This November is not just Movember, but Appvember!

Often times one has ideas – cool, innovative, iterative, or just plain simple. Not often they get baked. Barrier to enter has been lower than ever; tools, services, support has been more than ever. Heard of GenerationApp: Your Idea. Your App. 30 days? With all the buzz around Surface/ Windows 8, ample help is available for a Windows App developer to make that idea happen. I am going to make use of that, challenge myself to materialize one of my ideas in to a Windows 8 app  in the next 30 days.

Ground Rules

1) Be consistent

I want this to be a learning experience, rather than a week end hack. Appears that GenerationApp program is designed to assist that. Daily tips are being sent; 1 hr in depth consultation is available; I may have to check on the community, but would expect so. Also, it is designed to help one ship a complete app, not a sample code/ prototype. I want to go through the entire stretch of polishing the app and submitting it.

2) Be open

While I haven’t decided yet to open source the code or not, I want this effort to be a open experiment. Log highs/ lows. Share the lessons. Seek help. And I don’t believe in keeping the idea itself a secret. I will be updating my progress regularly- feedback/ comments welcome.

3) Be serious (in a fun way)

I want this to be a real, shippable app.  While all the learning is fun, shipping a product is not just fun. I want to treat this to be so.  I am no way close to full time on this, but I want to be consistently putting hours in this. At least couple of hours a day, for the next 30 days.

It’s going to be fun…

Thoughts on OpenStack ‘hype’ vs ‘reality’ post

@cloudpundit’s (Lydia Leong‘s) recent Gartner article attempts to dispel hypes around OpenStack. Naturally, it wasn’t received by many – both from and outside of OpenStack community.

As a OpenStack enthusiast, it would have been easier to dismiss that as a FUD. However,  I think it is in the best interests of OpenStack project to consider actionable items. Thanks @cloudpundit (and your recommendations at the end were right on)! Here they are:

1) Publish data on size and stability of large scale deployments:

Concerns about maturity of the OpenStack can only be addressed by sufficient customer feedback. There are at least a handful of ‘large scale’, ‘enterprise’ deployments of OpenStack. Deployment statistics and user feedback from such large deployments would re-affirm OpenStack’s maturity.

2) Publish road map of product features:

Having a road map for the next 18 – 24 months ahead gives good confidence to the customers to take bets on. Moving to OpenStack Foundation is expected to give such clarity; this moves feature planning from project (nova/ swift) level to product (OpenStack) level.

There are a few that appear to unsubstantiated. Lydia, questions to you:

1) What exactly is the ‘hype’?

I couldn’t understand what exactly is the hype is and what is it about – is it the popularity of OpenStack or is it the buzz around OpenStack Foundation? To me, there is no more buzz than any reasonably successful open source product (and the geekiness around it). I also don’t think any CIO will go for OpenStack just by so called ‘hype’.

2) Do you have any data from current large scale users of OpenStack on lack of maturity?

I would be interested in knowing the data points. Obtaining deployment numbers from partners was very difficult – of course they had their business reasons not to reveal. However, if you have come across such data, it would be very helpful.

3) When would you consider a CMP to be matured?

Is it by customer adoption numbers? Sizes of deployments? Feature  set? I don’t think one can compare check against AWS features for maturity. While OpenStack feature set can be expanded, I would rate all of the pre-Essex features (nova, swift, keystone) to be mature.

4) Technical Evaluations:

How is evaluating a CMP uniquely applicable to OpenStack? No CIO would consider a CMP without an evaluation; if so why only for OpenStack?

5) Open vs Interoperable:

Where does OpenStack documentation/ marketing claim Interoperability? In fact, one of my hopes  is that OpenStack standardizes cloud APIs, rather than aligning with a mess called AWS APIs. Your article seem to consider open and interoperable synonymous.

6) Open vs Vendor:

I do not see the OpenStack community as a cliques of vendor-employees. Particularly after OpenStack Foundation is live, it is an open source project with a lot of participating vendors and an eco-system of vendor offerings around it.

Appvember – take 2

As you could see, I didn’t make much progress since day 4 update (I did continue until day 10 or so, but didn’t get to blog). Instead of giving up, I decided to pick up from Day 4. It is going to be take 2 for Appvember. I hope to stay on course this time. I am resetting my expectations to blog everyday on the progress, may be every three days?

Appvember: Day 4 Update

First week of GenerationApp is all about design – how to nail it. I’ve been reading the guides, sketching etc. Before I post the sketches, I thought of posting what the app is meant for. Here is a short abstract.


Nayati (Sanskrit verb: Guide) is a guided learning app for children which enables them sketch and draw better. This can be used individually or in a class like setting. It enables a child to pick a sketch, trace it and get rated. Child can archive (in cloud), proceed to color, choose a different one. Art work can be shared via parent’s social circle (or a private circle for a class environment). Custom samples can be added to sample library in paid version.

This one is inspired from DrawSomething, sample Lucerne education app  and the social learning phenomenon. I am not worried about ‘giving away’ my idea, as i believe execution is more important than just the idea. Please leave your suggestions/ comments if you have anything to add/ modify in this app.