Forecasting Innovation: weather.com’s Emerging Technology Story
Keeping up with where technology is heading is difficult: not only is the landscape constantly changing, but the rate at which it is changing is accelerating. By building experience with new technologies and relationships within their constituent communities, we can partner with our clients in being leaders shaping the technologies of the future around their business needs, instead of reacting to trends by looking towards integrations after foundational decisions have already been made.
The Weather Company (an IBM business), in partnership with Mediacurrent, has an incredible track record of not just keeping up with innovation, but driving it. When weather.com originally launched on Drupal back in 2014, we set a new standard for just how high a trafficked site could be hosted on Drupal. We built a progressively decoupled site well before they became a hot topic in the Drupal world. But we didn’t stop there.
After launching the site, we began exploring integration with Angular 2, beginning that work while Angular 2 was still in Alpha state, and carrying through to its official release in September of 2016. The cost of beginning a product integration with an Alpha-state technology was significant. With each new Alpha, Beta, and Release Candidate cycle, internal API’s were being changed, leading to significant rework. To offset this cost, however, our team was able to build strong ties with Google’s core Angular team by working directly with them to improve each release. This, in turn, gave us the ability to showcase to them our specific business use case, and helped ensure their work would facilitate our needs. This collaboration culminated in being invited to participate in the keynote address of 2016’s ngconf, the premier Angular event of the year.
Meanwhile, on the Drupal side of the effort, Mediacurrent and The Weather Company have begun a Drupal 8 migration as well, and are now helping push forward Drupal 8’s core initiatives. Joining the monthly API-First meetings, we are testing and providing feedback to the core team as well as developing new integrations we are looking to release back to the community as contributed modules. This is enabling us to both solidify relationships with the team working to improve Drupal’s decoupled capabilities and offer input into how we’d like to see that process unfold.
This session will explore the history and ongoing efforts at driving innovation, as well as the business value of investing in the exploration of emerging technologies.