Issue 50

18 December 2019

by Lori Olson

Our fiftieth issue! When we started last December, I must admit, I didn’t know if I could manage put out a regular newsletter. We’ve come a long way in a year, so let’s celebrate with our year end review! 

#OPED ‐ Our Unvarnished Opinion

This is both a good news and a bad news story. The good news is that my revenues from teaching this year are up 800% over last year. The bad news is that just brought things from truly pitiful to paying the bills. I’m still not deriving any income (as in my paycheck) from teaching.

It’s not all bad. The reason that revenue is up is that I have learned a lot this year. First, if you build it, they will not come. Not even close. Marketing. Is. Required. So I’ve been working on that—hey, you are reading this newsletter, aren’t you?! Second, live-in-person teaching is a lot more lucrative on a $ per headcount basis. Expect to hear more about that in the New Year.

The number of students in the online school has skyrocketed from 73 to 335. So, yay, that’s a lot of people who are benefitting from the training we offer. Of course, 244 of those people are only taking the free courses. We’ve added three completely new training courses this year, as well as four topical sets of videos from the Motion In Motion series, all updated to work with the most recent RubyMotion. Getting up to speed with RubyMotion has never been easier.

All-in-all, I’m rating 2019 a success and the prospects for 2020 are looking up! Thank each and every one of you for all for all your support in 2019 and the very best of health, happiness and prosperity in 2020.

Here’s the rest of the good news from the year coming to an end…

#DRSH ‐ Dragon Riders’ Slack Highlights

We had to laugh (mind you, it was an evil laugh) when we read that story about Away Travel firing a bunch of staff who were lambasting their employer in a ‘private’ Slack channel. You really though it was private? Seriously? C’mon.

Despite that cringeworthy-in-virtually-every-respect story with more than enough blame to go around, we still love Slack and it seems like a lot of other folks do too. In 2019 what you used to know as the Motioneers Slack was rebranded with the way, way cooler name: Dragon Riders Slack. We all like it much better. It also reached the 1000 member milestone way back in October, and is still growing—1030 at last count. We think Amir and the gang over at DragonRuby should have a whopping great prize for the 2020th member if they hit that in 2020. What do you think would be a suitable prize?

#ANDROID ‐ Nothin’ but…

Far, far too often people assume that when we say “mobile development” we mean “stuff for iPhones”. While we love our iPhones, we love more the fact that RubyMotion is the easiest way to look after all those who are Android devotees. And to be able do that without having to write a bunch of extra code. Code once, deploy everywhere. It’s a beautiful thing. We love that so much, in fact, we added a whole section dedicated to Android later in the year.

Oh, and before you iPhone fanatics start to send cards and letters in, here’s a fun fact: 9 out of 10 people who came up to ask questions after WNDXLori’s RubyConf presentation started by asking if they could do that (augmented reality) with Android. Take that, Tim Apple. So, we will be making Android more of a focus next year…give the people what they want, we say!

#GOTW ‐ Gem of the Week

Some of the best news we heard in 2019 was that there is now a permanent home for great RubyMotion gems hosted over on GitHub. Got a gem that you love that isn’t being updated? Ask the maintainer to check out and join the RubyMotion Community there. You’ll be glad you did.

#COMM ‐ Community

RubyMotion and DragonRuby have been featured on lots of podcasts and at lots of conferences this year. Here are just some of the highlights: RubyConf 2019Ruby RoguesMy Ruby StoryGreater Than CodeRubyKaigi 2019 with Amir RajanIntroduction to DragonRuby by Dave Kimora just to name a few. Now, if we could just get a few people write blog posts…

#AHTW ‐ App Highlight This Week

We have a Twitter poll running right now with the top four nominees from this year’s #AHTW which will be vying for #AHTY—App Highlight of the Year! Vote now and vote often. And yes, just like the Oscars, rabid unabashed campaigning is totally fine. So go out there and frantically whip up support for your favourite.

And get this, the prize for the winner is a suborbital spaceflight on Virgin Galactic!*

#DRGTK ‐ DragonRuby Game Toolkit

If you didn’t quite get your fill of the RubyMotion togetherness in the #DRSH and/or your real focus is game development, rest assured there’s yet another resource which you are going to like: The DragonRuby Discord is focused on game development and reached over 150 members in 2019, after the introduction of the new and exciting DragonRuby Game Toolkit!

Late last week we tweeted out a picture we took at The Apple Store where kids (and we mean really young kids!) were learning Swift. While we commend Apple for doing that, we believe (we’re biased, we admit it) that the Dragon Ruby Game Toolkit is a much better choice for teaching kids and getting them on the cross-platform bandwagon as early as possible. Somehow we don’t think Apple’s going to do that any time soon, however…hmmm…

#HAHA ‐ And They All Laughed…

Yup, someone should be telling Santa and the elves about DRGTK!

#ERR ‐ We Hate to Admit It, But…

While it almost never happens, every once in a while we drop a clanger which needs to be corrected. Hence the only-when-very-rarely-required #ERR section. While we did cover this on Twitter already, we extend our apologies to Matthew Lang. Apparently we missed the rebranding of his Commonmarks to Markcase. We’re happy to pass along that corrected link now. Sorry about that Matthew and we hope the extra plug is helpful!

That’s a Wrap!

Like what you’ve seen in 2019? It’s going to be even better in 2020 so you had better subscribe–and each week it will come to you absolutely free! We’re also on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn and we really hope you to see you on those platforms.

Next year we will be re-branding—tired of waiting for you guys, Amir, Aaron!—but we’re going to keep you in suspense as to what that is until the first edition of the new newsletter will be out January 8th, 2020. And, there will be a few other changes which we think you’re going to like, so STAY TUNED.

*Virgin Galactic flight must be flown by midnight, December 31st, 2019. No cash value.

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