Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Mehdi Daoudi, Liz McMillan, Xenia von Wedel, Stackify Blog, Vaibhaw Pandey

Related Topics: Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Open Source Cloud, Machine Learning , 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
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...