Gavin Greig (ggreig) wrote,
Gavin Greig

Jung and Impressionable

Our latest application, a Pocket PC version of Insights Impressions, has been sent off for external testing to see whether it will qualify for Microsoft's Designed for Windows Mobile logo. We're sure we've eradicated all the definite failure points, but there are some which are open to interpretation, and as a result we're less sure about those.

It's the first time we've gone through testing for an external logo scheme, so it will be interesting to see how it goes. We expect to do more of this sort of thing in future for other apps, though perhaps it will only be to use the logo guidelines as an internal checklist for things we should be making sure we cover, rather than formally applying for the logo.

It makes sense to apply for the logo in this case, because when we succeed (we'll be correcting it and resubmitting if we fail first time) we will be able to continue our membership of the Microsoft Certified Partner scheme. Particularly for a fairly small company like us, this is a fantastic scheme with a lot of benefits. The rules of membership have become a bit more demanding this year, but nothing we can't manage and it falls in with our general direction anyway so it's a no-brainer that we should be doing this.

Aside from the MCP benefits, Impressions is also a useful icebreaker for the more ambitious developments we're embarking on in .NET. It's a minimal but complete implementation of the kind of Jungian-based personality profiling that Insights does, so it gives us (a) a relatively unimportant application to make our early mistakes in and (b) a foundation for the heavier duty stuff we'll be building. It also gives us a feel for some of the limitations we'll face on smaller devices if we want to deliver mobile data collection in future.

We have made mistakes. The app is less efficient than it might be, has more lines of code than it needs, and does some things in an ugly way behind the scenes. It also took longer to produce than we initially expected. However, given that we're using a complete new range of technologies, from the underlying build environment to the final obfuscation and signing, I don't think we've done too badly, and we'll certainly learn from it. We also have a fairly sound build process which will benefit all our other applications, although, as build processes always do, it needs more work. That probably took at least as much time as writing the application itself.

I'm now looking forward to getting stuck into meatier development with Visual Studio 2005. Thanks to our Microsoft Certified Partner status and a pointer from scottymcleod, we're involved in the "Ascend" scheme for early adopters. I've already had a week's training in VS2005 as a result, and my colleagues go next month. (Relatively) Interesting Times!
Tags: software development, work

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