Getting your startup to the point where you have a product demo is no easy task. Of course, once you have a prototype, you need to make sure it’s built in the best way possible.
Building a web or mobile application can be an extremely time-consuming process, especially when done from scratch. There are typically four routes to take when building software: hiring in-house developers, outsourcing development through a digital agency, purchasing off-the-shelf software, or building it yourself virtually solo.
Building the app, yourself virtually solo is often seen as “the cheap option.” It requires no upfront fees and very little overhead cost – however, it takes much more time than any other approach due to being performed by only one person. This article discusses the most important aspects you should know before taking this route.
1. Make sure your app scales
Many forget that an app that works fine on a single device may not work as well once it’s opened by multiple people who use the same internet connection and cloud hosting service simultaneously. Before starting development, be sure to check and double-check that your application will scale across different browsers and devices based on the expected usage of the final product.
2. Use open-source code
Although building software from scratch is doable, be prepared to spend more time than would normally be required for such tasks as training, research, testing, and debugging simply because there are no prewritten solutions available out of the box. While some open-source projects have limited scope and capabilities compared to their proprietary counterparts, they work well in specific cases.
3. Keep security in mind from the start
The number of data breaches and hacker attacks has been increasing exponentially over the past few years, affecting millions of people across the globe. Whether your app is a games platform or a business-to-business service, chances are someone out there wants to break into it. Make sure you have a plan for this before going ahead with development to save yourself significant headaches down the road.
4. Careful with the timing
Web application development time varies depending on what kind of project you need to be built and how complex your requirements are. The biggest bottleneck is typically getting feedback from users through prototyping and testing stages which can take up to 80% of the total development time. This is why it’s important to avoid wasting precious time with long feedback cycles by narrowing down your app’s feature set from the get-go.
5. Ensure you have a good team in place
In order to stay on track, make sure you have an agency or a team that offers remote software engineering services tailored to meet your specific needs. Developers working remotely are typically more experienced and cost 20-25% less than their in-house counterparts since they don’t need to cover overhead expenses such as office space, equipment, or insurance. What’s more, if you hire a reputable agency, they will also look after things like testing and QA which will save you time and effort.
6. Ensure you have the necessary software
Ensure that your desktop computers are equipped with the right development tools like remote access and screen sharing apps to facilitate communication within the team. Also, you will need a bug tracker for tracking bugs in your code. Last but not least, be on the lookout for technical documentation solutions so you can describe what you want in plain English without relying on any special jargon.
7. Avoid over-promising on deadlines
Some developers may agree to release certain features by specific dates while others may prefer to work on an hourly basis only. If building your app takes longer than expected, it’s possible that some developers will request more money or refuse to continue working until further notice just because they feel overwhelmed by tasks ahead of them. Make sure you have a clear plan in place with all milestones clearly defined so deadlines are never missed by both parties.
8. Utilize your team’s strengths
No matter how talented your developers maybe, sometimes they simply cannot think outside the box or come up with innovative solutions if they are not familiar with your industry. This is why it pays to use their expertise to its full potential by asking for solutions that are already out there or ones they’ve recently tested within their own projects. By doing this you’ll get the results you want more quickly without having to reinvent the wheel each time. 9. Keep security in mind from the start No matter what type of app you need to be developed; chances are someone out there wants to break into it. Be sure to have a plan in place for this before going ahead with development by ensuring that you have all the necessary security measures installed from the get-go.
10. Test, test and test again
Once your app goes live, there is no going back so make sure you thoroughly test all features before release day. This will minimize bugs and save both money and time since fixing mistakes can be costly, especially if they affect users’ personal data or transactions. Also, don’t forget to keep testing as your app evolves over time as new releases appear since this will help identify any issues that may arise as a result of these changes.
11. Track KPIs carefully
In order to see your remote software engineering project is on the right path, you must be able to track key performance indicators (KPIs) that tell you how it’s progressing. These should include things like traffic levels for your app’s website, user signups, and conversions through to app downloads. If possible, make sure these are measured automatically so you can spot trends at a glance without having to dig too deep into the data.
12. Get your project proofed by experts
When your developer hands over your new app or software product, it’s vital that you proofread everything carefully before launch day not just for spelling mistakes but also to ensure everything was implemented as expected since there is no going back once it goes live. Even if English isn’t their language, they may have used what they think is the correct terminology without realizing there may be a better way to say it. That’s why having someone with an eye for detail proofread your software before it’s released can make all the difference between success and failure.
13. Find good developers through referrals only
If you’re new to outsourcing and don’t know where to start, try asking friends and family members if they have any contacts that could help you get started or place adverts on job boards like CareerBuilder, Monster, or Craigslist that are relevant to your industry. Also, by reaching out directly to developer communities such as Hacker News or Reddit, will allow you to gain access to recommendations from past clients so potential candidates can see what it’s really like working together. This will help with quality control efforts along the way and makes sure that you always have a talented pool of software engineers to call upon in times of need.
14. Keep an eye on what your competitors are up to
In addition, keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing with their own projects, will allow you to see what’s working for them or pinpoint any weaknesses in your field so you can ensure yours stand out from the crowd when it comes to launching day. If they’re lacking in any area though, make sure you fill this gap before going live yourself otherwise there is a good chance, they’ll stay ahead no matter how great a product you create.
15. Have a plan in place if things go wrong
The last thing you want is for your project to come crashing down around your ears. That’s why it’s important to have a plan in place should things take a turn for the worse. This could include additional security measures or backups of certain data should the worst happen. While you can’t protect yourself completely from these types of issues, having solid contingency measures will help minimize losses and ensure the stability of your end product.