Prototyping Web Pages

When I first joined my current project, we were in the Elaboration/Construction phase. My job was to prototype the UI component (web pages) using a tool called Axure RP Pro. Prototyping AdvantagesThe advantages of prototyping are that it allows direct user involvement with the functionality of the system from the beginning. This allows the user to determine that the use cases are being modeled correctly and the system is performing to their expectations as they are able to see the visualisation and simulation of the requirements and use cases. Not only is prototyping advantageous to the user, it is also very helpful for the developer as they are receiving iterative feedback which means that the turnaround will be rapid when developing the real system. It also allows them to assess any future enhancements and determine any foreseeable issues for the future. In terms of documentation, prototyping is self documenting as the pages can be annotated. Prototyping is throw away code, it is easier to throw away and start again. It is very important to have that option at start of analysis, as continuing down the wrong track due to a lot of investment in developing screens, is generally, a bad idea. Prototyping DisadvantagesPrototyping has many advantages, but along with the advantages there are disadvantages. What tends to happen with prototypes is that users and developers forget that it is a throw away system and become very involved in the development of the prototype. They get caught up in getting the aesthetics right instead of focussing on the functional side and become too attached to the system. They lose sight...

ASP Controls

Controls in ASP are amazing and very useful to use if used in the correct way. One of the nice things about custom controls is that if you have generic functionality across multiple pages, then a nice little feature is to create a custom control and embed that on your pages. This means it’s easy to maintain and you’re not having to duplicate the same code across pages. Two annoying things I have found: 1) Developers who create a control and it is only ever used once on one page. Why do this if the functionality is not generic and used across multiple pages? Why not use the .aspx page and write the code directly onto the page. 2) Spaghetti code, where you have a page which has a control, that control contains a control and that control contains a control. It is so hard to maintain or debug this! Controls are nice to use, I just wish people would learn to do so...

Sprinting Again

So, once again we are sprinting once again for the next release. This sprint will hopefully not be too taxing, however already we have encountered some frustrating problems. First of all a defect raised in UAT 6 weeks after the release went in, meant that our planning session was held up until Thursday. Once in the planning session, there were people in our team’s session who weren’t part of our team having an input on our stories. I found this rather unnecessary and frustrating. It would be better that only the team and other required people are present in the planning session and not just anyone and everyone! Hopefully the sprint will go well 🙂 On the plus side, I managed to put 2 stories into sprint test before I left on Friday. Yay...

Building effective ASP.NET 3.5 Web applications using Visual Studio 2008

For the past 5 days I’ve been on this course at the QA training centre in Glasgow. It has been an absolutely fantastic course, quite intense as there was a lot of material to cover over 5 days. It was a combination of the instructor going through slides, showing demos and then us putting it into practice in the lab sessions. We build a web project, building as each chapter progressed. The topics that were covered were: Fundamentals of ASP.NET Development Using Visual Studio 2008 Designing Web Forms Site Navigation Validation User Controls and Web Parts Components and Architecture Data Binding Linq ADO.NET Caching State Management Securing Access to Web Applications Under the Covers Web Services ASP.NET AJAX As I said, a lot of material was covered in a short space of time. However, I found all this very useful as on my current project I am using ASP.NET on a day to day basis and this course really helped with filling in the blanks. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who is new to ASP.NET. Here’s is the link to the course for anyone who is...