August 15, 2014
Independent of the programming language, developing web and mobile apps is a huge commitment – a lot of time and necessary patience goes into building something that often becomes the product focus for many startups. Because of the reliance on such apps, developers must try to build them in a timely manner to match the company’s objectives. Right now, however, developers spend a huge chunk of their time in the configuration phase – getting the right environments in play for the app – before actually getting into the actual coding process. HappyFunCorp has recently released Happy Seed, which decreases the time spent on configuration and aims to standardize the way developers build apps.
“Regardless of whether you’re a new engineer or a seasoned engineer, you still have to deal with the realities of configuration – and it sucks,” said HappyFunCorp cofounder Ben Schippers. “We’ve built a solution that configures your application with the very best pieces of software that you need to get off the ground. A process that would take a few days, we’ve sort of brought that down to seven or eight minutes.”
Seed is an open-sourced gem that gives developers a tool to quickly set up a Rails app – bypassing the large amount of effort often spent on configuration – and get an app up and running in a much shorter time than usual. When building an app – whether that’s for the Web or mobile – members of the development community get frustrated by the amount of time and effort that must be invested in constant reconfiguration. According to Schippers, developers can spend as much time in configuration as they do in the actual development phase of an app. And, I mean, he should know – HappyFunCorp’s focus is on software development, building these various apps for their clients; however, it was a frustrating process for the company’s members themselves, so they decided to do something about it.
“We said to ourselves ‘why dedicate a ton of time to this when we can just build something to just automate it?’,” said Schippers. “And in the end, it’s going to help standardize the Web for people who want to build apps and websites…The hope is for Seed to grow a community of developers and people that want to build things that use the framework to their benefit and also to build the framework for other people’s benefit.”
Happy Seed is now available on GitHub for people to use, and is really targeted at providing a more standardized and efficient way for setting up the configurations for app production. By doing so, they’re provided with a tool that allows them to significantly cut the amount of time it takes to launch an (fully-functional) app. The Seed gem incorporates such features as a generated splash page, simple log-in page creation, MailChimp integration, as well as a full, custom database dashboard system and auto-tracking analytics capabilities.
In addition to launching the framework, the company plans to use Seed at their HappyFunCorp Technology Academy, which aims to engage future developers and product managers, as well as current entrepreneurs, in the skills needed to go through the tech startup community. You can apply for their first class now.
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