3. Start building the prototype - with agility! And understand mobile app types along the way
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I have to tell you - blogging is therapeutic. Its like writing to Agony aunt to get things off your chest
So, like I wrote in my previous post , my product manager was my first customer. I believe - in our business of technology (or any business for that matter - like petrol) the biggest commodity (no - its not knowledge) is a customers pain point that they don't want to solve themselves. If you know it - than that's the biggest currency. The second biggest is an idea you have, that can solve a problem.
Some of the agile posers would like to believe that just hack away and some one will pay a billion dollars as they are bound to find a use for it.. of course they will - you hacked it together after all . There are others (or may be the same lot) believe that iPod was Steve Job's brain fart - and he ran out of the shower naked (trusted sources tell me he was a shower guy - not a tub guy) saying iPod! iPod! iPod! . I haven't read his auto/biographies... but look at the laun
So, I kept a routine religiously -produce a demo video every friday. So I produced my first video - with paintbrush sketches stitched together while the intern was busy learning the RQM APIs available. This helped tell the story. and to honestly tell myself there is a story. Well there is a hazard that you just might buy into your own story after telling it couple of times.. so be forewarned..
That story could have been implemented as a win32 app or a mobile app - i decided on a mobile app as the form factor of mobile devices was conducive to where we were intending this will be used (in a passenger seat of a car under test, under a truck, in a train engine etc). I'm still non commital at this point as there was a a valid parallel thought on why not build a win32 app since everyone has a laptop any ways.. But the story telling was important. i started showing it to my colleagues.. they were the best judges if it made sense or no. and then any one else I could. The we started building the app. One of my mentors who is the CTO for mobile at Rational suggested we should try worklight. and build a hybrid mobile app. I did not even know what was it.. the point I am trying to make is you start "socializing" the concept - you will get a lot of good suggestions.. and some not to useful ones as well.
Mobile app types
I discovered there are basically 2 types of mobile apps
What the heck is Hybrid?
Hybrid seemed to be the right way to go.. Nothing wrong with Native - but the ability to run the same code on all the phone OSs was enticing. Given that the app was not going to do anything crazy like shooting birds using a sling shot.. Hybrid with HTML/JS seemed to be a decent choice. Plus there was a way to have native screens if we did decide to shoot birds using a sling shot! (I'm starting to get divisive pleasure out of shooting birdies using a sling shot). So hybrid it was. THe one advantage with this was there was a lot of HTML/JS help available around . Worklight has native JQuery widget libraries bundled in - and its light weight.. so thats what we decided to do. Worklight - Hybrid - JQuery.
Off we went to build the 1st screen - the login screen!!