Software Development using Economic Optimization

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 29 Apr 2009 at 23:43

Project Management tools can collect information about time required to produce specific product sub-components (features, user stories). Some agile software development tools, like Pivotal Tracker collect information about actual outcomes based on detailed descriptions of requirement. The tools also collect information about who was involved in developing those results.

Given information like this, it is quite possible to solve some interesting problems for larger organizations. For example, given a set of developers, in an environment with budget constraints, one can find the optimal price (cost) for development output units (velocity) given developer wages and marginal productivity. One can also look at this from a hedonic perspective where you look at the optimal allocation of...

Application in our Mojo Simulator

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 04 Apr 2009 at 18:19

The following links to a live example of code running in our Palm Pre Mojo Simulator. It is an extension of the simple RSS application in the O'Reily webOS book.

http://www.eastagile.com/uploads/news/

Please note that the simulator is only fully functional in Apple Safari version 4 beta since this is the only browser that supports the HTML5 which is used in Palm Pre applications.

Palm Pre Mojo Simulator

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 02 Apr 2009 at 21:45

As part of our Pre development preparations, we've created a simulator of the Palm Pre Mojo framework. It allows working Mojo/javascript code to be written and executed just as it would on an actual Palm Pre.

    * Provides exactly the same API as the real Mojo framework so that the application-level code will work correctly on Palm WebOS
    * Based on the API specification written in the Palm WebOS book
    * Can support
          o application with multiple stages
          o background process
          o notification system
          o widgets
...

Smartphone apps: Fast or Forget It?

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 10 Mar 2009 at 11:40

The iPhone app business has already become quite saturated. The maker of the Dapple app (by all accounts creative and well implemented) reveals how disappointing his sales have been: a little more than $500 in a month. The experience looks a lot like that of Facebook developers. This confirms the need to get to market fast and early, or perhaps not at all in secondary application markets. This is likely remain true with upcoming platforms such as the Palm Pre.

Twitter again first to report a major news event

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 25 Feb 2009 at 17:20

This is an example of how our client, Twitter, is changing the way news is reported around the world. Read about it on CNN.

Twitter becomes client

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 04 Feb 2009 at 06:16

Twitter became a client of ours this month.

Naturally, I am extremely proud of this association. I believe our quality and transparency oriented agile development process, and our reasonable rates were important factors in their choice. I think it also helps that we are quite compatible with the methodologies of Pivotal Labs, which has also worked very successfully with Twitter.

Pivotal Tracker as a Personal Management Tool

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 18 Jan 2009 at 08:51

Pivotal Tracker is an agile software development project management tool. But it actually lends itself quite well to the task of being a personal time and task management tool, especially with those along the GTD ("Getting Things Done") style. Michael Buffington, of Grockit, writes about how he does just this and includes a brief video tour (although he does seem to misunderstand one or two minor things about how the product works). I found his suggested use quite inspiring. Perhaps Tracker could be used to manage quite a broad range of non-programming endeavours.

Hadoop: free scalable data processing

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 10 Jan 2009 at 04:53

Hadoop -- If you're a startup and think you have a lot of data, then the cool solution to your data processing problems is to use this technology. Hadoop is an open source distributed system for reading and transforming ("map") then sorting and summarizing ("reduce") raw text data on an arbitrarily large network of cheap computers.

In some specialized cases, Hadoop is becoming a competitor to commercial tools used for ETL ("Extract-Transform-Load") tools such as Informatic and SAS. Hadoop is free and far more scaleable than commercial alternatives. However, it is less flexible, less user friendly, and has no built in reporting or analytic capabilities, and has no database loading capabilities, leaving data in the same flatfile form from which it must come. In the right applications,...

Amazon Web Services Console

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 10 Jan 2009 at 03:19

Amazon's management console for EC2, now makes it easier than ever to enter the compute cloud. Selecting a machine image and launching and monitoring an instance of a virtual machine is now an intuitive visual experience.

East Agile Extreme Programming

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 02 Dec 2008 at 02:59

At Barcamp Saigon last weekend, we presented our eXtreme Programming (XP) approach at the Barcamp technology conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

We follow a pure approach to XP:

(1) Code review, collaboration, and teamwork are good. So we do them continuously by pair programming. Our developers work in pairs, with two mice, keyboards and monitors connected to the same machine, allowing a constant exchange of ideas throughout each day.

(2) Testing by developers is good. So we do testing continuously through test driven development (TDD).  Before we write any code, we first write tests that define what it should do. As we expand and refactor our code, we expand and refactor its associated tests.

(3) Responsiveness to clients, starting sooner and going live quickly are good....