained, otherwise it will give only a superficial representation.

    Client Side 2007

    In November, ClientSide'2007 was held . By that time, I already had a couple of serious translations behind me (for example, On having layout ) and had healthy ambitions to be a speaker. As a result of negotiations with the program committee, the report area was radically changed, time was reduced to a minimum (in general, by some miracle), and I had to study a lot of additional material to at least imagine that my partner was going to report . Once again I realized that I did not know anything :)

    We were lucky. The report was recognized as the best, I got the status of a guru in absentia and another vector for development: this time it was client optimization, reducing the load time of the site. The new theme was extremely interesting and promising. And narrow enough to focus on it.

    The fifth mark: do not be afraid to try . Even if the result is that you do not know anything, you will at least learn about it and understand what needs to be done to find out. Also, any attempt gives invaluable experience, and experience is always a plus.

    Web optimizator

    Literally a month passed, I started optimizing a small social network and realized that I was terribly lacking a tool to automate the measurement of dozens of little things to understand what was possible and what could not be done for optimization. It was December 2007. And in January, the first version of the project was already posted .

    Next time I’m going to tell you what has happened in recent months, and how the initial idea was transformed, and as a summary, I would like to say that each of us can always launch a startup of our own professional development . And for this you need only desire. The desire to develop and strive for more.


    Over the past month , three key features have been added for Web Optimizator : visual optimization (you can apply a large set of possible technologies and see how each of them will affect the time and process of loading the site), checking an arbitrary URL (without comment :) and analysis of images for a possible reduction in their size (bmp2png, gif2png, pngcrush, jpegtran).

    Many thanks to all users who are actively involved in the development of the project and share their wishes. Without your help, a tenth of the current functionality would not have been possible.

    To be continued ...

    PS looking for a flasherto develop a simple vkontakte API plugin. If someone knows how to more or less run on a flash and wants to help, please write in private.

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