Experiences from building a global scale learning service
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Experiences from building a global scale learning service

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A few experiences from the process of building a web system

A few experiences from the process of building a web system

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    Experiences from building a global scale learning service Experiences from building a global scale learning service Presentation Transcript

    • Experiences from building a web 2.0 platform
      AthanasiosPapagelis
      Epignosis LTD
      papagel@efrontlearning.net
    • The time paradox
      Assume a software system that needs 20 days to complete 80% of it
      How much time will it take to complete 100%?
      Answer = Infinite
      As closer we get to 100% time becomes relative. We can never reach 100% as we need more and more time to cover the next step
    • Balance between time and results
      It is important to get something working quickly
      Aim to 90% - this gives you a good balance between functionality-quality and time-to-market
      Get used to reiterate later your logical and layout issues
      Don’t loose long-run goals perspective over every-day hurdles
      Balance is a key ingredient for everything
    • Care for the “wrapper”
      Build a decent web-site from the scratch
      Use your brand as the glue for everything you do
      Use a forum or blog to communicate with the users
      Build documents, video presentations … whatever you can to explain your system
      Look and be professional on all aspects
    • Get used to people differences
      Not all people are the same, work the same, produce the same
      Make a good mix
      You need the architect, you need the builder and you need the clerk
      Motivate them and keep them as a team
      BUT: You need at least a few extraordinary members to lead the process
      And you need the correct attitude from all members
      Don’t go with people that cannot communicate at all
    • Get external support
      Promoting your system is harder that you expect
      Find the appropriate channels
      Measure your site traffic, it is the only trustworthy success mechanism
      Find people to help you
      Building a community takes time and it is extremely hard
      Help them back
    • Keep it simple
      In an iterative environment debugging can become a headache
      Forget about unit-testing and other exotic debugging mechanisms
      Write simple, well-structured code
      Use continuous scenario testing (labor or automatic)
      Have experienced system testers
      If you have a user community include them to the testing process
    • Get used to change
      Change is inevitable
      You should get prepared to handle it efficiently
      Filter external interferences from the development team
      Give them ample time to do it correct / work with them
      Make sure that everything is simple so as to be able to adjust
      Re-balance your system frequently to be change-friendly
      Minimize source
      Optimize code
    • Products vs Projects
      Projects have a deadline, you don’t have one
      Projects get to 80%, you need to go to 95%
      Most project management tactics are useless under a continuous development environment
      A small development team can make miracles
      But use ample resources for wrapper tasks (documentation, testing, marketing,…)
    • Pick the correct tools
      There will always be a variety of tools that can make the job
      Do not get “attached” to certain tools
      Pick the ones that can help your time-to-market equation and not based on their superiority
      Be careful to pick those that will provide an optimized solution for the end-user
    • Be honest
      …to the team
      …to the customers
      …to yourself
      Don’t offer biased advices.
      Or whenever you do so make sure you are open about your bias
      Don’t promise what you cannot deliver
      Don’t aim to the impossible
      Aim to the extraordinary
    • Don’t give up
      Building a product is a long-process full of good and bad moments
      Each day has something new to give. Let yourself grow through them
      Be persistent but not dogmatic
      Don’t forget that opportunity meets preparation