IT ProcessBY rabit · May 05, 2020

With the ever increasing demand for affordable software products, it is easy to understand why outsourced software development companies are everywhere these days. Because these software development firms have become a dime a dozen, it is not an easy task to find one that can present true value to your business.

It is said that about 80% of software projects fail.

Your odds become even worse if you aren’t careful enough while selecting your software development outsourcing provider. If you give your project to a development team that is unable or unwilling to understand your specific business requirements, the final product will most likely never reach the deployment stage.

In this article, we will discuss some of the most common reasons why outsourced software development projects end up failing, as well as share some advice on how to avoid wasting precious resources on a software project that is actually doomed from the start.

 

1. The lowest price doesn’t mean the price is right.

If a software company’s main selling point lies in its low hourly rates, you might want to turn the other way. Most businesses that decide to outsource their software development learn this the hard way.

It is understandable why many startups and entrepreneurs choose the lowest bidder in these situations. By nature, they are generally financially limited, especially in their early stages. However, this decision eventually leads to a more costly development process, due to the lack of quality.

A code-base built with poor-quality code leads to the final product being inoperative, forcing you to transfer your project from one development team to another. The delays in development will severely cut into your budget, and result in a much longer time-to-market as well.

software development projects

 

I know that an early-stage business wants to grab any opportunity to save money, but price should be one of the least important factors in choosing a software development agency. In stead, look for companies that:

  • work by following a well-defined methodology and strategy,
  • mostly receive positive client reviews,
  • divide the whole project into shorter work periods, also known as sprints,
  • work by hourly rates (avoid fixed bidders if possible),
  • provide frequent live product demonstrations,
  • communicate on a daily basis and
  • possess high-level English language skills.

Choosing these qualities over low prices should help to ensure higher product quality and avoid miscommunication during development.

If you find a software agency that received overwhelmingly positive reviews from their former clients, it is still crucial to look at the full scope of their work, because, for example, the fact that they are outstanding in installing WordPress sites doesn’t mean that they can handle custom-built Java application development as well. If they have already proven that they can successfully complete projects for different industries using a wide range of technologies, they can probably be trusted to handle most challenges related to custom software development.

I think that the concept of a fixed bid is flawed, because it is rarely possible to give an accurate cost estimate based on an initial list of requirements. For making an offer, you would require very detailed specifications for the project. What usually happens is that agencies try to make a very attractive fixed offer based on a superficial project description, which is very far from realistic. These types of offers are really based on the misunderstanding of product requirements, and companies only end up underestimating the actual costs of development.

When they finally run out of budget, the development team will either quit the project, or will be forced to continue “working” on it for free. This results in a low-quality and often rushed or unfinished final product, that has no chance of surviving on the market. Another possible outcome is that the product owner simply shuts down development after he/she realizes that it is impossible to develop all of the required product functions at the initially estimated costs. The product either never gets finished, or another development team has to pick it up and put it back on track, which requires additional time and resources.

It is understandable why company decision makers would prefer to know the full costs of development beforehand, but for reasons listed above these types of projects rarely have a happy ending. Some development agencies have also been known to rush fixed bid projects in order to finish them ahead of schedule, and take the money without doing the actual work. This also results in very poor quality, and a rushed and often inoperative finished product.

Hourly rates, paired with shorter work periods let you have a more complete overview of the work that you are paying for. If the agency that you hired can’t live up to your requirements, you can take your project elsewhere with much less time and money lost.

 

2. A breakdown in communication can kill a project by itself.

The need for frequent communication and transparency in software development outsourcing cannot be emphasized enough. Developers must work closely together with their clients to ensure that their ideas and requirements are clearly passed onto the development team. If the software company you are working with isn’t putting an effort into clarifying your requirements throughout the planning, development and deployment phases, you are going to have a problem.

software development projects call

 

Agile development is becoming an industry standard, because it provides increased transparency an continuous feedback. Software companies that follow Agile Scrum or Kanban methodologies offer more efficient and face-to-face communication to their clients. This is the main reason why we chose the Agile approach ourselves.

You can also take some precautions here by requesting quality indicator metrics frequently, both for quality assurance and code quality. These metrics can prove useful even if you are unable to make sense of them at the start of the development project. You can either learn how to interpret them later, or show them to an outside expert.

 

3. A plan that can’t change with the environment quickly becomes irrelevant.

Developing the final product can easily take months or even years. Predictive development methods (such as the Waterfall method for example) lock down the requirements from the very beginning, making it difficult to change them later. While it is not always the case, these projects often result in a product that is very different from what the client and the market really requires.

software development projects budgeting

 

Flexibility is key throughout the software development process. We find that the Agile project management model works wonders here as well. This development approach allows the software to evolve in response to changes in business environment and market requirements.

However, throwing in the word “Agile” doesn’t guarantee that the software developers actually know what they are doing. It is not the perfect methodology for every business, so make sure that the people at the development agency truly understand your specific requirements. The right team will know what is best for your project.

 

Summary

Through our everyday work with startups and entrepreneurs around the world that choose to outsource their software development, we encounter too many rushed and unfinished products that require weeks and weeks of refactoring work just to make it to the deployment phase.

When you choose your software development service provider, pay close attention to how they communicate with their potential and former clients, and what their clients have to say about them. Try to make sure that they are willing to go out of their way to understand and meet your specific business requirements. Always aim to find a highly methodical team that focuses on what works for you instead of only concentrating on what works for them.

If you encounter similar problems with your software development processes, don’t hesitate to contact us at RabIT software engineering, and tell us about your project.

 

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Startup & MVPBY rabit · May 05, 2020

Product Hunt has developed an innovative platform that took the tech industry by storm back in 2013. By today, the website has more than 7 million monthly users according to SimilarWeb. If you want to find early adopters for your minimum viable product, there is no platform better than Product Hunt.

Let’s say your startup has developed a cutting edge new mobile application, that offers tons of real benefits and value for your customers, and that is without competition. The glitch, nobody knows about it. It seems doomed to obscurity because the product manager has failed to find early adopters – the key to determining the success of a new minimum viable product.

minimum viable product

 

Influential early adopters hang out on Product Hunt regularly, to discover and discuss new products. When you showcase your minimum viable product on the platform, you also get to engage with users actively. Once you win them over, they will help propel the product across the chasm.

On Product Hunt, early adopters also help shape your creation into a great product by providing constructive feedback. They list the pros and cons of your product, enabling you to improve existing features and add new ones. As a result, you enhance the product and offer consumers what they really want.

You can also find investors who are willing to back your product on Product Hunt. They are often part of the early adopter community and are always on the lookout for exciting new products. By leveraging the platform, you can convince them of your product’s profit potential and the demand for it in the market.

Moreover, the buzz generated by early adopters for your product draws the attention of the journalists. You get positive media coverage for your product without hiring a PR agency.

How to post a new minimum viable product on Product Hunt

  1. Create a personal account
  2. Login and click on the “+” icon in the upper-right hand corner
  3. Gain Access to Post: Complete the three-step contributor program to gain access to post
  4. Submit the product’s URL, name, and tagline

Each post should include:

  • Category – Pick an appropriate category: Tech, Games, or Books
  • Name –Product’s name
  • URL – Provide primary link: the product page link; followed by App store links
  • Tagline – Describe what your product does in less than 60 characters
  • Description – Describe the product, its features, and functionalities succinctly
  • Thumbnail –Upload an image to describe the product visually; use square dimensions
  • Gallery- Show off your product by uploading more than two images
  • Makers – Add everyone who has worked on the product by their Product Hunt usernames

 

Getting your minimum viable product in front of early users is essential to building a final product that your target market audience will adore. If you have any other questions about the software MVP development and launch process, feel free to ask them at info@rabit.hu , or sign up for a free consultation.

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Dedicated TeamBY rabit · May 05, 2020

With the rapid development of communication and project management technologies, the popularity of remote business cooperation is also on the rise throughout the globe. Today, you can outsource business processes easier than ever before. Be it offshoring or nearshoring you are after, there is a plethora of new tools and platforms that you use to set up a working partnership within just days. This can work really well for more simple business processes like copywriting or graphic design projects. However, when it comes to complex work processes, there is a need for deeper involvement from both parties. This is where outsharing comes in.

Outsharing stresses on working partnerships and encourages collaboration. An outsharing partner thoroughly examines your business case, reads beyond the specification lines and suggests optimization solutions. They focus on value whether it’s designing and creating new functionality, optimizing the processes, or improving the user experience.

Over the past few years, outsharing has been gaining in popularity. Many companies consider outsharing to be the next level of outsourcing software development. It is believed that in the coming years outsharing will replace outsourcing.

outsharing
Photo by Pixabay from pexels.com

 

Reasons for outsourcing

Outsourcing can provide solutions to software companies and businesses anywhere in the world. Depending on where you live, you can save about 70% on hourly rates by outsourcing software development to development shops or freelancers. When you outsource your work, you don’t need to go through long and costly hiring processes.

You only need to look out for the quality of the companies’ previous work. You get access to talented and skilled labor at a low cost during outsourcing. That’s why businesses and companies consider outsourcing development in the first place.

Outsourcing partners hire talented people in their team who know how to manage different business situations. They understand how a company’s goal can be attained. External service providers are fully aware of the latest technology of the industry and are capable of providing their clients with the best services at a much faster rate.

Most importantly, outsourcing allows you to focus on the core of your business processes or invest in research or marketing.

Risks associated with outsourcing

No doubt, there are numerous benefits of outsourcing internal business processes to professional outsourcing companies. However, it has its own set of flaws. There are many risks associated with outsourcing, such as potential cybersecurity attacks, poor communication, lack of cross-cultural awareness, misuse of sensitive corporate information, insufficient product quality, and management difficulties due to a lack of centralization.

Most businesses fear a lack of direction and authority when an outsourcing company is doing their work. Company personnel loses control over their own process and technologies when certain services are outsourced. The consequences can be fatal or serious. Contractual disputes can occur or the quality may suffer.

Many outsourcing companies do not bother to understand their client’s product vision and strategies. Their involvement in the product development is limited to delivering the code that matches the list of specifications. Many of these clients don’t get the product they envisioned and the quality they deserve.

Keep in mind that it is very important to choose the right outsourcing partner. Engaging with the wrong outside service provider could cost your business in terms of performance, productivity, employee morale, and financial outlay.

Read more about the most common reasons why outsourced software projects fail.

outsharing
Photo by rawpixel.com from pexels.com

 

What exactly is outsharing and is it better than outsourcing?

Outsharing means having an equal remote partner, who is completely involved in realizing the client’s product vision and helping them reach their strategic goals. Outsharing partners not only deliver code but also function as a remote Chief Technology Officer.

They offer well-reasoned and valid opinions about your product roadmap and enlighten you on how to reach your goals and objectives in the most effective manner. Outsharing partners will also tell you about new technologies that are worth adopting for your company. They also have the soft skills to build strong relationships with their clients.

Outsharing partners need to share the same product vision, and truly understand each other’s organization. Both parties need to invest time and effort and communicate openly. Keep in mind that open communication is essential to remote business success. You should encourage your outsourcing partners to share their concerns and ideas, both negative and positive. This will give them the sense that they are valued. Ineffective communication, on the other hand, can easily lead to project failure.

Outsharing is necessary to develop and create complex technology solutions and products that make life better and easier. It is for companies that want constructive expert input and deeper involvement from their outsourcing partner.

To sum it up

If you have concerns about the risks that are associated with traditional outsourcing, outsharing could be your solution. Think about your outside IT service provider more like a strategic business partner. By gaining full access to their unique perspective and technological expertise, you can gain even more value than you would from an in-house IT department. The principles of outsharing help you gain more and more value over the long term instead of focusing on the completion of single projects.

If any of this sounds appealing to you, we would love to talk more about the topic. Visit our website and feel free to drop us an email with your questions. Thank you for reading!


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IT ProcessBY rabit · May 05, 2020

Thousands of companies and organizations are using Agile software development methodologies worldwide. These include Microsoft, Rockstar, Siemens, CNBC, and Google. Projects that successfully employ Agile methodologies build best quality software and deliver sooner. Increased flexibility, seamless collaborations, and improved communications lead to satisfaction among stakeholders and teams.

Agile software development methodologies can be beneficial for organizations for a number of reasons, such as faster product-to-market delivery, consumer satisfaction, building the right product, and transparency.

Who can benefit from Agile Software Development?

  1. Companies looking to prioritize the bigger, complicated project into doable tasks with faster results and improved communication.

  2. Companies working with external agencies and looking to collaborate smoothly to meet goals and deadlines.

  3. Organizations working with clients who want to give feedback as the project progresses.

However, projects that adopt Agile methodologies are not without their own set of difficulties and challenges. Projects that adopt a conventional methodology, on the other hand, experience different kinds of problems.

Agile software development
Sprints can get tough, don’t go alone. Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Communication between the development team and product owner

Throughout the development life cycle, there should be regular and open communication between the development team and product owner. The problem arises when there is too much communication overhead. Spending most of your time communicating with the team members instead of getting quality work done is not a great idea. Communication is indispensable to development, but the communication overhead increases as the team size increases.

To make the communication more efficient and reduce communication overhead, we recommend to hire a person who represents the client internally, who can be an internal Product Owner, Project Manager or Coordinator. We use this method ourselves, and it works wonders with client satisfaction and resolving complaints. The project coordinator speaks both the client’s and the developers’ language, looks after the administration and communicates with both the development team and the product owner.

Communication between the quality assurance team and development team

Close interaction between the development and QA teams should be encouraged as it helps to resolve misunderstandings and develop clarity. Both the teams are dependent on each other. There should be coordination, consultation, and cooperation between the developers and testers.

With all this in mind, we rather like to let the two teams interpret software requirements separately.

To make the development process more efficient and build error-free software, we intentionally keep QA testing separate from development during the initial development phase. This way our QA testers are given freedom to interpret software needs on their own. This will help the organization to discover errors and variations and to know whether the development team interpreted the needs accurately or not.

The development team usually interprets the software needs in a different way. Of course, the two teams work closely together later to resolve these errors and bugs.

Agile software development
“It’s not a bug, it’s an undocumented feature.” Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

Organizational culture and change

The company culture finds it hard to adapt to a new methodology. Adding the daily standup meetings (the progress of the sprint is evaluated during these meetings) and dividing the work process into sprints alone will not boost the efficiency of the QA team and the development team. Deeper organizational changes are required.

The conventional hierarchical structure should be ditched and there should be a free flow of communication between team members. The organization should use sprints to provide working features regularly, not just to pump out half-done software elements as fast as possible.

The right software product can only be built when the developing team works closely with the early users and client.

Mindset

It is worth noting that every company cannot benefit from Agile methodologies. Agile software development demands more energy and time from individuals because clients, end users and the development team must communicate with each other continuously.

A product needs a long-term vision and companies need to communicate it actively. It is absolutely vital that all parties share and understand the same product vision.

Businesses and organizations should optimize the work processes according to their employees and clients instead of forcing themselves into standard agile development methodologies.

Agile software development
End users will notice if the pieces don’t fit. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

 

Organizations dedicated to Agile software development should constantly work to improve efficiency and optimize their work processes. We ourselves are always looking for a better way of doing things. Aim to optimize your work processes for each individual client.

Instead of delivering requirements word for word, do your best to truly understand what they want to achieve with the final product, and actively contribute to reaching their initial vision.

More helpful resources about the Agile development process:

Overcoming Challenges During the Work Process

Overcoming Challenges with Day-to-Day Operations

Overcoming Challenges From Lack of Experience

If you need help optimizing your methodologies, or have other development-related questions, feel free to reach out to us at info@rabit.hu, or sign up for a free consultation.

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MarketingBY rabit · May 05, 2020

RabIT Software Engineering, founded in 2014, is a Hungary-based software solutions company excelling in custom software development, web development, mobile development, outsourcing, information technology audit and consulting. They also have a sales office in Santa Monica, California.

Availability of some of the best developers has enabled RabIT to venture into various domains of the software development industry. Owing to the popularity of Java and its high demand, RabIT has been working in this domain for a significant time now and continues to deliver high performance solutions, thus leading to its potential inclusion among the top Java developers on GoodFirms.

 

GoodFirms’ Research On RabIT Software Engineering

As per GoodFirms’ research, RabIT has built its reputation in the domain of web development by effectively catering to varied needs of different industries. Their success in full stack development and agile methodologies are added feathers to their cap. While there are many players in the field of web solutions development, RabIT Software Engineering has expertise in delivering its unique value added solutions which make lasting impressions on the clients. After looking into their achievements, they are expected to listed among the top web development companies on GoodFirms.

RabIT has a team of talented and motivated developers, quality assurance experts and designers who work hard to create innovative solutions for meeting specific client needs. If the client requires so, they also provide developers on full or part-time basis. And, for bigger project requirements, RabIT also provides dedicated engineering teams. Everything is streamlined according to client needs, right from the number of developers working on the project, frequency of communication, live demos and product features.

Delivering custom solutions in its true sense, they regard each project as unique and offer results complying to minutest details pertaining to the client needs. Due to their focus on delivering products with high customer-centrism, RabIT is able to get and maintain a very good clientele. No wonder, the client list of RabIT Software Engineering includes up-and-coming names like Purefocus, SavePlex, DraftHedge, GetShop, Paamco, Ingatlan Ajanlatok and many more.

The team at RabIT pays equally strong attention to web design. They believe that slow and hard to navigate websites make bad impressions and so their designing is mainly about creating clean and responsive interfaces. With capabilities that they have acquired in UI/UX design, they are all set for a prospective listing among GoodFirms’ top web design companies.

 

About GoodFirms

GoodFirms is a research and review platform which aids the users in searching for and selecting some of the best IT solutions providers. In its research, GoodFirms evaluates each company based on parameters like reviews, portfolio, market penetration, experience, software development and design. Additional factors are also taken into consideration for some specific areas of development.

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Dedicated TeamBY rabit · May 05, 2020

For many software companies and organizations throughout the world, outsourcing or contracting out software development has proven to be a huge success. Cost-efficiency has been among the main reasons to outsource, but company leadership around the world is beginning to focus more on other benefits as well. Outsourcing some of the functions also helps companies to minimize their internal costs and concentrate on their core competencies.

If you’ve already decided that you want to work with a software development outsourcing provider, here is some advice that can help you find the right development partner for your business.

According to a survey carried out by Statistic Brain, about 43% of companies in the United States contract out programming jobs. Chief executive officers and chief technical officers from organizations based in the US participated in the survey. The survey found the following reasons that inspire organizations to outsource software development:

  • Reduction of cost – 44% of respondents
  • Gaining access to the IT talent unavailable internally – 34% of respondents
  • Freeing up employees – 31% of respondents
  • Improvement of the business and customer focus – 28% of respondents
  • Acceleration of the digital transformation – 22% of respondents
  • Fast software development – 15% of respondents
  • Access to the management expertise unavailable internally – 15% of respondents
  • Reduced time to market – 9% of respondents

According to the top management, reduction of cost is still on the top of the “reasons to outsource software development” list. However, other reasons are also important to achieve long-term company goals.

Other reasons to outsource software development

Addition of new skills

It is best to choose external providers who have a proven track record of success for software development projects that need complex skill sets. Complex skills require more concentration and are not so easy to perform. Many organizations and companies do not have these skills readily available in-house. External partners help software development companies to build highly advanced solutions with the newest technologies.

reasons to outsource
Mobile full stack (sorry)

 

Access to exceptional engineers

Exceptional talent is always in demand. Companies may find difficulty in recruiting skilled engineers. They have to put in a huge amount of hiring effort or take the help of external partners to form an outstanding team. A leading outsourcing provider can help such organizations and software development companies to get access to talented engineers.

More efficient development processes

External developers can help a company make their software development processes more efficient and better. They have in-depth knowledge of agile methodologies, design patterns, and best practices and can offer tools and valuable advice for meeting your organizational goals.

Thinking outside the box

External members adopt new approaches and use out-of-the-box thinking to create great software products. They will give new perspectives that can bring about positive changes to your business. Their thoughtful feedback and innovative ideas will help you improve your software development project.

Reduced time to market

Skilled domestic developers are not only expensive but also hard to find. That’s why you should consider outsourcing the task to an external partner. Software outsourcing can help reduce your time to market and ensure your product reaches the market efficiently and fast.

Acceleration of the digital transformation

Gaining access to a team of external developers can help you to skip the tiring and long recruitment and training process. You will also be able to digitize business processes and accelerate development to reach the target market as quickly as possible.

reasons to outsource
This meeting could have been an app. – Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

 

Free up workforce

Giving the simple but crucial tasks to outside developers will free up your employees and allow them to devote more time to critical tasks that are essential for the growth of your business. You will also be able to utilize the full knowledge of your talented engineers on new complex projects.

Improved business and customer focus

Recruiting an external project manager can free up your organization’s management and allow them to concentrate more on important activities instead of day-to-day activities. The management will be able to concentrate on corporate strategy and develop a more customer-focused way of doing business. It is important to note that improving customer focus is essential to business success and growth. To ensure customer happiness, you should place their interests above everything else.

Summary

There are probably a lot more reasons to outsource software development. Together with cost-efficiency, all these benefits add true value to outsourcing relationships. Like any highly specialized service provider, industry-leading software companies can give you access to a whole new level of knowledge and expertise, that would be otherwise out of your reach.

If you would like to enhance the digital growth of your own organization and would like to find out if we are the right fit, you can schedule a free consultation here. You can also simply send your questions directly to info@rabit.hu for more information. Thanks for reading!

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IT ProcessBY rabit · May 05, 2020

There are a number of benefits of Agile software development methodologies for project management. Development teams can react to changes in requirements and market conditions, communicate directly and closely, and deliver a superior product within budgetary limitations using an Agile methodology. Agile teams work extremely well and react excellently to the unavoidable changes that come with the projects.

However, businesses and organizations encounter many challenges when trying to adopt Agile software development methodologies.

We’ve already written about ways to overcome challenges regarding communication and organizational culture in an earlier article.

Management and development teams should work jointly in Agile software development

Top management support is necessary for agile software development methodologies to succeed. Individuals at the top level of management can be hesitant to embrace Agile models. Management might ask the development teams that effectively use Scrum methodologies to deliver conventional measures of work progress.

It is important to note that converting results on the daily, mid-sprint, sprint end and project levels into conventional waterfall-type progress measures takes a lot of time and effort.

agile software development
“It’s how we’ve always done it, Jill. Action this by EOP, will ya?” – Photo by Headway on Unsplash

 

Conventional methodologies concentrate on longer-term results. Translating daily work progress to fit these methodologies is not easy. Management and the development team must work closely to understand the new way of measuring work progress.

Make your sprint a success

In product development, the team has to complete a set of specific tasks and make the work ready for review during a sprint.

The sprint starts with a planning meeting during which the development team and the owner of the product decide what work will be performed. Sprint duration is agreed upon at the start of the project, and is usually set between 1 – 4 weeks (with 2-week sprints being the most common).

After a sprint starts, the owner of the product should allow the development team to do their job. During the sprint, the development team holds daily stand-up meetings to discuss what they did since the previous stand-up meeting, what they are working on currently, what is their next planned task, and if there are any blocking issues. Solutions to the challenges are also discussed.

The project owner (often called chickens in Scrum circles) can attend the stand-up meetings; however, he or she should not participate unless it is to answer queries. During a sprint, the owner of the project can put forward his or her requests for changes. The power to stop or interrupt the sprint lies in the hands of the project manager or scrum master. At the sprint end, the development team presents the finished work to the project owner.

agile software development
No actual exercise involved – Photo by Andy Beales on Unsplash

How to conduct an effective daily stand-up session?

Restrict your daily stand-up session to no longer than 15 minutes. Hold the stand-up meetings with the same individuals at the same time each day. Discipline is needed in Agile projects. Don’t let team members miss daily stand-ups, and try to engage everyone during the meeting.

Conduct the meeting at the beginning of the day and near your team’s workspace. The meeting should be attended by the team members responsible for executing tasks.

Focus on training when adopting Agile

Companies do not concentrate much on initial training when adopting Agile methodologies. It goes without saying that the members of the development team should be trained properly. Organizations and companies also need to give training to their management personnel and clients who are new to Agile development methods.

agile software development
Dilbert by Scott Adams

 

You should treat Agile methodologies as a framework for doing work. For every new project, the work processes should be started from scratch. Build your work processes from the ground up with respect to project and client requirements. They should involve developers, clients, and management right from the beginning.

Make your development team more engaged

Sometimes, the development team shows no interest in adopting a new methodology. They often feel frustrated by having to deliver reports on a regular basis and show their incomplete work to the higher management.

We successfully deal with this challenge by making it mandatory for developers to regularly commit their code during the work process.

It means that the development team has to commit work (even work which is not fully done) at least once a day. You can also apply feature branching workflow in your team. Feature branching enables developers to work on their own feature and stay isolated from changes occurring elsewhere.

It is important for a development team to keep track of its activities. Our developers are also required to administer their daily progress in an issue tracker. You will probably have to develop your own policy for this over time. As always, find the best way that works for you and your projects.

Make your clients’ needs your top priority

It may happen that the clients themselves are not interested in committing to Agile software development methodologies. So businesses and organizations should try to assess the needs of their clients regarding product release, reporting, and sprint planning.

Clients should also make an effort to understand a company’s work processes thoroughly. Do your best to explain the processes to your clients with in detail. However, you should be aware of the fact that you might never gain full commitment from the client side.

More helpful resources about the Agile development process:

Overcoming Communication and Cultural Challenges

Overcoming Challenges with Day-to-Day Operations

Overcoming Challenges From Lack of Experience

If you need help optimizing your methodologies, or have other development-related questions, feel free to reach out to us at info@rabit.hu, or sign up for a free consultation.

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SoftwareBY rabit · May 05, 2020

Mobile technology is still heavily on the rise. According to Statista, there are 4.57 billion mobile users in the world in 2018. This number is expected to reach 4.68 billion in 2019. Most of the world’s population can be reached through mobile applications.

Choosing the right technologies is one of the most crucial decisions you have to make when entering the mobile app market. There are new solutions appearing constantly which make this decision more difficult.

This is why we decided to focus this article on helping you find out which platforms, frameworks and languages will work the best for your business in 2019.

 

If you are still on the fence about building digital solutions for your business, I recommend you read one of our earlier articles:

7 Reasons Why You Need to Start Business Digitization Right Now

 

When choosing your tech stack, first you have to consider your overall business strategy. Do you want to reach potential users on the Android or iOS platform? Perhaps you want to reach both with a single application. Once you have this figured out, you have to decide whether to build a native, hybrid or progressive web application.

 

Here is a quick breakdown to help you choose the mobile technology that fits your business the most:

 

Native Apps

Native applications are developed specifically for a single mobile platform. Today, the only relevant platforms to choose from are Android and iOS. Depending on which one you choose to focus on, you will need to compile your tech stack accordingly.

 

Android – Java and Kotlin

Most Android applications are built using Java. After all, it is still the most widely used language on the planet. The classic way of writing native Android apps is to use Java and the Android SDK.

Java’s popularity for Android is mainly a result of its rich set of core features, redundancy, high security, speed and scalability. However, since mid-2017, there seems to be a trend that shows Kotlin finally replacing Java as the go-to language for Android app development.

Since Google endorsed Kotlin as an official language for building Android apps last year, it has been rapidly gaining in popularity. According to GitHub, Kotlin is the fastest growing language in 2018. Its number of contributors has more than doubled since last year.

 

mobile technology

Source: octoverse.github.com

 

Kotlin is wildly popular mainly because it makes coding much more concise, and is 100% interoperable with Java and Android. Writing code in Kotlin requires approximately 40% less lines of code compared to Java.

The language is big, complex and new, so it might take time for people to learn. Although, it is reportedly much easier for developers who already know Java, and there is also a rapidly growing support community today. You definitely won’t have any trouble finding Kotlin experts in the years to come.

 

iOS – Objective-C and Swift

Objective-C is a superset of the C programming language, and is utilized by a high number of mobile developers building apps for OS X and iOS. It is a very mature and tested mobile technology that survived many generations of developers since its first release in the early 1980s.

Thanks to its stability and maturity, Objective-C manages to stay relevant today. There are a lot of well-documented third party frameworks out there, and very strong community support. It is also highly compatible with C and C++ programming languages.

There was obviously room for innovation, though. In 2014, Apple released Swift to provide new developers with an alternative that is easier to learn and to understand. The code length in Swift is significantly reduced, which makes development with it much faster compared to its older counterpart.

Apps developed in Swift are also considered to be safer and less prone to bugs and crashes than the ones developed in Objective-C. While Objective-C is still in the lead when it comes to community support and documentation, Swift is rapidly gaining in popularity.

Stack Overflow conducts a survey with its developer community each year. This is how the popularity of Objective-C and Swift changed with the community over the past 5 years:

 

mobile technology

Source: https://insights.stackoverflow.com

 

We can see that the number of Objective-C developers started to stagnate after 2016 with only a minor increase this year compared to 2017. On the other hand, it is expected that the Swift community will continue to grow rapidly over the coming years.

Here is how native mobile technologies cluster together according to over 100,000 developers surveyed by Stack Overflow this year:

 

mobile technology

Source: https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2018/

 

Advantages of Native Apps

  • Native apps are faster and more responsive than hybrid apps
  • They can run offline depending on functionality
  • Developers can better utilize device functionality like camera, microphone, swipe gestures, etc.
  • They are more interactive and run much smoother, creating a better overall user experience

Some Disadvantages

  • More expensive and slower development compared to hybrid apps
  • Harder to scale and maintain on each platform separately

 

Hybrid Apps

We are talking about a hybrid app, when it includes both native and web elements. Creating a hybrid application is similar as building a web app. They are built using web technologies like HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

More and more people are choosing to build hybrid mobile apps over native ones. The growing demand resulted in the evolution of a number of hybrid frameworks like Ionic, Cordova, Xamarin or React Native.

The Ionic framework and Cordova both use HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Ionic builds on top of Cordova. This mobile technology basically provides a set of front-end components that allow you to write HTML5 apps that look like native apps. Ionic also allows for up to 98% code reuse. These technologies already have a large community following.

Xamarin uses C# and .NET. Xamarin.Android and Xamarin.iOS are used for providing platform-specific behaviour, while Xamarin.Forms is responsible for code sharing. It allows for the reuse of 96% of the written code. Xamarin also has a large community following.

React Native uses JavaScript and React.JS, and has a rapidly growing community. React Native heavily builds on JavaScript, and is backed by Facebook. A huge benefit is that it allows for writing modules in Objective-C, Swift or Java languages if needed. Up to 70% of React Native code is reusable, which helps speed up development for multiple platforms.

React is a great choice if your app needs to handle heavy operations like image editing or video processing. High accessibility and its ability to build high-performance UI solutions fast helped it become the most sought-after hybrid mobile technology of 2018.

 

mobile technology

Source: Google Trends

 

Advantages of Hybrid Apps

  • More cost-efficient than native app development
  • Shorter time-to-market
  • Most of the code is reusable for multiple platforms (write once, use anywhere)
  • Because there is only one code base, it is much easier to scale and maintain a hybrid app

Some Disadvantages

  • Hybrid apps can have stability issues across different devices
  • Inconsistent performance on different platforms, which can negatively impact user experience

 

Progressive Web Apps

Progressive web apps (or PWA) are the perfect cross between native mobile apps and websites. PWAs are web applications that load like websites, but can offer functionalities traditionally available only to native apps. They can be loaded with the push of a button from the user’s mobile home page, without having to go through the whole app installation process beforehand.

Service workers are used to provide the best of both web and mobile native worlds. These service workers lie between the network and device to supply the content. Among many other properties, they are capable of utilizing cache mechanisms efficiently. This allows PWAs to work in offline mode as well.

This relatively new mobile technology allows you to provide a swift and smooth mobile native experience to your customers without intrusive app installation pop-ups. Your team can build them using a basic web stack (JavaScript, HTML & CSS).

World-leading companies from all industries are reportedly already experiencing higher web traffic, customer engagement, and conversion rates thanks to PWAs.

 

mobile technology

Source: https://www.pwastats.com/

 

Advantages of Progressive Web Apps

  • PWAs provide a smooth experience at high performance, without relying on web connectivity.
  • They are also able to deliver real-time updates and push notifications, which was a feature reserved only for native apps in the past
  • They use 10-1000x less storage space compared to native apps
  • Fast and cost-efficient development

Some Disadvantages

  • PWAs don’t have access to all mobile hardware functions such as fingerprint scanning, advanced camera controls, Bluethooth, etc.
  • Running robust web apps on a smartphone uses up battery charge fast

 

Final Summary

Thanks to the popularity of mobile platforms, today there is a mobile technology for everyone.

It is up to you to assess the needs of your organization and make your choice according to your strategic vision and goals. If done correctly, your new mobile application can become as important of an asset to your business as a brick-and-mortar store.

We hope this article helped you figure out which technologies will be the best fit for your business.

 

If you need additional information to help you select your ideal mobile technology, feel free to ask your questions through our website, or ask for a free consultation.

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BusinessBY rabit · May 05, 2020

Odds are, you have already worked with software developers at some point in your career. If not, it is very likely that you will, especially if you want to hop on the digital train yourself.

We’ve already written about the main reasons why you should start business digitization right now in our last article.

In any case, it’s no secret that it can be pretty difficult to stay on the same page with the technologically gifted.

Over the years of working in the field, we have seen many cases where projects fell off track simply because clients and software developers failed to really understand each other.

This is why I’ve decided to use this article to address the misconceptions and simple misunderstandings that can easily lead to software development project failure. I will also share some advice based on our own experiences of what worked well for us in the past.

 

Communication

I didn’t put this one first by accident. A software project stands no chance without open, frequent communication between all parties involved – especially if we are talking about an internationally distributed team.

In some ways, people who are designing the product and software developers who are building it often don’t speak the same language. This is not a language barrier in the traditional sense.

Clients usually don’t have technical expertise, and they lack the ability to really see things through from a development standpoint. They need help from the development team for this.

On the other side, software developers will never have the same level of experience and insight into the client’s specific industry. The client has to provide these insights for them.  

This is why bidirectional communication between them is so crucial.

We still frequently receive projects where development came to a halt simply because communication hadn’t been working between the client and the developers. In these cases, both sides failed to share relevant information with each other regarding changes in product features, or production difficulties.

Most of the time, the development team didn’t even understand what the client had in mind. This resulted in some pretty wild product releases.

software developers

 

Expecting results

This is becoming an increasingly common source of misunderstanding.

Because of the ever growing competition in the software development industry, more and more development firms and freelancers decide to give very unrealistic initial project estimations. They do this to stand out from the crowd. Clients can easily get deceived if they don’t ask for a second opinion, or educate themselves on the matter.

Most of these projects start to fall apart relatively early, and end up failing in a spectacular fashion. On the long run though, these kinds of offers can also result in super unrealistic client expectations towards software developers.

From time to time, people show up with some truly amazing and logic-defying requests that make us question our own sanity as well.

 

Here are some of our all-time favorites:

“I want to develop a site like Facebook for $5,000.”

“I need a (1!) developer to make a clone of eBay. If they can do it, there is no reason why you can’t.”

“Why do you need three months to make a mobile app? [Name] from [OtherDevCompany] said they can do it in a week.”

 

If clients don’t put any thought and effort into developing the idea for their software projects, they can easily get separated from their money without getting anything of value in return.

Project scope, desired quality, technologies used and a bunch of other factors all determine how much time your software project will take. Developing great software takes time, and a lot of invested work.

Quick math: Facebook boasts to have more than a million users per engineer. They have somewhere close to 1500 engineers today. With an average developer salary of $5,000 in the US, we get $7,500,000 per month. Safe to say, this system would be pretty hard to replicate for a total budget of $5,000. Just a simplified version of Facebook would probably cost at least $500,000 (<– really optimistic estimation).

 

Odds are, your complex, high-quality software product won’t be ready in 2 weeks.

A proof of concept? Yes.

A minimum viable product? Maybe.

A polished, profitable software product? No.

 

The time required highly depends on what your MVP scope is. For a small MVP, 1 or 2 months is more realistic. If you’re lucky, and you have a very small and clear MVP vision, maybe you can build it for $5,000 – $10,000. You probably won’t get a proper product under $50,000 – $100,000 though.

People also often confuse what really is minimal with what they personally feel is minimal for a product to work.

For example, if someone wants 5 payment methods in their MVP, as others are offering the same, it will obviously not be an MVP. The minimal part would be violated by adding the other 4. These are “extra features”, not minimally required for the system to work and for early users to get on board and start using it.

software developers

 

Project workflow

Once your project is off the ground, you get to see how little initial estimations really matter.

Seeing the planned features in action and getting first feedback from your client base can greatly change your final product vision.

These changes to core product functionality can turn the whole project on its head.

Maybe your customers found the most value in a side feature that you thought wasn’t important, and you have to rebuild the whole product around it. Maybe they didn’t find enough value in it, and you need to focus on adding something completely new.

This is the beauty of adaptive software development. You can make changes to the final product in time, based on early feedback from actual users.

While this is all fine and well (if not even obvious), you can’t expect software developers to make every required change overnight. What seems like a simple change to product interface to you may mean days of work for the development team.

While almost everything is possible in software engineering, current frameworks still have their limitations that also need to be taken into account.

When part of the software is updated, there’s a chance that the original architecture may no longer make sense for the new design. In these cases, the development team can either start over from scratch, or adjust the code to make the updates work with the old architecture, even if it may cause problems later on.

If you don’t want to end up with poorly written code, you need to give software developers time to implement every change properly.

 

Developer experience

It is very hard to find good developers for any programming language.

A good developer can be as effective as 5-10 average developers. While hiring less experienced people at a lower price may seem tempting, it is much more beneficial to hire a single expert who really knows what he/she is doing.

If you need to hire someone later to do refactoring work on your poorly written source code, you will ultimately end up losing more time and money.

If it was possible to master software development in university, the world would be full of great experts. Unfortunately, this is not the case. You really need to dig deep to find great developers.

 

What really makes an expert developer?

 

Becoming a real expert in software development takes a lot of hard work, dedication and perseverance.

While anyone can learn the craft, not everyone has the affinity to truly master it. Many great developers switched over from professions not normally linked with software development, like marketing or journalism.

Instead of thinking about them as introverted scientists, you need to see developers more like you see writers or artists. Their work requires talent, a great amount of passion and creativity.

It is a mistake to look for experts solely based on years of experience. Diversity of experience is much more important. Someone who has a real understanding of many different technologies, and can quickly adapt to them can be much more valuable than someone who has tons of experience in a single language.

If you want good developers, you don’t have to look for people with a minimum of X years of experience in a certain language. It is better to hire experts that are willing to cross over to that language.

 

SUMMARY

Knowing what to expect while working together with software developers can already greatly increase your project’s chance of success.

When choosing your development team, remember to take the time to do your research and always ask for a second or even third opinion about the offers you receive.

Throughout your time working together, think about your software team as more than just a service provider. You are partners who are working together to reach your long-term goals.

You both have to do your best to keep your channels of communication open and transparent at all times.

Thank you for devoting your time to reading this article. If you are concerned about your own project, feel free to reach out to us at info@rabit.hu, and we will do our best to get you back on track.

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Dedicated TeamBY rabit · May 05, 2020

To fulfill their market’s requirements, businesses are upgrading their services and products continuously. Custom software helps business owners to meet the growing demands of customers and change their business system when needed. The tool helps their business to grow and earn. To improve their customer service delivery and employees’ efficiency, business owners need to select a software development company that can customize software programs according to their business’s requirements.

7 Reasons Why You Need to Start Business Digitization Right Now

Assuming you have already verified your product idea with your target audience, here is some advice on what you should consider when searching for a software development provider.

Where to find a trusted software development company?

Given below are some platforms and sites that can help you find trusted and good software development companies.

Clutch.co – Clutch is an independent research firm that identifies software services firms that deliver the best results for their clients. Clutch collects every review themselves via phone interview, guaranteeing their authenticity and quality.

Goodfirms.co – This B2B research platform lists software development companies with hourly rates, ratings, reviews etc.

Extract.co – It helps you find firms that create custom applications and websites.

Google search – Carry out your Google search. Use more specific search queries to find software development companies with the right expertise that are situated in your target areas.

LinkedIn – Your trusted colleagues on LinkedIn may know software development companies to recommend.

Make an initial list of software companies you would contact later.

Read companies’ reviews, references and case studies

Read companies’ reviews, references, and case studies in the applicable technology field. Case studies allow companies to show how their product or service can be used.

software development company
“How come everyone is the best?” – Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

 

If a company has no case studies or reviews in your technology field, don’t get upset. Find out whether they have good reviews from different projects that involved working with different technologies. Positive and good reviews instill faith to go ahead with the company. If the software development firm has positive reviews, it will be able to adopt new technologies and tools to fulfill your needs.

When going through case studies, see if the companies discuss cases where they made a special effort to meet specific requirements of their clients. You will get to know if a company is really client-oriented or not and also how it will react if you make a request that requires an extra effort from its side.

Choose people from a time zone that you are comfortable working with

Gather information about the location of the vendors. Select software development providers from a time zone that you are comfortable working with. Understand their local business culture to increase your business success. This will help you decide whether you will be a good fit or not.

software development company
Work with someone you understand. – Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

 

Check their websites to know more about their core values, and if they are compatible with your own. Going through their social media pages and blogs will help you find out if the vendors engage with their industry and clients online.

Contact the shortlisted companies

Make a list of 10 potential software development companies that you think will be able to meet your needs based on the information you gathered from their websites and listing sites. Begin contacting these companies.

Ask the software development providers for references. Contact their clients and ask them about their experiences working with the vendor.

Take note of the performance software development companies give even before they get their payment. If the company invests time in pre-development preparation and tasks such as market analysis, solution and feature recommendations, and estimating projects before signing a work contract, it is a good indicator that the company is trustworthy and dedicated.

Sign a non-disclosure agreement to protect your sensitive corporate information

Sign a non-disclosure agreement with each software development company you talk to about your work. This will help prevent theft and misuse of corporate information. Businesses use these documents to ensure that their ideas won’t be stolen by individuals they are negotiating with.

software development company
Trust is important, but NDAs are essential.

 

Pay close attention on the way they communicate

Good communication is absolutely crucial to every software development project. If you have no technological expertise and you don’t understand what the other party is saying, it’s not your fault. If you and your provider “don’t speak the same language” – they don’t make an effort to help you understand what they are saying, later cooperation will also be problematic.

Frequency of communication is equally important. We recommend communicating with your service provider face to face at least once a week. Not only to check up on your project, but also to share your vision and ideas, and develop your relationship. If they think this is too much, you should probably keep looking.

software development company
You know you chose right when you can’t wait to call them. – Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash

 

Select the best companies and discuss the project in detail

Remove every software development company from your vendor list that doesn’t meet your requirements. Select the best three companies and contact them for a pre-development consultation. Ask for a detailed presentation to find out how they can help you create a brand value and perform better. Give them all the information and details about your project. Understand how they would carry out the software development tasks.

Hear their professional opinions and thoughts. See if they have ideas on how you can improve. If the vendors criticize your ideas constructively, consider it as a good sign. They will carry out orders taking into account the consequences from their point of view also. We all need to be open to constructive criticism. It allows us to grow and learn.

If you are a startup without in-house IT experts, look for a software development company that offers a full range of development services, complete with project management, QA testing, design, etc. If the chosen company doesn’t offer these services, find an outside project manager or consultant who has relevant experience and knows exactly how to successfully carry out a development project.

More advice how to avoid project failure here: 3 Common Reasons Why Outsourced Software Projects Fail

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