Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Gil Allouche, William Schmarzo, AppDynamics Blog, Akhil Sahai

Related Topics: Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Open Source Cloud, IoT User Interface, Agile Computing

Java IoT: Article

Continuous Integration, Continuous Deployment and Continuous Feedback

Developing products the smart way

Context
At Usersnap we spend a lot of time thinking about optimizing the developer workflow. With great tech startups helping us with our tests, and Continuous Integration, we want to add Continuous Feedback to the dev checklist. Fortunately we don't need to stress the importance of receiving feedback from clients, co-workers and users before, during and after your development process. Let's move on to the how.

The Build-Measure-Learn-Workflow
We have all read Eric Ries' The Lean Startup - or at least we say we did - and its call for agile product development and validated learning. Figuring out what to build (next), instead of spending months, sometimes years, perfecting a product without ever showing the product to the prospective customer, it's all about developing a minimum viable product (MVP) to begin the process of learning as quickly as possible. Lean is about putting a process, a methodology around the development of your product. Core component is the build-measure-learn feedback loop.

The Feedback Loop - Build, Measure, Learn

Say you're a startup about to launch a new product or improve on an existing product. After a period of competitor research, as well as market research, you're ready for an (informed!) brainstorm on what problem you're trying to solve, for whom and how.

After collecting the ideas of your team, you (together) pick the one with most potential, or filter until you've constructed a clear strategy combining elements of the best ideas. Make sure you're not building everything for everyone, it's called minimum viable product for a reason. No feature freaking!

Next you'll build your MVP. Here, done is better than perfect. Don't forget we're building a prototype, to test if the product resonates with our users and / or potential customers. To test if development and communication are still on the same page, we recommend regular feedback rounds. Both development and marketing/communication should keep in mind that they should not add extra features in this stage.

Once development is done and copy is in place, it's time to open up your product or feature to the world. Measuring engagement, interaction, retention and possibly even mentions on social media, you collect data to test your initial hypothesis. Do people really need your product / this feature? Would they pay for it? Do they use it in the way you had expected?

Collect all the data you can get your hands on and make sure to share it with your team. Together you minimize the chance of coming to biased conclusions. With the data fresh in mind, you can then improve on your ideas (or skip a certain feature as a whole, if it doesn't look like it's ever going to pay off) and enter the feedback loop for a second time. And a third time. And... Making small iterations at a speedy pace.

Release new features in small iterations

Usersnap has a constant reminder of how they should publish small iterations, on their white board

Continuous Deployment
Continuous Deployment
allows you to speed up this process even more, as you'll collect real user data. At Usersnap, we're no big fans of test panels. We believe that after you've done 3 user experience tests, you're basically a UX expert and you don't have this fresh outlook on an application anymore. Many startups copy best practice sign-up funnels and your tester will recognize these. You'll not get qualitative feedback from actual users struggling with the sign up form and you will definitely ask yourself why - once your site is online - the bounce rate on the register page is so high.

Worse even, the tester might not even be interested in the product, and therefor engage in a completely different way than a potential customer would.

Continuous Feedback
For every step of this build-measure-learn cycle, you need feedback. Both from your customers or users - ever thought about inviting them to your office and look over their shoulder while they use your product? - and from your team members, especially when you're a distributed company and it's hard to plan pairing sessions due to different timezones.

Don't ever economize on feedback and user input. Remember: this is where ‘the corporations' fail, building stuff that people don't need. Rather: select, build, measure, improve, and keep the pace!

Continuous everything
Ever too often companies build products without researching the field they're entering, or if there's a need for their tool or service. Only to then go on and release it, without ever testing the use case. Without proper understanding of who your prospective customer is and what he wants, how are you ever going to build a sustainable business?

Following the build-measure-learn feedback loop, as described in The Lean Startup, and making feedback a crucial part of your workflow, you'll be able to move forward fast, building great products for great customers.

Happy developing!


This is a guest blog post by Floor Drees about Product Management and Product Development. Let us know in the comments if this is content you enjoy reading. If so, we will provide more articles about it in the future!

Floor is Head of Communication at Usersnap.com. Usersnap is "reinventing the way team members, visitors and clients give feedback, enabling you to see what your customers see. Comprehensible feedback and visualized customer request make endless email-loops a thing of the past. Start getting actionable feedback today!"

Continuous Integration, Continuous Deployment, Continuous Feedback

More Stories By Manuel Weiss

I am the cofounder of Codeship – a hosted Continuous Integration and Deployment platform for web applications. On the Codeship blog we love to write about Software Testing, Continuos Integration and Deployment. Also check out our weekly screencast series 'Testing Tuesday'!

@ThingsExpo Stories
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
It’s 2016: buildings are smart, connected and the IoT is fundamentally altering how control and operating systems work and speak to each other. Platforms across the enterprise are networked via inexpensive sensors to collect massive amounts of data for analytics, information management, and insights that can be used to continuously improve operations. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Chemel, Co-Founder and CTO of Digital Lumens, will explore: The benefits sensor-networked systems bring to ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.