IT ProcessBY RabIT software engineering · September 05, 2018

The methodologies used in an Agile development process follow the Agile Manifesto. The Agile Manifesto is a guideline that is based on continuous improvement, the input of the team, flexibility, and the delivery of results with good quality.

Although the principles of Agile are well-defined, companies that have nobody with Agile experience will most likely face many challenges while adopting these methodologies. They should not try to adopt an Agile development process word for word. Instead, they should experiment and create a version that best meets their projects, clients, team members, and organizational structure.

Resolving budgeting problems

Unplanned or poorly defined product requirements can easily make a project run out of money and time. This can give rise to conflict between the development team and clients.

Clients say that the development team failed at estimating time and money for tasks. The development team, on the other hand, says that the unplanned tasks were not on the initial list of requirements.

Actually, it’s the mix of both. Clients did not talk about important details while communicating their requirements. If one can’t communicate important details to other people, it makes their jobs more complicated. At the same time, the developers do not have the same level of in-depth knowledge into the client’s industry. That’s why they were not able to estimate these requirements.

Understanding the client’s business is key to collecting requirements effectively. Knowledge of the business of the clients will allow you to form a positive professional relationship with them.

To resolve the budgeting problems, communication between the clients and developers should be improved. Unplanned tasks will not come up if more detailed information is shared.

You should stay away from fixed budget projects. Accept such projects only if the initial requirements are well-defined and documented to the letter by a very experienced expert.

 

Agile development process
Source: pixabay.com

 

Do not allow outside people to estimate project size

Do not allow inexperienced product owners or SCRUM masters to estimate the size of the project. They are inclined to present an unrealistic version to stakeholders to make the estimation more appealing. This creates problems for the team later.

Also, avoid allowing individuals outside the team to estimate for the developers. The members of the development team absolutely have to be included into the estimation process.

Use performance metrics to measure your team’s performance

Use performance metrics (Velocity, Estimated Complexity) to monitor the efficiency of your development team throughout the Agile development process.

Velocity, which is a key metric in Scrum, helps to measure the progress of your team. You should pay attention not to inflate tasks only to increase your agile team’s velocity. Organizing every small change into separate tasks will mean that your team completes more tasks, but your team’s velocity metric won’t show real progress.

Make the daily stand up meetings effective

Hold daily stand up meetings with discipline. Do not keep meetings too long. Keep them short and focused. Give one minute to each member of the team to speak. If you want, you can also organize separate stand-ups for SCRUM team leaders. Keep in mind that each meeting is an opportunity to resolve problems, improve focus, set direction, create alignment, and move goals and objectives forward.

Agile development process
Source: rawpixel.com

 

Develop your own solutions

View the Agile Manifesto only as a set of guiding principles to enhance your software development processes. There is no need to implement them in exactly the same way. Use these guidelines to develop your own solutions.

You will need to do a lot of experimentation. You should assign the person who has the most experience working with your clients, development team, and methodologies the task to create the first version of your new Agile methodology. This, together with every later iteration, should be customized to meet the requirements of your clients and company.

For example, decide the number of meetings according to how efficiently the development team interacts. If the meetings do not result in the exchange of important information, reduce the number of meetings. Use email and Slack instead. You should customize every individual work element of your new Agile methodology in the same way.

With all said, you can still follow Agile methodologies word for word. Odds are, you will be much better off if you find a solution that fits you and your clients best.

More helpful resources about the Agile development process:

Overcoming Communication and Cultural Challenges

Overcoming Challenges During the Work Process

Overcoming Challenges with Day-to-Day Operations

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IT ProcessBY RabIT software engineering · August 28, 2018

The development team is the heart of any Agile software development process. It takes the idea of the product owner and converts it into a product that creates value and meets a pressing need. The development team is involved in the process of developing the software product and ensuring its quality.

Often, they face issues and challenges in day-to-day operations such as planning and executing tasks and flow of information and overcoming those issues can yield big results.

Too many meetings wreck productivity

Agile should not involve too many meetings. Fewer meetings allow your developers to concentrate on doing the actual work. Meetings should be designed carefully to increase the productivity of developers, not the opposite.

An unplanned meeting can become confusing and messy and can hamper the development work. The efficiency of the sprint can be greatly affected by having too many meetings.

Developers are often inclined to spend time during meetings talking about work instead of actually writing code. You should decrease the length and number of meetings and allow an open flow of information outside of these meetings.

Go for Ad-hoc communication as it is more effective than organizing 4-hour meetings to discuss the finished work. Flexibility and robustness are the benefits of this system.

software development
Photo from startupstockphotos.com

Complex software development tasks should be broken into smaller doable tasks

Unplanned issues and tasks can be easily handled if the complex issues are broken down into doable small tasks. During sprint planning, assign work to your employees that they can complete in one day.

Include your quality assurance team into the sprint planning process. If you can calculate the time spent on QA testing and fixing new issues, you will able to meet important deadlines. Meeting deadlines every time is a foundation of a successful business.

You can use Estimated Complexity as an indicator to know the approximate time you need to finish a particular task. One Estimated Complexity equals 4 work hours.

Also, include the approximate work hours for quality assurance testing and resolving potential problems that come up. This will definitely increase your software development efficiency.

software development
Photo from startupstockphotos.com

 

Poor flow of information decreases organizational productivity

Share information with others in enough detail. Avoid giving out brief instructions. Be aware of the fact that not everyone will understand instructions that are not well defined.

Remember to send out even the easiest tasks with as much detail as possible. This will help your developers to complete the task correctly. Formulate the instructions in such a way that an outsider who knows nothing about the project would understand them. However, you should check for understanding even after giving detailed instructions.

The following example will help you understand the concept.

INCORRECT – Insert the charts that we talked about into the middle of the analytics dashboard.

CORRECT – Insert Chart A, Chart B, and Chart C into the analytics dashboard as specified in Task[89], directly after the visitor analytics table.

To implement features of a product correctly during software development, make specifications as clear as possible. Features will not be correctly implemented in case of unclear specifications. The faulty features may even make it to release without a second round of review.

Encourage employees to seek help when they need it

Encourage your development team to ask for help from your company’s senior technical leaders or trusted outside consultants if needed. Some developers discuss their work problems only with other members inside their own team. If they didn’t get the solutions, they try to resolve the issue themselves. In doing so, they may miss their deadline and fail to complete their task on time.

You should reward those who seek advice from technical leaders and the senior people. Make your developers understand that taking help of others is not a sign of incompetence or weakness. The development team should trust their senior experts. Everyone should work together to reach the same goal.

More helpful resources about Agile software development:

Overcoming Communication and Cultural Challenges

Overcoming Challenges During the Work Process

Overcoming Challenges From Lack of Experience

Thanks for devoting your time to reading this article. If you have any unanswered questions regarding Agile methodologies and software development projects, feel free to ask them on info@rabit.hu. You can also request a free consultation through our website.

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Dedicated TeamBY RabIT software engineering · August 14, 2018

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, or read this step-by-step guide on how to successfully outsource software projects.

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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Startup & MVPBY RabIT software engineering · August 07, 2018

Entrepreneurs, very often in their excitement, start developing a business idea into a tangible product without determining whether there is a market for it. When you do that, you are likely wasting your time and money on a product that no one wants. That is why it is essential that you know how to validate a business idea first.

Validating a business idea enables you to find out if there is a need for it in the market, can it solve crucial pain points, the number of potential consumers, and how much money they would pay for it. Here are a few ways to validate your idea before developing the product prototype.

Already have a validated business idea? Here is something to help you choose the right software development company for your business.

How to Validate a Business Idea?

Do an Online Search: It is possible that your idea is not unique at all. Through a simple online search, you can discover products that might have germinated from a similar idea-seed. It is better to think of a new idea if your concept does not offer something extra special or improves the way of doing things.

Validate a Business Idea
So there’s a festival, and the industry gears up for significant growth… Nice!

 

Set Up a Landing Page: Setting up a standalone web page, the landing page, helps determine if there is a market for your business idea or not. Your landing page should have a value proposition, concise content, images, and clear call-to-action, and you can promote it on start-up platforms, social media platforms, through SEO and targeted ads. If there is a need for the product, the target audience would flock to your landing page; and if not, you will know from the results.

Validate a Business Idea
A landing page for building landing pages.

 

Create an Explainer Video: Visual content does a better job of explaining than text. You can properly demonstrate your product, its features, and benefits through explainer videos. The live and animated videos can tell the target audience about the value proposition. Moreover, you can accelerate engagement with them. This helps to identify the merits and demerits of your business idea.

Here is the very first DropBox demo video voiced by founder, Drew Houston back in 2008. This simple video about an MVP helped grow their beta subscriber list from 5,000 to 75,000 people overnight.

 

Hypothesis Testing: You can assess your value proposition via hypothesis testing methodology, without developing a product prototype. You can use either a Wizard of Oz MVP or a Concierge MVP to validate your business idea.

  • Concierge MVP: You provide the value proposition manually to a small group of test customers, without involving any technology. You perform the service following the same steps as the final product.
  • Wizard of Oz MVP: In this method, you make the test customers believe that the process is automated, and no humans are involved. They see the working front of your product (often a simple landing page), while you complete the service manually in the background.

Crowdfunding Sites: With crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, you can gauge the level of interest in your business idea, as well as determine whether the product can solve specific pain points. Moreover, you also find out if the product is exciting enough to get funded.

Validate a Business Idea
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

 

Single-Feature MVP: Single-feature minimal viable product (MVP) enables you to test one core aspect of your idea. You give your end-users this one-core-feature product to use, to get early feedback. It is one of the easiest methods by which you can validate or invalidate your business idea, and you can do so on a shoestring budget.

Now that you have a basic idea about how to validate a business idea, you can get creative and start reaching out to your customers to find out first hand if your idea really has merit or not.

Here are some useful tools that can help you on your idea validation journey:

Toolkit for concept testing – QuickMVP, SurveyMonkey

Create modern landing pages – Instapage, Leadpages, ClickFunnels

Drive traffic to your online pages – Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads

If you need more advice on how to validate a business idea, or plan your first MVP, feel free to ask your questions via e-mail at info@rabit.hu, or by signing up for a free consultation here. We will do our best to answer all your questions, no strings attached. Thanks for reading!

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SoftwareBY RabIT software engineering · August 01, 2018

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.

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.

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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IT ProcessBY RabIT software engineering · July 25, 2018

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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MarketingBY RabIT software engineering · July 23, 2018

Top app developers hungary

Since being founded 4 years ago, we’ve moved into our development center in Szeged, Hungary and built numerous software solutions for many wonderful clients. We’ve really had quite a journey full of milestones, achievements, and happy memories. That’s why we are incredibly proud of being ranked among the top app developers in Hungary on Clutch.

Clutch is a well-known and reputed business-to-business ratings and reviews agency based out of Washington DC that researches companies from a variety of industries, including web and software development. Their analysts review companies by both interviewing past and present clients and conducting marketing research.

We were able to excel in this process and come out on top, thanks to our philosophy as a company dedicated to company satisfaction.

But don’t just take it from us – check out what one of our recent clients has to say:

“RabIT goes the extra mile. They were always transparent with workflow and tasks, but the effort they put in truly set them apart from other agencies.” – Product Manager, figo GmbH 

You can check how others liked working with us, on our Clutch profile page.

With us, you get a true partner. We will make sure you know exactly what we are doing in each phase of development and we will consistently adapt to your project needs to ensure high quality.

We’re just waiting for one more thing now: You. Contact us, and we promise that we’ll prove to you the difference between RabIT Software Engineering and other shops out there. We are the best of the best and we are confident that, as your future partner, we can turn your next project into the next big thing.

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IT ProcessBY RabIT software engineering · July 18, 2018

Today, the importance of dedicated QA testers 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 QA testers

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.

QA 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.

qa testers
The QA point of view – Photo by Taduuda on Unsplash

 

Skills of QA testers

  • 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 QA testers

  • 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
qa testers
Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels

 

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 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 QA 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. Quality assurance testers, who possess 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.

qa testers
Classic – Photo source: https://turnoff.us/

 

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 QA 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.

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RabIT software engineering

RabIT is a dynamic & innovative software engineering company in Santa Monica, California. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

IT ProcessBY RabIT software engineering · July 12, 2018

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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RabIT is a dynamic & innovative software engineering company in Santa Monica, California. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

SoftwareBY RabIT software engineering · July 03, 2018

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. Your decision 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 and Cons of Ready-Made Software

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. Buying of the software allows fast implementation, and its proper documentation, including user manuals, makes it easy to adopt. 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.

custom software

 

However, as ready-made software addresses common business needs, it may not resolve your specific requirements. 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. You also fail to get an edge over your competitors, as they may be using the same software.

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. 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 and Cons of Custom Software

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. With custom software, you also stay ahead of the technology curve, which gives you an edge over your competitors. Moreover, you get the freedom to add new features, make changes, and set a time for further updates. And, you can scale it up to meet the expanding and evolving needs of your business.

custom software

 

However, unlike ready-made software, the custom software takes time to build as developing something from scratch is a lengthy process. It demands huge investment — both money and time. 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, RabIT software engineering devotes considerable time and effort ourselves to make sure that every released version works perfectly.

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.

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.

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 you need custom or ready-made 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.

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RabIT is a dynamic & innovative software engineering company in Santa Monica, California. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.