WPDev Sin: Pride

null This is the Day #1 post in the article series “7 Deadly Sins for Windows Phone Developers!“.

What is Pride ?

From http://deadlysins.com:

Pride is excessive belief in one’s own abilities, that interferes with the individual’s recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity.

Why: Well-meaning elementary school teachers told you to “believe in yourself.”

How does Pride relate to Windows Phone development ?

— Overconfidence, failure to acknowledge, boasting ..

Many of us swear & stand by our code with confidence. While that’s not a bad thing, let’s not be a victim of overconfidence in writing a solid Windows Phone apps & then continue delivering updates without breaking functionality. Here are few ways Pride can come in the way of Windows Phone developers, preventing us from delivering a quality product to our users:

  • OverConfidence in MarketPlace submissions: Check, check & check again on Application Certification Requirements before being trigger-happy on submitting your hard work to the Marketplace.
  • Did you know about the Marketplace Toolkit?: Run checks locally & submit to Marketplace with confidence. A full article detailing use of Marketplace Toolkit is here.
  • Not using Emulator Tools: Windows Phone Mango SDK brought along several enhancements to the Emulator VM that allows for better testing locally. Make sure to use them if they fit your app; a great article about Emulator Tools can be found here.
  • Why are you not using Beta testers?: Also new, is the way to publish your app to a closed group for testing/feedback before final release. This could be greatly beneficial in flushing out bugs & issues, if you have a trusted group of testers; more details about Beta Testing can be found here.
  • Unit Test before shipping: This is specially true as you ship updates to your app; it is important to start building a battery of Unit tests to make sure core functionality is intact. The Silverlight Unit Test Framework bits (details here) should help.
  • Device + Mom Testing: Your pride in how well the code runs in the Windows Phone emulator should not be a replacement for on-device testing, which is critical before any Marketplace submission. Physical devices often have quirks that expose edge conditions; additionally you get to see for a couple of days how your app feels in your palms. It is a great practice to have the emulator & device in contrasting theme/accent color for thorough testing. Also, a lot of users of your app may be non-techies, who may have different expectations on UX than we developers do. So, make sure you have your Mom or some non-developers test your app for feedback.
  • Use the Isolated Storage Explorer: Need to see how your app behaves as files/folders change in your Isolated Storage over time? Make sure to utilize the handy Isolated Storage Explorer to test out conditions of change in the isolated storage; details of usage here.
  • Being Aware of common certification/UX glitches:

    — Back Navigation
    — App Exit
    — Requisite Artwork
    — No-connectivity mode
    — Improper App activation coming out of Tombstoning
    — Declarations/User Permissions for using Location/Push Notification services
    — Non-Metro look & feel (great resource here)

That’s it for not allowing “Pride” to step in the way of being an awesome Windows Phone developer. Probably lot more to add; but need for brevity & my thought process are calling it quits for the day. Hopefully, you come back tomorrow for the Day #2 article in this series of “7 Deadly Sins for Windows Phone Developers!“.



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