After hiatus for the holidays, we’re back with the first CurdBee Weekly of the year, featuring CurdBee user, hacker and advocate, Anders Haig. He takes us through what he does for a living and then shows us just how cool hacking the CurdBee API can be. Enjoy! Hi Anders, and welcome to the CurdBee Weekly. Tell us a little about yourself! I’m a web developer and business owner based in Iowa City, IA. I get to work from home full time doing work I love so I couldn’t be happier. I run a number of small companies (a local entertainment directory, greeting card company and Facebook fan page management service) so I stay busy and need to keep organized. Prior to using Curdbee, invoicing and getting paid on time was a nightmare. Now, things are a lot easier to track and I get more time to do fun stuff rather than administration. What’s Minim Group and what do you do there? Minim Group is my freelance web development business. We offer quite a few different service but focus on small business and web application design & development with a pretty strong Facebook focus in addition. I’m all over the place with a few additional designers and developers as needed. That’s a neat little status board app you’ve written using the CurdBee API. What made you do it? Until a few weeks ago, I’d have 5-6 different tabs open at all times to keep track of what was going on with my work. I built the status board to aggregate all that data so now I’ve just got a single window to look at and get information at a glance. Using the Curdbee API, I was able to list the most recent invoices and their status so I can tell if someone has paid or what I’m still waiting on. In the future, I hope to add a simple interface to send invoices and quick reminders from my status board as well. Sinatra, the available gem and examples were a huge help. As far as improving it, I’m afraid I’ve got nothing to offer you on that front right now. I just spent the last 10 minutes looking through the API documentation again and can’t find any additional features I’d request, nor have I had any trouble with the current features. In comparison with the Basecamp or Facebook APIs, I had a much easier time integrating it with my work (of course, everyone’s experience may differ). What advice would you give a new developer who is just starting out with the CurdBee API? I’d say just look at the documentation or examples in the Gem repository on Github. Everything you need is there. It’s got enough similarity to other APIs that it should feel very familiar to work with. What are your favorite CurdBee features and which Modules do you use? I currently use the Pro Edition, Estimates and Authorize.net modules. I added the Estimates module only recently and it’s made estimating new projects easier to track and more professional. In the past, I’d have to go back, search my email and find an old estimate once I started a project and now it’s easy to track in one place. Authorize.net has been great for me as well and I can’t recommend it enough. Other things that I use a lot include multiple contacts for clients, the custom domain URL and discounts and taxes. What other software do you use on a daily basis? I use Basecamp for project management, PulseApp to track cash flow, Github to manage project assets, Dropbox to back up my files and a whole other host of development software and custom web applications. What is #1 on your CurdBee feature wish list for 2011? While I don’t expect any advanced graphs or reports, it would be nice to be able to view a yearly or monthly total without just looking at the invoices and computing the amounts. With partial payments, some of the income falls into one tax period while the other portion falls into another tax period. It’s not extremely difficult to manage but requires me to open and look at each invoice history individually when working out income.How easy was it to use our API, and if you could give us one suggestion on improving it, what would it be? I had a very easy time developing with it and as I created my status board in
It’s always a pleasure to talk to our users, and we’re really glad that Anders took the time to have a chat with us. Stay tuned for more from your fellow CurdBeans in the weeks to come!