The unsung heroes of SPYERA don’t ever get a chance to get public recognition, so let us answer this question in a way that recognizes the great work we do, and hopefully also satisfies your curiosity.Organization
SPYERA’s technical arm is under the CTO and his team consists of around seventy people organized in the following groups:
Research, Development, Test, Support, IT OperationsResearch
The engine of our company’s innovation is our Research Group – a bunch of creative technical thinkers who absorb what is happening in all areas of mobile technology. They spend most of their time doing research – poking, probing, and reverse engineering all sorts of technology from mobile operating systems, device firmware, GSM hardware and anything else that takes their fancy.
They uncover things like undocumented APIS, backdoors, design new algorithms for maximum power savings, or see how systems behave when pushed to the edge of performance. These guys provide the seed for new product visions.Product Planning
Ideas for products, features and improvements come from everywhere, but especially our Support Group. Unlike other companies, Support is represented at the highest level of the company, and is a tremendous source of inspiration or moderation, depending on what ideas are being discussed. All employees can contribute ideas, and the Corporate Architect sets about consolidating the brainstorming sessions – creating designs and plans that can be taken to developmentDevelopment
The Development Team is responsible for implementing ideas that we feel will delight customers or delight ourselves! They have to make the vision reality.
Unlike other companies, SPYERA products cover a vast array of technologies. With so many mobile device platforms, and so many hurdles to overcome ( opportunistic antivirus companies, device signing tests, uncooperative payment gateways, rampant credit fraud that we have to absorb the cost of), we have to have technical and problem-solving capabilities in almost every application development technology of the last 10 years.
This includes protocol designers, ARM assembler, security specialists, a dedicated team of native language application developers for smartphone platform (J2EE, Symbian C++, Windows C++, C#, Blackberry, UIQ, Android, iPhone), J2EE server team, SIM Toolkit, Technical Architects, Web Designers, and Requirements Analysts .Test
Then we have our Test Teams.
These guys have to make sure that what we sell is good enough to meet our customers’ expectations.
The Test Engineers design and build our customized test tools, designing automated tests, and carry out functional testing, load testing, and usability testing. Also, there is the diligent work of our Execution Testers who run the scripts and try to throw spanners into the works to see what happens.
When you consider all permutations of devices, countries, networks, firmware, and services that come together to make a product release, add the demanding nature of our customers, and the hostile, fragmented and resource-limited environments that our products operate in, only then is it clear how difficult working for SPYERA Test is.
In fact, second to customer support, Test is the most important facet of our organization.
The Test Team makes sure the vision never fades.IT Operations
Without a healthy body, nothing can be achieved –and that’s what IT operations does.
SPYERA IT support staff keep our internal systems up and running. Networks, VPNs, Routers, Email, Sharepoint, Backups, SVN, Asterisk, provisioning new staff, installing DLP systems, and so much more, the Operations Team keeps the life blood of the company flowing smoothly.Our DNA
They say that the personality of a company is a direct reflection of its leaders, so let me give you an idea of what our philosophy is and where it comes from.
As SPYERA’s Chief Architect, it is not immodest to acknowledge that I must contribute somewhat to the companies ‘personality’.
My core approach to software product development was forged over a decade in working for what used to be the world’s biggest computer company, and is still the biggest software developer.
In the early mists of the late 80s, in that company, products were designed for exquisite quality – all the way down to details such the manuals, fan noise, environmental disposability, compatibility and labels to name a few completely unrelated items. If something could conceivably cause a customer problem, QA had the absolute veto to ‘STOP SHIP’. That’s how seriously they took things, and also why many times products were delayed for less than solid reasons.
As it turned out, this idealistic approach (and the three year development and extra cost this philosophy entailed) did not produce results that were valued by the marketplace –and the company paid a massive price, losing wholesale market share to those more nimble companies that offered products that were ‘good enough’. This caused much soul-searching about what quality actually means to a customer and many companies became resigned to designing a product to be simply ‘just good enough and no more’.
In 2010, our belief is that the pendulum has swung way too much in favour of ‘good enough’ – because ‘good enough’ is a subjective term. This philosophy has spawned products that are destroying the customer’s belief in the software industry. There is a middle ground, but it is closer to the idealistic days of yesteryear, than today’s practice of releasing alpha versions and hiding behind an email address.
We believe that it is in our best financial, intellectual and moral interests to create products that meet the true needs of our customers –especially in this industry, where reliability and privacy is everything.
However, meeting customer needs only makes sense to us if we have fun doing it, because in the final analysis we love doing things simply for the kudos and challenge.
The best example of this is our PC SPY product – it was not done for any ROI – we did it just because it was fun and we could, and that is perhaps the best description of our DNA.
PS: At the time of this writing, there is still no one who has achieved a remotely installed and undetectable keylogger for the PC. Will it sell enough to cover its costs – unlikely; was it fun to do – for sure!
Founder of Spyera
18 Harbour Road Wanchai, Hong Kong