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Bringing Banking to the Poor with the Help of AngularJS

Vishwas Babu (Conflux Technologies)
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(4.20, 5 ratings)
Slides:   1-PPTX 

Attendees will leave this session with an understanding of:

  • A framework to assess which Javascript framework to use
  • Pros/Cons of AngularJS and who it’s right for.
  • Real-life case study on using AngularJS to build a web app to bring financial services to the poor.
  • Resources to help you down the path of using AngularJS.

Why AngularJS?

Our domain and our community are quite unique so let’s first brief you on why we were considering AngularJS.

  • Brand new platform – cleanly separated front and back-end
    • Knew we wanted to build a single page web-app to perform well in low-bandwidth connections.
    • Previous codebase not modular at all – nightmare to modify as front and back-end were tightly coupled together.
  • Widespread community – many different individuals working on platform, seeking maintainability of code.
    • Most aren’t developers but want to be able to extend front-end and modify UI on their own.

Pros/Cons of AngularJS

General list of Pros/Cons of AngularJS and how it stacks up against other popular Javascript frameworks

Pros

  • Cleaner, more modular, and intuitive – familiarity and use of HTML.
    • Less code, easier to understand, more maintainable
  • Strong active development under Google – well-documented and active community
  • Allows for parallel development
    • Reduce side effects – easier to manage a large community and not worry about something breaking.
  • Testability and extensibility of the framework

Cons

  • Early stages – not the level of maturity we might be seeking (at time of evaluation)
  • Somewhat high initial learning curve

Why it was right for us (Bringing Banking to the Poor)

We’ll connect this general analysis with our own unique situation and why we decided on AngularJS (marries the two sections above together)

  • Performance of the App – infrastructure is poor, web app must be lightning fast.
  • Extensibility of the Software – need to agilely respond to needs of customers
  • Diversity of the Skillset of our Contributors – not all our partners are developers but they do need to customize our UI

Real-Life Case Study: Our Experiences (How we did it and where we’re headed)

We’ll look back at what’s worked, what hasn’t, the impact its had on our product development and our community, and where we’re headed next.

  • What we did – how we made the final selection, how long it took to build the initial UI
  • What’s worked well – some real-word examples of how we’re using it that are cool.
  • What didn’t work well – why and how we’re shifting to address.
  • Impact – some facts/figures/anecdotes – speed of building initial UI, onboarding external contributors.
  • Where We’re Headed – mobile integration – Angular/Cordova

Will AngularJS work for you?

AngularJS isn’t the right JavaScript framework for everyone so we want to leave you with some practical advice to help you in choosing what framework works best for your product and community:

  • Reinforce why AngularJS was right for us
  • Outline who it’s best for and who its not ideally suited for.
  • Reference list of materials and resources in AngularJS community to help you get started.
Photo of Vishwas Babu

Vishwas Babu

Conflux Technologies

Vishwas Babu is the lead engineer at the Mifos Initiative where he works on building an open technology platform for financial inclusion to the poor. He is also a co-founder of Conflux Technologies Private Limited, an organization based out of Bangalore, India which provides a multitude of financial solutions targeted toward microfinance institutions.

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