Red Bull gives you wings…or a big headache

Last week, I was at the Facebook developers conference. It was a pretty good conference and I learned a lot. Here are a few things I learned:

  • Some companies still operate with their blinders on: One of the sessions I was most excited about was “Made for Mobile.” I was hoping for some insight into developing apps for mobile phones and maybe some new “stuff” from Facebook. I was sorely disappointed. This session should have been named “Made for iPhone.” Instead of ranting in this post, I think I’ll do a dedicated post to the blinders concept.
  • Facebook is on the cutting edge when it comes to social networks: They announced Facebook Connect. If you’re a digg/citysearch/six apart user, you can see its effects already. It’s a new and easy way to put a social network twist on any site (using Facebook of course.)
  • Red Bull gave me a headache: The hardest stuff I regularly drink is Mountain Dew. Red Bull was a sponsor at this conference and as a result, the stuff was given out. I decided to give it a shot. The taste wasn’t very good. I’m a Guaraná Antarctica fan and so I’m a little picky when it comes to guarana. The taste of this took guarana and made it disgusting. To top it all off, within about 10 minutes of drinking it, I got the worst headache I’ve had in a long time. Needless to say, it didn’t give me wings and I don’t think I’ll be trying it again.
  • Facebook does an awesome job at scaling: This is the stuff I really love. In one session, the explained how they handle the high load demand due to their feeds. Their feeds are what displays all of your friends’ activity/actions on the main page when you’re logged in. If you think about it, that’s a lot of data. Just to generate your custom feed they have to go out and get all of the recent feed items from all your friends, filter and prioritize them, and then display it on a nice pretty page for you to see. And they do it all in around 60 milliseconds. Man, that’s fast!

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