News from the World of Software Development – December 2016

With the Holiday Season in full force, many technology organizations take a few days to rest up before 2017 begins. Despite the break a few interesting stories from the software development still arose in the past few weeks. Let’s take a look and see if any recent news offers some inspiration for you and your team. If you are interested in last month’s digest, simply click this link.

How Design is transforming the Practice of Software Development

Principles from the world of design are influencing how software gets written, especially at companies leveraging Agile as their methodology of choice. This is the opinion of a December article in ZDNet. The piece explains the similarities of thought between design and Agile as noted by Matt Cooper-Wright, a senior designer at IDEO.

“Both processes seek input from beyond the team doing the work. For designers this is user research, business needs, and technology possibilities. For software development this looks more like a backlogs, user stories, and success metrics. Both processes also embrace iteration and ongoing refinement. Design is more about jumping backwards and forwards where software is the continuous loop of development — but both talk to the same notion of ongoing refinement,” said Cooper-Wright.

Faster release cycles combined with a move towards continuous deployment is a major goal of many shops embracing Agile. Design concepts come into play with elegant user interfaces that serve the needs of end-users. Involving creative professionals during the storyboarding portion of the development cycle (and elsewhere as needed) ensures the final product offers a compelling user experience.

Tom Dabson, software engineering manager at Cognizant, sums up this evolution of application development. “We use design thinking as the approach to solving problems,” Design thinking is centered around truly understanding client needs and opening yourself up to try as many things as possible before coming up with the preferred solution,” commented Dabson.

Apple slowing down Mac Application Development?

The rumors are hot and heavy that Apple is deemphasizing software development for its Mac desktop computers. Engadget reported on this potential news story in late December. Considering the lack of new Mac computers for nearly four years until the recent introduction of an updated MacBook line, it is obvious mobile devices, wearables, and streaming media are Redmond’s major focus.

The article noted the poor battery power of the new MacBook as proof Apple’s engineering focus lies elsewhere. More tellingly, an analyst for Bloomberg reported Apple no longer maintains a dedicated team working on macOS software. Tim Cook denies these rumors when speaking to the press, but the real proof is in the lack of innovation on the Mac side of the shop compared to other areas within Apple.

A quote the late Steve Jobs made to Fortune Magazine 20 years ago rings true concerning the current priorities in Redmond. “If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macintosh for all it’s worth — and get busy on the next great thing. The PC wars are over. Done. Microsoft won a long time ago,” said Jobs.

We hope everyone enjoys their Holiday season, and looks forward to a fruitful 2017. Keep returning to the Betica Blog for additional insights from the ever changing world of software development. Thanks for reading!