MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It is impossible for one developer to know all the pieces that must fit into place when building an application. There are various components and data sources that must be latched together, often using several different tools.
Ordinarily, I just use the tools I know until I get backed into a corner, then I have to research for hours the Web. But on the StartupBus, a solution to the problem might be right down the aisle.
In one instance this week, a tech developer was struggling to pull a list of tour guides from a database and put the information into an application he was building. So he asked several of us about the problem and within a few minutes we had a solution.
The passengers on the bus keep it friendly. Though we are divided into separate companies, the D.C. “buspreneurs” are one team against buses from other cities. We are all going through same marathon together and we may work with each other again when we get back to D.C.
This collaboration also allows you to discover new technology. In casual conversation with other teams, it is common to ask about the tools they are using. For example, one team on the bus is using a type of code created by Twitter called Bootstrap. It makes your application compatible with many different mobile devices and Web browsers. I asked the team several questions and now I’m certain I’ll use it on a future project.
This kind of camaraderie and discussion is the real advantage of heading down the highway with our very diverse group. Working in this environment definitely has its appeal.
The writer, a programmer from Vienna, is a passenger on the D.C. StartupBus, which is a bus of entrepreneurs headed to the South By Southwest festival in Austin.