My Mom Would Have Let Me Play with This App

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:34 AM on March 16, 2011:

I have searched for but cannot find the NPR story I was listening to while cooking dinner one night about moms and kids and iPhones, but I was delighted to hear that moms readily hand over their iPhones to their children for their amusement, especially while waiting - at a doctor's office, or in a grocery line, for example. I remember one mom laughing and saying she sometimes says to her child, "Honey, please give Mommy her iPhone back. She needs to make a phone call!"

When I was a child, I remember during very long waits, when we had already read many books and colored many pages in many coloring books, my mother would let me look in her purse.  I can still feel the sense of wonder at rolling up, then rolling down, a bright red tube of lipstick, opening and closing her silver compact, snapping and unsnapping the button on her billfold. 

As a child, if she had had an iPhone in her purse? I can only imagine how enchanted I would have been to play with it.

My mother would have been very thoughtful about what apps she had on her iPhone that her daughter would see. My mother would have considered that her daughter saw enough of real life through the family's subscriptions to Life and Look magazines and through David Brinkley's and Walter Cronkite's reports on the television - Buddhist monks self-immolating in Vietnam, children starving in Biafra. She would have wanted my games to just be for play.

As her grown child, I still like games to just be for play.  In another life, I was a teacher; when the students gave me a demo of Halo, I had to lie down on a table, faint from all the blood.  The idea of a game where pigs and birds kill themselves or each other just makes me sad.

When our CTO, Alex Edelman, asked me what kind of mobile app game I wanted, I asked for a slide puzzle.  His family took the photographs and they like nature, so many of the puzzle choices are beautiful landscapes, or close-ups of flowers, the "home" puzzle sporting a green lizard. One photograph probably doesn't quite fit with all the others, but Alex let me pick that one.  It's for a kid like me.  Just for play.

Foto Puzzler is available in the iTunes App Store.

Network of Women Mobile App Developers to Launch

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:00 AM on March 4, 2011:

While I may not currently be in the midst of developing an app, I know that when the times comes, having a network will be critical to my education and execution of a "killer app."
- Gail Billingsley, Executive Director, YMCA at Virginia Tech

I love Gail's reason for attending the first meeting of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers!

We have almost 25 who have responded to our invitation to attend the meeting on Monday, March 7, 2011 in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Interest and support have been so strong!

Thanks to the support and sponsorship of Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS, First Bank & Trust CompanyHutchison Law Group, and Handshake Media, attendees will be treated to a complimentary reception on March 7.

The first group of 12 to receive training on March 16 will be treated to a complimentary meal thanks to the support and sponsorship of VT KnowledgeWorks.

And thanks to Ryan Hagan, Shierod Russell and Wesley Ferrell - who are volunteering their time to help - we will have on-site technical support during the training.

And I got this in an email from a software expert yesterday:  "What can I do to help?"

Overwhelming.

We welcome more to our first meeting.

Women in the Blacksburg, Virginia area interested in joining other women to learn about mobile application development are invited to the first meeting of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers. The meeting will be on Monday, March 7, 2011 beginning at 5:30 PM in Blacksburg, Virginia.  Please email me, Anne Giles Clelland, [email protected], for an invitation. 

***

Here's the "history" of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers.  Posts are listed in  chronological order and where they appeared, some with descriptive notes.

Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS(R) and First Bank & Trust Company are clients of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

How Will the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers Work?

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 9:00 AM on February 25, 2011:

About the first meeting of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers, in addition to "Who will be there?", I have been asked, "How will it work?" and, more specifically, "How will you select the first 12 women for training?"

A Network of Women Mobile Application DevelopersThe second question first. 

How will you select the first 12 women for training?

I won't select the first 12 women.

They will select themselves.

They'll know who they are.  They'll be the ones who want this skill, who have the perseverance and self-forgiveness required to learn something new and difficult, who will take the time and give themselves the time to learn it, who understand and value how women can learn together in groups, who want to participate in the giving and receiving that group membership asks of each individual member, who will take the initiative to form, keep and build groups, and who are willing to teach others. 

How will it work?

l will offer a greater context and provide more details at our meeting on March 7, 2011, but here's an overview:

Thanks to the support and sponsorship of Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS, First Bank & Trust CompanyHutchison Law Group, and Handshake Media, interested women will attend a complimentary reception and meeting on Monday, March 7, 2011 in Blacksburg, Virginia.

After the meeting on March 7, women who want the initial training will email me, Anne Giles Clelland, [email protected].  I'll send them more specifics about the training that will be held at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, March 16, 2011.

Thanks to the support and sponsorship of VT KnowledgeWorks, the women will be treated to a complimentary meal prior to the beginning of the training.

Thanks to a to-be-named software company's willingness to launch a pilot program in Blacksburg, Virginia, the women will receive free beginning training in the use of that company's mobile application development software via webinar.

Thanks to Ryan Hagan, Shierod Russell and Wesley Ferrell, we will have on-site technical support during the training.

And then we'll see what the 12 self-selected women do next.

***

Women in the Blacksburg, Virginia area interested in joining other women to learn about mobile application development are invited to the first meeting of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers. The meeting will be on Monday, March 7, 2011 beginning at 5:30 PM in Blacksburg, Virginia.  Please email me, Anne Giles Clelland, [email protected], for an invitation. 

***

Here's the developing story on the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers.  Posts are listed in  chronological order and where they appeared, some with descriptive notes.

Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS(R) and First Bank & Trust Company are clients of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Who Will Be at the First Meeting of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers?

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:30 AM on February 25, 2011:

While I may not currently be in the midst of developing a mobile app, I know that when the time comes, having a network will be critical to my education and execution of a "killer app."
- Gail Billingsley, Executive Director, YMCA at Virginia Tech

Network of Women Mobile Application Developers Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS, First Bank & Trust Company, and Hutchison Law Group joining us at Handshake Media, the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers will be treated to a reception for their very first meeting on March 7, 2011 in Blacksburg, Virginia.

"Who will be there?" I've been asked often about the meeting.

Gail Billingsley will be there.  She is one of 20 women so far who have responded to the invitation to form A Network of Women Mobile Application Developers in our locale.

I know, or know of, many of the women who have responded.  Who I hoped would be there will be there:

  • Women who want to get right to it and learn mobile application development.
  • Women who have no idea about whether or not mobile app development is for them but are attending in case it is.
  • Women exploring the possibility that mobile app development might be a new opportunity for them or for their companies, organizations or institutions.
  • Women who want to be part of a network of women who are learning something new and intentionally sharing what they learn with others.
  • Leaders in the community - business, government and service - who have no interest in learning mobile app development themselves but want to support the women who undertake the challenge.

And I'll be there!  We'll enjoy the reception from 5:30 PM to 6:00 PM.  At 6:00 PM, I will make a brief presentation on mobile application development and how our network will begin.  We will have plenty of time for questions and answers, and to talk after the presentation.  Our current plan is to start the network by beginning training for the first 12 women the week after our meeting.

Women in the Blacksburg, Virginia area interested in joining other women to learn about mobile application development for any of those reasons above - or others! - are invited to the first meeting of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers. The meeting will be on Monday, March 7, 2011 beginning at 5:30 PM in Blacksburg, Virginia.  Please email me, Anne Giles Clelland, [email protected], for an invitation. 

***

Here's the developing story on the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers.  Posts are listed in  chronological order and where they appeared, some with descriptive notes.

Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS(R) and First Bank & Trust Company are clients of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Getting Started in the Business of Mobile Application Development

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 6:05 AM on February 22, 2011:

A mobile application begins with an idea.

A mobile application begins with an idea.

To take a mobile application from an idea to the marketplace requires that idea, then specifications for that idea - design of the app, how it will function, and the graphics that will be integral parts of it - developing and writing code for the app, testing and debugging, fixing or redeveloping the app, creation of the graphics and accompanying text required to prepare the app for market, business infrastructure such as developer and merchant accounts with app stores and markets, placement of the app in those stores, and marketing the app.  If the app has sales itself, generates ad revenue, generates in-app sales, or uses other revenue-generating models, expenses are deducted from revenue to determine profit.

Our proposed Network of Women Mobile Application Developers will create mobile application development skills among its participants.  Once the participants reach a certain level of mastery, they’ll be ready for business.

For individuals and companies with ideas for mobile apps, the current challenges are 1) having the know-how to create the app themselves or in-house, 2) finding a developer to create the app for them, 3) paying that developer to do so.  (Here’s our research on how much a mobile app costs.)

For the mobile app developer approached by individuals and companies with ideas for mobile apps, the challenges are 1) lack of specifications for the app, i.e. the answer to the question, “How will the app work?” is “It’s a great idea!  Can’t you figure out how it will work?!”, 2) ability to create the app but not the infrastructure to take it to market or to market it, and 3) getting paid.

Ah.  Paying and getting paid.

I see several options for business models that may be ways to address the funding challenges facing those who want mobile applications made and those who can make them. 

Getting Started in the Business of Mobile Application Development is a two-page white paper (.pdf) that includes an expanded version of this post and a table showing potential business models for the new mobile application developer beginning business as an independent contractor or as the founder of a mobile application development business or company. 

Our company, Handshake Media, released its first mobile application on August 9, 2010.  We released our most recent mobile application, Foto Puzzler, on February 18, 2011.  We’ve learned much along the way and hope sharing some of our trial-and-error learning with those entering the mobile application development industry can decrease their challenges and increase their opportunities.

Added 2/25/2011:  More to consider on the business of mobile application development from Mashable: Is Developing a Mobile App Worth the Cost?

***

We're delighted to announce that thanks to the generous sponsorship of Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS, First Bank & Trust Company, and Hutchison Law Group joining us at Handshake Media, we will be able to host a reception for the very first meeting of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers.  The meeting will be on Monday, March 7, 2011 in Blacksburg, Virginia.  Please email me, [email protected], to receive an invitation.

Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS(R) and First Bank & Trust Company are clients of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

A Network of Women Mobile Application Developers

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:00 AM on February 8, 2011:

“I believe the single most powerful software-productivity strategy for many organizations today is to equip the computer-naïve intellectual workers who are on the firing line with personal computers…and to turn them loose.”
- Kenneth P. Brooks, known as the father of the IBM System/360, 1987

A 2009 Forrester report priced a minimum-featured corporate mobile application at $20,000, with a more sophisticated app costing up to $150,000. 

According to Juniper Research, mobile application store downloads are expected to reach 25 billion by 2015.

A shortage of mobile application developers in the New River Valley of Virginia predicts that the current and future market opportunity in the mobile application development industry may bypass the region.

The New River Valley is home to two major universities, Virginia Tech and Radford University.  Faculty members and graduate students at both universities often have bright, highly-educated spouses who are under-employed or non-employed due to choosing to care for children at home and/or having English language difficulties.  Many would welcome part-time employment which they could perform at home on their own schedules that would equip them for post-child-rearing careers.  In addition, the area is home to enterprising women interested in learning new skills and to women entrepreneurs interested in creating new companies.

Software development is difficult.  It requires intelligence, perseverance, and concentration.  It requires the acquisition of complex knowledge and skills that can be learned synergistically in groups.  The willingness of group members to share, teach, tutor and coach each other results in rapid, efficient, collective learning.

A Network of Women Mobile Application Developers PROPOSAL

Create, equip and train an initial group of local women in mobile application development, request that these group members teach mobile application development to others, and thus begin a work force and network with both local ties and global connections to create a local pool of mobile application developers, then a regional hub with global connections in the mobile application development industry.

If you are a woman in Blackburg, Virginia or the New River Valley, Virginia area, and want to learn how to be a mobile app developer, or are even remotely interested in finding out if you might possibly want to learn, please email me at [email protected].

At Handshake Media, we've been doing extensive research on women and mobile apps, and I wrote more personally about the shortage of women mobile app developers on the She Chooses(TM) blog in I've Got a Company - What I Need Is Company.  In response to my request to women interested in mobile app development to contact me, we had three replies the first day.

Thanks to Ryan Hagan for the Kenneth Brooks article, source of the quote, which I have read over and over again, gaining new insights into software development each time.

Women and Mobile Apps Market Research - Survey Results

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 8:15 AM on January 5, 2011:

She Chooses(TM) and Handshake Media, Incorporated commissioned a study by Piedmont Research Associates on women and mobile applications.  The first release was The Apps That Connect Us - A Report on Women, Smart Phones and Mobile Apps.  Women were then invited to take The Apps That Connect Us - Women and Mobile Apps Survey, an additional part of the study.

Ages of women owning smartphones - Women and Mobile Apps Survey The Apps That Connect Us:  Women and Mobile Apps Survey Results (.pdf) from Piedmont Research Associates was released on January 3, 2011.

Here are excerpts:

As a follow-up to “The Apps that Connect Us, A Report on Women, Mobile Phones and Apps," we created a survey to verify some trends and dig deeper.  The nine-question survey was distributed virally through blog posts, email and social networking sites. It ran for the month of December 2010 and garnered 231 responses. The ages of the respondents ranged from under 18 to over 65. All respondents were self-reported as women.

Social media apps were the most popular apps used by the women who responded to the survey (78.1 percent). The majority of those – 77 percent – were between the ages of 25 and 54. None of the women who used their smart phones just for business used a social media app. Seventy-three percent of them used their mobile devices for both personal and business.

***

Mobile apps used by women - Women and Mobile Apps Survey You're invited to read the full report:  The Apps That Connect Us:  Women and Mobile Apps Survey Results (.pdf) from Piedmont Research Associates.

She Chooses(TM) is the social network for women.

Handshake Media, Incorporated is a technology company specializing in digital media public relations for corporations through online content, social media, and mobile applications.  Handshake Media is the maker of the Handshake(TM) App and the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Piedmont Research Associates is a research firm offering community research and statistics, competitive business intelligence, corporate writing services, and public relations.

We've been posting the results of our study of women and mobile apps in a series on Handshake 2.0.  Here's the series so far:

Real Value of Mobile Apps (column by Maureen Carruthers)
This Woman's Gotta Have Mobile Apps (column by Maureen Carruthers)
Women and Apps - Mobile and Social
Best Mobile Apps for Women
Mobile Apps for Women in Business
Women and Smartphones

Our category of posts, Mobile Apps on Handshake 2.0, may also be of interest. 

Mobile App Programming vs. Mobile App Engineering

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 6:30 AM on December 16, 2010:

TechCrunch introduces a post by Elad Gil on building a mobile development team with, "As the Web goes mobile, every Web company needs to build mobile products."  Good.  We're on that.  Our company, Handshake Media, Incorporated, continues to expand its mobile app development services. Building mobile products, however, requires mobile product developers.

With Handshake's headquarters in the same town as Virginia Tech, I had a novel idea. Our company could hire a computer science major to program mobile applications for us!  Oops.  According to Eugene Wallingford at the University of Northern Iowa, I'm one of many "eager entrepreneurs" who contact a university's computer science department with a great idea who "just needing a programmer."

Oops again.  Dr. Osman Balci, Professor of Computer Science at Virginia Tech, opened my eyes to my limited view of programming by pointing out the difference between a software programmer and a software engineer.  That laid the groundwork for this point from Elad Gil in the aforementioned TechCrunch post to broaden my vision to focus on "hiring great engineers and having them pick up the programming language and platform."

Excerpts of the vista-expanding emails from Osman Balci follow, shared with permission:

I created and taught CS2984 iPhone Software Engineering (SE) in Spring 2010 and I am scheduled to teach it again in Spring 2011 as CS4984 iOS Software Engineering

I deliberately did not call the course "iOS Programming" although about 80% of it is programming. I called it "iOS Software Engineering."  I always emphasize the fact that we (those in Computer Science) are "Solution Providers"; we solve problems by engineering software. I advise my students, "Never introduce yourself as a Programmer; always introduce yourself as a Solution Provider."

In the Software Engineering Life Cycle diagram I have developed and use in my teaching, you see that Programming is just one of the seven major processes we execute to develop a software-based solution to a problem. Everything starts with Problem Formulation. "You have an idea" means "You have identified a problem, the solution of which would be needed by many people." For example, Problem: People cannot easily socialize with old friends. Solution: Develop a software-based solution such as Facebook.

The biggest public misconception is that "computer science = programming." Very wrong, as is explained in the Software Engineering Life Cycle below.

Software Engineering Life Cycle by Osman Balci

 

When I studied Dr. Balci's diagram, I was able to recognize elements of our process in developing the Handshake(TM) App and She Chooses(TM).  But if I were to diagram our process, I would have to arrange a still life photograph on the floor of my office, a spill of printed emails, Word docs, and photos of my whiteboard.  I look forward to developing our next project with Dr. Balci's system in mind. 

Given a greater understanding of mobile app development in the context of software programming vs. software engineering, I'm still pondering what steps my company might take into this new vista.  But I like the choices I see. 

For pointing me to the usesful posts referenced here, thanks to Alex Edelman for "I Just Need a Programmer"and Wade Hammes for The 5 Myths of Building a Great Mobile Team.

Real Value of Mobile Apps

Posted by Maureen Carruthers at 7:00 AM on December 14, 2010:

Contributors to Handshake 2.0 have been trying to answer the question “What do women want from mobile apps?” for months.  We've approached the topic from many angles, including serious market research - Piedmont Research Associates are in the process of studying the question now.  In the meantime, the results of my own, very unscientific poll, seemed to be all over the map.

High-powered career women wanted work apps.  Women who do a lot of waiting around liked free games. Mothers wanted apps to entertain toddlers.  Commuters loved public transport schedules.  Scientists needed field guides.  Some people were willing to pay for apps, others were not.  Interesting, but nothing one would call a trend.

Too much stuff! There should be an app for that! Then I read this piece by Paul Graham about tablets and a connection emerged:  The real value of mobile apps, especially for women, is they allow us to be as (or more) prepared than we are now - while toting less stuff.

My iPhone is my calculator, calendar, watch, GPS,  email and web portal, camera, reading material, music player, entertainment library, notepad, audio recorder, flashlight and, of course, phone.  If the tea leaves are being read correctly, eventually it will also be my credit card, car keys, medical records, and grocery store discount card.

I can’t imagine a world where mobile apps will replace the diaper bag, but if women’s clothes started to reliably have pockets, they could make purses obsolete.

So let’s ask the “mobile app” question another way.  What do women carry with them now that they’d love to be able to leave at home because they “had an app for that”?

When she’s not playing in the research side of marketing, Maureen Carruthers helps nonprofits tackle their social media fears at Low Hanging Fruit.

***

Women readers of Handshake 2.0 are invited to take The Apps That Connect Us - Women and Mobile Apps Survey, part of a study by Piedmont Research Associates on women and mobile applications for She Chooses(TM), the social network app for women.  If you would, please take the survey, then share it with your friends and networks and ask them to do the same.

Further reading:

The Apps That Connect Us - A Report on Women, Smart Phones and Mobile Apps
This Woman's Gotta Have Mobile Apps - case study, also by Maureen Carruthers
Women and Apps - Mobile and Social
Best Mobile Apps for Women

Mobile Apps for Women in Business
Women and Smartphones

Our category of posts, Mobile Apps on Handshake 2.0, may also be of interest. 

Women and Mobile Apps Survey

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 6:00 AM on December 7, 2010:

How do women use mobile apps on their smartphones? 

Women readers of Handshake 2.0 are invited to take The Apps That Connect Us - Women and Mobile Apps Survey, part of a study by Piedmont Research Associates on women and mobile applications for She Chooses(TM), the social network app for women.  If you would, please take the survey, then share it with your friends and networks and ask them to do the same.

She Chooses(TM) and Handshake Media, Incorporated have commissioned a study by Piedmont Research Associates on women and mobile applications.  The first release is The Apps That Connect Us - A Report on Women, Smart Phones and Mobile Apps.

We've been posting the results of our online research on women and mobile apps in a series on Handshake 2.0.  Here's the series so far:

This Woman's Gotta Have Mobile Apps (case study)
Women and Apps - Mobile and Social
Best Mobile Apps for Women
Mobile Apps for Women in Business
Women and Smartphones

Our category of posts, Mobile Apps on Handshake 2.0, may also be of interest. 

***

She Chooses(TM) is the social network for women.

Handshake Media, Incorporated is a technology company specializing in digital media public relations for corporations through online content, social media, and mobile applications.  Handshake Media is the maker of the Handshake(TM) App and the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Piedmont Research Associates is a research firm specializing in community research and statistics, competitive business intelligence, corporate writing services, and public relations.