After having worked for AppEx (a.k.a Bing Apps or MSN Apps) for over 3 years, it’s time for me to move on. We shipped the MSN Sports app on pretty much every platform over the last few years, and it was fun all along! Met some great folks in the team, made some amazing friends and got to learn a lot from some of the smartest out there. The next chapter begins at Visual Studio Online, with an exciting new project! It’s going to be hardcore tech and I’m really looking forward to all the fun :-)
Also, this blog could use some updates once in a while ;-)
Here’s an old, but still relevant, post by Steven Sinofsky on shipping products,
“In order to slip you need to know the ship date. When people talk about projects shipping “first quarter” that is about 90 different dates and so that leaves everyone (on the team and elsewhere) guessing what the ship date might be. A date is a date. All projects should have a date. While software itself is not launching to hit a Mars orbit, it is important that everyone agree on a single date. Whether that date is public or not is a different question.”
“Interestingly, the error rate in short-term, continuous projects can often (in my experience) be much higher. The view of continuously shipping can lead to a “project” lasting only a month or two. The brain doesn’t think much of missing by a week or two, but that can be a 25 – 50% error rate. On a 12 month project that can mean it would stretch to 15-18 months, which does sound like a disaster.”
“When a task cannot be partitioned because of sequential constraints, the application of more effort has no effect on schedule. The bearing of a child takes nine months, no matter how many women are assigned. The Mythical Man-Month – Frederic P. Brooks”
“Quality is the most difficult to manage and why the test leadership is such a critical part of the management structure of any project. Quality is not something you think about at the end of the project nor is it particularly malleable. While a great test manager knows quality is not binary at a global level, he/she knows that much like error bars in physics a little bit of sub-par quality across many parts of the project compounds and leads to a highly problematic, or buggy, product. Quality is not just bugs but also includes scale, performance, reliability, security, and more.”
“Quality is difficult to manage because it is often where people want to cut corners. A product might work for most cases but the boundary conditions or edge cases show much different results. As we all know, you only get one chance to make a first impression.”
On the same topic, if you know that you suck at planning and factor this in next time, it might actually prove a little useful ;-)
* chirp * chirp *
O’Reilly has a special offer on the new book that Charles Petzold is working on, Programming Windows 6th Edition. This should be a great book covering Windows 8 app development in C# and XAML.
You can get this book for $10 now (offer lasts till 31st May), and future editions of this book, as and when new chapters are added, will be available to you for free.
Read more at Charles’ blog here: http://www.charlespetzold.com/blog/2012/05/An-Experiment-in-Book-Publishing.html
Try this – http://www.techtwaddle.net/404
Snowfall effect – http://www.kirupa.com/html5/creating_falling_snow_in_html_js.htm
You know how sometimes you come across a book and you go “I wish I had read this years ago!”. CODE is just that book. It’s a book about how computers work and the way in which Charles Petzold flows through the topics is pure artistry. Those electronics class lessons in college would have been much more interesting if I had read this book then ;)
The book starts off with two best friends trying to communicate from across the street using only flashlights. This is how the idea of ‘code’ is introduced. It then takes you through a journey involving Morse Code, Braille and how telegraphs and relays were used to send codes over long distances. For me, the most interesting part is when he starts building logic gates from relays and switches. This lays a solid foundation for things to come. These logic gates are then used to build half-adders, full-adders (using two half-adders), oscillators, flip-flops and latches; finally getting assembled into a unit of Random Access Memory. Towards the end, a simple computer with processing, input and output systems is designed. The book might be a little old but still very relevant.
The most amazing thing about this book? It teaches you concepts at such a fundamental level that your mind will be blown. And before you know it you will be building ripple counters from flip-flops! If you have anything to do with computers go read this book. You won’t be disappointed.
Today was my last day at Samsung. I completed 3 years there this July. My next job takes me to a new city and my domain takes a 180 degree turn from device drivers and firmware to something more related to the web.
Next monday, 12th September, will be my first day at Microsoft. I’m really excited and I know there is a ton of things for me to learn. Really looking forward to this!
Yep, that video above shows my HTC HD2 running Android Gingerbread (v2.3.4)! I came back home, and not having much to do thought I’ll give android another try. Sometime back I had tried running android from SD card but it didn’t work, later I found out that it was because of an older radio version on my device, so I had to update the radio version to fix it but it all looked like too much trouble and I put the HD2 back in its box. This was 6 months ago.
Today I thought I should take it for another spin. But this time we go all in, erase Windows Mobile 6 and flash the ROM with all the android goodness! It is pretty simple really, all you need is some patience to read all those articles on XDA a little carefully :)
The basic steps I followed are,
- Check your radio version and update to 2.08.50 (if you’re running an older version)
- Install MAGLDR 1.13 on your phone
- Install Clockwork Mod on your device
- Select an android ROM of your choice and flash. I chose the stock android gingerbread ROM version 2.3.4.
Here are the posts on XDA I referred to androidify my hd2,
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=893948 (read this fully first, very important!)
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=905060 (this is the android rom I installed)
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=929324 (a list of all the rom’s you can choose from)
To all the guys at XDA, thanks for all the posts and how-to’s for noobs. You rock!
This is going to be a quick post. Just over 2 weeks ago I got the Windows Phone Mango invite I was waiting for; my HD7 has been running mango in full glory since then. The installation took a long time but went pretty smoothly, backing the data up takes most of the time. I am really liking the Mango update, this is what windows phone should have been when it launched. Multitasking, IE9, better facebook integration in people’s hub and a plethora of other features. The voice command integration in mango is exceptional, and I find myself using it quite often. Being able to listen to an incoming message, compose a reply and send it, all using only your voice, is really amazing (or magical, as some might call it) and works really well.
Strangely, I am not using the multitasking feature all that much. Somehow I have an obsessive compulsion to keep the backstack clean all the time. Whenever I am done using the phone, I keep pressing the back button just to make sure there is nothing on the stack. I have a feeling I’m not alone.
In other news, AppHub gets some new features and Windows Phone is expanding to new markets. More importantly, Microsoft’s pubCenter, finally, will be available to developers outside of US of A. According to Todd Brix’s post, pubCenter should launch to new markets (including India!) before the end of 2011. I can’t wait to try out adCenter. You can read Todd’s post here,
The developer tools for Windows Phone Mango were updated to Beta 2 a few days ago. You can find the bits here,
You can read this WindowsPhoneGeek article on installation instructions.
On June 29th, Microsoft also released Mango for developers,
I am still waiting for my invite. Looks like they are sending out invites starting from the list of supported countries, which unfortunately, India is not a part of. I’ll write when I get the invite and let you know how the installation goes on my HD7.