Digital Technology

Why Is Test Automation Important?

Interview with QA Test Automation Engineer, Max Ellis. Watch (or read) as Max discusses what test automation is and how it can benefit software products built by Agile software development teams.

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Serverless Databases: A Home for Cloud App Persistence

In my previous article, I talked about serverless architecture and some of the benefits this platform has to offer for writing web apps. The scalability of serverless applications is hard to refuse, and so the temptation is to dive right in and start writing code on AWS Lambda functions or Azure Functions. After diving in, however, you will quickly run into a problem: how are thousands or even millions of function instances going to talk to one MySQL database at the same time? If you are building a high-traffic application, this is going to quickly become a bottleneck. For example, the Azure Database for MySQL has an upper limit of 20,000 concurrent connections. Each Function or Lambda instance is going to have its own connection to the database, and so that’s just not a viable solution.

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Why Agile Works

One of the most important aspects of Agile development methodology is engagement. Engagement of the team in the success of the project all the way from major milestones down to the details of individual features by involving them in the planning and decision making. Engagement of the stakeholders by giving them access to incremental builds and allowing for feedback and direction. This places ownership of the success of a project as much on the stakeholders as on the development team. Giving the whole team visibility to stakeholder responses keeps them engaged in outcomes and grants everyone a sense of ownership for delivery.

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3 Effective Tips to Improve Your Brand Design

What is a brand, when you really think about it? A few professional ex-colleagues I know often think of a brand as the visual assets that represent the company – such as the logo they use, or the color palette they identify with, or a brand/style guide. Strangely enough, both of them worked for the same creative agency. Their answer is wrong. It’s true that these are components of a brand (a visual brand identity)… and for some companies, this might be the only effort they’re actively willing to dedicate to branding. But a logo does not begin to encapsulate what a brand is, let alone how important it is to a company’s success.

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5 Tips for Improving Your User Experience Design

The bulk of the world’s population spends quite a lot of time online each day. We use apps and websites. We watch videos and listen to podcasts. We read stories and news. Sometimes (more often than not) we use smartphones to get our fix. Other times, the Mac or PC at home. There are tons of great apps, games, and websites out there that put a lot of effort into their user experience design – which can range from the definition of their brand or visual design of their website, to the way their app works, or even the specific experience someone has interacting something (submitting a support request, for example).

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A Guide to Customer Journey Maps: PART 1

Connecting with your customers effectively isn’t usually as simple as defining just one way for them to interact with your business – or getting someone to visit your website or download your app. An authentic experience is one where your customer interacts in harmony with your brand. And in an age where every device has a data connection, it’s more important than ever to create a lasting connection with customers – by recognizing them and speaking to them in a way that not only meaningful to them, but in a way that leaves a lasting meaningful impression of the interaction with your brand.

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Leveraging Your Target Audience to Define User Personas

You might think that building a business around a great product or service idea is enough to be successful. For some (the exceptions), that might even be true. In real life, building a successful business generally takes a lot of hard work. You’ll need to define and build the product. You’ll need to design and build a website (most likely). You’ll need content that convinces people your product is worth purchasing. And you’ll need to market the product. Anyone worth their salt can tell you: no matter how great your product is, if it isn’t marketed correctly, and to the right audience, it’s never going to live up to its potential. It may not even get off the ground. Don’t worry, there’s good news. That’s exactly what user personas are for, and why their use is so widespread.

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Server vs. Serverless: A Performance Test

If you follow trends in the software development world, you know that serverless architecture is becoming quite popular. Before diving into this new technology, however, it is wise to consider whether there will be anything gained by abandoning a traditional server. Is it worth using a serverless platform for your API gateway, or is it just a fad that will soon pass?

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Preparing for Product Launch

The easiest part of launching a product is building the product. It doesn’t matter if it is software, hardware, a brand of potato chips or a new snowboard, this is the fun stage. You have an idea, it is (obviously) brilliant, you are passionate about it, you know it is going to be successful. Turning your dream into a tangible product is fun, fulfilling, and the challenges are ones that are able to be overcome because you (by and large) have control of what you are building.

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Product Development Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Product development can often seem like a race. Whether a race to corner an emerging or untapped market or just a race to get something out before you lose sight of the goal. And, like any great endeavor, you should know what you’re getting yourself into before you set foot on the starting line. You should map out and plan your checkpoints in advance. If you want a product that endures, you’ll need to keep in mind that the release is just the first leg. If you start off at a sprint you could lose your way or run out of steam before you’re done.

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