SoftwareBY RabIT Solutions

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 the best 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 the best 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.

Softwaredevelopmentcompany.co – The site analyzes the best software developers from around the world to determine the top software development companies across all specialties and in all locations.

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.

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.

 

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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.

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.

 

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.

 

 

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 the best 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

RabIT Solutions

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

IT ProcessBY RabIT Solutions

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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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.

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.

RabIT Solutions

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

IT ProcessBY RabIT Solutions

Today, the importance of a dedicated quality assurance tester often gets overlooked by project managers and clients alike, seeing them as an option rather than a requirement. Quality assurance testing plays a very crucial role in the process of software development. It saves money and time by spotting bugs and errors early in the software development life-cycle.

Software that is newly developed may have inconsistencies, redundancies, and flaws; therefore, proper QA testing is mandatory. The testing ensures that the software product a company is developing meets all requirements, truly provides value to end users and has a long lifespan.

 

Role of a Quality Assurance Tester

QA testers communicate and build relationships with stakeholders, clients, database administrators, project managers, and developers. They help connect everything together and ensure smooth product development.

Quality assurance testers perform tuning, testing, and debugging. They use tools to find the flaws and errors and create a plan for manual testing, working very closely with the development and product teams. They can work independently or as part of a team.

We wrote about improving communication between QA testers and the development team in an Agile setting in last week’s article.

 

why is a quality assurance tester needed on a software development team

 

Skills of a Quality Assurance Tester

  • They are experts in verbal and written communication, finding solutions to complex issues, logic and reasoning, documentation and time management.
  • They have a good experience in software development and quality assurance.
  • They are aware of the ongoing technological trends and recent advancements.
  • They have an excellent knowledge of QA processes, tools, and methodologies.

 

Technical Skills of a Quality Assurance Tester

  • Create methods and procedures to identify the quality of a product
  • Determine enhancement areas
  • Perform risk analysis
  • Understand technical and business objectives
  • Review user interface for consistency
  • Research new testing processes and technologies

 

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Common misconceptions and why they are wrong

Here are two common misconceptions that we come across, and people actually believe in:

1. The developer should deliver error-free work
2. The software testing should be done solely by developers

Both of these notions are absolutely wrong.

Proficient developers can create code with no or little error. However, they cannot visualize every user scenario. The software testers, on the other hand, hold a strong expertise in finding every possible user scenario to test every function satisfactorily. Developers interpret some requirements and functions in a different way than the client. That’s why it is essential to have a quality assurance tester who can check if everything is functioning as required.

QA testing takes a lot of time to complete, and software developers have to devote a huge amount of time to test a software product properly. Individuals who are experienced in software testing can complete the testing process fast. A quality assurance tester, who possesses exceptional testing skills, can identify the errors and bugs with ease. Moreover, software testers charge less than software developers for their service.

Delivery of a raw software product can upset the client. If they want to avoid this, companies and organizations absolutely need to view software testing as an essential element of the software development life-cycle. These people should be deeply involved in every stage of the development process.

 

quality assurance tester meme

 

To truly understand what is wrong with these misguided ideas, let’s see how they would look in some traditional industries:

Example #1 – Imagine the auto production industry without dedicated quality assurance testers. The automotive industry simply could not work without QA because any resulting functional errors can cause serious injuries to customers. Assembly workers also cannot perform their task flawlessly and assure the quality of the product simultaneously.

Example #2 – Articles that are published in a newspaper also go through many rounds of reviews first. If these articles were published without reviewing and editing, they would be full of grammatical errors, typos, or unreliable information. It is not easy for authors to find their own mistakes in writing. They work to the best of their knowledge.

It works the same way in software development. To ensure quality in the work process and the product, the role of a quality assurance tester is vital in the software product development life-cycle.

 

If you would like to find out more about ways to integrate QA testing into your software development life-cycle more efficiently, feel free to ask your questions at info@rabit.hu, or ask for a free consultation through our website.

RabIT Solutions

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

IT ProcessBY RabIT Solutions

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.

 

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.

 

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  • Actionable insights about software development topics
  • Interesting case studies and news about IT innovation
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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.

 

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.

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.

RabIT Solutions

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

SoftwareBY RabIT Solutions

Build or buy software? Many business owners wrestle with this question while addressing their software needs. They struggle to decide whether to opt for ready-made or custom software, as both the options have their pros and cons. Off-the-shelf software vs custom software is a decision that depends on various factors, including your business needs, the cost, and the benefits and risks associated with tailor-made and ready-made software.

Here are some pros and cons to consider when weighing whether to opt for custom software or order ready-made.

 

Pros of Off-the-Shelf Software

  1. The ready-made software is a commercial product that is available for everyone, and because of that, you can buy it at a lower initial cost.
  2. Buying of the software allows fast implementation, and its proper documentation, including user manuals, makes it easy to adopt.
  3. Moreover, it has already been tested and proven to be useful for your business needs. Importantly, experts have designed its functionalities after determining the industry’s needs. If you have a small budget, it makes sense to invest in ready-made software.

Cons of Off-the-Shelf Software

  1. However, as off-the-shelf software addresses common business needs, it may not resolve your specific requirements.
  2. You also cannot add new features, remove unnecessary features, or modify its inbuilt functionalities; therefore, you cannot scale it to meet expanding needs and larger demands of your business.
  3. You also fail to get an edge over your competitors, as they may be using the same software.
  4. With ready-made software, there are also integration challenges. It may not be compatible with your diverse set of systems, which will affect your business performance.
  5. And, you may have bought custom software at a low price, but its cost will gradually increase because of updates, maintenance, and compatibility issues.

 

Pros of Custom Software

  1. Custom software can be a perfect fit for your business as you get it with the aim to resolve specific requirements. It is unique, highly compatible with other systems and applications, and provides you with flexibility.
  2. With custom software, you also stay ahead of the technology curve, which gives you an edge over your competitors.
  3. Moreover, you get the freedom to add new features, make changes, and set a time for further updates.
  4. You can also scale it up to meet the expanding and evolving needs of your business.

Cons of Custom Software

  1. However, unlike ready-made software, the custom software takes time to build, as developing something from scratch is a lengthy process.
  2. It demands a higher investment – both money and time.
  3. You will usually have to spend considerable time testing it and ensuring that it is bug-free. To make this part easier for our clients, our QA team devotes considerable time and effort to make sure that every released version works free of errors.
  4. It may also take time to implement custom software if there is no proper user documentation. This is why we think that writing clear and detailed documentation has to be closely integrated into the development process itself.
  5. Anything that comes with the custom tag costs more than solutions developed for mass market. The cost is likely to rise further if your development team does not have the skills necessary to build custom software. You must have a strong, capable team if you want to make it well worth your investment.

 

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  • Actionable insights about software development topics
  • Interesting case studies and news about IT innovation
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Questions to Ask Before Making a Definite Decision

Now that you know the pros and cons, here are some simple questions that you need to ask yourself to determine whether to choose off-the-shelf software vs custom software for your business.

  • Can my business benefit from new cutting-edge technologies?
  • Is there going to be a change in my business structure?
  • Do I plan to scale my business in the future?
  • Will I introduce new services or products in the future?
  • Is there a solution available in the market that fully resolves my pain points?
  • Whether I can afford custom software?

 

Final Thoughts

You can opt for custom software if you have the budget, a great deal of time, and expanding business needs. The ready-made software, on the other hand, is an ideal solution for you if your budget is limited, and you cannot afford to expend time and resources.

If after reading this article and answering these questions you think custom software is the way to go for your business, lets talk about your solution during a free consultation. This way you can get all the necessary information to get started, without any long-term commitment.

If you would like to learn more about working together with a software development team, follow our social media pages.

RabIT Solutions

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

IT ProcessBY RabIT Solutions

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. Knowing how to avoid software development failure and manage developers is essential is you are planning to launch your own project.

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 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, and sometimes, on the longer run,  software development failure too.

software development failure to specify features

 

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 as another software development failure. 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.

 

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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. This alone can easily lead to software development failure.

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.

RabIT Solutions

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

IT ProcessBY RabIT Solutions

If you have already read some articles on the subject, you have probably come across the line by now, which says that about 1 out of 3 offshore software product development projects fail.

We have already gone through some of the more common reasons why most offshore software projects never see the light of day in one of our earlier articles.

In this article we will tell the story of how we helped revive some of these projects through our work at RabIT software engineering.

Here are some real life examples of an offshore software development project turning south. Of course, we won’t be mentioning any names here, as the only purpose of this section is to point out that most failing software projects can be salvaged, even if things are looking very very ugly.

Case 1 – The spaghetti code that made no sense

offshore software

 

About two years ago, a client approached us looking for an experienced software developer to join their existing offshore software development team. They were building a new online marketing tool that will make the client’s everyday work much easier. He is also planning to release it as a globally available SaaS solution later this year.

Our new client knew that something was very, very off about the code written so far, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it, having no background in software engineering himself. So he basically hired us to have a look at the project and try to get it back on track if possible.

Our own CEO joined the client’s team of three other developers from the Philippines. We started by looking at the source code and running some good old tests on it. To put it lightly, it was a complete mess. Imagine a special kind of spaghetti code that was full of anti patterns, inefficient and illogical solutions, and was generally in very bad shape.

So we had our work cut out for us. The initial goal was just to clean up the previously written code, which was no easy feat itself. To test the current state of the source code we used code analysis tools like Checkstyle, CPD, PMD and JSHint. Checkstyle identified about 60.000 errors during our initial testing phase. We collected the necessary metrics, then got to work right away. It was essential to start with code refactoring, because at this stage the code was so unreliable, that it was impossible to continue development work efficiently.

Several weeks and a lot of code cleanup later, 60.000 Checkstyle warnings turned into 1.500, which was low enough to allow for more efficient software development work. We also managed to solve some functionality issues that the previous team claimed to be unsolvable. As things started to fall into place, we could gradually focus more on developing new features, instead of code refactoring.

In the meantime, the initial development team was let go, and we took over the project entirely. This was never our intent, we work together with other outsourcing teams on a regular basis. The client made this decision after the other team continuously failed to meet our software development quality standards.

We are currently focusing on eliminating the remaining coding errors, while constantly implementing new features and design elements to the application. Despite the early setback, our client still expects us to deliver a top-quality finished product that is highly competitive on today’s market, and that is exactly what we aim to do.

Case 2 – When things go from bad to worse

offshore software

 

A couple of months ago we were approached by two sport-loving entrepreneurs. They had a unique idea for a mobile application which is completely new to the market and does not have any competition as of yet. A small offshore software product development team from Russia had already started development by the time we joined the project.

The clients started looking for a senior software engineer because they were not satisfied with the work of the current developers. The Russian team claimed that some of the requested functions were impossible to develop, progress was made very slowly and the resulting code was unstable and unreliable. They needed someone who could see through the development process and had experience in leading a team of developers.

We started by running the usual tests on the source code, and the metrics were terrible. It was difficult even to get the application to run at that point. Three of our developers ended up joining the other team, with the support of a quality assurance tester and a project coordinator. Not much later, four freelance developers from India also joined the team.

 

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Our resposibilities included project leadership, software architecture design, team coordination and software development. We were tasked with managing the work of the Indian team as well. Because we were ready to take over the entire development process, the services of the Russian team were no longer required.

During this period, we were still making a serious effort just to correct source code errors, but we finally started to make some progress. Problems soon started to resurface when the Indian team kept falling behind on their development tasks. They refused to follow the coding standards, and when we tried to enforce them, they were always one or two weeks late on delivery. Their code simply couldn’t pass code review, and this lead to serious delays in development.

Our expectations weren’t unrealistic. We followed Google coding standards (to which we also added a few rules that we found important), and all parties unanimously agreed on the coding guide during our initial meetings. However, several weeks later, the Indian team also resigned from the project. We became fully in charge of full stack mobile app and server-side development.

By today we have reduced static code errors from 30.000 to 800. Some serious deviations from coding standards and illogical solutions also ended up forming bottlenecks in the program, which we have since removed. We are currently aiming to focus more and more on developing new app features and less on code refactoring. If all goes according to plan, a live version will be ready to launch in September.

Case 3 – When code quality is not the problem
offshore software
Startup Stock Photos

 

Of course, code quality isn’t the sole reason why offshore software product development projects end up failing. We have just recently taken over one of our newer projects from another Hungarian development agency, simply because they were failing to meet their promised deadlines. This development team was almost one year late on delivery when the client finally decided to replace them with another agency.

The product is an E-commerce website with integrated stock management, invoicing and delivery management. The end result will be a highly customized software solution with multiple features that are completely new on the market. This time around the code was beautifully written, and the former lead developer was very helpful and cooperative. It turned out that they had some serious internal management issues that eventually also led to the agency going out of business.

After some minimal adjustments to the source code, we could immediately start focusing on function development here. We are currently testing the final product together with our client, and it is set to go live in the very near future.

Summary

We have encountered more than 20 cases like these since we started in 2011.

Developing a unique custom software solution can be a risky endeavor. After reading stories like these, it is easy to understand why many business owners decide to stay far away from offshore software product development. However, by taking the necessary precautions during the selection process, outsourcing can become a reliable source of growth for your business in a small amount of time.

Remember, cost-efficiency is only one of the many benefits of offshore software product development. Hiring a highly competent and self-sufficient development team lets you focus on other areas of your business, and save a lot of time on recruitment and training, which also leads to a shorter time-to-market for your product.

If, while reading this article, you realized that you are in the same shoes as one of our clients was, or if you are just searching for a reliable software development team, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and tell us about your project at info@rabit.hu right away.

RabIT Solutions

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

IT ProcessBY RabIT Solutions

It’s not always easy to pinpoint the exact reasons why software projects fail. There are many factors involved in the outcome of each development project, so there is often no clear-cut answer. However, industry experience tells us that factors like low code quality, faulty communication practices and lack of project flexibility are often among the main culprits.

According to Codementor, on average, 1 out of every 3 software projects fail, and more than 80% of projects run over time or over budget.

 

Your odds become even worse if you don’t do the research before slecting a 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. LOW CODE QUALITY – 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.

 

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

Next on our list of reasons why software projects fail is having poor communication practices.

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. LACK OF FLEXIBILITY – 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 (or lack there of) is also one of the main reasons why software projects fail. 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.

We chose to speak about these particular reasons why software projects fail because these were the ones we’ve encountered the most during our work so far.

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.

 

RabIT Solutions

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.