WebRTC World Feature Article

October 07, 2016

Communications Development: Getting the Math Right


In communications development, like any business, there is a convergence of ideas and talent to create a successful end result. While a development team is most likely made up of experienced developers, management in a lot of cases is composed of people not necessarily knowledgeable and/or experienced enough in the development process to meet project expectations.

Senior Product Marketing Manager Alan Percy (News - Alert) was joined by PKE Consulting’s Phil Edholm on the most recent installment of the CommsDevZone Podcast  to discuss “The Developer Equation,” a means to empower those involved in, or working with developers – both experienced and novice – to ensure projects produce the anticipated products and results.

The Developer Equation is a snippet from Edholm’s book, “Napkin Logic,” and as Edholm explained to Percy, “It is for someone who’s in one part of the business to be able to have insight into another part of the business.” Edholm offered the example of an engineer moving to project management, for instance.

The development chapters from Napkin Logic “are for people that don’t do development to have some sort of understanding,” Edholm noted. He explained that “the concept of the development equation is something that came to me in the late nineties and early aughts,” where Edholm seemed to encounter the same issue: pressure on resources, and a lack of awareness as to how that affects the project at hand.

The Developer Equation is as follows:

“If I’m going to do a project I need to essentially balance this equation,” Edholm notes, but while this sounds simple enough, it’s not always that easy. He illustrates that a great number of companies sit down at the beginning of the year and create projections for the year – revenue, growth, resources – which are then used to define the terms of projects for the upcoming year.

Take “Bob the developer,” for example. He “takes on a project to deliver in one year with a team of 20 developers and now its three months into the year, revenue goals aren’t coming in as fast as hoped so instead of bob getting the 20 headcount he only gets 15.” Unfortunately, now Bob is in somewhat of a predicament. Why? Because there is a high likelihood of his boss determining he can still deliver on the project, in the time originally expected. The problem: quality is forced to suffer, and the next year ends up being spent fixing the problems resulting from the mediocre product.

Edholm stated, “If you’re a manager that never has been a development manager, and you now are responsible for development…it’s just they don’t understand that by their actions they can create huge quality problems a year later by essentially forcing the organization to live with their unbalanced equation…”

“Napkin Logic” is available on Amazon, and coming up at the end of the month Edholm is putting on “Real Time Web Solutions China 2016.” Percy and his team at Dialogic (News - Alert) – working with Telestax – are currently taking WebRTC on the road, providing developers a day of hands on training with the leading edge in tools, guided by industry experts.

This article originally appeared on Communications Developer Zone.




Edited by Alicia Young




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