The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

As much as some things change, other things tend to remain the same. Things like the need for project methodology, setting standards, and controlling how development occurs are as important today as they have always been.

In a recent eGuide, authored jointly by ComputerWorld, CIO, and InfoWorld, posted on ComputerWorld and entitled “Enterprise Mobile App Development”, it struck me when reading it that the kinds of systems and applications that we build continues to grow and change at a frantic pace, but the underlying keys to successfully developing and deploying these new applications remains the same.

Here’s a few excerpts that point this out.

Methodology:
Spotlight Ticket Management, for instance, follows the agile methodology, which the company had been using before its mobile development transition. “We’re big be-lievers in Scrum and just getting things down quickly and getting iterations out,” Knopp says. (Scrum is a framework for team collaboration on software projects.) Dave Peters, VA assistant deputy CIO for enterprise soft-ware development, also noted that apps need to be de-signed in an iterative fashion. The key is to involve users. In the VA’s case, Peters says the department needs to practice both continuous integration—an approach that’s been around for about 20 years—and continuous deployment/DevOps “to decrease our time to market and enable more frequent and timely end user and customer feedback.”

Setting Standards:
In addition, Baker believes an enterprise mobility group should specify a standard data access mechanism through which mobile apps can tap legacy systems. In-stead of building multiple interfaces to legacy systems, Baker recommends building a mapping layer on top of the legacy systems. The idea, he explains, is to create a layer that “knows how to access data from legacy sys-tems and make [data] available to the mobile device in a standard way.” A central data access point is just another way of imposing some order on the mobile app trend.

Discipline:
“We need to encourage people to do interesting and innovative things with app development but, at the same time, keep control of the data and the brand,” Baker says.

Just a couple of examples of why I felt a lot of “deja vu all over again” as I read the article. Check it out and see if you get the same feeling…..

Yes, these are the new Mobile Apps we’re talking about, but they are still Apps, and all the things we’ve learned about how to build Apps the right way still apply.