22Oct/14

Building business apps for mobile devices should be easy (part 1)

This is the first blog of series of three titled “Building business apps for mobile devices should be easy”. The blog series is based on an article by Richard Lancaster, published in MC Press at http://www.mcpressonline.com/wireless-/-mobile/you-want-to-build-business-apps-for-mobile-devices.html#sthash.G9xwG1TP.dpuf

This first blog covers the topic:  How Native, Hybrid and HTML Mobile App types compare

Building business apps for mobile devices should be easy.  Firstly, the physical features of mobile devices impose limits on memory, storage capacity and screen size.  Secondly, mobile apps typically satisfy a narrow set of business requirements.

One might expect that the device constraints and a narrow requirement domain would simplify the task of building mobile apps. However, building business apps for mobile devices can be hard work, especially for companies that have little experience in mobile development and are embarking on new projects. 

Continue reading “Building business apps for mobile devices should be easy (part 1)” »

22Sep/14

User Interface Design – Less is so much more

Just because you can doesn't mean you should

“How old were you when you got your first phone, daddy?”, asked my 8 year old daughter. She looked shocked when I told her I was 28 and it was 1997. She was just as surprised when I told her that I sent my first email when I was 26 and used a browser for the first time that same year. She was even more shocked that the first iPad didn’t exist until 2010. In fact, she was so shocked that she looked it up on Wikipedia on her iPad just to confirm I wasn’t kidding. 

I told her about telex, fax machines, computers that filled a room, office circular memos that went from in-tray to in-tray, and how we sent letters that took several days to get to their destination.  She told me it all sounded very weird. Looking back, I might be inclined to agree with her. Compared to today’s marketing driven, connected world, it does seem a little quaint.      Continue reading “User Interface Design – Less is so much more” »

19Aug/14

Mind the Gap: Addressing Ambiguity in Requirements

The lesson of the Tower of Babel, possibly the first post-project review in historical records, is that communication failure within the team will cause project failure. In today’s projects, often staffed by cross-functional teams spread across the globe, the communication challenge persists.  

What the customer wanted

Complexity in problem definition, solution and design tool architecture, organizational structures and market forces demand agility and constant risk assessment. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), of the two in five projects that fail to meet business objectives, half traced the cause of failure to ineffective communications. In software development projects these typically include incomplete or changing requirement specifications, and lack of user input.  

Don’t assume that all project stakeholders have the same understanding of the term “requirements”. A broad ranging definition is: Requirements are a specification of what should be implemented. They are descriptions of how the system should behave, or of a system property or attribute. They may be a constraint on the development process of the system. A non-functional requirement should define how well the system must do what it does.   



16Jul/14

Gateway Technical College Graduate Discusses the Benefits of Building a Native Mobile App Using RPG

Last week I shared with you a candid conversation I had with Jim Buck, Software Development Program instructor at Gateway Technical College, about his Advanced RPG class’s final project. Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to one of Jim’s students, Jeremey Rodriguez. He’s a recent graduate of Gateway and holds an Associate’s Degree in Software Development. Jeremey is responsible for producing the YouTube video that features his team’s final project – a flight reservation mobile app created using LongRange, LANSA’s native mobile app development tool. Continue reading “Gateway Technical College Graduate Discusses the Benefits of Building a Native Mobile App Using RPG” »

9Jul/14

Gateway Technical College Students Plan, Build and Deliver Native Mobile Apps Using Their RPG Skills

If you asked me what I loved about my college experience I’ll tell you “everything.” What I didn't anticipate was the bond I’d establish with my professors and the desire to remain in touch with them post-graduation. Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Jim Buck, instructor at Gateway Technical College, and felt a similar vibe with him as I’d experienced with so many of my professors at St. Ambrose University. He’s funny, honest and has a rolodex of stories to share – all characteristics students are drawn to.

Jim is one of three instructors that make up the Software Developer Program at Gateway and teaches a series of programming classes to students of all ages. Every year Jim requires his Advanced RPG class to complete a final project that involves building a Web or mobile application. To his surprise a team of six students decided to display the fruits of their labor on YouTube. Project leader, Jeremey Rodriguez, developed a video of the mobile application he and his team built using LongRange, LANSA’s native mobile application development tool.

Continue reading “Gateway Technical College Students Plan, Build and Deliver Native Mobile Apps Using Their RPG Skills” »