Archive for November, 2008

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Getting Real – Chapter 16

November 10, 2008

The 16th chapter of 37signals’ Getting Real mainly discussed about Conclusion. This is the last chapter to be found in the book. Given below are the topics covered in this chapter:

It is important to focus and to prioritize to your works that needs attention and improvements. It is essential for developers to create successful execution for their applications. That is why every time they’ll be making applications, everything should be in placed.

There is more to getting real than just about managing an application. In execution, it gives you more better ideas. It keeps you improving and improving more until you meet the ‘real’ requirements asked by your customers. Ideas may serves as part of initiating good outputs or outcomes, but execution is still the real great thing.

Of course, behind every successful work comes from people. Picking the right people will always create a great impact not only at your work, but it will reflect on your application that you are building. People also denote customers; somehow one needs to notice them, listen to them, try to get them involved and be honest to them.

This is the last chapter of the Getting Real book. Phew. I finally finished the whole book and I must say that I really do learn a lot from this.

I have listed some insights and learning that really helped me while reading the book:

· Passion for learning and sharing knowledge to people

· Creating new and compelling ways for users to use your application/s

· Thinking ‘outside the box’

· Build and create an effective and working team

· Skills, attitude, and character reflect your work

· Developing ideas that are feasible and workable

· Don’t be afraid of changes

· Learning how to deal with people in different ways

· Motivating people to learn from your application

· Stay connected with people

· Effective blogging creates human conversations

· Knowing what people really want in an application

· Dealing with issues in functionality and accessibility

· Treat your work not just only as a software, it represents you.

“You need people who are passionate about what they do. People who care about their craft – and actually think of it as a craft. People who take pride in their work, regardless of the monetary reward involved.”

37 signals

To wrap all things up, in this final chapter, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who became part of creating this wonderful and valuable book – the whole crew of 37signals, and the people behind in publishing. I would also like to thank our professor, Sir Dave Q, for giving us the opportunity to learn something from this book. I know deep in my heart that everything that I was able to grasp in this book will be useful for the futures to come. Thank you for sharing this book with us.

And to all my classmates who already read the entire book, may this book serves as a guidance or as a tool to create effective application someday. Good luck to everyone!

Indeed, this book aren’t just only for IT people like us, but I believe it serves as a way to increase our awareness in building and developing useful system/program/application in our respective task/s. This book is highly recommended for people who wished to be influenced with great concepts in building apps. Technology and technicality-wise, I must say that this book says it all.

Goodbye and farewell, Getting Real. Your memories will be remembered forever and ever.

Thanks for reading and God bless.

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Getting Real – Chapter 15

November 9, 2008

The 15th chapter of 37signals’ Getting Real mainly discussed about Post-Launch. Given below are the topics covered in this chapter:

In this chapter, 37signals discussed something about updating your application after its launching. Updating your application only shows that you learn how to listen with your customer’s ideas and demands. Through updates, you improve your application – and it gets better and better. During this phase, feedbacks from your users or from your customers are highly visible. This stage is where deep conversations really start. You start focusing what are the things needs updates or revisions.

Blog post-launch is well considered once you have already launched your application to the community. People can now interact with it with so many ways. Blogging keeps people getting real about your application – they visualize it, they sense it, and they identify it. Blogging keeps them informed and connected. They can check updates about your application’s recent developments. Through blogging, you showcase your application not only to limited people, but you let everybody see around the world what your application is all about.

Betas were also discussed in this chapter. It is advisable to come up with beta launch in private rather than in public. Beta would not always mean ‘perfect’. That is why 37signals advised that betas aren’t useful enough and not perfect enough – it is better to call it as a imperfect release. At least, you don’t have to wait to your application to be so perfect. As long as it is functional, make it as a release – not betas. Betas are good – but avoid too much from them.

Bug issues were also raised in this chapter. We must learn to prioritize these bugs and try not to ignore them. It is our responsibility to fix them as early as we can. Bugs can create an impact especially to your end users. However, of course, it is also important that you keep you users informed that there are bugs going on in your application. Tell them what are your plans to fix it – explain everything to them.

Think outside the box – keep your application creative and innovative as possible. This allows your application more flexible and more reliable to your users. It is important that you learn how to change. Your creativity will always be your limitation – find compelling ways to your application so that people will really use it.

Remember – nobody is perfect. What Getting Real wants us to realize is that we cannot attain total perfection. What we can only attain is the satisfaction that we will be getting from people who will be using our application. The best thing we could offer to them is showing and giving them what they really want.

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Getting Real – Chapter 14

November 8, 2008

The 14th chapter of 37signals’ Getting Real mainly discussed about Support. Given below are the topics covered in this chapter:

  • Feel The Pain – Tear down the walls between support and development
  • Zero Training – Use inline help and FAQs so your product doesn’t require a manual or training
  • Answer Quick – Quick turnaround time on support queries should be a top priority
  • Tough Love – Be willing to say no to your customers
  • In Fine Forum – Use forums or chat to let customers help each other
  • Publicize Your Screwups – Get bad news out there and out of the way

The chapter explains customer value and how you, as a developer, manage them. Customers will always be the number one asset for you. As an IT practitioner, you must learn to create harmonious relationship with them. Being connected and participated with them gives you great impacts for your application. Their feedbacks serve as basis whether you should improve your product, remove unnecessary features, or add functionalities that people really demand.

37signals also highlighted about zero training. They advise that you should avoid of things to teach, to instruct, and to aid your users to their questions on how to operate or how to use your application. Since we already have the Internet, online training can be done immediately after your application is somehow up and running. Through the web, you avoid entertaining questions – and this keeps them to know their answers by themselves. Zero training happens because you use the Internet as a tool for communication – your answer inquiries and feedbacks from people online.

Potential users will always demand for quick responses especially if they are inquiring information about your application. What this chapter tells us is that you should have a least well-organized and established information that can be presented to your customers. These information should be something valid for them – acceptable in a way. We all know that we cannot answer their problems totally, but with this manner, we already give them the idea and brainstorm them into what extent the application is all about.

Customer is always right. This statement has been a notion for everyone in the past years and past decades. As a developer, we learn to say no every time they wanted to add something in our application. The best way to create your application is to know what features are important to have. Allowing your customers to give this kind of freedom would only result to negative impact to your application – your scope began to change, your time is now more consuming, your effort began to double up, and your cost would be increasing, eventually. Learn to control yourself in making your application. It is always good to stick on your instinct rather than getting too much demand from others.

In this chapter, ‘forums’ were also discussed. It is highly advisable to create forums in your site where people could freely access information about your application. Forums make your work productive in a way because you got to know what are the weaknesses and strengths of your application. Moreover, having forum discussions allow you to interact with online – helping them out if there are inquiries coming from them. Forums create a community where human conversations can be seen and can be heard. Having it online makes your work more efficient and more dynamic since intermediary is not part of the requirement anymore.

It is always important to interact with your people. If something goes wrong with your application, let them be informed with it. If improvements came up, notify them early as possible. Being connected allows knowing what the status of your application is. People will understand more about certain information about your application, and the things you have encountered could be a way to facilitate them properly. Being open with them is what everyone should do – stay honest, clear, and straightforward. Remember, a well-informed customer is your best customer.

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Getting Real – Chapter 13

November 8, 2008

The 13th chapter of 37signals’ Getting Real mainly discussed about Promotion. Given below are the topics covered in this chapter:

As a developer of programmer, it is necessary to determine first where or what location/s is/are marketable, meaning – find a place where your ‘application teaser’ can be launched. That certain location must be something accessible to people and must be something interesting for them. A good place would always get a better result or outcome.

You should consider for a ‘Hollywood Launch’. People will be buying for that since they it will make your program/application more known to everyone. For the ‘teaser’ part, your application must be something that is ‘compelling’ and ‘interesting’ for your users. Your app should have at least features that are accessible and functional already. Don’t mind if your app isn’t completely finished – what is important that it is up and running. A functional app means that is has already the capability to update or to be fixed in the near revisions or versions. In addition, having a functional app means you could already market or advertise the working system/application.

Since it is already up and running, it would be advisable to track and record information on this certain application. Blog posting would do, most especially, for people who are fond of reading information about the given product. In this way, you are starting to advertise your product – and people already buying their interest on it.

Blogging keeps potential buyers/users informed about the product information. It keeps them up to date and notified with new updates and revisions that will be happening in the application. Blog posts will serve as part of the developer’s documentation of the application created. Speaking of blogging, it is recommended to create blog entries that can motivate readers to try your application. Using set of media such as audio and visual resources, adding ‘tweaks’ to your blog posts would eventually create a big impact to your reader’s interest with your application. You can now have the assurance that these people will be paying attention to every detail that you will be posting.

Blogging can be a good start to advertise products or services. Including other ‘add-ons’ to your blog site can be transformed into something that is ‘promotional’. Incorporate features such as overviews, tours, screen shots and videos, buzz, forums, pricing, etc. will always be a hit for most people who will be reading on your site.

Blogging should really be considered since it is cheaper than do advertising in a costly way. Blogging can make its way to be something that looks like an advertisement, but with different style or form. Everyone can blog in just few minutes – without even exerting too much effort. With blogging, you create information effective, up to date, productive, and inexpensive.

For most people, they are interested to applications that can render functionality already. 37signals advised that people should already get knowledge of the application –features, screenshots, sitemaps, etc. People should already get the idea how the system will look like after the entire development and testing phase will be accomplished. Blog postings could help you in this way to create ‘previews’ for users.

In the launch phase, at this point in time, you should already started application release to your product. You must start advertising it. As a developer, you must be prepared to disseminate these application to various users found in different community. You should also consider prioritizing people who are interested buying and using their product – they will serve as your primary customers and end users as well.

And when the subject you’re teaching is your app, it serves a dual purpose: You can give something back to the community that supports you and score some nice promotional exposure at the same time.”

37 signals

In everything you do, you must show your passion on it. Promoting means educating people. It is important to let future users stay informed with your applications. Let them be exposed of how your applications can and will do in the near future. Making them educated would raise the level of their awareness and eventually increasing their knowledge about the technologies you used in creating the application.

Lastly, people will always buy for a product that is something catchy and can be easily remembered. You should consider on that. Giving a name for you app is a big responsibility that you have to take – it represents your application and represents you. Create something that is creative which comprises catchy statements, letters, of numbers.