Visualising games as fractals, showing player choice

If part one was visualising all ways to play a game, this part will illustrate how it is actually played.…

Read this article

Visualising games as fractals

Fractals by nature are recursive and so is the way computers explore games to find optimal solutions!  Using fractals, I wanted to create a way to illustrate how a computer may 'see' a game, to highlight moves it thinks are better than others. What I ended up with was not only a representation of what a computer sees, but also a visualisation of the game itself.…

Read this article

Should we be “building” software?

Should we be “building” software?

Are we hindering our own creativity and clouding clients’ expectations of software development by using an unhelpful analogy?…

Read this article

‘Flow’ in software development

‘Flow’ in software development

As a recreational runner, snowboarder and wannabe surfer, I’ve become interested in the concept of ‘flow’ or the ‘flow state’. It’s becoming an increasingly well-known and popular concept in sports, particularly action sports such as snowboarding, skiing, climbing and surfing. It also comes up a lot with runners and is often referred to as ‘being in the zone’. I’ve had occasional glimpses of it in my sporting activities, but not very often!…

Read this article

The value of a software development apprenticeship

The value of a software development apprenticeship

Our Apprentice Software Developer Wilson speaks about his journey into the world of software development and the benefits of his apprenticeship at Purple Crane. It isn’t easy to take your first step in any profession, and when you don’t have any relevant qualifications it can seem impossible. When I left school, I didn’t possess any computing related qualifications. My schools didn’t have any computer science-related GCSEs or A-Levels and as a result of that and other personal influences, I went to university to study psychology with no desire to work in the field.…

Read this article

Software projects are not just for Christmas

Developing software as an ongoing, collaborative process Software projects are never one-off developments. Well none that we’ve ever worked on. It’s the nature of software that either the system requirements or the technology on which the system runs, or both, change over time. If it’s not requirements that were originally missed, then it’s changes to working practices, scale, operating systems or browser specifications. It could be the addition of new features made possible through technological advances, or new security legislation that demands changes to the software.…

Read this article

Has your business outgrown its tools?

Has your business outgrown its tools?

Do you feel you’ve outgrown the tools you’re using to run your business? Do you think you could be working more efficiently if only you had a better way to get the job done? If so, read on. Following on from our previous blog post on the use (or overuse) of spreadsheets within organisations, we thought about other common scenarios we encounter when completing a task analysis. A common issue is that efficiency can be compromised when tools don’t evolve at the same pace as tasks. Your organisation and the market you operate in might be changing at a quick pace, but to keep up, are your people using work-arounds in their existing tools, rather than thinking about which tool could do the job better?…

Read this article

Get to know Purple Crane

Get to know Purple Crane

If you’re considering working with us, you might be wondering: “Why choose a small UK-based software development agency over a big agency or an off-shore alternative?” We’ve shared a bit about ourselves to try and answer that question here. At Purple Crane we never pretend that we’re bigger than we are. We see our size as one of our strengths. We’re a small specialist development agency of happy people who work on projects we find interesting and are passionate about. Because we want to enjoy our work, and we believe that happy, motivated people do better work.…

Read this article

Are you over-reliant on spreadsheets?

Are you over-reliant on spreadsheets?

When we carry out a requirements or task analysis on a new project, it’s quite common to hear something along the lines of: “Oh yeah, we use spreadsheet ‘x’ to store this information, then we copy this section to spreadsheet ‘y’, email that to Jim who fills in some data and emails it back…”. Sound familiar? Yes, here at Purple Crane we come across a lot of spreadsheets. Our customers use them and we use them every day ourselves for both internal work and on customer projects. But, are you or your team relying too heavily on them? And are you using them efficiently?…

Read this article