Magnifica Launch Striking New Brand & Website

We are really excited to launch the new Magnifica brand and website. It has taken a gargantuan effort over the past 4 months to bring everything together. However all that hard work has paid off and we're really proud to present to the world a striking new brand and web experience.

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Recent posts

6 ways Magnifica partner with digital agencies to deliver technical projects

Sheffield has lots of awesome digital marketing agencies. In fact if you want a website, e-commerce site or specialist digital marketing expertise finding a great agency isn't hard. Sometimes however even the very best digital agencies need a little technical support.

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Hack The Marine: Wearable tech meets Defra open data

Wearables entered the consumer-tech market about 2 years ago and we've been keeping a close eye on their development ever since, especially smartwatch devices. It was however the physical act of building an app for one that really opened my eyes to the possibilities and limitations of wearable tech in 2016.

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Kickstarting a Product Redevelopment #4: Development Strategy and Approach

When it comes to delivering a quality digital product having a killer development strategy is where the top software development companies standout. In this post I'll cover how our technical team plans bespoke software development projects with clarity and purpose.

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Learn to Code Workshop hailed as "Inspiring" by coding newbie

Having previously delivered a Learn to Code workshop teaching the basics of html and css we decided to step things up a gear for Leeds Business Week. With most businesses now understanding automation is the key to increasing efficiency our latest workshop aimed to showcase the power of code in every workplace.

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We're running a "Learn to Code" Workshop at Leeds Business Week!

Discover How You Can Reduce Repetition in Your Business. A fun, interactive workshop where you’ll learn the basics of coding from 2 expert software developers. You’ll leave the session with a greater understanding of how the internet works having coded your very own Google Apps Add-On! All in 2 hours.

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Kickstarting a Product Redevelopment #3: Making Technology Choices

What are technology choices

Depending on what your product does and the scope of the redevelopment project, you will need to choose one technology over others in areas such as:

  • programming languages
  • databases
  • servers
  • protocols
  • devices / platforms
  • libraries
  • operating systems
  • tools that help the development team work more efficiently
  • proprietary (commercial) and open source software, where relevant

There may be others but these are the most common choices we need to make when planning software projects.

You've actually started already

Technology choices are not easy to get right, especially first time. When you first built your product you probably didn't know enough about the domain or the user need to select exactly the right technology. It was Ok to make an educated guess at that stage after all those choices are what got your product to market in the first place.

As you plan your redevelopment now is the time to challenge your selection as you'll know a whole lot more about the problem at hand.

Having the benefit of knowing what worked on earlier versions and what didn't is a huge help second or third time around. So armed with your domain knowledge you can start to make your technology choices.

How to make the right choice?

It's easy to jump in and choose technologies based on the knowledge and experience of your team, or even latest industry trends and buzzwords. However, it's important to consider the following when making technology choices.

1. Capabilities

Kickstarting a Product Redevelopment #2: Decision Making Tools and Methods

'Whiteboard' your architecture

Visualizing design options and architecture on a whiteboard is a great way to represent, challenge and communicate ideas. At Magnifica we use whiteboards to draw (then normally erase and draw again) design options to discuss them as a team. It's a great time to discuss and re-enforce architectural principles i.e.:

  • Single Responsibility principle
  • Common-reuse principle
  • Separation of concerns
  • Principle of Least knowledge

Proof of concepts

If the problem domain is well known sometimes it's useful to just dive-in and write some code. Building a proof of concept to determine whether there exists, or is likely to exist, a solution that can successfully resolve a design issue is a great way to get to a decision.

Also, proof of concepts can help validate that your selected design option is the right decision.

Use notations and tools such as QOC

QOC (Questions, Options, Critera) is the method of notation we use when making key design decisions. Laying out your design issues/questions in a structured way against a list of possible options is the starting point. Next you define the criteria against which you want to judge the options available to the project. QOC is a great way to visualise, reason and argue for and against specific options.

It also provides a nice way of documenting these design decisions so that other members of your team can see why and how you came to a decision.

Collaborative decision-making

Because the decisions made by groups are often different from those made by individuals collaborative decision making can be an advantageous method of coming to a decision. It is however important to note that a poorly performing team or group is likely to produce a poor decision. It is

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