Devbreak featured in an interview with Estonian Table Tennis Association

Hurray, we got some small publicity. Our first mobile application – Lauatennis (table tennis) – was successful and we were asked to give an interview. You can read the original interview here (in Estonian) or below (in English).

1. Where did the idea for this application come from and why did you do it?

One of our employees (Joosep Lall) used to train and compete at table tennis events. He found that visiting the official homepage of Estonian table tennis from his mobile device was not always the most convenient way – often the tournaments took place at locations without accessible internet connection and therefore it was not possible to look at the ratings of your upcoming opponents. So as we had just created the company, it seemed like a great opportunity to introduce ourselves, showcase our skills and develop something from scratch that we could add to our portfolio.

We chose to develop an Android app instead of a website, because we were looking for something more challenging and we wanted to demonstrate that we have the skill for creating good looking Android applications. We knew that there would at least be few people that are interested in it.

Easily access and find all table tennis related news, even without a network connection.
Easily access and find all table tennis related news, even without a network connection.

2. How did the development progress?

Overall the development went very smoothly. The challenging part was building a system where the mobile application does not depend entirely on the lauatennis.ee webpage. With this in mind, we added one additional layer between the application and the website. The job of this layer was to act as a buffer that made sure the Android app would still be running if the website was temporarily offline. In addition, it avoids unnecessary load to the lauatennis.ee web page. With the buffer in place the Android app just had to display the information that had already been processed. Network connectivity issues were also gone as the application saves the latest received data, so before a competition one can open the app once and let it cache all the data and then look at it during the competition without a data connection.

3. Does it currently support only Android devices?

There is just the Android app for now. With funding it is possible in the future to develop for other platforms as well.

4. Are you expecting feedback from end-users? If so, what kind of feedback?

We look forward to getting feedback that would help us along. We wish for the application to get more users and for current users to be satisfied with the experience. Certainly, we want to know what people already enjoy and what could be done better. We also welcome new ideas that the application could benefit from.

5. What kind of features are you planning to add?

We see huge potential here that could really add something to the table tennis community. Some of the things we thought about:

  • Highlighting yourself or your friends and teammates in the ratings. We thought it would be really cool to see this instant comparison of how the ratings are changing in time.
  • Graphically displaying the changes in ratings. When a person has risen or fallen in the ratings then one could immediately see that in front of the person’s name (some small icon). Perhaps even a ratings history where it would be possible to see someone climb the rankings.
  • Improvement of calendar data – Adding precise locations that allow navigation to the competition area and contact information of the referees for that competition.
  • Linking with social media accounts.

As the current application was developed on our own cost and time, we don’t have more resources for further development. If, however, we get support from the Estonian Table Tennis Association or the table tennis community, then we would happily like to continue on with this project.

6. What kind of company is Devbreak?

Our main area of focus is developing IT-systems and applications, such as full solution web portals (business logic with visual side), Android apps, desktop apps, etc. We usually also accept smaller projects like websites and e-stores, so let us know when you need something. All necessary info is on our homepage www.devbreak.ee.

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