BlueFletch to Introduce Enhanced Enterprise Launcher with Facial Recognition at NRF’s Big Show

By | Events & Awards

ATLANTA, GA, Jan. 9, 2019 – BlueFletch, an Atlanta-based mobile development firm focused on building innovative solutions for enterprises, and a Zebra Technologies’ PartnerConnect Premier Independent Software Vendor (ISV), will be exhibiting in Zebra’s booth (Booth #2101) at the NRF Big Show 2019, Jan. 13-15, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York.

BlueFletch will demonstrate “Touchless Authentication: Fast Employee Login”, showing retailers how their associates can quickly and efficiently log into Zebra’s TC52 and TC72 devices and immediately access their applications using facial recognition technology.

  • Touchless single sign-on results in increased productivity through faster log in. With our solution, associates would only have to log in to the device once, rather than every time they open an application throughout the day. Having a simplified login process reduces helpdesk tickets related to login issues.
  • Facial recognition technology offers increased device control and accountability. Companies can lock down settings and restrict applications based on user permission levels (e.g. managers vs. associates). Logging in/out of devices creates a record of who last used or is currently in possession of a device.
  • For more information on the National Retail Federation, please visit: https://nrfbigshow.nrf.com

 

Brett Cooper, Founding Partner, BlueFletch

“We’re looking forward to showing our touchless authentication solution at NRF running on Zebra’s enterprise-class mobile devices. Finding ways to increase productivity, security, and control is a top priority for all retailers, so we’re excited to showcase a solution that can make an immediate impact.”

Richard Makerson, Founding Partner, BlueFletch
“Retail’s BIG Show is always a BIG deal for us at BlueFletch. I am personally excited to showcase the new features of our BlueFletch Enterprise Mobility Suite that take advantage of the capabilities on Zebra’s newest mobile computing devices.”

About BlueFletch
BlueFletch is team of mobile development experts dedicated to helping our enterprise clients solve business problems using mobility. Clients come to us to build mobile solutions when their IT teams lack bandwidth or available skills. Our team of 40+ experienced consultants, all based out of Atlanta, Georgia, help our clients move fast and deliver results for mobility projects that are critical to the business.

Media Contact:
Paige Pickert BlueFletch / paige.pickert@bluefletch.com / 855-529-6349

New Year’s Resolutions for Developers

By | Developers, Ideas For Your Business

I am not big on New Year’s resolutions, mainly because if you need to change something, don’t wait till the new year, just make the change. While I was driving home from vacation, stuck in traffic, I started wondering what the development teams I work with can do differently in the coming year.  Thinking about what we should focus our energies on,  I came up with some “resolutions” for the new year. As with any resolution or goal, not all are needed to be completed or followed, but as a developer, if you can accomplish any of these, you will improve your development skills and also help teach the developers that follow you.

Be the Computer

Yes, I had to include a  Caddyshack reference. Although I am not talking about golf, but instead about the idea of going through the code, line by line, just as if you were the computer.

The past year I’ve heard developers say, “This is what should happen” or “I assume the code is doing this.” But what is really happening within the code? Do you understand what is happening?

If not, then use an old technique and “Be the Computer.”  Walk through the code as if you’re the computer.

That means having no preconceived notions of what should be happening and no assumptions about what the variables are. Go line by line and read the code.

Be the computer and ask: “What will happen when the data has X value? What will happen if it has Y value? What will happen if the value from an API is null?”

Get a sheet of paper, keep track of what your data variables are, and think through what is happening – just like like the computer. However, this is easier said than done.

From this exercise you will gain insight into where you should put logging statements, where you should put your breakpoints when debugging, and hopefully understand the code better.

Manual Tests

As developers, we have gotten to the point of writing our code and if the project builds, then we say it is good. We depend on the automated unit or integration tests to point out problems. But I am of the opinion that is not enough. You need to test your code and see how it truly behaves from an end user’s point of view. Take time to test other features of the application to ensure you did not break those features and that your feature works in conjunction with the rest of the application.

By manually testing an application, you will gain insight into what the end user is looking for and how the application works as a whole. Do NOT only focus on your change.

Write at Least One Unit Test

Write ONE Unit TestWhat? Isn’t everyone writing unit tests these days? Sadly, no. There are many excuses why developers are not writing unit test cases (don’t want to add the necessary plumbing to old projects or under tight deadlines).

Take the time to write at least ONE automated test case. This will force you to rethink how you write your code and encourage you to write smaller methods and modules. You might end up refactoring some code to make it easier to read and follow.

At the end of writing one unit test, you should get an idea of writing cleaner code.

Write at Least One Feature or Class Using Test Driven Development

Not everyone has embraced TDD methodology for many reasons. It is a different way of thinking and developing code. It requires you to plan your classes and methods a little more. But in the long run you “should” get cleaner code, more testable code, and code that accomplishes only what is needed.

I can hear developers saying, “I don’t want to use TDD, I just want to get the code done!” Fine, but answer these questions:

  1. Did you write any unit test to ensure the developer behind you did not break your code?
  2. Oh, so you plan on coming back later to write your unit tests, but how long will that take to refactor to make it easier to test?

If you use TDD just once, you will get an idea of how to structure your code to be easier to test, read, and be cleaner.

Document More

Oh no, documentation? What? Why? I am a developer, my code is self documenting!

I not talking about documenting the code, but focus on the testing of the application. When you add a feature, document how to test the feature.  Make it step by step, detailing the results of each step. Create a simple spreadsheet for your application and update it with each new feature.

Make it a living document that can be used in future manual tests and can be easily passed over to your QA  or Product Management team.

If the feature changes and steps change, update the documentation.

Write something to help the person behind you get an idea of what is going on and how to test the feature.

Conclusion

Developers, test your code in the New Year! Delve into your code and understand how it is “supposed” to work, then write some small automated test cases to verify how it is working. Manually test the systems from an end-users point of view, helping you to see the big picture.

If nothing else, make a bowl of popcorn and watch Caddyshack.

Happy New Year!

Suggested readings

https://blog.cleancoder.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test-driven_development

How to Tell When You’ve Been Given a Good Project Estimate

By | Ideas For Your Business

Let’s say you are a member of your organization’s IT Department, and you have engaged a third party vendor to develop a customized software solution for your company. When they provide you with a cost estimate for the statement of work, you will have to determine whether the estimate at hand provides good value for your company and can be delivered by the proposed timeline.

Here are five suggestions for how to determine if your software vendor has made a good project estimate:

Don’t Cut Corners During the Design Phase

In the hurry to get a Development SOW signed, design is often taken as ‘easy’ or as a ‘given’; however, rough drawings or high-level descriptions of what software should do does not provide enough information to understand the true complexity of a project. Good design often takes months. Companies who have deep experience in software development will have an active design team that will work hand-in-hand with the project Architect AND end users to detail each and every flow, feature, and edge case for a project. If your software vendor provides you flow diagrams, high fidelity prototypes (such as Invision click-throughs), detailed written requirements, and have had at least two full design feedback sessions with your software end users, you are in a good place. Money spent on design will almost always save you time and expense on the overall project. Read More

BlueFletch and The Home Depot deliver key insights on rugged vs. consumer-grade devices at Zebra Partner Summit

By | Enterprise, Events & Awards, Mobile Development

Brett Cooper, a Partner at BlueFletch, will be joining a session panel at the Zebra Partner Summit on Thursday, November 8th at the Orlando Omni Championsgate to discuss Zebra’s real-world mobility solutions that give them an advantage over competitors. He will share the stage with fellow panelist Todd Stankiewicz, Senior Manager Information Systems at The Home Depot, and moderator Andy Cauffman, Zebra Account Manager for the Home Depot.

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BlueFletch Celebrates 2018 Women in Technology Awards

By | Events & Awards

Each year, the Women in Technology (WIT) Leadership Awards recognize female leaders whose accomplishments, mentorship, and contributions to the community align with the WIT mission of advancing women in technology from the classroom to the boardroom. BlueFletch has the privilege to celebrate the women on our staff, as well as all the other stellar women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math (STEAM), at the 2018 Women in Technology Awards.

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Lockdown enterprise devices without an MDM using BlueFletch Launcher and StageNow

By | Ideas For Your Business

Enterprise Mobile Devices can be managed using methods other than traditional MDMs as long as device security is stout. That technique might not be considered an industry best practice but we’ve seen admins manage devices in their own way to meet business requirements while using familiar toolsets. Despite the negative perception of ‘skirting’ using an MDM, it can be easy and secure to manage devices without one.

Staying “old school” with device management is a practical option for certain organizations and scenarios. If your company is opposed to an MDM-based solution due to complexity or cost, this is how you would ensure devices still conform to your needs.

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app design process

Mobile Strategy: Avoid Pitfalls when Migrating from Legacy Devices

By | Android, Enterprise, Ideas For Your Business, Mobile Development

Delta Air Lines has a well planned and effective enterprise mobile strategy. Delta employs a healthy mix of devices based on the role, environment and required tasks. The employees in the terminals need business mobility devices as rugged as Thor’s Hammer and for everyone else, there are consumer devices. Their business mobility development team is focused on one hybrid platform, which supports their fleet of Android rugged devices and iOS devices.

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Zebra’s All The Way Down

By | Ideas For Your Business

I recently had the opportunity to participate in Zebra’s Developer podcast hosted by Dan Quagliana and Mark Jolley from Zebra. I spoke a bit about some of our experiences dealing with deploying Software and OS Patches on Android devices in the Enterprise. Here are some of the highlights and notes from the questions that I covered during the discussion.

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