Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Research and Development

There is philosophers who claim that he only possible knowledge is direct knowledge, things we have experienced on our own, with our own senses.

I don't share this view of knowledge, I believe we are highly capable of gathering, abstracting and understanding other peoples experiences, ideas and failures – and build upon them.

We are now at a high speed approaching the big day of this project, the day when we are going to present a first in-some-sense working prototype of the site we are working on.

On a very early stage of this project we decided that background research and deep consideration of every major choice would be, if not the most important, at least one of the most important aspects of our working methodology.

Today I'm glad we made that choice. Especially since none of us had been building this kind of software before. Sure, we had all a good experience in science and software development from before, but not of this particular kind.

So we did invest our first two months in intense research, architecturing, brainstorming and planing. Setting up tools and looking through pretty much anything that seemed relevant; tools, competitors, libraries, books, frameworks, architectures, standards, etc., etc.

Sure, there were times when, at least one of us, felt we might be investing too much time into research and preparations. Feeling that maybe we should have got started with the coding earlier. “Get something done.”

I think he has changed his mind today. The solid research and knowledge base we built up before we got started have made an incredible development speed possible during our last month of coding. An amazingly bump-free development that would for sure not have been possible without all the time we spent reading and looking through options before we got started.

We are today, just three days ahead of the demonstration, quite well prepared. Giving the final touch. With a software far more functional then at least I was expecting us to be able to build in just three months, from nothing and no knowledge.

Of course it's still a very, very limited prototype, and lots of work remain still, but I feel we have done a good job. With Kenny now focusing and working hard those last days to get all the functionalities and ideas we have into some presentable visuals.

I believe this project is just on the right path. I believe that if we are just allowed to continue this project, this is the site that will define the next generation of this industry.

On friday it will be decided whenever or not the management share our believes...

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