This is kind of a rant, but feel free to share similar experiences
Some of you may be aware that my boss is somewhat less than tech-savvy. Sure he likes his gadgets and whatnot but he doesn't really understand how or why things work. As a software engineer, this can be pretty frustrating when you're trying to design and implement something while your boss is looking over your shoulder demanding new features RIGHT NOW halfway through implementation, and wondering why removing the ethernet cable disconnects you from the LAN.
Anyway, since we're a small company he also acts as our marketing / sales department. Last week he decided he needed a web version of our desktop software which we (and by 'we', I mean 'I') have spent the last 3 months creating, developed and ready for a marketing demo this week. Thankfully I could just re-use a lot of the back-end stuff and throw together a very rough and ready website for the demonstration. The web app had to work on both Firefox and IE at a minimum on the desktop, but also on PDAs (ahhhhh shit). It's the hand-held devices - obviously - which caused problems. I have a HTC Hero, so I primarily used that for testing (worked very well by the way, I highly recommend the phone!), and my boss has some crappy Windows mobile PDA thing which worked, but not quite as well owing to it's old and rubbish browser. These are the only two handheld devices we had to test on.
What can I do with a situation like this? Does your marketing department ever throw a spanner in the works during demos by trying to use some un-tested tool / configuration? Is there any way to emulate PDAs on a PC to test apps / web-apps? Do you think I should have handled the situation differently?
If you have any similar stories, please share.
What can I do with a situation like this?
If you have a lot of time and a lot of test devices you could probebly do things a bit differntly, but since you don't the governing rule should be KISS.
Does your marketing department ever throw a spanner in the works during
demos by trying to use some un-tested tool / configuration?
Yes, marketing departments do require new features, never talked about to be implemented 3 hours before a demo. It's in their job description or something. For untested features include a stub that will warn the user that this feature is not yet finished. That way when the guy doing the demo clicks it, he will have no other choice but to tell them that they are still hard at work finalising the application.
Is there any way to emulate PDAs on a PC to test apps / web-apps?
There also is no real test environment for pda's/mobiles that I know of. I'm sure there are a few emulators on the market for various mobiles, but I doubt they cover the market completely.
Do you think I should have handled the situation differently?
Is there any way to emulate PDAs on a PC to test apps / web-apps?If you have Visual Studio Pro (2005 and 2008, at the very least) you're set for Windows Mobile. It includes a device emulator primarily for use in testing and debugging native WinMo applications, but you can also run IE, Opera, etc. on it as if it were a real device. You have to download operating system images from Microsoft if you don't have the version you want to test (I think 2008 comes with WinMo 5. 6.5 is current, 7 is upcoming shortly)