WhatsApp replacing traditional CRM tools in Brazil.

WhatsApp Messenger is an instant messaging client for smartphones. It's intended to send text, audio, video messages to the contacts and family/friend groups. But surprisingly in Brazil, this direct messaging app turned to be one of the most popular platforms for digital marketing and eCommerce and virtually replacing traditional CRM platforms.

In this podcast, Atish Narlawar talks to Fernanda Saboia, Digital Strategist at Huge about her research in the Brazilian Digital Marketing space “The Rise of WhatsApp in Brazil Is About More than Just Messaging." Fernanda starts the conversation with the brief introduction to the research, and what made her work on this topic. She gives the figures stating how WhatsApp is so close to Brazilian and it's already trumped the other social media(Facebook/Twitter/Instagram) with user engagement, and the most significant user "Open and Read rate." She states, read rates for organic search is 7%, email is 22% while direct messaging has impressive 98%.

She introduces some real-time use cases, where business owners use WhatsApp to connect to the segmented audiences, and discuss the implementation, economics behind it with types of issues owners face and how they overcome with smaller adjustments.

Although WhatsApp hasn’t facilitated any services(aka. API) to leverage it as a CRM tool, she thinks it's definitely on their radar. With much discussion happening in the digital space about Conversational UI, AI bots, data-driven engagements, Fernanda believes WhatsApp will come up with a new groundbreaking product, to leverage the power of direct messaging and Facebook expertise and will compete with top CRM products in the market.

She observes the issues of privacy, spamming and other types of noise in this system and sees the adverse impact on the businesses in case they try to use it as a platform to push the content. She also finds a social aspect in this engagement, where business owners are trying to make social groups and feel their customers together to share some interests, and that's a good plus point.

Fernanda thinks this phenomenon will replicate in other continents like Asia and Europe and very optimistic about WhatsApp as a niche player to serve this market better.

Venue: Huge, Brooklyn, NY.

Host: Atish Narlawar

Contact: techpodcast@aol.com

Guest: Fernanda Saboia @saboia

Vue.js - The next great JS framework.

VueJs is one of the 2016 top front runner frameworks for developing and creating modern and sleek web interfaces. It is very modest javascript based library, that carries the best of Angular and React. It gets easily combined with other tools to convert into a fully functional framework.

Its design emphasized the "Ease of Use" and adopts the Model–view–viewmodel (MVVM) design paradigm which helps in the simplification of conception.

In this podcast, Atish Narlawar talks with Wes Hatch, Senior Web Engineer at Huge about VueJs. Wes goes through an overview of last decade spectrum of Javascript world and gives the background behind the inception of VueJs. He explains the high-level architecture and the types of problems Vue Js tries to solve for the various context.

Wes details about the Vue components, two-way data flow, and data binding model, state managements, Veux and the tools interacts as a part of the full blown ecosystem such as Vue Router, Chrome plugin, Vue-CLI, Vueify, Vue SSR.

In the end, He tries to compare Vue with React and Angular, presents the strengths Vue possess with its simplicity, lean learning curve, very active developer community and its influence and adoption in the current market. He discusses, how Alibaba is getting attracted to its development and the progress towards Vue-Native Weex for the native bridge similar to React-Native.

Wes also helps to understand, How Vue can be fit into Elm, Meteor ecosystem and can scale to production level grade app if needed.

Venue: Huge, Brooklyn, NY.

Host: Atish Narlawar

Contact: techpodcast@aol.com

Guest: Wes Hatch

What goes wrong with Agile? And how to fix it.

With the introduction of iterative development, frequent releases, a cross-discipline team, continuous integration, demos and retrospections, Agile development methodology has scored huge in the project execution as compared to traditional waterfall. It’s all going to be rainbows and sunshine, and everything will be smooth and perfect! Not surprised, many digital projects committed to Agile from the beginning.

But in reality, Agile is not a silver bullet. It can go wrong in various places. In this podcast, Atish Narlawar talks to Matt Toigo, Technical Architect at Huge, things that go out of the way in Agile and ways to address it.

Venue: Brooklyn, NY.

Host: Atish Narlawar

Guest: Matt Toigo @Toigo

Contact: techpodcast@aol.com

The Evolving Role of QA

In this episode, Tech Talk Podcast Host Atish Narlawar talks to Kate Falanga, an organizer of New York City Testers Meetup about "The Evolving Role of QA" in Software Engineering.

Kate gives an overview of how the role of QA has shaped in the software development since the era of GeoCities. With the aspects of processes, engineering practices, automation, and culture the role of QA has indeed gone far from waiting for testable code rather start to offer inputs at the beginning of requirement gathering.

Kate explains, the difference between QA Engineer and QA Analyst, and how both roles are very different and efficient in the software development. She insists although Automation is imperative, but it has to go through the lenses of usefulness, what make sense and what doesn't.

"The days of QA are getting numbered?" Recently one of the group from Yahoo got rid of QA Team altogether, stating testing is a part of culture, and, in fact, it's a shared responsibility. Kate answers QA is not dead, and it will never be dead. She think QA going through transformations, and the expectations have changed with this the role itself in validating requirements upfront, managing automation, release planning and recognizing what make sense and what doesn't. As next generation gadgets evolve with Augment & Virtual Reality, Driverless cars, Internet of Things the domain of QA is expanding fast and the ways to measure and manage quality is becoming quite challenging as certain rules need to get defined in these areas.

Podcast: Tech Time Podcast

Venue: Brooklyn, NY.

Host: Atish Narlawar

Guest: Kate Falanga

Meetup: NYC Tester

Blog: Evolving QA

Is adopting agile harder for agencies and consulting companies?

Agile development has imprinted solid mark in the software development in last 5-6 years. There is a jump from fringe to the mainstream, and the claim of "We are Agile!" is truer at this time in the teams while it wasn't back in 2010.

The Agile Manifesto was written by a group of software developers for their use. Many of the underlying principles of a framework like Scrum assume the existence of an in-house team and working for the business that employs them.

There is a strong argument for

"Agile Methodology is easier in the settings where you have all the control. Adhering to agile frameworks such as Scrum is more difficult within an agency/consulting structure than it is for an in-house development team especially with the client who understands fixed costs, fixed deadlines, and fixed bid contracts."

On this notion, Atish Narlawar speaks with Christopher Cunningham, a Group Technology Director at Huge, to understands "Does Agile works in the client engagements?" and what are the factors which play a significant role to make it happen.

They start the discussion by going through the factors which have changed in the engagement following Agile process. Chris mentions the importance of a shared language which plays a significant role to create a shift where agencies and client services pushing Agile with their customers. This change has worked with a positive note as agencies started to spend more time delivering excellent products, and less time arguing over out-of-date functional specs. Infact he thinks clients are also requesting and even demanding agile practices from their agencies.

Chris mentions even though some contracts bound with a deadline and fixed costs but there are better ways to get overcome with this, and the best way is to get rid of the fear of uncontrolled cost with the clients. With the combination of informed decisions, tangible results, waste reduction, risk transparency and time to market Agile can certainly give enough ammunition to influence customers and build the trust. With delivering a fully-working product at every milestone, Chris mentions agile expects more involvement from the clients at every step, and corporate companies responded to this need with the positive note.

On the reporting side, Agile driven burn down charts, sprint velocity and points breakdown offers the better way of tracking the progress, identifying the impediments than traditional metrics.

Christopher also notes that within an enterprise environment, Agile methodology is restricted to the software development teams. Other parts of an engagement like business, approval workflows and delivery management still go through traditional way, and that's one of the main reason the clients are not able to leverage the full Agile potential. He predicts there will be a positive change in upcoming days and companies will experience company-wide adoption.

Podcast: Tech Time Podcast

Venue: Brooklyn, NY.

Host: Atish Narlawar

Guest: Christopher Cunningham

React Native Development and Industry Adoption.

React Native is a framework for building native apps using Javascript and React js. Since the announcement which came on early 2015 from Facebook React has been one of the hot topics has ever discussed in Mobile community.

With this notion, Atish Narlawar speaks with Nicholas Brown, Founder of React Native NYC meetup. They start the conversation by jumping to the React JS component based framework and then natural progression of extending the web framework to mobile platforms through React Native.

Nicholas briefs the Architecture and introduces the feature of converting Javascript functionality into native platform code. Nicholas clarifies how React Native differs entirely from existing Javascript based mobile frameworks like Cordova and Appcelerator Titanium. He mentions within a year, the number of contribution to React Native exceeds that to the Cordova.

He explains the performance impact of using React Native compared to directly developing with Native code, especially during the transition of Javascript to Native code. However, to address this concern, better features and tools has been evolved like live reload and Microsoft CodePush. He also goes through various use cases where developing a mobile solution using React Native turns to be better as compared to native ios/android code.

Nicholas thinks once the solution gets developed on one platform, for example, iOS then the same solution can be used for Android with the minimal efforts around of 10% of the total. The discussion then goes through the current adoption of React Native in the tech industry and how most of the company are gearing up themselves meanwhile taking the cautious approach to be ready for next real change. He also shares the Google's attempt to enter into this domain with Flutter.

The discussion winds up with the recommendations for the beginners, with Facebook own tutorial and plugin repository named as React Parts for Native and Web plugins.

Podcast: Tech Time Podcast

Venue: Brooklyn, NY.

Host: Atish Narlawar

Guest: Nicholas Brown

Meetup: React Native NYC

Links: Facebook React, React Parts, Flutter

Search Engine Optimization in 2015.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website in a search engine's especially unpaid results. In general, the earlier and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine's users.

As the internet evolves over the time, it also showed impressive progression about the changes in user behavior about how, why and what they search for. This creates a continuous battle of how/why search engines prefer to represent information and creates a wide array of variations for SEO team to focus on.

One of the key impression with SEO, it is ever changing landscape. With this notion Atish Narlawar talks with David Sosnowski, a technologist, Group Director of Marketing at Huge.

They start the discussion by going through the ever-changing landscape of SEO. David explains even through SEO are changing fast to adapt the users and SEO analysts also needs to evolve over the period but the fundamental SEO principles have remained same even in 2015. He explains the core fundamentals user signals like bounce rate, ATOS (average time on site), ATOP (average time on page), conversion rate, click throughs which still be effective to guide SEO strategies.

With stressing Links and URLS as the most important factor, the discussion outlines few simpler and effective steps for any SEO strategy,

  • Understand the areas of improving indexation of the site through using Google Webmaster tools.
  • Task the SEO and technology teams to enhance coding elements.
  • Work with content teams to make sure expected voice matches how audience is searching through keyword research.
  • Monitor links coming into the site with tools like h-refs and teach your content, communication and social teams on the importance of links.

To deal with high volume CMS based website (For eg. a website with 70,000 pages) he recommends to focus first on categorization and second to rely heavily on google analytics based on understanding what is happening not just reporting numbers.

David shares the insights about how to keep and stay ahead in SEO Learning curve. Heclears the misconception revolves around redirects 401, add notes to the security and keyword selections. David recognizes the importance of Machine learning through the introduction of Google ‘RankBrain’ and explains SEO is turning to be a team work with co-ordination with other disciplines like UX and Products.

The discussion concludes with the mantra that SEO is no different, and definitely, it's not a rocket science. He recommends coming up with the roadmap of “Do, Report, Understand, Do.”

Venue: Brooklyn, NY.

Host: Atish Narlawar

Guest: David Sosnowski

Twitter: @SEO_Raptor