Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Professionals Mix in Research & Development

I’ve been complaining about the speed issue over and over, yet the improvement is still a little far from satisfaction even though TimeTec Cloud development team has poured vigorous efforts in tackling the problem.  

And, I suddenly saw the light when I tried out one of TimeTec Cloud newly launched features. I immediately called the head of development team to discuss my idea and the existing blind spot.

“Yes, it’s achievable, but don’t you think the real-time function is more important as a cloud application?” R&D Head replied.  

“But user profile or configuration won’t be updated too regularly.” I said.

“If they do?” Ha! What a typical response from an R&D team!

“Then that’s something extraordinary, our priority should set on the majority first.” 

At the end, we came into a conclusion that only the present day’s attendance records require real time, and the system should automatically perform data retrieval from the server every time upon request; but for the rest, once downloaded, the information should be kept on the cache memory on local CPU for recurring use until the user logs out.

Technical problem solving does not only depend on how advanced one possesses the technology know-how, but it’s rather more often resort to rational thought based on the user experience. Like in our case, speed versus real-time, we asked the same question for all the features, and we were surprised to reverse our initial priority for most of the answers.

Sometimes, you may not have to be a technician to solve a technical issue. The same goes to R&D; a non-programmer with the logical dissection can unravel some entangled codes. Problem solving always requires different mix of professionals. Especially when we aim to develop a system that can meet world-class standard; besides technology, we have to be more holistic. One way to achieve this goal is to channel more expertise from different fields into the same development. Therefore, we have people from different departments getting involved in research and development ‘assisting’ software engineers.

And, this mix is not an ad-hoc task in FingerTec; we have adopted it as part of the routine duty in our business operations.

Hence our regular usability meetings for any added new features for TimeTec Cloud continue…..

Hence our Big Data analytics to improve user experience continues….