spend about 60% of their time building and the rest of their time learning.
Often the research is proactive, due to personal interest or a desire to ensure
skills are up to date. I am in this camp.
At other times it is borne of sheer necessity. You learn what is vital to
tackling your next big project. I am also
in this camp (no one says you have to choose). In the past new projects
assumed a hosted or on premise approach. The project manager and system
designer had to think about the essential requirements like scalability,
availability and (of course) security. In the present we still need to deliver on
these essentials but the app developers now need to do a lot more (as always). They need to span the globe,
support millions of users, curate petabytes of data, glean insights and delight
users in new ways.
Enter the cloud. As observed previously, cloud
services deliver built in scalability
and availability. The best providers also provide a wealth of prebuilt
No one can credibly claim to have missed the shift in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) from personal computers (PC) to portable devices unless you happen to be Rip Van Winkle. This consumerization of ICT, best seen by the rapid increase in the use of mobile devices for both personal use and work, has increased the potential for digital disruption across many industries. Digital disruption occurs when digital technologies and business models cause a change in the value proposition of existing goods and services. Think Amazon, Netflix and Hulu Plus disrupting media and entertainment industries by changing how content is both accessed by consumers and monetized by advertisers. Other examples include SpaceX (space transport), Ant Financial (banking), Ebay (shopping), Airbnb (accommodation/hotels), Expedia (travel booking) and Lyft (ride hailing). The most successful spawn local competitors such as WakaNow (Expedia), Didi Kuaidi and BlaBlaCar (Lyft), Konga and Jumia (Ebay).
In a fortnight we have considered lights, painting (camera?) and now action. Enough talk. How do you converge on a solution or product that satisfies the business, technical (-ly feasible) and customer? How can you achieve quality design in hardware, software and overall user experience (UX)? Is it a question of methodology? Perhaps Waterfall vs Agile vs Lean vs DevOps? In terms of hardware we used to have products that were colourful, bold, quirky and humanistic. And then to quote Adam Richardson, every tech product became white, silver, gray, black, flat, square, round and minimalist. Did you think boring? He also posits that in the past 2 or 3 decades the German branch of industrial design has dominated. This approach is characterized by clean geometric shapes (cubes, cylinders), white and black glossy colours, and smooth unadorned surfaces. Why do you have to think about Braun, Bauhaus and Apple’s design languages? Most tech companies follow this minimalist approach. However, it s…