September 30, 2008

social networks and virtual worlds converge

To read the ful article on virtual worlds news just click the pic.
To read the ful article on virtual worlds news just click the pic.

One of the Top Ten social Networks, Hi5 acquired a company named Pixverse a few month ago. Pixverse provides a 2D chat widget with enabled photo-sharing and video-sharing. Charles Ying, one of the PixVerse founders and now a software architect for Hi5 gives an outlook on the further development of Hi5´s social network Chat: "The engine, the client, is capable of rendering a lot richer experiences, in 2D and 3D, but that's not publicly available now." He explained furtheron, that more features of traditional virtual worlds, like avatars and games might appear in PixChat.
Like other social networks developing their communication features such as instant messenger applicacions, Hi5 seems to think at least one step ahead. Ying expects social networks and virtual worlds converge.

September 26, 2008

Scrum Board

Weblin is working with integrated development teams comprising user interface design, client/server development, verification, and documentation.

This is the weblin scrum board. The board knows everything: who does what, when it's ready, what's next, which is delayed, what I do, how long it takes, and what's important.

Each team has a board with lots of short tasks. Tasks start in the backlog and move to the development ready state at the beginning of a 2 week sprint. The backlog is cleared occasionally and old never implemented tasks are removed and archived. During development we use the usual mechanisms and tools: unit testing, daily scrum meeting, pair programming, and feature reduction/expansion to meet the plan. Of course, there are surprises and unexpected developments and not every task goes as planned. That's the time of the Scrum master. The Scrum master notices and prepares a solution so that time is used as good as possible (sounds dry, but is actually quite lively).

After implementation tasks wait for functional verification. When all tasks arrive in the tested state then the feature is ready for internal review. After the internal testing phase we create a release candidate (and sometimes more RCs) and deploy publicly.

September 09, 2008

weblin hits one million unique users now

This is one of the most important milestones in a start-up's life: the first million users. weblin got it, the time has come!
Since we announced this target for the end of the year, we are more than happy to score ahead of schedule, in September.
It was an exciting summer and weblin is even outrunning now. Of course, a big part of our work, especially in terms of features, is maintenance, to keep up all the servers up and running. And we prepare now to manage the next millions of users as well as the first one.