Over the last weeks we have been putting some effort on reducing the load time of our web applications. In the mobile world the two main suspects that usually come to mind are network and processing power, but it is not easy to considerably reduce requests and resource usage without cutting features from our users. So what if we could cut features that the user cannot see?
This is a simple summary of when we sat down in Betfair and questioned why we were still applying a highly manual, so-called ‘industry best practice’ process to all our production application releases regardless of how they were being deployed and went back to the whiteboard to see how we could make it better.
One of my most recent and interesting challenges was building a module where you can scroll, search and filter through a really long list of horse racing-related bets. These numbers can quickly sum up to be more than a thousand entries, meaning a lot of information must be shown in a small device with slow network speed and sparse processing power.
Betfair is the largest on-line betting exchange in the world and has seen tremendous growth in the past few years. One of the fundamental problems that comes with growth is that the technology that drives the exchange has to scale in line with not just current growth rates but also the forecast growth over next X months/years.
I attended a lecture lead by Tom Gilb http://www.gilb.com an American systems engineer and acclaimed author about Value Project Management Methodology EVO (Evolutionary Project Management) at BCS London. He alluded briefly to his attitudes towards Non Functional Requirements in a less than positive light this encouraged me to delve further into his works. Given that we are in the middle of a discussion and working through pieces of work that outline some core NFRs that will be used to guide and advise the future processes that other teams need to be aligned alongside the standards proposed. I thought it would be worth writing up a very brief high level view of his theories along side my own personal thoughts.