Chapter 5. Managing large projects

Smartphone projects vs. feature phone projects

Symbian OS smartphone projects have the potential to be large – very large. A smartphone ROM contains upwards of 24MB of software, compiled from around 10 million lines of source code. Numerous third parties can be involved, with a combined team size of more than 100 software engineers. That's a great deal for the project leader to handle.

It's particularly a great deal when you compare it to the kinds of project that teams in phone manufacturers frequently conduct – projects to create feature phones (phones that are one level of sophistication down from smartphones). Feature phones are complex in their own way, but their complexity is an order of magnitude smaller than for smartphones. They have significantly less software – perhaps a quarter of the ROM size, and less than a tenth the number of lines of source code. Equally noteworthy, teams in phone manufacturers tend to have extensive prior experience in creating feature phones. Feature phones are demanding to create, but the phone manufacturer is used to these particular demands, and has accumulated special methods, over many years, to handle them.

In contrast, smartphones introduce disruptive aspects that undermine this prior knowledge base:

  • The existence of open APIs, which are published in SDKs for third parties to access (and which the third parties rely on being present), causes complications

  • The operating system is supplied by a third party, outside ...

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