Monday, December 19, 2011

eClub winners

The jury sent the votes, we put the results together and we have announced the winners in the winter 2011 series of eClub. Join me in congratulating to all the winning teams.

The first price summer semester scholarship of 15k CZK goes to the Avocado team. The second price goes to InstantStorm with the summer semester scholarship of 10k CZK. And the third price is 5K CZK and goes to CloudCards team. All teams will receive a mentor to help them in starting the entrepreneurial career. The CVUT MediaLab will provide all scholarships.

Big thank you goes also to all the jury members. They have done great work in evaluating all the teams. And I am concluding with inviting you for the next eClub, which will start in the second half o February. Watch this blog and eClub pages and join us.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Final presentations - eClub

eClub is finishing. We met for the final round of presentations on Monday 12.12. Twelve teams were presenting their projets for startups and competing for prices. We will announce the winners next Monday 19.12.

The crowd was huge. At least sixty people gathered for the finals. The atmosphere was great. We started with introducing jury. Next we drew the order of presentations. We also had to add two last minute teams to the competition. This time 12 teams were competing and it is four more than last time. Also, based on the first reaction of jury, the quality of presentations was higher. We watched several short YT movies. The graphical appearance of presentations was great, we have seen several very interesting and eye catching shows. Also the content was according to the recommended format: team members’ introduction, the problem statement and suggested solution. All of them paid close attention to monetization, marketing, addressable market etc. It is clear that all participants have learned how to present. All presentations with short annotations are on eClub pages. Thanks to the Meta TV, who worked with us the whole semester, we will soon have on our pages the presentation videos. They will hlep to the jury members who did not make it to the final presentation. It is also for our overseas members.

The number of new emerging competitions is growing world wide as well as in our country. Some of the teams had already tried their luck elsewhere. We probably should allow competing only teams with no award from other competitions. Next time we also need to watch closely the clock some of the presentations were too long and the whole meeting took almost three hours. At 9:30 the university concierge kicked us out reminding us on the closing hour (9:00).

The best news: CityAdventures team competing in the last eClub is close to launch their product. The EasyWall team has pivoted and it is now running Meta TV company. Some other students, who were competing last time are part of new startups. Great, and I hope we will see more and more startups growing  from the university environment. Watch us next year, currently we are preparing the program.

Overall, the final presentations were big success: lot of people, good quality of presentations, more projects, better focus. Come next Monday we will announce the winners. Misko Hevery from Google Mountain View will follow with a presentation about the Trends in IT. I am looking forward to see you on Monday!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Barcamp Prague

Yesterday I joined the Barcamp Prague. Over hundred developers from the whole country got together to discuss development of mobile applications. People were giving short presentations along with discussions in the nearby rooms.

The series started with NFC and the Google wallet discussion, very interesting and very important for the contact-less payments. The typical problems in mobile UI development were discussed and demonstrated in several presentations. One of the focus groups discussed the difference between native and web based mobile applications. Developers presented different views with a lot of details about the progress of browsers capabilities on iOS and Android. Phonegap framework seems to be the best choice for developing a multiplatform applications. Many discussions focused on HTML 5 details. We have also seen some sort of promotional presentations such as Toast masters presentation. I also liked an overview of how to use mobile phones for advertising with examples of SMS and augmented reality usage. There were many more interesting applications, this is just a sample of what caught my attention.

During the day I have met lot of interesting people including some of my students. I gave a short overview of the VIA classes and the eClub. It definitely was worth of the time and I will try to join next time again.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Misko Hevery, Google, Trends in IT

Misko Hevery, top Google developer is coming to talk about future trends in IT industry. We will meet at the CVUT, Karlovo namesti 13, KN:E-301 on Monday, December 19, at 18:00. 

Misko is leading the AngularJS project. It started as a one person 20% project and it turned to a Google official project today. The project is growing also thanks to other two fellow citizens Vojta and Igor from Slovakia. All of them are very passionate about their project, just look at what is the AngularJS mantra: "What HTML would have been had it been designed for web apps". See the tutorial and examples.  Misko already gave two AngularJS presentations while he was visiting us in March. In this Christmas time he will share with us his visions of the future trends in IT.

Before the presentation we will award the winners of this year eClub competition. If you are interested in seing the competing teams join us on Monday December 12, at the same address.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Projects Review - class 10

VIA is an Internet applications development course introducing to mobile web applications. VIA class number ten. We are slowly but surly approaching the end of this semester. 

This time we had a class about security. This is one of the most important topics for any web apps developers. Unfortunately there is no special course on security in the curriculum and we could not afford to spend more then one class on it, too bad. Tomas Charvat prepared very condensed class reviewing the security. He has approached the first part from the point of view of a company CIO. Their  main concern is the disaster recovery strategy and security. What is the security role in a company? What are the principal security guidelines and processes? The company CIO needs to answer these questions precisely and we have learned the basic approaches. Then Tomas listed the main security standards and explained briefly the history. Next we have looked at how to conduct security audit, penetration test and vulnerability scan and what are the differences.

The last part of the presentation introduced the most common types of attacks. Examples of DOS, SQL injection and cross scripting vulnerabilities were explained along with graphs of security incidents. Overall this was a great class covering the most important security aspects.

In the next class we are going to look at how to select the right hosting site based on the type of application, which will be pitched by Tomas Vondra. After that we will follow with the project presentation.

It is sad, but I have to report two of the fourteen teams broke. The teams stopped working on the projects. On the other hand there are signs that some of the teams will create nice working demos.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Final presentations in the eClub

The winter 2011 series of eClub talks is slowly ending. On Monday 12.12. we will meet for the final presentations of students projects competing for the best business proposal. The jury headed again by Ondrej Bartos (Credo Ventures). will select the best projects. The jury members are the entrepreneurs, investors and technologists. The main sponsor is the CTU Media Lab Foundation and it will grant the students scholarships.

The eClub and Media Lab Foundation goal is to provide students with seed money to start working on a projects and commercialize them. The general rules are quite simple. eClub is planning to award the first three teams with a scholarship for the academic summer semester 2011/12. To start the business they will receive a monthly scholarship of between 5-15 thousands Kc. The eClub competition is designed for university teams and only students will be supported. We can afford to support maximum two students in each winning team. In addition to the scholarship eClub will try to get a mentor for winning teams. Mentors will help the teams to work on the proposed project, will help keeping focus and concentrate on the key aspects of the business. The second role of the mentor will be to monitor the progress of developing the idea. eClub will work with mentors and evaluate the progress.  If the awarded team will stop or suspend the work on the project the schoolarship will be suspended.

For competing teams it is very important to understand the jury rules. They will evaluate the proposed projects based on the 5 P of an investment rules. For investors is very important the quality of a problem. They are looking for big scalable problems. They want to understand the size of potential market and the impact of the proposed idea. Very important is the team, the people and their passion for business, their experience and the commitment to turn the idea a prosperous business. Last but not least is the payment. The teams need to explain soundly how are they going to make money. After all this is the main idea of any business. The presentation needs to prove the basic idea and introduce the basic steps to make things happened.

I am looking forward to see all the teams and their presentations. eClub and Media Lab Foundation we are ready to do our best to help turning students ideas to success.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Projects Review - class 9

VIA is an Internet applications development course introducing to mobile web applications. This is the VIA class number nine report.  

This time we had one to one discussions. We have reviewed all fourteen projects. The overall findings are very positive. The teams are working and making progress. But we have found also some problems, which can be improved.

Some of the team members are contributing more and some of them less in all teams. There is always one person contributing a major part of the code. These are the leaders, they need to take the initiative and delegate certain tasks to the less active team members. This way everybody will contribute and more work will be delivered. Everybody in the team needs to contribute.

Many students were complaining about getting stacked on some weird problem. This is typical situation in programming and I have tried to persuade the teams to immediately report the problem. There are many PhD students and other teams who may have faced a similar problem and can help immediately. The problematic code as well as good and polished parts of the code need to be shared. This is the main reason why we have started our forum. We still have to learn how to work in a larger team and share the experience. The excuse for not asking a question is most frequently: "I do not want to be considered a fool asking a stupid question".

I need some help or advice how to unleash the activity and create an atmosphere of collective knowledge sharing. We need to stop spending time finding a solution for non-documented or ill behaving code. Any advice?

Next we have realized that some of the teams are really working hard producing a lot of code, but without dropping a line of progress or documentation. This is also a typical geek behavior, which is sometimes great. Some people really work hard and produce enormous piece of code, but very frequently the code needs to be later rewritten. I have requested to start the blogs as a space for recording the work items, as a space for planning the next steps, to not lose the focus. Only some of the teams are doing a good job. Reporting and planning is a key activity in many companies. They use many different special programs for tracking the development. We need to learn the art of planning and reporting.

Only few of the teams are using github or other RCS system for archiving code. Some of the teams use zip files – no, no, no. This leads to mess, it is difficult to find the latest code, this leads to lot of mistakes and misunderstanding in the group of programmers. We have to learn to use the proven practices and organize the work properly.

Some of the teams have tendency to add more and more features to their applications. This is also one of the bad habits of the novice developers. The opposite, constant search for the simplest solution is the right direction. It takes sometimes very long time to distill the simplest UI or the simplest code, but in many cases customers appreciate simplicity.

Overall, I think, we are doing great job and I am looking forward to see the first apps running. Keep up the good work. See the projects in detail.

Monday, November 28, 2011

New position in our department

Czech Technical University, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, department of Cybernetics is looking for an advanced web applications developer.

We are planning to develop new Internet presence for several departments and many research and industrial projects. This involves a design of a large CMS with high level of interactivity and presence at social networks. We are aiming also at mobile and tablets. We are offering a full time or part time job for an experienced, creative and hardworking web java and CMS programmer. Any experience in creating visual content including text layout and formatting and the graphical interface development will be appreciated. This is a great opportunity to work in an innovative academic environment with high level of independence and encouraging experiments. The job is good match for recent graduates and can be combined with some of our MSc or PhD courses. If interested send an email to

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Media Lab supports education, research and startups.

The Czech Technical University Media Lab Foundation supports students from Czech technical universities in three directions: scholarship to support study at foreign universities, advanced research projects and recently also seed money for startup. Media Lab is actively raising money from Czech industrial partners. 

Once a year Media Lab organizes workshop to present the results of the supported projects to public. We have again met all the supported students last Thursday. We saw fprojects from various fields. Two teams were working in the local Automaker Skoda on a new methods for 3D presentation. The project researched new methods for virtual presentation of the cockpit equipment and real time 3D virtual presentation. Both team worked in Mlada Boleslav in Skoda research headquarters. Foundation also supported Tomáš Siege student of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering to take part in Berkeley summer course in mining and modeling of neuroscience data. He has presented his follow up research of equipment helping the Parkinson’s disease patients. This year for the first time the Foundation also supported a startup oriented stay in PlugAndPlay Tech Center in California. Peter Somlo was the first one enjoying the entrepreneurial atmosphere in Silicon Valley. In his presentation he has explained what he learned from the courses and how he has joined one of the startups during his stay. The easyWall team was the second who were incubated to PlugAndPlay during this summer. They are the winners of the last series of the eClub. They won with the easyWall project but after discussion with VCs in Valley they have dropped it and currently they are starting a new project in the field of TV for education Meta. During the workshop we have also voted for the best project. The winners were Marek Votroubek and Monika Svedirohova. They have presented a mobile robot for rough terrain. They brought the robot with them for the presentation and explained the very interesting and innovative design. Great!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Apps Development - class 8

VIA is an Internet applications development course introducing to mobile web applications. VIA class number eight is here. 

This was the fourth presentation about the Internet apps design. Filip has concluded a series of four preceding presentations of the web application design by putting it all together. The presentation started with repeating the server client paradigm, then he has listed various HTTP based server APIs. Filip is a strong believer of REST therefore he has spend quite some time explaining its advantages and simplicity. REST API is also the selected API style for our app skeleton, which is published on github. The validation, serialization and de-serialization and other processing are common in all web designs. Many different frameworks are helping designers implementing and unifying these routine pieces of code. We have chosen SPRING one of the most popular frameworks for Java. The SPRING configuration for an Eclipse web project is very simple and it saves a lot of coding. Filip has used the content negotiation, URI templates, message convertors HTTP method conversion and validators. The presentation ended with the discussion and demo code of the networking from the Android SDK. We have not managed to get to the C2DM communication during the class, read it in the presentation. Many code examples. including a simple Android app sending and reading text to and from GAE are available for cloning from github. Our sample code is not using the original Google RPC API, we are betting on a modern Java REST based code. Thanks to SPRING it is also very simple and high quality code. We believe that our code is combining high efficiency and simplicity. Enjoy it and let us know if you find any problems or suggest what needs to be improved.

See the presentations

Next Thursday I am getting ready with Filip to talk to all teams in one to one meetings. We would like review the stage of the applications development. I want to understand how the teams selected the minimal feature set. I'd like to see how far they are with the implementation. We will check the blogs and the weekly reporting. We also will be ready to help solving possible problems. I hope, we will see some early stage applications already.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

New projects - eClub

Entrepreneurs Club is bringing together students enthusiastic about new technologies, innovation, cooperation and startups. eClub introduces the best entrepreneurs, marketers, technologists and vcs motivating and inspiring students to start their own projects and businesses. 

We had the first round of presentations in the eClub,  check the videos. We have 8 teams presenting their projects, similarly as last time. The proposed projects are all Internet applications, some of them are addressing the mobile market. Here is short introduction of the projects:

Helpdesk team is proposing a mobile/web application. The client allows users to take a picture, save the GPS location and add a comment or question. The collected information is send to an operator. User gets the reply to mobile - simple easy to understand.
CloudCardz team wants to make the business cards exchange easier by scanning the QR code with mobile phone. Simplification and exchange speedup of a personal information using cell phone is a great idea.
WebDop has the ambition to help users to follow their friends easily on all social sites they may use – not simple but very useful.
An early version of SetYourSchedule is already used by some business and the author wants to make it more general and offer it globally.
Favorite connections is a public transport app. It has already strong competition but the team is betting on new features and additional know-how in their design.
I like the idea of the Boring-o-meter. It is a simple moving hand standing in front of the audience. The hand shows the crowd happiness collected through cell phones. If we use it in the next eClub session we definitely will call it happiness meter, there is nothing boring in the eClub…
ConTutor team wants to help all students of foreign languages. The app helps finding a tutor, give him a rating. It also handles payments. Get a friend for foreign language conversations – nice idea, very helpful.
The last project is focusing on 3D business people trying to find easier and cheaper ways using 3D-SaaS apps. Very demanding but it also may be very rewarding.

All teams tried their best to introduce new ideas. They have another few weeks to improve ideas before the final presentation. The jury will vote for the best teams and the Media Lab Foundation will award the best teams with a scholarship to help them to turn their applications to real offerings.

We already had several interesting speakers in the eClub this year. We met successful entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley Hubert Palan. Vitek Valka has explained how he has developed one of the best stores with photos PixMax. Jan Matejka gave us introduction to soft skills. Tereza, Vojta and Pier gave us some insight to Silicon Valley incubators. We continue next Monday with Ondrej Bartos presentation. Join us!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Apps Development - class 7

VIA is an Internet applications development course focusing on design of mobile web applications for students. VIA class number seven took place last Thursday. Half of the semester is behind!

Presentation number seven was about databases. Tomas Barina prepared an introduction of the database technology for web servers. He has reviewed the SQL basics and explained some of the specifics of the NoSQL database technology. Mainly he has focused on the Google App Engine data services: datastore, memcache and blobstore. New datastore with five 9s is the recommended choice. Then he continued with some APIs recommendations, there are two java choices JDO and JPA for GAE. Large part of the session was devoted to a sample code. Tomas has shown how to set the database, write the basic CRUD operations and how to test the code using a REST client and datastore/viewer. Samples of the memcache usage were also explained with some comments about efficiency.  The whole presentation is giving complete advice on how to configure and use persistence in GAE.

See the presentations

The next session will put all three presentations together. The result will be a simple code for a web application running on a Galaxy tablet. The native client will display an entry field for name, surname and date of birth. The user will fill-in data and save them on GAE. The next “activity” screen will read the data from the cloud and display it. This final application will complete the web apps how-to. The whole code will be published on github.

We had two interesting contributions in discussion forum. Adam send a post showing how to use WiFi instead of the USB cable for the Galaxy tablet during the development. Very nice and useful, no wires cluttering the table. The second contribution describes an API for the university information system called KOS. Tonda put together sample code for authentication and data access. This is the starting point for all teams working on applications requiring the schedule and other data from KOS. Michal has published description of a small game on his blog.

I have reviewed the teams development sites to check the activity. I have found good and  interesting progress. Happy meal team produced nice wireframes for their application.
Car share has developed lively video showing authentication, great job!

Conclusions: Some teams have made great progress. It looks like some do not like documenting. Some of the teams need to wake up and begin working. But overall, I thing, we are doing great job!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Apps Development - class 6

VIA is an Internet applications development course focusing on design of mobile web applications for students. VIA class number six (time flies) took place last Thursday.

Thanks to the generous Samsung donation all of us in VIA course work on the same software as well as hardware. The new Galaxy tablets are great and we are all excited. Most of the students are already getting familiar with the new capabilities. Tablets will become their primary target platform. It is great advantage getting the latest technology as soon as released. Especially in this case, tablets are changing the way we will use Internet. Playing with new gesture oriented applications on new screen format, with different capabilities opens new opportunities and ideas. Tablets have an easy and natural UI, but it still takes some time to get acquitted with it. For programmers it is not simple to switch from the traditional UI web design thinking to full screen gestures controlled environment. Of course the hands-on experience is essential. Samsung thank you, the new tablets will open new opportunities.

This time the class was about the Google App Engine. GAE will be our primary server platform. Fillip has done great job, check his presentation explaining high level the architecture, registration process, how to install the GAE plug-ins to Eclipse. One by one the  screen shots with key sequences show how to install plug-ins. The presentation is completed by a simplest java servlet “Hello world”. Next pages are explaining how to use the GAE and how to develop an application along with the GAE administration console main screens showing statistics, logs etc.

See the presentations

All teams should be able to create Android native client and write a simple GAE servlet now. Next class will be about databases. What data services and what modeling and persistence APIs are available at GAE, how to configure the database. The hands on part of the presentation will show how to code a simplest servlet width doGet() and doPost() methods reading a storing text string to database.

The discussion forum is also starting to take off. Some good questions and post with coding and development hints are showing up. My ambition is to demonstrate students the power of the group work, the advantage of sharing and helping to each other. Crowd sourcing paradigm and social networks grew for the same assumption and are today the base of the most successful apps. Cooperation and communication are essencial.

I am looking forward to see the progress, therefore my next task is to check how the teams are reporting the development progress. I can not wait to see first apps "activities" on the tablet screen. Join us, look at presentations and ask questions if something is not clear. Help us improve!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Samsung tablets at CTU

Samsung has donated 50 Galaxy 10.1 tablets to support mobile apps development at CTU. Samsung President and CTU Medialab representative have signed the contract in presence of the CTU president.

Fantastic, first of all, this is the best news for my students of the Internet Applications Development course (VIA). The tablets will be the main development and testing tool in this course.

Why tablets? It is clear that tablets will gaining bigger and bigger share. I believe, a tablet application saving the data in the cloud will dominate the future Internet. They will be used in many segments of the industry including universities. In general the mobile devices will generate large, probably the largest part of the Internet traffic. Students need to learn the art of these applications development.

What are the steps in our project? I’d like to walk students through the whole development cycle of Android apps storing the data on Google App Engine. We started with product specification and currently the we work on product valuation. At the end of the course each team has to demonstrate working app. In my view the key difference to other theoretical courses is the problem oriented approach and hands-on experience.

I am looking forward to see the first team showing the tablet with working application. Track the teams development steps on their web pages or you can read my regular reports, click the VIA tag.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mobile web applications development - VIA class 5

VIA is an Internet applications development course focusing on design of mobile web applications for students. VIA class number five took place last Thursday.

This time the class was about the native Android applications development. My PhD student Filip delivered the presentation. With his long experience in developing web client applications he is the best to introduce students to the art of designing web apps. He has started with creating the building environment. Our preferred IDE is Eclipse with some plug-ins. Filip has shown how to do installation and configuration of the guild system.  The first sample Android application can almost entirely generated by the Google Android plug-ins. We expect the students to install all the tools and plug-ins and show the first application running in the emulator next week. Tough job, the emulator is pretty slow, but alas, we have a surprise for all the students. Wait till Tuesday for the oficial announcement … Next, the teams will have to select github or source control system (SCS). All the projects will be open source and we will use the SCS for a sample code to quickly jumpstart the development.

Next Thursday we will continue with introduction to server side - Google App Engine. The goal is to have a simple sample code showing a web native application on Android with CRUD operations on GAE. In two weeks from today I expect students to demonstrate running sample apps saving and reading data from the web. These apps will be the basis for further development. We will do our best delivering the easy to understand presentations and consulting to help to all students overcome difficulties and make all working.

Using the computer science terminology: the teams concurrently work on validating proposed projects. One of the teams already pivoted, or more correctly, they have completely changed the application. Instead of building another social network they are planning to create a tool for remembering points required for getting credits and participation on seminars, very valuable for all students. It is the Foko team, the site is still not updated, wait ... They need to ask colleagues what exactly it is students need to record at school. In my view this is the right right attitude: something doesn't work let's switch to something different 

Keep the fingers crossed! The schedules are aggressive! The teams need to deliver working apps. Stay in touch, suggest …

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mini Seedcamp Prague

I have met lot of  interesting people yesterday at the Mini Seedcamp in Prague. Seedcamp is an early-stage micro seed investment fund and mentoring program. I was happy to be a mentor. In the morning we saw all twenty participating teams giving very short presentation. In the afternoon mentors created groups of three and had one to one discussion with selected teams. Discussions were limited to 45 min. I had a chance to talk to five teams. During the sessions mentors tried to analyze teams proposals, find weak points and suggest further steps. We have finished the day in the nearby Friends Coffee House.
Working with teams was lively experience for me, I always enjoy to think how to move the company ahead how to define the next steps in their journey to market. As usually many of the companies were very technologically and less business oriented.
I liked very systematic approach of the Indoors startup. They provide the indoor location capabilities. Subjects are localized using the wifi and installed application.  My second favorite is the Qminder from Estonia. Beside of wearing a lovely stocking cap they introduced a great app to line people to a queue with smart phones. Nice, simple, easy to understand. The only drawback, it is easy to copy.
It was a fantastic event. I had the opportunity to meet many important people from the local as well as international startup community. During the breaks we had time enough for discussions and networking. I am also hoping there will be more than two startups from the Czech Republic next time. Great event we need more of them in Prague!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Google developers day Prague

Great, my students are presenting on stage of the Google Developers Day in Prague. Vrata is showing the first version of a helpdesk application for Android phones. The application is designed for mobile users to ask company operator to help them in their job. They can attach a photo to a question as well as the location. The operator is answering using a web application. The complete list of questios is stored in Google App Engine. The operator can see the pictures and the location is displayed in the map. Great work. It still requires some tuning, but I am sure it will be very useful for many mobile users.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Brainstorming in eClub

We had a discussion about what to do in this run of the eClub about two weeks ago. One of three requests was to organize a brainstorming session. Let’s do it today. Brainstorming theme is: web applications. Jan Matejka will have short presentation about emotional and social intelligence and just after he will help us with brainstorming. We are relatively large group, which may generate a lot of ideas. To enable easy and quick idea entry I have prepared a simple entry form on our web. Each idea will be labeled with a name to allow add comments or further suggestion. The author can edit the original idea. All ideas, comments or suggestions will be collected in a read-only spreadsheet. I leave the idea entry form and the spreadsheet open even after today meeting to let you think about them. I hope, the preferable way of generating an interesting idea is to stand up and shout ... Remember we are not going to do any evaluation during the session. The main purpose of brainstorming is to generate weird ideas and then extract the best essence.

Last time I have also asked who is going to enter the competition for the best projects. I saw a decent number of hands. This is a signal to go ahead. What are we going to compete for? It will be a scholarship 5-15k CZK per month for 3-5 month in the summer semester. We will award the first three teams. The winning teams will be selected by an international jury after presentation just before Christmas. You will also win an experienced mentor, who will help you turning your idea to a viable product.  We will organize monthly meetings between you, your mentor and the representative of CTU Media Lab Foundation to evaluate the progress. The meeting may decide to stop the funding in case of a poor performance. The presentation tryout is next week. Get on stage, you’ll get a valuable feedback before presenting in front of the jury. All of you intending to enter the competition register in, please. The registration link is on our home page.

What are the rules? The entering team must have at least two members and one of them must be a university student (PhD students are OK too) in the Czech Republic in the academic year 2011/12. Members who are not students are not eligible for scholarship. We also have prepared a simple summary how to present on our web pages or you can have a look at a presentation by Lucie from last year to understand what is the trick.

I have created also the “Interesting links” page with some good startup know-how sites. At the button of the page is a comment window. Use it to suggest your favorite links, please. You can also send me a suggestion by email. Let’s try to select the best links.

Prepare for nest week presentations, join us for today brainstorming!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mobile web applications development - VIA class 4

VIA is an Internet applications development course focusing on design of mobile web applications for students. VIA class number four took place on Thursday.  

We have finished the presentation of all the fourteen projects. All teams have created home pages and short description. The links are at our VIA projects pages. We can roughly break the applications to three categories. 

Scheduling applications enhancing and simplifying access to our very complex university information system. 
  • The Manager Calendar group is betting on the idea of publicly informing about participating or skipping a class. 
  • The Via-Gra team offers a calendar/task application alerting users about school important deadlines. 
  • Eager programmers are offering combination of courses schedule with entering notes and links to study materials. 
  • The Day Team suggests almost the same idea.  
  • The Vychodniary project is designing aggregation of the study materials from slightly different point. 
  • Fellow Me team wants to improve searching for students and university stuff using all information on net. 
  • SocDev team is trying to design a students oriented project management application.

The second largest group of applications leverages the power of social applications. 
  • Party Pool and Foko Team have very similar idea helping to find events based on location and time. 
  • ShareTimeProject is trying to help friends sharing activities through their calendars. 
  • Car share is more or less a general application automating hitch hiking. 

These applications are much more ambitious than what can be achieved in a school project. To create the critical mass of users nmaking the application useful is very difficult and takes lot of time and money. My suggestion is to design these ideas as Facebook application with the mobile UI.

The last group contains all the other applications. 
  • Happy meal wants to provide a list and scoring system for the university canteens. 
  • A great idea is an online presentation evaluation proposed by Via Team. 
  • Jamata team is offering games to kill free time.

Great, we have fourteen teams with a plan for an application. Next Thursday we will show how to install Eclipse plus plug-ins and explain a sample code. It will be an Android native application with single widget and a Google App Engine backend to store the entered data on server. Basically, we will use the Google suggested code. All will be placed on github to let all students easily download the initial source and start to experiment. 

The next deadline for all teams is the October 27th. I expect the teams to present validation of their applications, explaining their experiments proving their apps ideas. This also will be the time to limit the feature set of all apps and set realistic targets for the MVP.

It is a lot of work in front of all of us, but I hope it also will be a lot of fun. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

We are meeting teachers.

My university is constantly looking for new, talented students. Thanks to Google for sponsorship the Open Informatics program is organizing a meeting with secondary school teachers today. We want to show what we do and also get a feedback. My part is to explain how we use Google tools in education. I must admit, I am little bit biased. I have worked for Google for more than two years and I was using all Google tools on everyday basis.

My presentation will show how I work with students in the Internet Application Development (VIA) course. Students will learn how to invent, validate and develop a simple Android tablet application in one semester. Hands-on experience is the only way to learn how to work and act while developing an application. I am encouraging students to use the Agile software techniques in projects. Team members, except at school, are not in one place they need to communicate, use the Internet. Consequently collaboration is the most important skill students need to learn.

To achieve our goals it is very important to choose the right software tools. They need to be simple and support daily project activities. Clearly, all the tools need to support cooperation. We have chosen the Google Apps education edition. In my opinion it offers superb tools for cooperation and group work.

What we use? The VIA home page is hosted on Google sites. The calendar for the class, map and other widgets are included. For project tracking we use Docs and Blogger. I also use quite a lot Forms to run surveys. Some students created their home pages on, some have also chosen Sites. For discussion we use Google groups. Some of the teams use Google Presentation Docs. In the initial part of the project students need to validate the app hypothesis and beside Forms, they used also Google Insight and Analytics. For the development we use all the Android and Google App Engine with lot of introductory staff on Google Code.

Almost all the students entering the course have their private gmail address. This is complicating some of the sharing, administration and access to apps, since they do not use the VIA account as primary. Moving email address is probably one of the most difficult problems.

The VIA course is completely open, all documents and projects are public. I am reporting about what is happening in each class periodically in this blog. We have thirteen projects. I’d like to attract other students and join us. I can imagine, we can use these tools for working with students before they get to the university, we definitely can introduce and motivate them to new technologies. Talk to us. We can also work with other universities and developers worldwide. These are the benefits of great software democratization process on the net. Join or follow!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mobile web applications development - VIA class 3

This is the report from the third VIA class. Internet applications development course focusing on development of mobile web applications for students.

It was an interesting class today. Student teams were presenting projects proposals. CoreOfPoodle presented an app to quickly find the neareast cultural events. Eager Programmers team and Dynamic Core team are suggesting social web based application to organize free time. AdusMaraGoust Team introduced Car Share project desiged to search for cheap student travel. DEV-TEAM came with an interesting idea to share class supporting material generated by students accessible through a classes schedule. Sometimes it becomes very difficult to find friends and teachers at the university and the Fellow Me team is trying to make this simpler.

All teams set their home pages and those who have presented provided links to their presentation. Some of the presentations are in Czech but I hope, we fix this soon. All teams delivered good work presenting clearly what is their idea. We will finish the presentations in the next class.

Ok, we have some idea what to develop. But we only have hypotheses for an application. We must validate the proposed apps, make sure someone really needs it. How to do it? Teams have to test the hypotheses on their colleagues.

One way of doing it, is to create a paper mock up of an applications and test the interest, for example, in the university cafeteria. Asking students what they like, would they download the application, is something missing or what they do not need. All answers should be recorded, presented and then decisions need to be made. Other method is to create a web page, which is just showing a wireframe with some links. Route friends to the web and collect clicks with google analytics. Most frequently clicked feature is important, but be careful, it also depends on the web page layout, this experiment needs to be repeated with different layouts. Other methodology is to create a questionary and ask colleagues about their opinion. Some of you may develop a pdf mockup, with clickable links and run it on Android device to collect users response. The closer we can get to the final experience the better we can estimate the customers needs. In all cases we want to estimate what is the minimum features set.

Almost all of the applications are very ambitious. Some of the applications are only vaguely related to students needs. We will probably need to fix this. Keep in mind that most of the Android market apps are very simply accomplishing one thing with a minimum UI complexity. This does not mean the implementation is also simple. To destile the most important features and create a simple UI is the trick. This is the teams job now! Teams need to focus on reduction of functionality, implementing only what is necessary. This is probably the most difficult task.

The minimum viable products should be available just before Christmas and this is an extremely agressive target. We have to work hard ...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

New eClub season kick off

Last Monday we have kicked off the next eClub season. HubertPalan a Czech entrepreneur from Silicon Valley was visiting Prague and this was the opportunity to invite him for a talk. It was an exiting evening. Hubert did not prepare any detailed presentation but he was sort of throwing around many interesting ideas, advices, observations about his involvement in startups. Quickly the crowd started asking questions and, as usual, the discussion continued in the nearby pub. Great kick off.  We will soon put the video on our pages, stay in touch I'll let you know.

Come and join us this Monday. Help us to form this eClub season. We want to hear you...  

Friday, September 30, 2011

Mobile web applications development - VIA class 2

I had the second VIA class yesterday. Internet application development course focusing on mobile web applications for students at the Czech Technical University, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, dep. of Cybernetics, Prague.

The presentation title was "Steps to develop a web application". Our fist step was to create and organize the teams. It is almost finished. We have 11 teams with eleven projects.  Most of the teams already created their home pages and blogs for tracking progress.  I asked students to put an essay, high level description of the project, on their home page. The blog is set to track all development steps. I recommend to have two types of records on the blog. Milestones are two weeks jobs. Small tasks should take not more then few hours. I’d like students to write the tasks and mark who is solving what and when it has been finished. Breaking tasks to small steps is essencial. Marking progress is motivating and saves you from losing focus, (well sometimes)
Then we have started a small discussion trying to explain how to pick the right application. We brainstormed and discussed several suggestions. I have tried to explain what are the experiments to test the app idea. I have suggested what questions to ask other students to understand the usefulness of the app. How ask to discover how they will use the app. This is not simple but essencial before starting any development. I have tried to show some simple examples of the idea validation. I hope the sThis is precisely the set of problems I want students to focus on during the presentation. Their task is to present using experiments results what value the app will deliver to them, what problem is the app solving, and what needs it is satisfying. I have also briefly mentioned the Business model canvas and provided the wiki link for further study. The presentation was closed by discussing what is the Minimum Viable Product and, what is the set of minimal features. I have covered each of the topic very shortly, in depth discussion will require much more time and effort. Our class is more focused on technology but I thought this little excursion to business thinking is very important. Students need to understand and be motivated for the development of apps.
Next week we will continue with presenting the project ideas. Students are due to deliver an essay. Each team will get around 10 minutes and then we will discuss the idea.
Follow us on VIA pages.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Learn how to build a startup - VIA class 1

today I'll tell you about my plan for the winter Internet Application Development course. I want to teach students what are the steps for developing a useful Internet application. I got a little inspired by Steve Blank LaunchPad. Today, many of our students work on their own projects and typically they focus on programming. Real hackers frequently fall in love with new idea or technology. They spend a lot of time developing, but only few of them convert the idea to a working product. In my course I’d like to help them to change it and in the same time learn what are the product development steps.

How do we operate? First I am splitting students in to teams of four. Each team must set up a web home page and write short essay describing what they want to develop. Next, they should use the home page to attract the users and check the idea. During the whole course I want students to track the development. We will use blogs or other journal like application. Documenting progress is always good practice. List of finished tasks is creating a good feeling of progress, it also helps to stay in focus.

Who are the customers and what do we want to deliver? Customers are all students of the CTU and we want to deliver applications making their university live easier. Since developers and customers are the same it should be easier to validate the product idea. Teams, students will test the product on students.

I am also narrowing the choice of application to Internet apps for mobile. There are many reasons, besides the sales numbers and popularity. Most important is that mobile apps are typically much simpler. They focus on one simple task. Small screen supports only easy UI. Simple, small and intuitive apps are our target.

I’d like to finish the semester with real working minimum set of features applications. To make the apps development as simple as possible we will offer ready to use sandboxes for Android and Google App Engine. This should quickly jump start the development.

What will the students learn? How to lead a project, how to organize the development, and how to create something useful and attractive for users. The most important take away is the hands on experience.

I do not know how the whole course will work out, are there enough ideas for applications, are our students inventive enough to pick the right set, do we have enough time to do something useful? There are lot of questions, but I am sure we need to search for new ways how to inspire students and help them achieving good results. This is my try. I’ll keep reporting about the progress.  See the deliverables specifications at VIA web pages. Keep your fingers crossed, comment, suggest!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

eClub opening presentation

On Monday 26.9. we will welcome Hubert Palan at Czech Technical University in Prague. He is coming to Prague for a short visit from Silicon Valley. He will tell us why being an entrepreneur is the best career ever and how startups are built in Silicon Valley. Hubert will explain how the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial ecosystem works, how universities, students, companies, entrepreneurs and investors collaborate and innovate. Luckily, innovation doesn't happen just in Silicon Valley and you will find out how to apply startup best practices anywhere in the world. Come and jump start your journey of building a great product with a stellar team and changing the world. Check it out at the eClub home page and recently on Facebook too.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 26 - eClub

Wikipedia says: September 26 is the 269th day of the year (270th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 96 days remaining until the end of the year. I say: on September 26 we start the first 2011 winter eClub meetinging. Join us.
The winners of the last eClub, the easyWall team returned from California with a lot of interesting suggestions. They advised me to make at least the first page in Czech. The English version is apparently discouraging some of the students. OK, I am listening, the first page is in Czech, but I kept the rest in English. As soon as we catch those shy students we convert to English anyway. We need to cooperate internationally. We need to be understandable.
I also was told to make sure everybody understands that eClub is not part of the curriculum, no exam, credits for participation. Good point. Another important comment was do not emphasize it is at Czech Technical University. So don’t be scared all meetings will be easy going and entertaining. We will welcome students and their friends from all technical or other universities interested in starting business. eClub is open to everybody.
In our club you will have a chance meeting your peers, interesting entrepreneurs, technologists and visionary. We will welcome great speakers Karel Obluk, Karel Janecek and others. We are also planning to have first presentation streamed directly from Silicon Valley. Keep the fingers crossed. One more note: after each presentation there will be an after-party in the nearby restaurants to chat with your friends.
We have dry run project presentations planned for October 24. I hope, most of the participants will try to present their own project. We will tell you how to formulate the project plan and how to present. We will help you to get advice from mentors. You can use our forum to discuss.  An international jury will select the best projects and they will get the awards just under the Christmas tree.
Those of you who cannot join us in person make a note: all presentations will be recorded and displayed on our pages. Let me know if you have any suggestions, comments, improvements, etc.  and don't forget September 26.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What startup is best for you?

How to motivate students to create a startups? What are the types of startups? I am putting together the program for the Entrepreneurs Club these days and these are some of the questions I want to discuss.

The university students are in the best period of their life to experiment, turn their dreams to something useful. The entrepreneurial path is offering lot of different opportunities. The most ambitious is the high-tech path: pursuing PhD program, inventing new, disruptive technology and turning it to a startup. Contrary to scientific research, some students may start a small business in their hometown.  Some may chose to work alone or in a small group and make enough money to have a comfortable life. The top aspiration is to go for the big thing, creating a scalable business addressing millions of customers worldwide. Let’s look at different types of startups in more detail.

One person makes the smallest startup. Typical example is Tonda Hildebrand who calls himself a micropreneur. He wrote and sells an enhanced Finder version for Mac. He has thousands and thousands customers around the world. As a micropreneur, thou you are the only person in the company who needs to do all what the business requires. You need to be a very strong personality to not lose motivation and focus, and to overcame all difficulties. You can focus on what makes you happy, where you are best and outsource the rest. You will be very independent in time, location etc. On the other hand you’ll be vulnerable, if you find and develop an application addressing large customers cloud, the competition will kill you rather quickly.

Typical startup has two or three people at the very beginning. Many of the startups die, some survive but do not grow, and they become small companies with few staff members.  They may choose working on a single product. If they manage to find a niche market and customers, they may create a successful business. As long as the number of customers is of no commercial interest to large companies they may create a sustainable income. In eClub we had a presentation of the Fakturoid team falling in to this category. The danger is very similar to micropreneurs, the variety of products is narrow and the single core product can become part of larger companies portfolio or the whole business model may die. The right niche market may generate a good stream of revenue to have a comfortable life, therefore: lifestyle companies. Some small companies managed to address considerable number of customers with their very successful products, for example 37signals.

What is the majority of IT companies in the Czech Republic? According to the Czech ICT Alliance 98% of companies have less than 20 people. My estimation is that these numbers will be similar in many other countries. These companies are focusing on web pages authoring, administration, IT integration etc. Mostly they provide custom development or services in a small, local scale. They are very important for the national economy, but they do not have the ambition to work worldwide or grow. They can be classified as small business startups.

The real startup is mostly associated with a high grows, technology oriented company. We all know the top startups: Google. Yahoo, SalesForce etc. They are very successful in introducing new disruptive technology. They have found great business model, grew to a large company and developed additional lines of innovative products. An idea for a great scalable business can emerge anywhere in the world, but it is not easy to find the right people and the right ecosystem to scale. This is the reason why most of the large technological startups are coming from Silicon Valley. It is the reservoir of the best programmers, engineers but also top IT managers, visionary, lawyer, venture capitalists, marketers, sales people… Even the most successful Czech IT startup entrepreneur Roman Stanek moved his Gooddata operations to Silicon Valley.

Researcher or scientists like a high-tech startup developing a disruptive technology based on technological break through and new algorithms. Turning the results of their several years long research to a business may lead to significant competitive advantage. The formation of such startup is a very intricate process since people of science typically do not have commercial but scientific targets. The success metric is the number of scientific articles not revenue or number of customers. Startup is the best setup to commercialize new IT scientific ideas. The typical goal of scientific startup is to prove the technology, show the growing revenue and sell the company.

Beside of missing non-profit or open source startups and a very special kind of startups winning government tenders, the list is complete. Most of the students will start their entrepreneurial activities without knowing in what category they will end up, but from the point of view of what we do in eClub it is not important. The goal is to make students active, teach them the practical steps how to create a product and how to find customers. I will be delighted, if as a result of eClub, we will see a new company in any of the above categories.

Do not stay aside, communicate, be active, and join us.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Software development democratization and eClub

I am preparing for the next season of eClub thinking what is the best way to introduce our students to the art of starting their first own business. To experience the joy of having customers who use your applications. In this blog I will focus on business on the Internet, which thanks to the technology development got very democratic and therefore it is very easy to enter for all of us.
Yes, we are living in a great time. The cost of a notebook is constantly decreasing and every student owns one. Beside great ideas and commitment the computer is probably the only required prerequisite to start an Internet business. Most of the other required components are available very affordably or for free. What more, to buy the computer you need your savings, but to run the business in the cloud you can pay as you go and only for what you use, no upfront investment is required. It scales as you need. The cloud is spreading (this is meant positively) and the web services as AWS, Google App Engine, Heroku are easy to access and use for hosting your apps. You can find several services (Bitnami, TurnkeyFluxflex, on the web enabling you to install well know open source packages as LAMP stack, Wordpress, Joomla, MySQL, Moodle, RedMine, etc with a single click. Check also the Rightscale one of the most popular tools for running cloud apps. To organize your office (email, calendar, documents, ...) you have a choice of Office 365, Google Apps, Tungle, Zoho,... To complete the company administration you can find many different accounting systems and project managing packages.
A successful business needs bright developers and tools to create the best product, but the most important is the sale. With the advent of cloud many business and marketing channels have emerged in the cloud helping you in reaching your customers and selling the product. Well known are the iPhone and Android markets offering hundreds of thousands of small apps. Google and Apple introduced Web Stores. SaleForce is also very active. These channels are helping developers to offer their applications to customers, sell them and collect money for a reasonable share on the sale. If you do not like the big shots, you can  proceed by your own, there are on the web organizations taking care of the whole sales lifecycle handling the credit card, issuing SW license keys, handling tax world wide, for example Fastspring. Monitoring customers and marketing is the next step in growing the business. Very popular is the Google Analytics. It will give you very good insight to you apps and web traffic and help you with effective marketing. Many other services exist for advertising your product.
All this is available to everybody and it means it is very easy to start today than ever before. Most of the students are very good programmers and have great ideas for new applications. eClub is here to motivate and empower students to make their dreams true. eClub is subsidized by the CTU MediaLab foundation supporting the best students teams with scholarship. You will meet experienced people to discuss and advise you with the business development.  At the end let me share with you my secret wish: I would like to have by the end of the academic year 11/12 at least one alumni team who will attract thousands of users to their new application.
Join us in the next season of the eClub. Start to work with us. We are opening in September. Watch our blog and web pages. Get first batch of customers, …

Thursday, August 18, 2011

eClub Winter 2011

soon the school will start again and this is the right time to begin planning for the next round of the eClub. They eClub sessions will start from September and they will be again supported by the department of Cybernetics and the CTU MediaLab foundation. Last year most of the students were from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering. For the winter 2011 we want to attract students from the whole CVUT.
What is the current plan? I am preparing a series of 13 sessions. As usual I will open with an introductory presentation announcing this year competition for the best startup project. I want to put together again an international jury selecting three to five best projects. The winners will be awarded with a scholarship to start their projects.
I am in the middle of putting it all together and there still will be some changes, but let me introduce first speakers and sessions. In the last week of September we will take advantage of Hubert Palan visiting Prague. He will share with us his experience of studying at UC Berkeley and then creating his own startup. He works for GoodData now. His presentation will be an introduction to Silicon Valley, the center of startups. In the next session I am planning to give the opportunity to the winners of the last competition, the EasyWall team. They spent three months in the Silicon Valley Plug And Play accelerator and there is a lot to report. They have taken many videos and made lot of interviews. The next winners went to the Technical university of Copenhagen and took Innovation and Creativity “In search of the Blue Ocean” summer school and I am sure they have a lot to discuss too. I want to have one presentation focusing on the “soft skills”, particularly on organizing your work as well as your life. Jan Matejka will be teaching you how. I also hope we will attract Jakub Nesetril, the founder of He will share with us his experience from the SpringBoard accelator in Cambridge (UK) and will also tell us how to get the initial funding. Jan Sova owner of the WorksWell company will present his experience in starting a company in the CTU incubator and will come up with a list of initial problems you should avoid when starting a company in the Czech Republic. I am personally looking forward to meet Karel Janecek CEO of RSJ Algorithmic Trading who promised to join us for one session. The most important for those who will compete for the scholarships are the presentations of your business plans and then the final demo presentations.
I am sure there will be still some more surprises but this is the first draft of the winter eClub sessions. Stay tuned. I’ll be back soon with more messages, ….

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

No vacation

Most of the students are enjoying vacations, but not the winners of the eClub the EasyWall team - Tereza, Vojta and Pier. They are in California in the Plug and Play Tech Center meeting with a lot of interesting people, networking with other startups, participating in discussion and watching interesting presentations. Their calendar is full of interesting meetings in Silicon Valley. They have their video camera with them shooting great video clips. Watch some of their vlogs on facebook and read the blog.
Four students from other eClub top teams are in the Copenhagen University College of Engineering, Summer School taking part in Innovation and Creativity “In search of the Blue Ocean”. They are reporting: it is no vacation, we will have to work here. Maybe bad news for them but we are looking forward to see what they learn. See the picture of the group in front of the Copenhagen University building.
I hope they all will prepare for us interesting presentations in the next eClub meetings.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Research proposal

With Filip we have submitted a proposal for a research grant. We want to look at new ways of designing the web apps server side. Here is the abstract.
Businesses need making the web applications development faster and cheaper. There are many RAD tools focusing on fast UI development, but much less attention is paid to the back end. Our target is to develop new RAD tools for easy API authoring. The usage of the web object oriented architectures, e.g. CORBA, DCOM, SOAP (SOA) is decreasing because of quite large code complexity. Instead, internet developers are preferring the principles of REST, described by R.T.Fielding. His RESTFul approach is based on information representations, resources, composite resources etc. We use REST APIs for our applications for quite some time and we noticed things are repenting. Filip than came with this idea: a simple declarative Domain Specific Language (DSL) is enough to define information representation and resources. This sounds great because it simplifies a lot the whole design. In addition, choosing declarative approach has much deeper theoretical implications. The web server design is for us no longer object oriented. We are dropping the current procedural programming paradigm. In our further research we are taking the Resource Oriented Programming (ROP).
At the moment we are building test applications to prove our assumptions and see what are the problems. What functionality is the most frequently required for building web business applications? What is the best information representation? How to generate and describe effective APIs? How to reuse existing web services? How to derive composite resources? How much more easier is a graphical interface? Many things can be tested and we are eager to play with these ideas and see how far we can push it.
I will report about the progress.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Eucalyptus is running

Finally we have managed to make our Eucalyptus private cloud running. The first matlab scripts processed thousands of pictures. It took us quite some time to make this happend. We had many problems with network and routers configuration, with NFS, disk overflows etc. All typical network computing problems, most of them solved by now. But we are happy we are producing useful results on computer which were so fare idling.
The current cloud setup is used for number crunching only, for image processing. Each experiment is described by a matlab script.  There is currently available only one machine image, which includes installed matlab. To start and control execution we have developed a SaaS application uploading and managing the experiments. It also works with AWS. We are running the application on the same box as the cloud server. It is written in R&R. The UI is designed for inexperienced users. The application messaging is build on top of the RabbitMQ. The input and output files are read and written to and from users subdirectories over NFS.
Further development is still needed to make the cloud much more efficient. We need to include some monitoring to control the usage of the cloud. We need to optimize memory, networking and speed of execution. We need to control user access etc.
We have successfully proved, that we have chosen the right solution. Our first test user managed to use the system almost immediately and produced useful results. The next step is to add another two user with no experience and collect all complaints, wishes, bugs etc. to continue in the development of the controlling application and make the whole system stable and robust.