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Meet Platform Evangelist – Kevin Whinnery

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Editors Note: This is a post that’s part of a series on Developer Relations at Appcelerator and the people behind the team. Tell us who you are? My name is Kevin Whinnery – Saint Paul, MN resident, husband, and father of three children that are equal parts adorable and devious.  I also loves me some JavaScript – it is by far the programming language I have enjoyed using most. What is your title at Appcelerator and what does it mean exactly? My formal title is “platform evangelist”, which I’m not thrilled with since it sounds like I travel the world brainwashing people, but it basically means that my job is to inform developers of the capabilities of the Titanium platform, and help them build successful applications. Tell us about your Appcelerator history, when you joined etc? I’ve been with Appcelerator for almost three years now, just as development of Titanium started.  On my first day, we were a handful of dudes sitting on the carpet of an empty office in Mountain View, so it’s been pretty wild to see our growth since then!  I was hired to do technical evangelism, but in the past three years I’ve done professional services on Titanium apps, built out a formal training program, worked on our web properties, written code for a browser-based RIA product, provided pre-sales support, and generally been able to annoy everyone at every level of the company. When I do get to do “evangelism”, though, I work on building out sample applications, speak at conferences and user groups, do training workshops, collaborate with other developer communities (from Ruby to .NET) to see how other technologies can be used with Titanium, and support community members in conducting their own meetups and events. What do you love about your work at Appcelerator? I enjoy helping developers build successful apps.  And since that involves hacking JavaScript, that usually ends up being a good amount of fun, too. What does it mean to work for Appcelerator? For me it means helping developers deliver successful applications which meet their needs or business goals.  I had never worked at a technology company before, so I’ve really enjoyed the fact that the work we do as a company directly allows other developers (and designers and other non-traditional software developers) to achieve their own goals and deliver apps that people use every day. What are you working on for Appcelerator? At this exact moment I am working to build out a portfolio of “best practices” apps to help give our community some guidance on how they might structure Titanium Mobile applications.  I’m also working on a pair of super bad-ass iOS and Android modules that I think lots of people are going to want to use! What can we find in your laptop bag? Next to my MacBook Pro, a copy of Visual Studio 2010 Professional.  Surprised they don’t get into fights more often. What was the last book you read? I read tech/programming books fairly frequently, but the last book I read just for the hell of it was “Eats, Shoots and Leaves”, a book for grammar/punctuation Nazis. What is your favorite mobile device? iPhone 4 Any advice to new users of Titanium?
  • Take the time to learn JavaScript – it will make your life easier and your applications more maintainable.  A nice set of video tutorials can be found here.
  • Q&A and Google will yield good results if you’re looking for help, lots of content is being generated by the community every day all over the web.  Also, we have a growing list of doc guides covering lots of high level use cases.
  • Install an IRC client and go to #titanium_app – many devs hang out there and may be able to help out in real time.
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