John Feathers' Post

4 Must-Read Books If You Are Interested in Agile Development

So you’re interested in Agile development, but are finding it a little too difficult to grasp? Well, look no further! Software Planet Group have assembled here a few of our favourite books by some truly legendary authors. Together, they can help you to not only better understand developers, but also the Agile process as a whole.

Read on!

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5 Steps to Create a Winning Product Strategy

Though both of these things will undoubtedly play a part, developing a successful product is not usually the result of luck, or even of giving it one’s all. Instead, by and large, success comes down to a well-thought-out strategy. Nonetheless, when working on a new software product, we often fixate upon our own product vision and completely forget about where our strategy should be coming from.

Yet this — it must be said — is a largely senseless pursuit that is very much akin to a caneless blind man, happily fumbling across a busy motorway.

So to help you avoid this hazardous pitfall, today, Software Planet would like to present customers with some extremely helpful suggestions on the best way to go about devising one’s product strategy:

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Four Inconvenient Truths About Product Development

According to a recent study at the Harvard Business School, every year, around 30,000 new consumer products are launched into the market. Astoundingly, however, of these, up to 80 percent are destined to fail. So just in case you had any doubts, it has now been scientifically established: releasing a successful product can be one tough nut to crack.

Nonetheless, when first embarking upon this journey, it is not unusual at all to remain blissfully unaware of the many hidden challenges that are lying in the road ahead. So with this in mind, Software Planet Group would now like to present below a few difficult — but important — truths about working on product development:

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A Warning on Crypto Exchange Projects

Although interest in crypto investing has lately seen a gradual decline, with the recent explosion in the value of Bitcoin, we are often approached by prize-eyeing customers who are eager to begin their own crypto exchange.

Unfortunately, however, this is very much akin to taking a rudderless rowing boat out into the open ocean — without an adequate plan, you are likely to be rocked by unexpected tidal waves.

For this reason, Software Planet would now like to divulge some critical information for those who are still determined to embark upon this journey.

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How to Recover from Business Failure? Fail Fast, Learn Faster

By now, most readers will already be familiar with the Agile concept of failing fast. For those who aren’t, however, this is a highly influential development approach that encourages companies to take bold, decisive action, because failure — paralysing though the fear thereof may be — is simply a part of living. 

In this way, Agile developers are encouraged to keep an eye out for red flags and be ready to shift gears as soon as the need arises.

Unfortunately, however, by focusing on the term “failure,” companies are often left with more questions than actual answers. So for today’s article, Software Planet Group would like to clarify what exactly failing fast means by turning our attention to the real crux of the matter: learning faster.

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What is Wrong with the Waterfall Model?

Despite the fact that for a very long time, it completely dominated the world of software development, today, it is difficult to find anyone who would rise in stalwart defence of the rusting Waterfall approach. This comes down to a variety of factors, but above all, software companies have started to realise that in a fast-paced and ever-evolving world, it is not the old familiar, but agility that holds the answer.

So what exactly is Waterfall and why are so many businesses so keen to move away from it?

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Making Valuable Predictions with Linear Regression

If you’ve not been living under a rock, you’ve probably already heard about machine learning (ML) technology. After all, on Software Planet’s blog page alone, this topic has already been covered from multiple angles — see here, here and here, for example.

But to those of you who are still furrowing your brows, this not only represents the current state of AI today, but it is also how developers can create “intelligent” products, like the Amazon Alexa or Apple’s much-lauded Siri.

Though of course, none of these would be possible without complex ML algorithms, it is the simple linear regression that enables accurate predictions.

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What You Can Do with Artificial Intelligence Today

If you’re a regular blog reader, you’re probably already aware that when it comes to artificial intelligence, its current state of development is severely misunderstood. Sadly, however, this matter is not helped at all by the many cash-eying marketers who are still promoting the myth that you can purchase sentient tech products.

Take Oral B, for instance. The entire campaign for their Genius X toothbrush is based around the notion that it offers a full slate of quasi-magical AI features. Yet peel away the hype from what is actually objective fact and what users will be left with is an overpriced feedback system, talking a big game but with nothing to back up its claims.

Yes, true artificial intelligence, as it turns out, remains a developer’s pipe dream, as researchers are nowhere near full comprehension of the human mind.

But what then is the actual state of AI technology today — which really should be referred to as machine learning, by the way — and what should companies expect from the most probable future ahead? In this article, Software Planet Group will take a candid look.

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How to Lower Development Costs

With the time and willingness on our hands, it quickly becomes difficult to sit back and twiddle our thumbs. Naturally, therefore, when beginning new software projects, our customers are often filled with an eager desire to help.

Of course, in these particular cases, most of the work will still be left to the software engineers; yet here at Software Planet, there is always room for expediting development.

In fact, by following the steps outlined in this article, not only will companies profit from noticeably faster deliveries, but developers too should likely benefit from a clearer understanding of the project at hand.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the main things that you can start doing today to help speed up development — and concurrently, as a byproduct, effectively lower development costs!

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