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Campus Maps

Prioritizing New Features in Application Development Using Instrumentation

So today, after several weeks with clear, hot skies, we finally have some cloud cover and I’m hearing thunder outside. But nature’s thunder is not the only thing I’m hearing. When I developed the current production maps system, I put in some instrumentation to help me log errors and watch performance.

About 2 minutes after the first sounds of thunder I heard outside my window, I started getting emails from the maps system telling me that traffic was spiking (and with mobile phones no less). What does this tell me? The next version of the campus maps must have weather tracking!

What I’m seeing is spikes in usage and [unfortunately] mobile capabilities not being available when the weather starts changing. The current version of maps does not provide weather updates (or mobile friendly layouts), but you can bet that because I’m watching these requests roll in (along with the clouds), the weather feature just got a priority bump. Mobile features were already a priority for the next version, but weather was an afterthought.

I encourage every app developer to take the time to put good logging and instrumentation standards in place in their applications so they can justify one feature over another when it comes to the next sprint or upgrade. And don’t forget to save often… My APC just clicked…

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Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 Analytics, Campus Maps No Comments