As you may have noticed, these last few weeks have been busy ones. We announced Hackership batch-1, hosted Taste sessions and opened the application process (deadline: June 8). We also introduced you to a topic that will receive some special attention this batch: web-based multimedia. But so far no one has really taken the time to explain what web-based multimedia actually is. This blog post makes up for that!
What do we mean by web-based multimedia?
In software engineering we use the term "multimedia engineering" to describe the set of problems that come when having to deal with huge amounts of audio and video files or streams. As in Game Development or for Big Data, this domain, too, has its own distinct set of challenges and problems. And since the rise of broadband internet, those problems have only increased. Making sure the hundred of megabytes big HD-youtube-video loads fast for thousands of people all over the world at the same time isn't an easy challenge to tackle. And because of the difference in formats and size, you can't scale it the same way you'd scale a classic web-application.
When we talk about "web-based multimedia", we are referring to the many problem companies like Youtube, SoundCloud, Spotify and Netflix are facing delivering their content to the end user. From their backbone, over to the delivery infrastructure up to rendering it on the end users device, the problems web-based multimedia are facing are vast and unheard of in other fields. And we didn't even talk about live-media yet or looked at how latest technologies like the HTML5-WebAudioAPI and WebRTC is transform this young field even further.
Why we choose this topic
Though multimedia account for about 60% of internet traffic already today, there is only a small percentage of developer experienced in this field. No wonder then that the field of web-based multimedia is what is commonly referred to as a full stack problem. Meaning that in order to create a good user experience, you have to know and understand the entire systems, involving multiple protocols and technologies.
Clearly, all this knowledge is not obtained during a one-weekend workshop. Three months of Hackership, however, should be enough to help you gain a deep understanding of web-based multimedia. Especially since we already have some excellent coaches in this field, who are very excited to pass their knowledge on to you!
Does this mean everyone will be learning Web-Based Multimedia?
Not necessarily. By saying we put an emphasis on web-based multimedia we are just trying to communicate to you that, should you wish to learn more about this topic, we have the expertise to help you with that!
Of course, we will definitely cover other topics as well. Let’s say you would like to learn something a bit more niche, like Haskell. Once you communicate this to us, we will start looking for Haskell experts. Usually we are pretty good in finding awesome coaches. But, given the small timeframe, we cannot guarantee right now that we will succeed. In contrast, if you choose to learn web-based multimedia you can be sure we have the people to guide you.
Just to be really clear: you are not forced to do web-based multimedia during Hackership, nor do you have to be even remotely interested in it. On the contrary we urge you to learn what you are truly interested in. And please, just let us know what that is (in your application), so we can find you some qualified coaches.
Thanks to Osvaldo Gago for releasing this amazing photo under Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0.