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AGILE METHODS FOR MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT

February 6, 2010

2009 was a banner year for WorldLink, a company developing mobile apps for iPhone, J2ME, Android, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry. I am currently leading the WorldLink team of talented software developers. We have launched over 15 apps on approximately 20 app stores and revenue is climbing.

As an agilist, I am always looking for ways to streamline the development process and hit the market window faster – without sacrificing quality. For developing mobile applications, I have noticed the use of 3 new and/or emerging agile techniques:

  1. User Design Studio
  2. Hyper-prototyping
  3. Pair debugging

User Design Studio uses the metaphor of an art studio displaying new art work. People view the art and give feedback – both positive and constructive. When developing the user interface for a mobile application, we often use this technique to generate new ideas and build consensus around the wisdom of the crowd. The User Design Studio technique is described in our white paper “Emerging Agile Techniques” at www.threebeacons.com. Download it for free and see if it might work for you!

As software folks, we are familiar with rapid prototyping. Hyper-prototyping differs from classic rapid prototyping in terms of speed of development, tighter code/test loops, and level of collaboration. For developing mobile apps, and especially mobile app user interfaces, this technique has proven invaluable to our success at WorldLink. I will be explaining it in more detail in an upcoming webinar, so stay tuned!

You have probably heard of pair programming – it is one of the 12 fundamental tenets of Extreme Programming. However, it is probably the least used due to various reasons. But, I do see a strong use of “pair debugging” in mobile app development. When a programmer is developing and testing a critical piece of code and is hitting some impediments, it is often very useful to ask a colleague to help debug the code. Two eyes on the code often results in overcoming the impediment must faster than one set of eyes. I will also be discussing this technique in an upcoming webinar.

Good luck and stay agile!

Michael Hall
CSM, agile evangelist, and software team leader


Comments? Feel Free! Contact me and let me know what you think.


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