When, oh when, can I have my mobile app?

Here’s some pretty revealing Vanson Bourne research which suggests the answer is “5 months”. It does seem the poor mobile developer and tester are having a tough time of it, what with the frequency of iOS releases (discussed before here), all the different flavors of Android , and the pressures of juggling in-house resources with outsourcing to other mobile experts.

Despite all that, as a developer myself, I’m sure not happy about being called ‘sluggish’. It’s time we gave CIOs a good run-down on what’s needed from a development and test perspective to get the job done – and fast. So I’m going to get involved! There’s plenty of food for thought in some of these statistics, so I’ll be back (again) with some views on untangling these issues so mobile app development doesn’t become the poor relation of software development.

Meantime, read the stats and see what you make of them.

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Frank’s Solution Finder: hear what developers really need to improve quality


Now that we’re all going lightweight with the Silk Portfolio, I’ve taken the opportunity to meet a few developers, testers, QAs and mobile developers. The result is Frank’s Solution Finder, which you can spin through to hear the issues that these professionals raised, and how I think the Silk Portfolio will help out.

These guys were looking for everything from easier capturing of test results to inexpensive load testing and plug-and-play automated testing. The one thing that no-one was looking for was the learning curve of a heavyweight solution – or the expense of it! Check out the videos we took here. And since I wouldn’t call myself an expert on every technical aspect of the Silk Portfolio, you’ll also find a whole lot of helpful information alongside.

I couldn’t answer every question on the day, so if you have a burning issue you think the Silk Portfolio could help with, just drop me a comment anytime. Frank.

Posted in Silk Portfolio, Video | 1 Comment

Lightweight has arrived, and it’s so much better than heavyweight


I’ve often said it’s what you have under the hood that counts. Today’s software has to move away from being restrictive and complex, and instead give you the functionality you want! The power can be there too, of course, but let’s have easy, fully customizable, collaborative UIs that work the way you want – rather than heavyweight tooling that doesn’t.

After talking to developers about it for a while, the Silk Portfolio has now arrived to make lightweight and affordable a reality. I’m really stoked about what this new toolset offers, and I’ve already made it my business to get out there and tell a few developers and testers what a difference it will make to their day-to-day workflow.

What you’ve got here are solutions that can be used by everyone to ensure quality throughout the SDLC. Mobile testing, performance testing, functional testing, automation – everything in one place so you just pick and choose the best solution for your needs. Borland being entirely open, you’re then able to bring together any other test tooling you might use. It’s a portfolio with no complications or flab – even the licensing ranges from absolutely free to a flexible, shared deployment model. Check it out – I’m getting all lightweight about it!

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Jailbreaking – it’s just like I said


testomaticNo sooner do I mention how quick and frequent iOS releases are, than 6.1.3 arrives. It means jailbreak fixes are no longer the fixes you might imagine, and that jailbreaking is getting harder and harder to achieve.

It’s a good thing mobile app testers don’t have to tear their hair out over each new iOS release – Silk Mobile supports native object recognition for Android and iOS, so no jailbreaking required

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Get out of jailbreaking – go straight to Borland

iOS 6.1 has been released and it raises the thorny issue of jailbreaking again. The unofficial stats from Apple show that iOS 6 represents 80% of the Apple market. As Hackers have only just managed to jailbreak iOS 6 with any stability, your testing could be seriously exposed.

Current cloud infrastructure solutions only support cloud-based testing of jailbroken devices, which means you could be covering as little as 20% of the market. My question is – is it worth pitting your business reputation against that massive risk? Testing is unlikely to reflect real user base infrastructures: the behavior will vary and affect your results.

So how do you test successfully? The development community is already fleshing out its demands for Apple iOS 7. In the meantime, a genuine mobile application testing solution should allow you to test on real-devices and emulators within your own environment. It needs to support non-jailbroken devices as well as jailbroken ones to address 100% of your testing needs.


Silk Mobile fits right into that space: no jailbreaking or rooting of devices and you test on the physical device itself. Just perfect where security is a primary concern and you want to be sure you’re testing all iOS functionality. Which raises a final question: what other challenges are you facing around mobile testing? – drop me a line. Frank

Posted in Insights, Silk Mobile | 2 Comments

It’s the Chinese Year of the Snake – and the Borland Year of Launches

What better way to start 2013 than with some insights into Borland’s plans for the near future?

My exclusive interview with Stuart McGill of Borland is now a wrap, and I think it gives a great behind-the-scenes look at Borland’s future direction and technologies. I hope I’ve put forward the questions every developer would like answered: from where Borland has been… to where it’s going with agile, mobile and cloud development.

A big thanks to Stuart for making the interview possible and giving his full and forthright opinions. Do give it a watch and tell me what you think.

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“On my twelfth day of Christmas, Frank Borland gives to you… 12 coders coding… top guys from Borland!”

12 coders coding
What better way to end our 12 day ditty than with a photo of some unsung heroes of Borland – the coders like me who work day and night (OK, just daytime for me these days). It’s easy to forget that Borland is a development company at heart, facing the same issues and challenges of delivering high quality software on time and to budget as yourselves. These 12 folks are not only developing the next generation of software for us, they’re doing it using many of Borland’s own technologies.

Now, for everyone who’s followed my 12 day carol extravaganza – thank you! – and you can all join in the sing-song. It goes like this (clearing his throat):

“On the twelfth day of Christmas,
Frank Borland gave to me
Twelve coders coding,
Eleven tweeters tweeting,
Ten software failures,
Nine mobile apps,
Eight bloggers blogging,
Seven agile myths,
Six mobile trends,
Five I-D-Es,
Four USBs,
Three testers,
Two Borland stars,
And a copy of Turbo Pascal!”

Happy Holidays to you all!

Posted in Christmas, Cool, Insights, Meet Frank Borland, PIctures | Leave a comment