Friday, June 26, 2009

Thoughts on the modern testing approach

By Andry Plastov
Modern approaches to testing frequently imply antagonism between advocates of Scrum and CMM(I) processes. In my opinion, though, the question of drawbacks and merits is less interesting than combining these processes, i.e. providing the opportunity to create a symbiosis of both Scrum and CMM(I).

What are the particularities of Scrum and CMM(I)? The particular characteristic of Scrum is intensive cooperation and communication in groups, adaptive project management, frequent interim releases and, correspondently, frequently repeated test execution. For CMM(I) it is characteristic that releases come up in considerable time periods, the process is strictly documented and takes much more work input, and it’s less flexible as a result.

Is symbiosis between these processes possible after all? If we take an insight into these processes, we can see that one of them comprises the elements of the other and vice versa. Ex., long periods between releases go well with using Scrum within these intervals, whereas the necessity to manage the requirements and the configurative control are the integral parts of a good Agile project.
Besides, in the current projects it often happens that one project is added to the other one in spiral. Eg., when the test team increases or when new teams join on other sites working in different time zones but within one project, there evolves the necessity to change the process towards CMM(I). At the same time a reduction of the team makes expenditures of the resources for CMM(I) inexpedient and inevitably makes us turn towards the Scrum approach. The delay of the final release leads to the delay of the beginning of the test cycle and, correspondently, to prolongation of the product output; the demand to be on time requires frequent testing at the early stages; besides, the possibility to work out the test plan using raw versions of requirements is the key moment for using a Scrum approach.

An indisputable merit of symbiosis of Agile and CMM(I) is unsurpassed flexibility, which enables adjustments to the process and specifics of the project quickly, to support a good balance between the spend on quality and the cost of the end product. Test execution at the early stages of functional readiness helps to equalize workload of the engineers, to lessen overhead and to reduce the time, needed to put the product on the market.

In my opinion, the modern approach to testing not only can, but should be based on the balanced combination of Scrum and CMM(I) processes

Monday, June 22, 2009

Open Mobile Summit London 2009 – Openly Transparent

By Andrew Till
Last week I continued my world tour of trade shows and events with a visit to the Open Mobile Summit in London. Now a week has passed and I’ve had time to reflect on some of the key themes and highlights from the conference.

There is a widely held belief that Mobile Data is about to explode. Now I know you have heard this before but with the combination of powerful HTML browsers, faster CPUs and flat rate data tariffs things really seem to be moving and both T-Mobile and Orange talked about some impressive growth in this area. Especially with consumers who seem to be tweeting, blogging and generally getting addicted to mobile social networking in the same way they are on the desktop.

A lot of time was also spent discussing the benefits of HTML 5.0. Now this is a very compelling development for mobile and promises to take web application development a big step forwards. However will it offer the utopia of a single mobile development environment in the way it was discussed at the conference. I for one remain sceptical but I do see it as being a key development for 2010.

Another key these was Apps Stores and let’s face it, everybody want one. If the show was a good reflection of the industry then expect an Apps store to be top of everyone’s Christmas list this year. Handset vendors and operators alike were keen to outline what they are doing in this area. However, perhaps one interesting twist was the call for the OMTP to create a common standard. Now a common framework for apps stores with open operator APIs available to developers would be a compelling development and would help to contain fragmentation in this area.

There was also a strong debate about are we open, as it we really want people to play and change the code, or are we transparent, do we want to let people see what we are doing, in the mobile industry. Only time will tell what the real answer to this question is but one thing is clear there is a real momentum around open source in mobile then is not slowing down. Based on the evidence of the show as the industry fully understood how to get the best from open source the answer would have to be no. But, there are clear and positive signs that the industry is becoming more comfortable with open source and that it will play a strong role not only in handset platforms but in service delivery and none handset mobile devices as well.

So all in all a very good show and one worth attending. Perhaps not amazing revelations but clearly a lot of confirmation about the momentum of the trends that are going to shape the mobile space over the next few years.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Crawling Only on One Branch

By Chandra Challagonda

We proudly say that we are living in a world of high mobility. However, during one of my intercontinental flights I started to wonder why don't we have WiFi and mobile connections generally available on flights? Then it didn't take much time for me to realize we don't even have power sources for passengers on most the flights… It’s been 130 years after Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone but the concept has since remained the same, although technology behind it has changed and new features have been added. The telephone became wireless and now it even includes much of the computing power too. We have seen a lot of open hardware and software concepts in this area developing faster than any other industry. But the whole communication world is revolving around the wireless phones.

All said and done, it is all great and we have done good progress, but are we directing the innovations in a limited way? The communication world of innovation power and energy is focused on the telephone. No one, so far, has really focused efforts to bring the kind of the innovations which were done in the 19th and 20th century. Such as the major leaps like inventing electricity, combustion engines or the telephone. All we are doing is making existing innovations more efficient, trying to squeeze more from existing technology, increase profitability and push down the costs for development, production, licenses and components. But I think that this telephone's innovation branch is so exhausted that it cannot take many more features, although improvements and efficiencies are still possible. Is this the reason why mobile connectivity is not pervasive on flights?

Could it be the reason of cost? Are we caught in a classic Innovators Dilemma? These days we value technology and innovation that can be afforded by the masses. So are new technologies only thought of if we can see large imminent volumes?

I think that we have been proceeding long enough on this branch and we need something new, like some inventions which came to life during the 19th or 20th century. If Alexander Graham Bell had thought about only money then I am sure he wouldn't have invented the telephone, he would have invented sugar syrups. Let's think really hard, not focusing on volumes or cost, and we may come up with a real discontinuous innovation that will give a new branch to the tree! That is what we need. And I am thinking hard about it already, are you ?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

First Jamendo application on Android

By Magnus Ingelsten
Here is another Android application developed by Teleca. It’s very cool with a cultural value add. Teleca engineer Lukasz Wisniewski at Teleca in Poland created and delivered an application to Jamendo for Android devices that makes the Jamendo, music 2.0 platform, under Creative Common licenses, available for mobile phones.

The Jamendo Player gives access to 20.000 albums available for free by the application. As Lukasz says: -“As a member of OHA (Open Handset Alliance), this is a great opportunity to show our skills and expertise in the new emerging platform. We believe that Creative Commons music for mobile phones will get massive and well deserved attention now that we have brought Jamendo services to Android users.”

The Jamendo Player for Android includes several features such as an interactive user interface, attractively designed and easy to use with features such as search, favourites download playlists and most listened to। Other key functions of this innovative application are streaming music and radio, checking the most popular songs, viewing reviews, downloading to memory-card, sharing and music recommendations with friends over SMS.

Jamendo is a major shift in the music distribution giving more rights to musicians and listeners. We are happy to participate in this change by delivering Jamendo Catalogue to Android users. The Player is available on the Android market through your phone.
For more information see

Friday, June 5, 2009

Google I/O Digested

By Robert Kempf
It is now one week back that I attended the Google I/O conference in San Francisco. I had great expectations on what Google and the developer community would present and was excited about the possibility to meet the massive number of 4000 developers in one place. I was really positively surprised about the quality of the event and had to digest a bit what I saw and heard there…

Did you watch out the Google I/O keynote speeches on YouTube? If not, you should definitely do that!
The focus for day one was around HTML 5. With the new possibilities HTML 5 possesses it will make the Browser the center of gravity of all your devices irrespective of whether you are using a PC, Netbook, MID or a regular mobile handset. People already started asking: Do I need anything else other than a browser on my device? Is it still necessary to install applications on my device as I did for three decades now or can I just download and start them instantaneously in the near future? We will see…

The second day keynote revealed the big surprise: Google WAVE which will be open sourced and facilitate social networking and communication even further. The development of WAVE is all about a company being innovative and looking for new paths of accelerating innovation by a large open source community. It seems Google looked around on the market and the current solutions provided and combined them into something new, appealing which everyone wants to use. Looking at WAVE the parallel existence of Email and Instant Messaging applications seems to be outdated quite soon. The basic elements supported by WAVE are not completely new, we know most of them from online collaboration tools, Email and IM clients – but they show a thought through approach of integrating existing solutions into something which wasn’t there before and which includes some new key differentiators which everyone was waiting for. The presentation was really impressive, in particular the translation robot who eases the communication between groups with different native languages.
Apple has shown this ability of being innovative in the sense of enabling a new dimension of user experience and Google is now doing the same with WAVE. I am looking forward to check-out the WAVE with my Sandbox developer account.
And last not least: thank you Google for the MAGIC, the magic atmosphere at this event and the Android HTC Magic phone every participant of the conference got for free :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Everyone loves an App store.

By Andrew Till
What a couple of week it’s been in the applications world. With the iTunes and Android Market stores enjoying ever growing success two of the largest players in the industry, Nokia and Vodafone, have launched their new applications stores as the battle to lead the next wave of industry growth intensifies.

Both companies clearly have aggressive growth and deployment plans which will undoubtedly stimulate significant competitive responses from across the market.

The interesting thing about these two launches is that they are both supporting a very broad range of handsets. Unlike the current iTunes and Android stores which currently have a limited number of devices variants connecting to them the Vodafone and Nokia stores are both supporting in excess of 50 different handset models. The challenge for content stores has always been the management of fragmentation and ensuring consumers get the application or media that is right for their specific handset. If these new stores have resolved this challenge then we may finally have a strong challenge to Apples dominance in the content space.
The other exciting dimension to the Vodafone launch is its support for iPhones.

I for one will be watching closely to see if they are able to penetrate the iPhone user base. And I am sure there are many other operators and content companies who will be doing the same.