Category Archives: Agile Software Product Development

  • Chatbot

    How Chatbots Are About To Change Communication

    How Chatbots Are About to Change Communication

    Chatbots, computer programs that simulate conversations, are revolutionizing the way businesses communicate with their customers. With revenues measurably increasing and customer loyalty strengthening, they are becoming an integral part of business operations.

    What are Chatbots?

    They are one type of artificial intelligence delivered through a software application for the following purposes: task performance, learning, financial transactions, shopping, problem solving, etc. They are activated by natural language input via text or voice. Cloud computing is the primary category of Software as a Service (SaaS) and offers dependable language functioning. A third party hosts the app that is available to customers over the Internet.

    Brief History of Artificial Technology

    Chatbot Development started in the 1960s. The first one, ELIZA,was designed by Joseph Weizen, MIT professor. Later, it influenced gaming in the 1980s. In 2009, China had a more sophisticated version, WeChat.

    Chatbot Development is easier to implement because of open source code. Slack and Telegram are examples of bot technology.

    Case Studies for Intelligent Agents

    Facebook’s 33,000 Bots Maximize User Experience
    Facebook”s Messenger have helped costs increase beyond projections. Bots provide FB with an understanding of how consumers use brands and content. Since 2007, Your text to link…Facebook’s bots have handle sales and customer service.

    Sephora’s Pioneering Tech Move Upgrades Options

    Sephora is the first cosmetics retailer to use bots. The Sephora Reservations Agent books appointments and the Sephora Virtual Artist uses photos to match Sephora’s vast offerings. Sales and books have increased over 10 percent.

    SnapTravel Bets Six Figures for Bot Technology

    Investors gave $8 million to the hotel booking venture that uses SMS text and Messenger. Hotel bookings increased $1 million in less than 12 months largely due to Messenger bots.

    Tommy Hilfiger’s Digital Commerce Reflects Customer Expectations

    Hilfiger saw almost 90 percent return rate for customers choosing to engage with a bot. TMY.GRL was Hilfiger’s first attempt in the specialized arena. Via Faxebook’s Messenger, TMY.GRL uses personalized options that demonstrate an understanding of the level of engagement customers expect.

    Discrepancies in Dialogue

    Intelligent agents do have drawbacks. Researchers have found that profanity and shorter messages mark the conversations between people and agents. Discrepancies in content and quality are also noted.

    Educational Application for Conversations Agents

    The possibilities for conversation agents are limitless. In classrooms all over the world, teachers are employing Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) to maximize learning. ITSs adapt to individual learning. Furthermore, in an Open Learner Model, the system reveals the user’s knowledge.

    Self-directed learning is a preferred method. If you are trying to learn a language, it can be challenging. Foreign Language Learning (FLL)addresses the typical hindrances such as time restrictions, practice opportunities among classmates and even shyness.

    However, Your text to link…Language,Learning & Technology reported, “They are generally felt more comfortable conversing with the bots than a student partner or teacher.” Chatbots give students the chance to study virtually on their own time.

    The Future of Bot Technology

    Gartner predicts that 85 percent of engagement will not happen between person to person. Completing forms on a website has become obsolete. Instead companies in finance, banking, human resources and even the legal field will offer a variation if GWYN, Gifts When You Need. GWYN uses an IBM platform like Watson to help you pick the perfect gift. She gets smarter based on previous purchases.

    Automated messaging is one of the hottest innovations in the artificial intelligence space. Accurately interpreting consumer habits is not easy. Being able to peek inside the customer’s lifestyle to come up with the next big thing is invaluable.

  • artificial intelligence

    What is the future of artificial intelligence in software?

    What is the future of artificial intelligence in software?

    If you’re a C-level executive at a company, you’ve been paying attention the rise in news coverage about artificial intelligence and the impact it could have on software development in various industries. From healthcare to manufacturing, security and banking, the technology will revolutionize the way that humans interact with its own creations.

    But how will AI influence software in the next few years? Is this something that you should consider? Is it even worth discussing?

    It turns out that not paying attention to AI may prove detrimental to you and your business. Below you’ll find a few ways that this technology can improve your business, but only if you’re willing to take the risk of integrating it into your business plan.

    Mundane Tasks Will Become Automated

    Startups generally have an issue when it comes to finding people to operate mundane processes, especially in accounting, shipping and receiving, and inventory. This is because startups don’t have a lot of money for staff and need to find ways to streamline their processes.

    AI in the future, and even now, can handle most of these mundane processes; they can also do it at a fraction of the price of actual human employees. With better accuracy, a faster timeline, and other factors, AI is a great option for startups who need an extra hand in these endeavors.

    But while this may send a signal to business professionals that their work is not valued, the opposite is true; automating mundane tasks frees up employees to become more creative, work on more complex problems, and even come up with new services and products. In the future, this creativity will be a cornerstone of the business world and will be thanks, in part, to AI stepping up to do mundane tasks.

    Chat Bots Will Change Retail Consumer Engagement

    You’ve no doubt heard of chatbots and how they’re changing retail consumer engagement, especially at the e-commerce level. With more and more consumers shopping online, these chatbots, which are supported by AI software, are a crucial part of growing an online retail business.

    What you may not know is that with the evolution of AI comes the evolution of chatbot software. In due time, your company may be able to use these bots to solve customer service complaints ranging from refunds to shipping issues; these bots will be able to communicate with bots from shipping companies, freeing up your staff to focus on larger issues.

    But if that’s not enough, the feedback gained from using this AI software will be incredibly useful to your business. If a line isn’t faring well or a shipping partner isn’t pulling its weight, the chatbot interface will be able to give you an intimate understanding of the problem. The chatbots may also be used for social media marketing purposes, including special sales and promotions, and the feedback from these events may also indicate when and how is the best time to reward loyal clients with promotions at your business.

    Learning Software Will Revolutionize Manufacturing

    AI has already begun to take on a larger role in manufacturing; this is visible particularly in the car manufacturing sector. But what if, in the future, AI could handle more assembly projects? What if AI could build smart home devices, phones, electronics, and even homes, all without human interference?

    It’s a possibility. Recent developments in the sector have shown that AI is using machine learning to become faster and more efficient in the manufacturing process at all levels, from small products to large-scale projects.

    What this means for startups in the future is that AI software will be able to learn how to create new manufacturing processes. Humans will always supervise these processes, but it enables employees to design and implement new systems that AI would be responsible for as part of its tasks for day-to-day operations. It also enables human employees to use their creativity to build new services and products.

    Integration in All Industries

    The future is looking at AI integration in all industries through different software. From healthcare to technology, banking to government, the software that is powered by AI will enable small businesses and startups like yours to thrive in a more competitive and equal playing field. In fact, this evolution has already begun, especially in the American healthcare system.

    You will find that as AI software continues to develop, you will have a variety of resources that have never been offered before. No matter what industry your company is doing business in, some part of your business operations will be operated by AI. The more comfortable you become with technology becoming a large part of your business, the better your company will fare.

    Artificial intelligence is not the only software development that is taking the business sector by storm; other technologies, such as blockchain, cryptocurrency and others are becoming more mainstream. But AI is consistently the foundation that all other technologies are being used, and it’s more important than ever that you, as a business professional, learn how to use it effectively. Now is the best time for you to take a good hard look at AI and see how it can benefit your business now and in the future.

  • IT service management

    AI and chatbots: Driving the future of IT service management

    AI and chatbots: Driving the future of IT service management

    AI is an evolving technology that is gaining mainstream attention by technologists and analysts on how it is shaping up to enhance more services in the future. The IT Industry Council indicated guidelines on how to secure the use of Artificial Intelligence, as it encouraged the participation of the public and the private sector to form partnerships for innovation, investment, Education, and scalability of the future workforce.

    IT Industry Council has estimated that the U.S AI market will reach $40 billion in 2020, with a possible generation of $60 billion productivity improvements on an annual basis. In a Gartner report of 2017, the author stated that conversational and chatbot AI platforms had allowed the creation of service delivery channels for the government. These channels are being looked into by the government CIO’s to determine their roles for more opportunities to be identified.

    Implications of AI for IT service management

    One can easily think of chatbot development and AI as augmented intelligence. This kind of human intelligence is not here to replace humans; it is here to help people deliver quality services both internally and externally.

    AI is looking to disrupt three key areas of IT service management (ITSM)

    Point of entry

    Chatbots that are AI driven will automate ITSM solutions to correctly interpret requests and incidents. Different route requests and scenarios will be learned by the chatbots to the right back-end process. AI will be equipped with a deep decision path that will direct inquiries to the solution with minor faults.

    Chatbots powered by AI can identify the requester, profile them and route inquirers who are regular clients to an agency to the solution desired, saving enough time for the ITSM.

    Back-end processes that are automated

    AI can identify requests, recognize patterns and provide unlimited amounts of possible solutions to different scenarios. AI will gather the requests coming in and use integrated technology to automate the troubleshooting process until the problem is resolved.

    Knowledge management

    Databases that have trustworthy solutions will be accessed by AI solutions over time. AI will learn the organizational patterns for it to efficiently resolve issues. Not only will AI provide answers to the IT queries, but it will provide tips on training for analysts and end-users. The database will be updated consistently with relevant data, based on the new problems and their solutions.

    The path to AI

    When AI is successfully integrated to business and government agencies, there will be a lot of money saved and an increase in the service management and service desk capabilities. It has been documented by Deloitte Insights that automating tasks that have been placed on a routine by computers will free up approximately 96.7 million government labor hours on an annual basis, saving approximately $3.3 billion. Some of these tasks include using messaging apps to push important information to employees, reduce backlogs of service requests and help agencies identify trends in big data.

    For this to happen, an automated infrastructure needs to be set up to connect the entire silo network. The foundation of AI will be administered when these tech operations are merged.

    Integration

    ITSM, security, contracting solutions, procurement solution, and operation analytics should be integrated with this connected and automated infrastructure, to gather new information, identify solutions and send data that will provide sufficient responses to inquiries on events through the ITSM.

    Business process management

    The workforce needs to be looked into differently when planning for augmented intelligence. Employees need to be trained by their companies or agencies on how to manage chatbots and chatbot development, how to become knowledgeable of the agencies operations, and on how to be more diverse in the technological know-how of their organizations.

    All professionals of ITSM need to understand how security works, for instance, impersonation. Future jobs need the management of automated tasks in departments, as AI becomes a crucial business process.

    Future uses of AI

    When you look at ITSM of companies like Facebook, AI is being used to provide exceptional services that help the society. For instance, Facebook is using pattern recognition algorithms to identify texts that suggest that someone is suffering and they are considering suicide. The algorithms are trained using previous posts to identify the language that contains contexts that show signs of risk. Once the comments o posts are identified, an alert will be sent to the human review team who will suggest immediate help to the subject. Trials are being conducted in the US; if it is successful, other countries will adopt this AI capability.

    Conclusion

    Businesses in our current times expect results within seconds. AI and its branch of augmented intelligence will bring about efficient services and cost savings to businesses. If you start to deploy an AI-enabled infrastructure, you will reap the benefits of ITSM effectiveness and workforce satisfaction.

  • successful startup founder

    The most important quality a successful startup founder must have

    The Most Important Quality a Successful Startup Founder Must Have

    While there’s no one specific quality that defines successful startup founder, like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, there’s enough successful founders in the world today that you can just group them together, put them under the microscope, and be able to extract and identify a collective set of traits that could be attributed to their success. If you’re an aspiring startup founder, knowing what these qualities are can be as equally important, if not more, as knowing the technicals of your startup. Here’s five qualities that may foreshadow a successful startup founder in the making.

    Appetite For Risk

    Successful startup founders did not rise up to such feats by playing it safe. They risked everything they had in order to get their startup off the ground, missing out on a lot of sleep, meals, and parties in the process. Entrepreneurs who are comfortable with taking on risk tend to do much better when it comes to making high-stakes decisions under pressure compared to those who are risk-averse. Entrepreneurs who have the guts to stay in the path they’ve initially charted even when it starts to turn awry have better odds of making it than those who abandon ship and tuck tail every time there’s a setback.

    Assertiveness

    The ability to make snap decisions is an overlooked trait in entrepreneurship, but can certainly determine the success or failure of a business. The most successful tech startup founders know that they don’t have the luxury of time to digest every piece of data to make the dozens of decisions they need to make. Instead, they learn what information to listen to, make an informed decision based on that, and then move forward without any regrets. There’s simply no time to dwell on what you could’ve possibly done better, especially in the startup world where your first few months grants a very short financial runway.

    Vision

    Having a vision of what your company should stand for and what it should look like 10, 20, 30 years from now is perhaps THE TRAIT that defines a strong startup founder. If you don’t believe in your vision, how do you expect other people to believe in it? As a founder, you’ll need to instill the vision onto other people and you’ll have to make them believe that your brand is a cause worth supporting. Entrepreneurs with a strong and unyielding vision will be able to propagate a consistent brand message to their customers.

    Smiles in the Face of Failure

    People who don’t like losing or being wrong will never be able to build great startups. Failure is a key part of building any kind of business. Regardless of how meticulously you plan everything out, there are variables that you simply cannot control. Rejection is a common form of failure that you should get used to when you start a company. If you’re lucky and your business has real potential value, you’ll get one “YES” in a sea of “NOs” from investor meetups and bank loan applications. In a weird way, entrepreneurs who are slightly crazy and unorthodox can thrive as a startup founder since they care more about proving and validating their ideas than what other people think about them.

    Work Ethic

    Your work ethic is what gets tasks done, piece by piece. Without a responsible and razor-focus work ethic, your business’ momentum and growth will suffer. There are simply no shortcuts when building a startup. You’ll need to grind night and day and clock in more than 40 hours a week if you have any chance of succeeding. Elon Musk, the founder of multiple successful companies including Tesla, PayPal, and SpaceX, attributes a huge part of his success to his 80-hour work week, which is basically like working two full-time jobs. In fact, while he was creating his first company, Zip2, he was working during the day and coding the scripts for Zip2 at night.

    Final Thoughts

    There is no one scientific formula for succeeding as a startup CEO. Each entrepreneur starts out with a different set of circumstances that they must traverse around. The five qualities mentioned above are what allows these people to thrive and overcome the personal and professional barriers that would naturally discourage regular folks from even trying.

  • chatbot development

    How Chatbot development is changing the user experience for the better

    Chatbot development is changing the user experience for the better

    Mobile applications have been increasing for the last few years, and their power has advanced in ways the common man couldn’t have imagined. But the trend is now shifting to a new form of technology known as chatbots. With chatbots, the world is rapidly migrating from graphical user interface to conversational user interface. Chatbots are completely changing the way we interact with applications; we can chat or talk to them as friends.

    Apps Vs. Chatbots

    The major difference between a mobile application and a chatbot is the user interface (UI). A chatbot is a type of a conversational user experience (UX) that is set to affect our lives prominently. Chatbots use simple UX models to provide solutions to different day-to-day tasks. A chatbot development represents an interactive service that provides a conversional experience. The innovation of chatbots is one of the latest evolution points in the world of technology.

    There is a high likelihood that chatbot development will be replacing mobile applications in the near future. The ability to understand the use and give an instant response or perform the appropriate action by request makes chatbot development the next big thing in mobile technology. The conversational interface that is chatbots is designed to mimic real-world human conversation; it’s more human, meaning that users will be able to identify with it resulting in better customer experience quickly.

    Chatbots Are Changing UX/UI

    Chatbot development has really changed UX and UI as we originally knew them. When you compare the UI and UX designs of other applications to that of chatbots, you will see massive differences. Chatbots can interact with the user like a real person and are simplified but have a given level of artificial intelligence in them. That is why they are able to interact with people. That way, businesses can improve their services and build trustworthy relationships with their customers.

    Works Naturally

    The major purpose of a UX is to make chatbots work in a natural manner. Chatbots must interact like real humans but need to be always ready to help, and they should be a bit smarter than humans. That’s the ideal situation, but we are not there yet.

    However, chatbot development will keep evolving, and with advancement in Artificial Intelligence, they should be able to work naturally in the near future. In mobile app development, developers must think of ways of accommodating chatbot technology in their applications as well as other software development efforts. It’s the future of UI.

    Offers Options, Tips, and Suggestions

    Many users start conversations with chatbots but don’t really know what to say. If these users are left on their own, confusion takes over. Chatbots, through artificial intelligence, give users options, tips, and suggestions on what you may be needing assistance with. This helps with keeping the conversation going on without any form of confusion and, in turn, improves the user experience.

    Personalization

    When offering customer service, chatbot development provide a high degree of personalization. Chatbots are AIs and are designed to learn from every experience enabling them to offer solutions that focus on each individual. Chatbots are able to use the customer’s specific needs and taste to create unique user experiences for each person.

    24/7 Availability

    The habits of the consumer have changed. The modern consumer doesn’t expect his/her shopping hours to be restricted to certain times. We want immediate responses 24 hours, seven days a week. The consumer just wants you to be there, and chatbots have really made that easy. Anytime a customer feels like he/she needs some sort of clarification, they can always engage the chatbot development no matter what time of the day it is, which really improves customer service.

  • mean stack

    What are the common challenges to developing application with mean stack?

    What are the common challenges to developing application with mean stack

    If you are responsible for your organizations digital strategy or technology, then you know the importance of software stacks and what they mean to businesses today. Long gone are the days where one language or framework was enough to build an entire business’ online presence. Today with apps, websites, and communication platforms evolving rapidly, packages like the MEAN stack have become increasingly popular. But just what is MEAN stack development, how do you use it, and what are common challenges associated with it?

    Understanding MEAN

    It’s impossible to develop software without understanding what you’re working with first. So if this your first introduction to MEAN stack, application development, then peruse the description as follows:

    MEAN stack is an open source software stack. It runs mostly on Javascript, a web scripting language, and it is used to create dynamic, fast, and secure websites and web applications that scale. It is full stack Javascript, meaning everything from the client (PC / Phone) to the server to the database is Javascript. This is one of the reasons it’s so flexible and powerful, yet also why it comes with its difficulties (discussed later).

    MEAN Components

    It’s crucial to understand how the various MEAN stack components fit together and what they are if you are to create anything valuable with them and avoid the challenges:

    MongoDB – a NoSQL database loved by programmers around the world. It is scalable, allowing your business to remain agile in this digital race.

    Express – this uses node.js as a web application framework. It’s minimally resource intensive and very flexible, while still robust. You can make multi-page or single page web apps with it

    AngularJS – this technology achieved fame by Google creating and using it heavily in their app kingdom. It allows you to extend HTML for your app, which means it’s expressive, easily readable, and can be developed rapidly.

    Node.js – running on Javascript inside of Chrome, the runtime is insanely fast and productive for scalability when needing to access the server.

    Main Challenges

    Connectedness

    The various apps inside of MEAN stack are greatly connected. That’s not the problem. The issue lies in making sure that one error doesn’t infect the space of another. For example, in Javascript, the issue of “scope” affects where code runs and how much it can do. If your scope in AngularJS interacts with the scope (globally, not inside a function) of MongoDB, you could end up with corrupted data. So be diligent and train your team not to cross code scope to avoid this issue.

    Speed

    At the end of the day, Javascript technologies are not as fast as native applications that run on the OS in Java or C++. While this isn’t a surprise to web developers, you might need to set proper expectations with your CEO or COO about runtimes and what speed you can expect.

    Errors

    All of these languages and frameworks are works in progress like most application development. Because they’re constantly being updated, they have new bugs arise. This requires that your team stays on top of potential errors in the code, whether it was created by your team or the creators of MEAN. Luckily, open source code repositories allow you to see what common issues to expect and plan accordingly.

    Team Congruence

    Part of agile and scalable development in today’s world is using team heirarchies to achieve corporate goals. When teams synergize they can achieve maximum output while minimizing downtime. To bring projects in under budget and on time you need to make sure you team has the right set of skills between them. In addition to that, they need a shared vocabulary to communicate directives and take ownership of their scope of the project while meeting budget and market realities.

    Legacy

    Legacy code will no longer work in the digital space going forward, especially mobile app development. With MEAN stack and other full stacks, you have to be constantly evolving. Never stop learning about the new ways in which frameworks interact.

    The MEAN stack is a huge step forward in software development. Being the leading open source Javascript full mean stack, many companies are choosing to explore the limits and opportunities of it. However, you need to properly use techniques and strategies to overcome some of the challenges. If you do this, your team can innovate and iterate at impressive speeds that allow your company to excel on all levels.

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  • tech startup

    5 top things to keep in mind when scaling your tech startup?

    Top five things to keep in mind when scaling your tech startup

    Scaling your tech startup is an exciting phase of the whole entrepreneurial venture. The option to do so serves as validation that your product/service has value. In a cutthroat industry wherein 9 out of 10 tech startup fail, being able to scale should be greeted with a pat in the back for the good work. However, before celebrating the fact that you’ve been able to survive this long, one must first consider if scaling is the best possible direction for your tech startup to take. Here are five things to keep in mind if you’re at this particular crossroad of whether to scale or not:

    Determine Your Workforce’s Readiness

    Scaling means higher volumes of work and more data to process. Is your team ready to take on this workload? Can they work under the stress and pressures that come with expanding to new market niches or new audiences? Sit down with other high-level staff, such as senior software development engineers and product managers, to figure out if your current team has enough collective brain power to handle the new technical challenges that scaling brings.

    Start with the Small Things

    It’s a preconceived notion that successful startups, such as Uber or AirBnB, were already high-functioning companies right from the start. However, these companies weren’t born superstars overnight. They began on the hard route, which is by working on tasks manually. Take Zappos as a good example. When the company started, its founder, Nick Swinmurn, visited local shoe stores and took photos of everything that was on display. He then posted those photos on a website. When someone clicks the photo and buys it online, he returns to the shoe store, buys it, and them mails it to the customer.

    Figure Out the Tech First

    A tech startup relies on technology to be able to move forward. If you haven’t figured out how to specifically scale your IT systems and product’s tech startup capabilities, it’s best to hold off any plans to scale. Figure out how to set up your cloud storage and organization, how to set up your hiring and training processes, how to automate your marketing campaigns, and how to improve on your product’s or service’s current technology to be able to offer future updates and features. The underlying tech startup behind these operations are vital for your company to keep up with new market demand without collapsing under the weight of increased costs.

    Work on a Mobile App

    A mobile app is an expected feature for any serious tech startup. App development and maintenance, however, can be expensive. You can choose to either have an app built in-house or by an outside app development firm. It depends on your budget as well as the technical expertise and specializations of your employees and teams. Look for someone experienced in Ruby, Swift, Java, and other mobile-friendly and agile languages. Before expanding to new markets, it helps to have a mobile app to represent your brand on consumers’ mobile devices. Without one, it’ll be difficult to get your brand out there.

    Consider Outside Investment

    Startups in general burn through cash quicker than traditional businesses. It’s one of the many reasons why investors treat startups as a high-risk investment. Before scaling, think about your runway. How much time do you have until you eventually run out of operating capital and require an injection of cash from outside parties? Six months? A year? Perhaps your startup is only afloat until the end of the month in which case it makes fiscal sense to focus more on how to bring in more investors and how to bring down the costs of software development and less on scaling.

    Final Thoughts

    Scaling a startup is a very tricky objective to say the least. There are a lot of moving parts, some of which are very fragile and reactive to change. Use the five things mentioned above as a template or checklist before making any final decisions and setting anything in motion.

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  • Mean Stack Developers

    What are important things to consider when selecting mean stack developers?

    Important things to consider when selecting mean stack developers

    MEAN stack developers play a pivotal role in any tech startup or large corporation. Without a technically proficient developer who works well within a team, your business’ website as well as any software products and services that you offer are built on weak foundation. Buggy code and cracks that can be exposed by malware are only few of the many problems that can emerge. When this happens, your entire business can go offline, which can ultimately lead to loss of customer base, potential sales, and revenue. If you’re in need of filling out a MEAN stack developer position, here’s five important things to consider.

    Core Responsibilities

    Apparently, you’d want to know what core responsibilities he/she has before you hire MEAN stack developers. MEAN pertains to the mix of JavaScript-based frameworks including Angular, Node, Express, and MongoDB that are used to create web-based applications. This encompasses both the client side and the server side of your application as well as the attached database from which you store and manipulate data.

    Another way you can look at it is as a development toolkit wherein small individual parts complement each other to create something bigger. There are many advantages to MEAN stack versus LAMP stack, which is another popular open source web framework that consists of Linux, MySQL, Apache, and Python. For starters, MEAN stack developers need only one language to create a complete application, which is JavaScript. Another is that it renders access to Node’s extensive module library.

    Work Experience and Side Projects

    Work experience is of course a good indicator that your candidate is capable of doing basic development tasks, such as downloading the right software, setting up terminals and servers, using basic JavaScript functions, and so forth. 1 to 3 years of work experience is the usual requirement that companies look for. If you have the time to wait and vet more candidates, this can be adjusted to 3 to 5 years so as to filter for better candidates.

    Side projects are equally important when hiring full stack developers. It shows that a candidate is passionate and curious enough to try out different tools and technologies on their downtime. For instance, you can ask for their Github account, which shows an activity chart. The more projects and repositories they push code into, the more green-shaded boxes you can find on the chart. You can also ask for links of blog sites, websites, plugins, or any other project they’ve worked on in the past.

    Ability to Work With Others

    While technical proficiency is what gets candidates through employers’ doors, it’s the mobile app developers’ personality and ability to work with others that keeps him/her working there for a long time. Hire someone who gets along with people and has a certain likability factor. Observe how candidate’s answer questions during the interview as well as what he/she says and does outside, such as when waiting in the lobby or meeting with departmental heads.

    Communication skills should be tested. Full stack development requires both front-end and back-end systems to be working harmoniously. Mobile app developers will be working with other teams and departments to write a complete software product that they can release to the market. If your mean stack developers doesn’t have the communication skills to relay important information or listen to other’s input, products can turn out subpar and projects can get delayed.

    Final Thoughts

    Hiring mean stack developers with the technical understanding of related JavaScript technologies can be a long and tedious process. Remember, you’ll be spending a lot of time and cash just to interview these candidates in person. You’ll be taking senior full stack developers away from their desks to sit down with the interviewees. Thus, it makes sense to do each step right so as to acquire the right talent for your company.

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  • common skills to know for every entrepreneur

    What are most common skills to know for every entrepreneur?

    4 Must-Have Entrepreneurial Skills
    Working for yourself requires a unique set of skills. It also takes a certain amount of bravery. You may have to face many ups and downs before your ship comes in. However, realistically, even if you are wildly successful, there will always be challenges that you must deal with. As a result, it behooves all savvy business people to learn and practice certain essential skills to make it as entrepreneurs.

    Self-Reliance
    All entrepreneurs must get used to the fact that they will often be alone in their goals and missions. They are the true lone rangers. Although there are many helpful resources available to entrepreneurs, self-reliance is an essential attribute. At the end of the day, there is no boss to motivate them, and probably no co-workers or peers. As a result, it’s important that entrepreneurs be independent and disciplined as well as have the ability to self-motivate.

    Adaptable Learning
    The ability to learn quickly and adapt as things change is a crucial quality for the success of the entrepreneur. This may mean that he or she has to make immediate changes to a product, service, or goal. However, most entrepreneurs understand this and realize that they must accept what they can’t change and adapt and adjust. Change is inevitable. This concept is true on many levels, even when it comes to failure. It is often necessary to fail fast and quickly learn from your mistakes in order to move forward without losing your momentum.

    People Management
    A huge part of the success of the entrepreneur is his or her ability to leverage the skills and talents of people, as well as time and situations. This requires flexibility as well as the ability to observe people enough to discover the best ways to communicate with them. You may meet a vendor who has a skill that you need in your business. Your ability to approach this person and attain their services has everything to do with your ability to effectively communicate with them. All savvy business people are people persons. Their success depends on it. It akes people in the right places to bring many ideas and projects to fruition.

    The Ability to Sell
    The ability to sell is another one of the more vital entrepreneur skills. In fact, most people don’t realize that we are often selling intangible things, like skills, concepts, and ideas. This skill will help take the business person from being underfunded to having a bevy of sponsors standing behind their ideas and concepts. The savvy business person is always selling something because he or she realizes that it’s easier to move ideas, products, and concepts with a team behind you. This may be particularly true when it comes to businesses that focus on software development. This is a field that requires the input and assistance of many people in order to be successful. However, there are other industries like software development that require the help of many people in order to be successful. The power of some trumps the power of one. However, regardless of the industry, you will need several essential entrepreneur skills to survive and thrive.

    Going into business for yourself isn’t easy. However, developing an essential set of survival skills is imminent. More than anything, the savvy business person must be willing to stand alone and apart from the crowd. In fact, much of his or her success will center on his or her ability to stand out in a crowd. In addition to this skill, it’s important that those who choose to go into business for themselves be flexible and willing to learn. They should also have the ability to manage people and sell themselves as well as their ideas and concepts. More importantly, they must also be intensely self-reliant. These skills provide a solid foundation to build a business on and grow. Furthermore, these skills will also see you through the ups, downs, and challenges that most businesses must weather in order to survive.

  • Mobile App Developers

    10 common things to be followed by mobile app developers?

    10 Steps That Should Be Followed By Successful Mobile App Developers

    The invention of the smartphone brought about massive changes in communication and how people used to interact with their mobile gadgets. Consequently, the development of smartphone applications has become such a huge enterprise where significant levels of competition exist, and uniqueness has become a determining factor for those who intend to succeed in this arena. Mobile app developers need to have the right skill and follow particular predefined steps so as become successful mobile app developers.

    Outstanding imagination

    Having a good imagination by your side will help you leap forward and become a leader among other mobile app developers. Vision is necessary since you will be able to develop a unique application that captures the attention of users. Imagination can always be facilitated by;
    Identifying an unsolved problem that can be addressed by the application you intend to develop.
    Decide on the unique features that you can incorporate in the application.
    The end product must be able to address the problem while at the same time cutting down on the cost that a user initially used to input in the process of solving that particular difficulty.

    Identification Process

    The revenue model

    Mobile app development is very competitive and the intended application should be able to generate the required amount of income. Therefore, it is important to approach the development process using a suitable revenue model which may be advertisements, in-application freeminum, paid apps, payment for each download, or subscriptions. The model selected has to match up to the application being designed.

    Devices and platforms that can be supported using the application

    The hardware specifications determine the application that can be utilized. Other factors such as performance, peripheral type, and battery life need to be considered to avoid developing an application that is inefficient.

    The end users

    Mobile app developers should understand the type of people who will be served by the application, as this helps in enhancing the success of the application when it’s released into the market.

    Design the application

    At this stage, you should be very careful on the presentation of the application. A poorly developed user interface will deter potential users from installing it. Features associated with the mobile application should be easily accessible for faster understanding of the entire application.

    Select an approach that will be used in the Mobile app development process

    In this case, the approach may be hybrid, web, or native.

    Native
    Mobile app developers design applications that are unique to a particular platform. You should initially have complete knowledge of the platform on which the mobile application will run.

    Web
    Web applications run on websites, and they are mostly developed using CSS, HTML, or JavaScript.

    Hybrid
    It is the newest approach being used in application development, and it essentially combines the skills required in native and web application development.

    Create a Prototype

    A prototype is the representation of the complete application but without some of the necessary features. Prototypes allow potential users to review the application and provide feedback. Prototypes are crucial as they help to attract different manufacturers once they get to see the viability of the product.

    Infuse an Analytics Tool

    Analytic tools such as flurry, localities, preemptive, and Mix Panel help to collect information on the performance of the application based on the usage of the target group. Additionally, they indicate how often the product is revisited.

    Incorporate the recommendations obtained from those involved in beta-testing

    Beta testing is important as it helps to reduce the risks associated with releasing the product yet it does not fit the target users, or it is too complicated. The steps that should be followed in beta testing include outlining the target clients, debugging, and identification of intended goals.

    Application deployment

    The most important factor that you should consider in this step includes planning, scheduling, and controlling how the product is released into the market. Deployment Management is critical as it helps to ensure that integrity is achieved in an actual environment.

    Capture the Application Metrics

    Most of the data can easily be obtained from the analytics tools that you had previously incorporated into the application. Due to the consistent rise in the number of mobile app developers, you need to be consistently collecting usage data on the application.

    Continuously upgrade the application by adding new features

    Based on the metric data, it can be easy to know the new features that will need to be incorporated into the application. Failure to continually upgrade the application makes it less usable as other competitive applications out do it in the long run.

    Click to Hire Dedicated Mobile App Developers

  • Agile Development

    How to build an app using Agile Development?

    How to build an app using Agile Development

    Agility is the ability to respond quickly and easily to changes in your environment. Agile development refers to the set of ideals behind efficiently building a piece of software that is easily adaptable to the needs of the users. The mobile app development market is a volatile place. What people want can change quickly. As someone interested in this world you need to be able to adapt to the needs of your target audience efficiently. The agile development can help you do just that.

    What is the Agile Approach
    The basic tenants of the agile approach are that the team will:
    Value individuals and interactions over processes and tools
    Provide working software over comprehensive documentation
    Involve customer collaboration over contract negotiation
    Respond to change over following a plan

    With the agile development approach your business will focus more on responding to the needs of the client, and the teams involved rather than sticking with a strict set of goals that minimize the human element in app development. In a market where people will quickly lose interest if their needs aren’t being met, agility is an important attribute. Sticking to rigid goals may work in some environments, but it has been found that a more flexible approach is better suited to the world of software development. You can make a great product that is exactly what you envisioned, but if this doesn’t match what your customers are looking for then you run the risk of the product never becoming a success.

    The Agile approach normally works in increments on relatively short timescales. This allows project teams to develop usable products within short time frames. By focusing on quality short term projects the development team can analyze how their products do in the open market at a more rapid pace and make changes accordingly in subsequent phases of project development.

    How you can use app in Agile development
    Mobile apps are pieces of software specifically designed to run on a smartphone or tablet type device. They usually offer access to a limited and specific function. Not everyone uses their mobile devices for the same purposes and apps provide a way to personalize your mobile device with the programs you find the most useful.

    Agile development is a perfect approach for app design. Apps don’t generally need very robust programs and an experienced team will be able to roll out a usable prototype in a short period of time. As you learn how customers use your app it will be easier to make adjustments to fit their needs from there. Each iteration is intended to be a complete and usable product with room to grow. The team should also try to build on what they have to keep from having to reinvent the wheel. If something works, keep it. If something needs to go, drop it.

    In this kind of development, specific tasks are assigned to the appropriate specialists. In that sense every part of a project is its own individual project which will then be pieced together to form the whole. Communication between project teams is vital for the success of projects when using this technique.

    Some key components to include are:
    Set up a schedule for when you want specific tasks done.
    Focus on getting smaller projects done quickly and efficiently.
    Include time for regular communication between project teams.

    Benefits of the Agile development
    Breaking projects down into smaller tasks and using the right teams to get the job done make for a more focused and comfortable work environment for those involved. Using the agile approach will allow teams to do what they do best and keep a steady flow of high quality products coming. If the process is implemented properly then the final product should be an app that meets clients expectations in a timely fashion. With skilled workers and clear communication your teams should enjoy high rates of productivity and job satisfaction when using this approach to develop apps.

    Contact with agile development team

  • augmented reality

    How we can achieve Augmented Reality (AR) in mobile app development?

    Achieving Augmented Reality In Mobile App Development

    With the constant technological changes, it has become paramount for the software design managers to stay in touch with the latest trends. It isn’t easy keeping tabs on the latest developments, and therefore, argument reality enables businesses and app development experts to overlay digital data over the real-world objects. Although augmented reality is constantly growing in the mobile technology niche, it’s still a disruptive force in other sectors such as fashion, travel, retail, and finance.

    Here are some of the tools that will help you achieve Augmented Reality in mobile application development:

    1) LayAR

    LayAR is an important tool in mobile application development given that it supports mapping of extra items on user’s location and images. Each of the frameworks consists of data on particular social network users and other areas. Also, the functionality expands the ability of a printed product. For instance, if you use the LayAR based app, it’s possible to make an order on a printed catalog or even listen to songs you saw in a magazine. Most of the work takes place on the server which usually takes into account the mapping of additional elements in the recognition.

    2) Augmented Reality ToolKit

    Augmented Reality ToolKit is a combination of software tools that are important in the design of AR mobile app development. One of the greatest advantages of this tool is that it supports different platforms such as Mac OS X, Linux, Windows, SGI, Android, and iOS. It’s also important to remember that these platforms come with different design environments, which are free. Additionally, the design environment is an open-source code, which means that anyone can have access to the library.

    3) Wikitude

    This tool is specifically geared towards the Android and iOS platforms, and it can still be integrated into other modules, especially as a plug-in for Phone Gap. What’s more, its supports unity programming languages as well as other software designs kits such as the SLAM markerless tracking. This platform can also support real object for 2D and 3D model rendering and it has received recommendations from other users.

    4) Vuforia

    This is a complete software design tool that is used for the Augmented Reality mobile app development. The platform supports 2D and 3D recognition, mapping, target tracking, and virtual buttons, which are done through the OpenGL. Additionally, it can support extended monitoring that provides for continual experience, although the target might not be on view. Given that the tool comes with a TerrainTM feature, it can easily design a terrain in real time. In so doing, this tool is used in the construction of a three-dimension geometric map while at the same time detecting targets such as objects, English text, and images.

    Additionally, when using Vuforia, you can easily take advantage of applications that make use of a database that is either on the cloud or on local devices. The other benefit of this framework is that it supports test app with comments and virtual reality devices that display the Vuforia abilities.

    5) Kudan AR

    The Kudan Augmented Reality functionalities are comprised of markerless tracking. This means that instead of relying on fiducial marks, it comes with natural features such as textures, edges, and corners. It also maps extra elements on the base of the user recognized image and location as well as other elements through separate components over OpenGL. This is one of the fastest frameworks since its library assists mobile AR apps when it comes to importing three-dimensional models and also mapping out multi-polygon models.

    Also, the framework doesn’t require a lot of memory to store files in the system and the number of recognized images has no set limit. Application developers can use the original documentation since the manual for the framework is both short and detailed.

    Develop you mobile app with augmented reality

  • Mobile App Development Team set-up

    How is a Mobile App Development Team set up?

    How To Set Up A Experienced Mobile App Development Team

    In a global economy where technology is evolving at lightning speed, as a CTO/CIO, it is important to ensure that you put together a team that understands the current trends in app development, and one that is bound to provide exemplary results. Finding the right experts can be hard, owing to the numerous projects in different organizations that need to be completed. Before putting up a experienced mobile app development team, it is important to understand that there should be a developer, manager, and designer.

    Application Manager

    He/she is the person who ensures cohesiveness within the team involved in app development. The manager understands clearly what the product development process entails, and he/she works hard to make sure that there is a smooth flow of information between team members. The manager’s input is valuable in marketing, planning, and offering clientele service.

    Mobile Application Designer

    He/she designs the applications User Interface (UI) and plays a significant role in the branding of the software. The designer ensures that features such as the logo, marketing components, and website are incorporated into the mobile application.

    The Developers

    They are the people involved in the actual programming and bringing a mobile application to life. The developers come up with the program’s code and specify how it should operate.

    Factors to Consider when setting up a team of developers

    Conducting a face to face interview is a suitable way of deciding the right person for the job. However, there are some other important aspects that should always be considered in the process.

    Do not absorb the Rockstar type of developers

    The major technicality with rock star mobile developers is that they usually want to shine more than the other team members. The best mobile application developer is one who tries to create an atmosphere of cohesiveness in a team since this helps in achieving the set objectives. Rockstar mobile developers tend to put their objectives first, and this frequently leads a team to the rocks.

    Create an environment that motivates the mobile app development team

    Well-seasoned mobile application developers are regularly encouraged by the culture established in an organization, rather than huge incentives, only to end up working in a company where there is no adequate support.

    Encourage Agility

    Agile methods of software development dictate that production and the release of an application into the market should follow predefined steps to avoid delay. The development and subsequent release of the mobile apps into the market should be done in a manner that does not hinder the continuous release of other mobile applications. Well-seasoned mobile app developers look for factors such as pivoting, continuous application deployment, split testing, and actionable metrics as aspects that should initially be incorporated into a mobile app development team.

    In case the organization is still employing traditional desktop methods of software development, then a mobile-first rationale should be included in the mobile app development team. Agility is an important aspect of any application development process as software developers admire projects that come to an end fast.

    Create an Attractive Organizational culture

    Mobile application developers are individuals who desire create an impact in the globe. Additionally, they admire working in companies that provide them with proper incentives. Incorporating such features into an organization will make it easy to attract a well-seasoned developer. Additionally, the team that is set up should be exemplary, and one shares a common thought of achieving the organization’s objectives.

    Building, Operating, and Transferring (BOT)

    The process of using a mobile app development team of armatures may be a challenging. Additionally, a lot of time and much financial support will have to be incorporated into the entire process, yet there is a high chance that failure may be encountered.

    However, employing a company that already has a setup team of developers is usually one of the most efficient methods of mobile app development team. When an IT company is contracted, it will come with it’s team of experts who will develop the application, and carry out tests to ensure perfect functionality. Once the project is finished, you can absorb the team of developers so that they can be part of your company as they continue helping in the maintenance of the application.

    Click to contact a well experienced mobile app development team

  • choose best mobile app development framework

    How to choose best mobile app development framework?

    How to choose best mobile app development framework

    The act of developing any high-end mobile application or technology is never an easy task. However, with the right mobile app development framework and tools, developers can perform this task easily and efficiently. A framework is known to be sophisticated software that includes some sub components which assist in any mobile app development any developer may want to have.

    The various sub components used in this kind of work include debuggers, tool sets, programming interface, code libraries compilers among other essential elements.

    Understanding the difference between Native cross and hybrid platform app development

    There is a significant difference between the two kinds of app development as discussed in this section.

    • A Hybrid cross platform is known to be a set of configuration, development and build tools that permit some standard web technologies. This includes JavaScript and HTML5 along with CSS3. These are technologies that are packaged on the mobile phones. Such assets are then uploaded to the apple store or play store to enable the Android user to utilize them.

    • The native cross platform is almost similar to the Hybrid approach. However, it cuts CSS and HTML from a given equation allows the packaging to be done directing to the operating system of the mobile.

    Considerations in making the right choice

    There are several things that you must consider if you would like to develop any mobile app development framework. Such factors are discussed below.

    1. Feature Support

    Every device can support some specific features on its operating system. Understanding the various platforms that support the kind of features, you would like to could be an ideal idea.

    2. The framework risk

    This remains a significant consideration for many mobile app developers. Shopping out of the appropriate or officially supported structures induces some sense of risks in any gadget you may have. This is because you shall be putting some layers of abstraction between running code and the target platform.

    3. Speed considerations

    This is in fact, the primary thing you must think of whenever you are developing any application. The speediest execution will mostly come from the true native apps in any IOS or Java (Android). It is important to note that the difference in speed is pivotal for the majority of apps.

    4. The development cost

    It is always worth thinking about any expertise you may already have or the knowledge you can easily externally access. It crucial to evaluate and comprehend the kind of costs you may incur in developing any single app with any resources available.

    The Hybrid Options Available

    This space includes various kinds of players, understanding them may be helpful to most developers. These include:

    • Apache Cordova

    This is a uniquely developed framework that is technically command line driven. The app framework includes in-built components that respond to an input of JavaScript, CSS or even HTML. As a result, they produce the apps that run on every mobile device.

    • Ionic

    This is another fantastic framework; it is technically built on top of Apache Cordova. This frame work integrates well with single page applications that are known as Angular. The mobile app development framework is also an open option. Over the recent years, ionic has substantially upgraded to native version.

    Cross platform Native options

    These kinds of tools allow a single language that targets multiple platforms. It is a framework that supports high performing apps such as games. The mobile app development framework is also ideal for business apps especially for those companies that want significant savings on earnings.

    • Native script

    This is the newest release in the industry. It is considered an open source for most business apps. It applies to mobile phones with Typescript and JavaScript.

    • React Native

    It is an app that comprises of standard app requirements that are put in a single framework and are powered at any time for productivity reasons. Thus it is useful in custom mobile app development framework.

    Before you choose any frame work, it would be great to understand the functions mobile app developers may be using the apps for as well. The way your app will interact with other applications and the users could also be a great thing to look at for a quality mobile app development framework.

    Click to select right mobile app development framework

  • What are the most useful cloud based tools used in agile based project management?

    What are the most useful cloud based tools used in agile based project management?

    A project is an attempt to achieve a unique goal by temporarily focusing people and resources on creating a result. That result can be a product, service, organizational change, software application or any other result that brings value to the project’s sponsor.

    Project managers apply skills, tools, knowledge, and methods to the activities performed on behalf of the project in order to meet its requirements. Only by effectively applying all of this can a project succeed. It starts with a strategy on how best to bring into reality the project manager’s vision, ideas, and goals. The decision on method and tools is critical to the project’s success. The increasing availability and lower cost of digital solutions allow powerful tools and methods to be used in even the smaller projects. There is no longer a need to manage a project exclusively with tools such as sticky notes, paper, and whiteboards. The increasing understanding of collaboration to achieve results and the use of virtual teams demand new tools and methods for managing projects.

    Today, if your project result is a software application, the methodology of choice is agile. Agile is a widely adopted method used for many years now. It applies incremental iterations in a flexible and interactive manner with the end customer to deliver over several releases a solution or application that meets customer requirements. Agile development emphasizes collaboration and a non-hierarchical management structure between developers, product managers, and customers.

    Until a few years ago small businesses and organizations would not have the budget or inclination to purchase information technology systems and tools for exclusive use in managing projects. The capital costs, investment in training and maintenance costs were factors that prevented their widespread use.

    But things began to change when cloud-based solutions and tools for project management lowered the entry costs and training requirements, providing anywhere, anytime access with zero maintenance costs. You don’t have to develop and purchase IT infrastructure. The user interface and procedures are designed to be easy to learn and intuitive for any individual with a basic understanding of personal computers. Those are the prime reasons why more and more businesses and organizations are opting for solutions based in the cloud.

    If you are tasked with developing and managing software application projects here are four examples of cloud-based tools for managing projects.

    1. Jira

    Developed by Atlassian, it was initially created and marketed as an issue tracking tool. Today it goes beyond that and it’s one of the most popular tools for managing agile software development projects and encouraging collaboration between teams and individuals. It can be customized to a particular project or work culture and has over 25,000 customers around the world including some of the largest corporations such as Walmart. It provides functions for managing projects and tracking bugs, issues, and tasks throughout the full agile development life-cycle.

    2. Asana

    Asana is advertised as a work tracking tool with agile project management features. Used mostly for web and mobile applications development, it started as an internal tool developed at Facebook for improving the productivity of its employees. It has functions that allow users to manage tasks and projects online without the need of external communications such as e-mail. Teams create workspaces and those workspaces can have projects and projects can have tasks. To each task, users can add comments, notes, and tags that allow all team members and managers to instantly know task status and issues. Followers of a task can get updates on their workspace inbox.

    3. Basecamp

    This is the calmer, saner and better-organized way to communicate and manage projects enterprise-wide according to Basecamp marketing. It has a reputation as a user-friendly tool requiring little training on how to use most of its features such as sharing ideas, getting status reports on your e-mail account, finding and recovering files easily and managing user access. It’s lacking in time management and analytical tools.

    4. Trello

    By now you have realized that collaboration is at the heart of the agile way of doing things. Trello is for many the tool of choice in this regard. Managers can organize projects into boards and in a glance know what’s being worked on who is doing it. It also shows where a task is in the process workflow. It has a beautiful graphical interface for creating and organizing the boards, lists, and cards that are at the heart of Trello’s organizational capabilities.

    5. Pivotal

    Pivotal Tracker breaks your project into manageable chunks that you can prioritize, organize, and collaborate. Agile tools such as backlogs and user stories are explicitly supported. Project managers and team members can quickly find out on status, task responsibilities and what’s next.

    6. Wrike

    Another online tool for enabling users to manage workflows and schedules while collaborating with one another. Multilingual project teams will be pleased to know that it supports Japanese, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Russian and Italian. A free version with limited features is available with task creation, task assignment and task status markings for a basic but still powerful workflow management tool.

  • Startup

    Raising Funds Not the Greatest Thing for a Startup: True or False!

    Starting a Company
    Many people today are excited about the idea of starting a business. The issue is that few people have capital to invest in the business to help it grow. Over time, this is a major hurdle that you have to overcome. Raising funds for startup is important, but it is not the most important thing that you will do in business. A lot of new business owners get distracted about raising funds, and they never end up doing anything to drive success in other areas.

    The Importance of Capital

    When it comes to running a business, capital is essential to growth. This is especially true in the realm of startup technology. A lot of companies have an advantage in that they are agile and can make decisions quickly. This allows them to change rapidly with evolving technology. The problem is that technology is not cheap. In the beginning stages of business, you have to be careful about where you allocate your money. Having a capital allocation strategy in the beginning can help you stay on track. There are going to be times when you have to look for ways to spread your capital out strategically. Not only that, but you need to work on something that will help drive sales and profits.

    Marketing

    Running a business requires bringing in new customers. This is true no matter what industry you are in. Over time, marketing is essential if you want to build a great business that is constantly growing. The great thing about technology is that allows you to market to clients without spending a lot of money. Websites are essentially free to build, and social media is one of the most popular ways to market your product or service. You need to have a marketing strategy that aligns with your overall capital management strategy. When raising capital for a business, this is generally one of the questions that will be asked of you. If you do not know how to drive future clients to your business, you may have some issues down the road.

    Growth Management

    Many small companies are growing rapidly in a number of areas. If you want to maintain your success, you have to manage growth the right way. A Internet of Things of business owners get into trouble when their business starts growing. They wrongly assume that this rate of growth is going to continue in the future, and they start to make decisions based on this assumption. You need to have a plan that is both conservative and aggressive when it comes to your capital. At some point, the growth rate is going to taper off, and you do not want to be in a capital position where you are out of funds. A startup is a great way to change your life, but you need to make positive financial decisions during this process.

    Raising Capital

    Overall, raising capital is not the most important part of running a business. However, it is important if you want to take your life to a new level in business. There are ways that you can show your business is a sound place to invest capital. The more information you have on the growth plans for the future, the easier it will be for you to have success raising the funds. Now is a great time to try and build a new business idea from the ground up. With all of the changes that are going on in the economy, a lot of new companies are going rapidly. Make sure to plan out each stage of the business journey carefully before getting started.

  • developing mobile apps

    Is Cross platform the best choice for developing mobile apps?

    Is Cross platform the best choice for developing mobile apps

    In this age, mobile phones have become the new must have for any single person or organization. Most solo developers focus on a single OS and avoid all the other ones regardless of the size their user base and potential in profits. While full teams of developers and large companies will tend to focus on all OS’s. Today, it is much more important that an developing mobile apps and supports a plethora of devices on the market so that it may profit as much as it can.

    Whether it’s a team of developers or a solo developer, the first action will you need to take is the decision of either making the app for a single OS or going cross-platform. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, since you will have to deal with different kinds of customers depending on which OS platform you choose to develop for, and that customer will have different needs from the rest.

    Cross-Platform

    The basic concept behind cross-platform is that you will have an app that will function seamlessly on almost any OS platform. The two types of cross-platform apps are as follows:
    Native App
    HTML5 Hybrid App
    Native Mobile App Development

    As we all know, every OS platform comes with its own SDK. These software dev kit’s allow to developing mobile apps for the respective OS. When it comes to Native, the developer can use something called an API which are not originally supported by the vendor of the OS but it will allow you to create a native cross-platform app.

    Once the developer has completed writing the code for their application, they can then use a unified API which will allow their code to run within several OS platforms regardless of what language was used to write the original app. The final app will then perform just as well as on other platforms as it did on the OS it was developed for and this is due to the use of Native API’s.

    Hybrid HTML5 App Development

    With the new HTML5 technology, developers are able to use a combination of HTML5, JavaScript and CSS to create a hybrid application. These Hybrid cross-platform apps can replace most applications easily since most of them use simple GUI functionality with a web service for their business logic.

    Almost all the OS platforms today have some form of web browser feature included within their SDK that will allow app developers to use standard HTML5 technology to design and create their application. Even more complex applications that need the use of the phone’s camera or geolocation for example can still be created in this fashion by using JavaScript to bridge the access to the platforms components.

    Pros in Cross-Platform
    The main reason cross platform apps are utilized by so many companies is because of how cost effective they can be. With cross platform, you can take advantage of one code base instead of re-creating the same application for several OS platforms and this can become extremely costly and time consuming.

    If any bugs are found in your code base, you will only need to fix it once and not in the several other versions of your code since the cross-platform method will utilize your original code to create the app across all OS platforms.

    Cross-platform apps also make it very simple to add new features and updates to your app without having to again change your code on the other platforms.

    Cons in Cross-Platform
    Everyone knows that each OS platform has its own special features. When it comes to cross-platform, it becomes really difficult for developers to build their app around these special features for each OS and this puts you at somewhat of a disadvantage when compared to other apps that will use those special features.

    Each platform can come in various shapes and sizes so when designing your app, you have to make sure that it can function properly on all of these different designs.

    OS platforms are ever changing. Every year, there are newer features implemented within every platform and this creates a problem for developers who have to constantly keep up with these updates.

    In conclusion, cross-platform can provide you with the necessary solutions you need to have your app run on all the popular OS platforms. This is especially important when it comes to businesses that need to get their application onto the market quickly and efficiently. Both Native and HTML5 Hybrid methods can offer you the performance without the high cost of developing mobile apps in separate SDKs.

    Select the best platform for  developing mobile apps

  • agile development

    How to write effective user stories in agile development?

    Writing Effective User Stories for Agile Development

    The software world has been changing rapidly, and a new approach to engineering is at the heart of these changes. By embracing self-organizing teams, flexibility and iterative development, agile development methodologies have revolutionized the world of software engineering. Traditional software engineering used the waterfall method, in which each step of the software engineering process was completed before moving on to the next step. This, however, tends to create bloated software that lags behind the needs of the users. Agile developments methodologies seek to address these inefficiencies by running through all the stages of agile development in short iterations, called sprints. At the heart of these sprints are user stories, which are the ideas your engineering teams will put into action.

    User Stories
    User stories approach software problems from the perspective of the user, placing developers in the shoes of their customers. These replace traditional software specifications, which outline some kind of functionality expected of the software. Each user story consists of a way in which a user would hope to interact with the application. For example, a user might wish to visit the website, log in to their account, and check the remaining balance from a gift card. This user story is written out by the team, and functionality is designed around it. In this way, engineers and designers are able to empathize with users, allowing them to build their product to meet their needs more effectively.

    However, writing quality user stories can be challenging. Engineers and designers have a nuanced understanding of their product, and may not easily place themselves in the shoes of an individual trying the product for the first time. Furthermore, stories can be vague or even fail to reflect the needs of their actual user base, and this can lead to products that simply don’t do what the customer needs. Developing best practices around writing and managing your user stories will help your teams efforts stay aligned to the needs of your customers.

    Writing Quality User Stories

    There is no silver bullet for writing good user stories for agile development, but incorporating best practices will increase the overall quality of the stories your teams come up with. Ensure that writing these stories is a collaborative process. Empathizing with your user base will be easier for teams than individuals, who only bring a single perspective to the process. Stories should be as concise as possible. Using a simple template for stories will help developers keep them from becoming overly verbose or too complex. It is also important that these user stories remain visible and accessible to the team at all times, so they can remember the goals they’re working towards.

    There are pitfalls for teams to avoid as well. Often, user stories aren’t refined until they’re testable, which keeps them from being resolved. Ensure that all stories your teams work on meet certain criteria before they’re released. Remember that user stories can’t define all possible requirements, and ensure that teams don’t get locked into thinking about their product solely in those terms. It is also important for executives and product managers to ensure that the real-world needs of the targeted users are being met in the stories. Participation by all stakeholders in product development can be the difference between the success and failure of that product, and it is the job of management to ensure that participation takes place.

    Agile development incorporates user stories because it allows for more flexibility than traditional specifications. They also force developers and designers to see the product from the perspective of the end user, which leads to a more useful and better-received product for your client at the end of the day. By building best practices around user stories into your teams’ agile development process, the quality of your teams’ output and the suitability of their software to its real world applications will increase dramatically.

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  • Methodology for Project Management

    How to choose the right methodology for project management?

    Choosing the right methodology for project management

    In the world of project management, the methodology for project management you use to develop the product is an extremely important decision. It will affect the entire process and can make or break the success of a project, which is why knowing the specifics about the these methods is necessary.

    Waterfall

    The waterfall methodology for project management is a more traditional route and is very common across the software industry. It consists of a linear sequence of stages during which one aspect of the project is completed before moving on to the next, which has both advantages and disadvantages. These stages are Requirements, Design, Implementation, Test, Installation and Maintenance.

    Waterfall is useful when all of the requirements and deliverable for the project are known upfront. This methods linear nature makes it structured and inflexible. Structure is provided, making milestones easily understood. Quality is emphasized over costs and time. If you know for a fact that specifications are not going to change, or the technology being used is well understood, then using this methodology for project management may be a good choice. Example situations could be creating new versions of existing products or porting a product to a new platform. In addition, if your team is more familiar with Waterfall than Agile methodologies it is possible that training the team in something such as Scrum is not worth it.

    On the other hand, uncertainties in the project are a sign that Agile is a better fit. Due to the fact that the project development is done in stages, going back to a previous stage once finished is impossible. This gives little opportunity for the client to preview the system and makes deliverable pretty much set in stone for each phase. Also practically speaking, since implementation is done all at once, integration of modules or components is also done as one big bang at the end.

    Agile

    In direct contrast with the Waterfall methodology, Agile is a much more dynamic project management style which takes into account the iterative nature of software. It emphasizes communication, collaboration, flexibility and a working product over documentation. This makes Agile a good fit for projects with co-located teams, less rigid constraints and a schedule that is not finalized.

    Scrum

    Scrum is a very well-known and common Agile methodology for project management with a high focus on communication and accountability. It uses a technique called Sprints which are two to six week periods during which a specific set of high priority tasks are completed. Tools such as burn down charts and scrum boards are used to track progress, and meetings are an integral part of the process. These meetings and tools are meant to increase collaboration and ensure that necessary functionality is being implemented. Additionally, a retrospective meeting is also held after every Sprint so that issues in the process can be addressed and improved upon for the next sprint.

    If quick iteration and responding to changes is important for your project, then Scrum is a good project development methodology to use. There should be a stable product at the end of each Sprint, with business needs always prioritized. In addition, Scrum team members often work on many tasks without specializing in one role. It is good to take your teams skill sets into consideration when deciding on a management methodology.

    Scrum is not all sunshine and rainbows however. Customer interaction is a valuable part of Scrum, so a customer that is unclear about what is needed will make implementing this methodology difficult. Also, as mentioned earlier, documentation is difficult due to the ever changing state of the project. It quickly becomes obsolete, along with some of the work that has already been completed in previous sprints.

    In conclusion, two common methodologies for project management are Waterfall and Agile. They each take very different approaches. Waterfall is a linear sequence that is structured and relatively easy to understand. It defines a strict set of requirements up front at the cost of flexibility. Agile is a more iterative approach that prioritizes communication and embraces the changing quality of most projects.

    Select right methodology for project management

  • Mobile App Development

    What are the common challenges for Mobile App Development?

    The common challenges for Mobile App Development

    Smartphones are great. But to be able to enjoy the awesomeness of these devices fully, they need to be equipped with necessary applications. With a reliable internet access and the right combination of mobile apps, there’s not much you can’t accomplish with your smartphone. There are numerous mobile applications in the app stores providing smartphone users with means of performing some of their daily activities, with each category presenting the user with a variety of options. Don’t let the sea of apps in your platform’s store fool you though, the process of mobile app development is not easy.

    Mobile app developers have to overcome a series of challenges before their application is ready for the app store. These challenges could range from financial to technical — the screen real estate is particularly challenging as gadgets come with different screen sizes, compliance and so on. Some of the most common challenges developers face during mobile app development are:

    Funding

    Funding is one of the most common issues developers face out there. You have an idea for a killer app, how do you get the funds to develop it? Mobile app development could cost between $3000 and $150,000; this is a lot of money. However, it does not mean that you give up your dream. Approach the right people and present your idea to them. You can start with friends and family, then proceed to banks and venture capitalists if that’s not enough. Crowdfunding is also a good place to start.

    Getting the Attention of Your Target Audience

    If your app is going to be a success, people have to notice it so that they can download it. The competition in the mobile app market is cutthroat, if people don’t notice your application, it will get lost in the midst. Take a good look at the successful apps in your niche to get an idea of how to get the attention of your target market. The best way to create an app that gets noticed is to provide a wholesome experience for your users. Incorporate an intuitive design, usable features, and graphics while creating your app.

    Creating an Interactive App

    Interactive mobile app development is just as crucial as having an interactive design. Today’s smartphones come with a lot of sensing capabilities, so take advantage of that, these high-tech sensors present immense opportunities for developers. However, developing interactions is one of the hardest steps of the design phase of your application.

    When designing your app, don’t let interactions be an afterthought. Think of them in advance. Let the app respond to the environment, direction, and position by including more tangible interactions like flipping, shaking, and tilting into play. Consider using overlays to display more info, use various click options and make good use of buttons. Don’t restrict yourself to gestures like swipe and tap. Shoot for a comprehensive application experience.

    Dealing With Device Screen Sizes

    In the process of mobile app development, dealing with different device screen sizes has got to be one of the most challenging technical aspects of developing an app. The number of devices on major platforms — Android, IOS, and Windows — is incredibly high. All these devices come with different display sizes, pixel intensity, embedded technology, and OS requirements. The challenge presents itself in the form of being able to create an app that runs on all platforms and as many devices as possible.

    Remember that you can’t build an app just for the biggest devices, or platforms. Be prepared to deal with these limitations at all times. Bugs will need to be fixed. Don’t forget to keep your app as simple — and clear — as possible. Also, don’t make the users think too much, create a self-explanatory design.

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  • What are the most important challenges for IoT adoption?

    What are the most important challenges for IoT adoption?

    The term IoT or the internet of things refers to devices that are connected to the internet. IoT does not cover typical internet connected devices such as a computer or mobile phone but, more of devices that you wouldn’t expect to be connected such as your toaster. Other examples could be your car, toothbrush, refrigerators, couch and even your tableware.

    Even though this seems like an amazing concept to push us towards the future, it still faces many difficult hurdles. Technology research firms have even predicted that there will be over 20 billion connected devices by the year 2020 and this will generate more than $10 trillion dollars within the technology sector over the coming decade.

    Privacy Concerns

    Data privacy still remains as a major problem when it comes to any connected device and this is due to the fact that connected devices can collect massive data on any user. This data can then be stolen through security holes found in the software of the device or directly from the databases stored at servers around the world.

    The world is still trying to keep up with current technologies, we do not even have the necessary privacy laws to keep some technologies from exploiting its users. The worst that could happen is that companies will rush their new products to the market without rigorous testing for security concerns. Even though software security seems to be focused on the most, hardware security also needs to be put in the spotlight.

    Insufficient infrastructure

    In order to have a more effective infrastructure for these new connected devices, companies will have to come together and build this new ecosystem that will help sustain all connected devices. Currently, a large proportion of smaller technology companies are at work building these infrastructures and have made tremendous progress such as the development of the newly founded internet of things end-to-end solutions.

    Unfortunately, more work needs to be done in this part of the industry. Mega corporations are still fighting each other over who will be crowned king of the IoT space. We also lack the proper gateways for newly connected devices to work properly. Gateways are the bridge that connects the device directly to the cloud or internet. There are still many questions as to how gateways will work, such as their power source, protocol, data filtering and most important is security.

    High Costs

    The structure to have an efficient gateway and the best security possible can get expensive very quickly. Most technology companies today would tell you that they’re designing their devices with a central cloud-based model and this method could lead high costs with no revenue. Giving all connected devices the ability to send out their data at any given time while securing it is difficult with our current infrastructure but also costly.

    With infrastructure out of the way, what would it cost to build actual cloud connected devices? Of course you will need to go through the steps needed as you would with creating any other device. These steps are, prototyping, learning and scaling. When it comes to connected devices, there are a couple more steps that are required such as hardware and software security testing, security upgrades and patches. If none of these steps are taken seriously by companies then, you can easily expect to be breached and lose millions of dollars in stolen information.

    Legality And Regulations

    Currently, there are no laws or regulations that are set in stone which will help regulate the many layers of technology that is needed for the internet of things to truly work. Unfortunately, devices that connect to the internet are raising many security concerns and currently there are no laws in place that address these problems. Passing new laws for these devices will definitely take a lot of time due to how complex devices will be and the infrastructure that will help run it.

  • How to Accept Payments Through Your App

    How to accept payments through your apps?

    So, you’ve developed an app for your business. You’ve already finished designing and building your mobile application. You have your products ready to sell, be it digital, in-app goods, a subscription your business offers, or an actual physical good; you need to know how to get paid.

    Ordering products off the internet can seem like a simple task, but managing online transactions can be a very complex task. Your objective is simple, find a way to accept forms of payment from your customers. You want to protect your client’s financial information secure for future sales. Your app will need a secure, user-friendly payment system in place to make getting products in their shopping cart to their front door a smooth, reliable process.

    Mobile app developers use software kits called “gate-ways.” Gate-ways can be purchased with a variety of functions, features, and fees. All gate-ways serve one vital function, making sure you get paid for your products and services. Today, let’s talk about the various methods and services your business can utilize to accept payments through mobile apps.

    Braintree

    The first gate-way on our list is Braintree. Braintree has been the owner and developer of PayPal, both of which are owned by eBay. Braintree can develop just about anything, with customers in over 30 countries and 130 different currencies with seven side server programming languages.

    Braintree can offer you gate-way software kits for Apple iOS and Android operating systems. Braintree also offers live customer support, fraud protection and payouts in as little as two days. Bran tree offers no fees on transactions for the first $50,000 then changes to the industry standard of 2.9%.

    Google Wallet

    Google Wallet is Google’s answer to Braintree’s PayPal. Google Wallet features cloud-based computing software called “Instant Buy,” which stores your customer’s financial information securely in the cloud. Google Wallet offers programming software for buying physical and digital goods in Apple iOS and Android and desktop interfaces.
    Another unique feature provided by Google Wallet is engagement services for coupons and loyalty cards. Google Wallet doesn’t charge transaction fees but takes the payment processors standard industry costs. Keep in mind that Google Wallet is only available to users in the United States.

    Venmo

    Venmo is the social media marketing minded companies out there. Venmo offers peer-to-peer transfers from the mobile app to phone numbers, social media accounts, and email addresses.

    My favorite feature of Venmo is how easy it is to keep track of your financials. You get a live feed of transactions between you and your customers. The best part of Venmo is the price! Venmo doesn’t charge fees for bank and debit transfers, just a fee for credit card users.

    TSYS

    TSYS or Total System Services, Inc. is one of the top payment gate-ways in the United States. TSYS offers many payment solutions for online payments. Utilizing TSYS’s MultiPass system as your payment solution for your app development, you will be able to accept mobile and web-based payments through your app and websites. TSYS fees vary, depending on what type of payment solution you choose.

    Amazon Payments

    Being one of the top five technology, it only makes sense for Amazon to develop its payment gate-way. Amazon reputation for being strictly an eCommerce website is incorrect, Amazon also uses its sales platform for businesses to sell their products. Amazon utilizes Amazon Prime to enhances user features and often offer discounts for various business’s customers. Amazon has also started its software development branch, Amazon Payments.

    Much like Google Wallet’s “Instant Pay,” Amazon Payments offers a one-click buying option to utilize in your app, which allows customers to seamlessly buy products without ever having to exit out of the application or be redirected to another page. When it comes to app development, offering a user-friendly, one click and done buying option is one of the most efficient ways to manage online payments. Amazon Payments offers comprehensive fraud protection and a reoccurring payment option, which conveniently allows you to manage payments and subscriptions almost effortlessly. Amazon Payments charges 3% and .30 cents per transaction, but if you process more than a certain amount a month, you can usually work out a discount.

    I hope you found this article on getting paid through your mobile apps helpful and have gained a lot of insight. The beautiful part of being a business owner in this day in age is how many tools you have available to help you keep your business’s mobile app successful. The right tools are out there, find the method that works best for you.

  • Agile Scrum Development

    How to use Agile & Scrum to develop software efficiently?

    Development of computer technology and its advancement is the best event that ever happened to our society. It becomes useful and functions with the use of computer software and also with small devices. Life has eventually become easier and better. Appropriate software should be developed for best results. The software is a program that is run on a computer. It instructs the computer to perform specific tasks. This article will give you an insight of how to carry out the activity by the use of Agile & Scrum.

    AGILE

    Agile development refers to classifying procedures that are depending on their iterative growth to enhance software development. Agile development processes should be within the set Manifesto. The solutions and necessities develop if the self-organizing team collaborate with the cross functional team. The methods advocate for a management process that aid in the following;
    • Frequent examination and adaptation.
    • A qualified and well-supported teamwork by the leaders.
    • Accountability and self-planning.
    • Best engineering practices with the aim of delivering quality software.
    • A business model capable of fulfilling the customers’ needs and the goals of the organization.

    SCRUM

    It is a set procedure that is used in the development of software. The framework involves a lightweight process that is used in development. A particular set of tasks is done as directed to have consistency with the framework. Development cycles known as Sprints are required in the context process while pair programming requires XP framework. The process involves little work. It saves a lot of time.

    Specific notions and tasks such as time boxes, responsibility, and artifacts differentiate it from other procedures. Complicated software and product growth use it for management by practicing increment and iteration. Time is saved, and productivity is increased remarkably. Organizations can smoothly adjust to the ever changing demands. This creates a product that helps in accomplishing the actual business goals.

    Advantages to the firm
    • Deliverables increase in quality.
    • Adapt well to change.
    • Estimates provided are better and less time is used to create them.
    • More control of the project program and state.

    You must comprehend the following significant terms used for you to understand how to develop software efficiently;
    1. Team.
    This consists of database people, developers, product owner, support people, master, and a tester. They work together relatively and at intervals to create and apply the features.

    2. Sprint.
    The duration in which the work should be completed and presented for review or deployment is called Sprint. It lies between 2-4 weeks in most cases.

    3. Product Owner.
    The primary stakeholder of the developed application is the product owner. He or she is responsible for customer clarification. The team should be able to access the product owner whenever they need him.

    4. Master.
    The master coordinates the team and ensures that they produce and progress efficiently.

    5. User Story.
    The necessities implemented are called user story. They appear in the form of a short paragraph.

    6. Epics.
    The unspecified user stories reserved for the future are called Epics.

    7. Product Backlog.
    User stories get stored in a place called Product Backlog that is managed by the owner.

    8. Sprint Backlog.
    All the collected user stories that are worked on by the team at a particular sprint are known as Sprint Backlog.

    9. Story Points.
    Story points quantify and show the complication in the user story. The complexity gets presented as small, medium, or high.

    10. Burn Down Chart.
    It tracks the everyday work of the team to determine whether the progress towards completion of the user stories is achievable within a particular sprint.

    11. Velocity.
    The total of all story points stored by the team within a particular sprint is known as speed. It helps in judging the team’s efforts.

    METHODOLOGY.

    Software development is as follows:

    a) Plan for a meeting
    The team gathers for a meeting. The product owner chooses a user story according to priority. They size the story based on its complexity after discussing it.

    b) Implementing of Sprint Tasks
    The team works on the user story until it is finished.

    c) Daily Meetings.
    The team should meet daily for at least 15 minutes to articulate on what each member did yesterday, plans for today, and any barriers available.

    d) Meeting to Review.
    The team member should come together to demonstrate the applied user stories to the owner after every sprint.

    e) Retrospective Meeting.
    The meeting is held by the team after every sprint to brainstorm on what went on smoothly, the rough times, learned lessons, and actions to take on specific items.

    CONCLUSION:

    The above methodologies may be difficult for some people at the beginning. Your application will start growing if you have enough practice and sufficient resources. Allocating the team members for self-study and presenting their findings every day offers an excellent platform for knowledge and skill enhancement on this development.

  • Agile Scrum Development

    What key roles are necessary in agile scrum development?

    What key roles are necessary in agile scrum development

    Agile scrum development methods are an alternative to stage-gate project management, including software application projects. Stage-gate methods of management depend on project managers delivering artifacts that record a completed task. A list of required artifacts for each stage is established, usually by a PMO, that needs to be created, reviewed, and approved before the next stage of the project’s life-cycle can be started. A change to the project must be submitted via a project change request or PCR. Changes are strongly discouraged and take a long time to approve.

    The agile scrum development approach assumes that changes will occur during the product’s life-cycle and are welcomed as long as they improve the customer experience. In other words, what the end customer wants and needs will change over time as they get to interact in phases (or releases) with the solution. Agile scrum development teams start working with a product owner, or user representative, as early as possible, to determine what is called the minimum viable product or MVP. The MVP is an understanding with the product owner of the minimum functionality required to do something useful and from which incremental development, or releases, will proceed until the full set of requirements is delivered. Scrum teams are made up of five to seven members, with role flexibility in mind. Work is done in “sprints” lasting three to five weeks, at the end of which there should be a fully tested product with additional functionality.

    There are only three key roles in a scrum team: product owner, developer/tester, and ScrumMaster.

    Product Owner

    The product owner represents the product users and their vision of what the product functionality is to be. One way they convey this vision to the agile scrum development team is through product backlog “grooming” meetings, or prioritizing features list (a.k.a. user stories) for the product. A product owner delivers a solid understanding of users, the business competition for those customers, and a product roadmap with a vision for the future. Product owners must collaborate and compromise, since it’s the scrum team who selects from the backlog priorities the amount of work they commit to during each sprint, trusting that they know best what they are capable of. In return for that commitment, the product owner makes a reciprocal commitment of not coming up with new requirements during a sprint. Requirements are allowed to change (and change is encouraged) but only outside the sprint.

    An individual in the product owner’s role is expected to be actively engaged with the scrum team, be business savvy, and skilled in communicating different messages to different people, internal and external to his organization, sponsors and stakeholders of the project at any given time.

    Developer/Tester

    In non-agile, traditional software development, a programmer’s role (Developer) is sharply separated from a tester’s role (Quality Assurance). In agile scrum development teams where members are encouraged to be flexible and knowledgeable with many tasks, at any given time, if necessary to meet the sprint commitments, everybody works together to improve and build quality into the product. Developer’s don’t program and hand-out their work to be tested. Tester’s don’t just run test scripts, identify defects, and log them for fixing. They work and complement each other and roles may rotate sprint by sprint, per each member’s strengths, weaknesses, and desire to learn new things. It will be difficult for individuals to meet the acceptance criteria of what they are developing and consider a story “done” without early-on tester collaboration and tester’s won’t be effective without immersing themselves and understanding the developer’s work. There are no set/fast rules, it goes down to team working agreements per sprint.

    ScrumMaster

    ScrumMasters serve as mentors and champions of the scrum way of doing things. They also organize meetings associated with it such as sprint planning, backlog grooming with the product owner, stand-up meetings, reviews, and retrospectives. The ScrumMaster role is similar to the traditional project manager but without complicated process and procedures to follow. ScrumMasters are flexible and ideally can take any scrum role to complete a task required to move the sprint forward.

    Summary

    Agile scrum development team roles must be assigned wisely to individuals. Look for members cultural fit and acceptance of their responsibility in the sprint. Let the team come up with their own working agreement decisions and trust their daily procedures for communication and collaboration.

    Click to hire dedicated agile scrum development team

  • 5-Reasons-Why-Startups-Fail

    What are the major reasons for start-ups’ failures?

    It is a sad fact that only 10% of start ups actually become profitable enterprises. It would be great if people venturing into the world of startups would genuinely learn from the mistakes of those that came before them, but like so many other cautionary tales, people often think that what happened to others can’t or won’t happen to them or they are the exception to the rule. For those that are eager to learn from the mistakes of others, however, here are 5 of the biggest reasons for a startup to fail.

    1. They create a product people don’t actually want

    The tech world in particular is littered with apps that no one genuinely wanted or had a use for. Some of those apps were able to be salvaged by others and used for purposes the original designer never thought of, but sometimes redesigning an app takes almost as much time as designing it did in the first place. Even outside of the world of technology, however, for every Croc or Post It note, there is a superhighway littered with inventions like hula chair, phone fingers and the pet spa.

    2. They compartmentalized too early

    Genius inventors often don’t have a head for marketing, while marketers may not be great number crunchers. Eventually, there comes a time when you definitely want to compartmentalize and hire people to be brilliant in different areas without your direct supervision. But entrepreneurs have to pay attention to and be fairly skilled at everything. You have to pay attention to all the “boring stuff” like contracts, finances, leases, permits, codes and even patent law. Yes, you need people who can explain all these things to you, but you also need them to not stop explaining it until you fully and completely understand not only the topic at hand, but how it affects the overall big picture.

    3. They grew too soon

    This might possibly be the #1 with a bullet reason most startups fail. Most often entrepreneurs that think they have a new, hot product or service want to get it on the market now. In reality, the most successful inventions, businesses and companies spent years in development before getting up and running. What’s true in the business world is also true in almost every other field as well. Musical acts that become an “overnight success” have generally spent years laboring away in crappy bars and nightclubs and practicing in garages and storage units before finally hitting it big.

    4. They didn’t grow fast enough

    Yes, this is something of a conundrum. The point is, before you are ready to start your business or company, there is a certain amount of preparation and maturation that needs to happen. Before you are ready to grow, you need to be prepared for growth, because once you start growing you need to grow fast to achieve critical mass. The point is, there is a lot to be said for laboring in relative obscurity for years before becoming and “overnight success.” The time you spent laboring in the dark is preparing you for your moment in the sun, because when it comes, you want to milk it for all it’s worth.

    5. Their team wasn’t solid

    This is another reason why you might not want to try and push your way into the limelight too quickly. Every major corporation was once a startup and the most successful ones were almost all started by a team of people that had a long history together and well-developed relationships. Apple was of course founded by the Steves Jobs and Wozniak, Bill Gates had Paul Allen and Phil Knight of Nike had his old track coach Bill Bowerman. Even wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg had his Harvard roommate Eduardo Saverin.

    Not all of these relationships stood the tests of time, in fact sometimes the team you need to grow a company is very different from the team you need to get it up and running the first place. The point is, most successful startups have been the result of a team effort, not a single individual. Ironically, in many of these cases, the team that stuck together through the toughest of times often fell apart once they achieved success.

  • scrum agile methodology

    How to derive effective results using Scrum agile methodology?

    How to derive effective results using Scrum agile methodology

    Agile is an alternative to the traditional waterfall or stage-gate project management in software development. Traditional  scrum agile methodology follow a step-by-step sequence such as initiation, planning, execution, control, and monitoring, and finally closing. Scope, budget, and schedule are determined early in the project and closely managed during the project’s duration with clearly defined change processes. Traditional project management expects that once a scope of work, budget plans, and activity milestones are created and reviewed by sponsors and stakeholders, changes will be few and difficult to implement.

    The scrum agile methodology approach to software development instead emphasizes that the requirements of the solution to be delivered, in other words, what the end customer wants and needs will change over time. Instead of waiting or expecting to know it all at the beginning of the project, agile teams tackle this unpredictability through incremental, iterative work, and lots of feedback from the customer.

    Agile teams are commonly known as scrum teams, emphasizing small (5 to 7 members), with simplicity and flexibility in mind for each member’s role. As a team organizational method, it requires constant empirical feedback, team self-management, and the delivery of fully functioning, properly tested product increments within short time iterations of between three to five weeks called sprints.

    There are usually only three roles: product owner, developer/tester, and ScrumMaster. The product owner represents the customers of the solution, for example, a software application, and his role is to provide constant feedback and influence team decisions taking into account what is best for the customer. Developers are expected not only to program but also to test their own work and that of other team members if necessary. ScrumMaster’s are closely related to project managers, and
    in a sense, that’s what they are, but without the baggage of processes and procedures imposed by a traditional scrum agile methodology. Instead, ScrumMasters are expected to participate and facilitate teamwork by taking any task or role required to move the project forward.

    ScrumMasters are also expected to own the effective planning and execution of meetings that support agile development: backlog grooming, sprint planning, daily 15-minute stand-up, sprint reviews, and sprint retrospectives. A backlog is a collection of project/business requirements called user stories. Each user story is a self-contained, easy to understand narrative, that when worked upon in a sprint delivers a new software application capability. User stories that are not being
    delivered in a current sprint are “stored” in a backlog, and the list is “groomed” at the end of each sprint to remove, update, or become part of the next sprint deliverable. After the backlog grooming exercise, at the sprint planning meeting, the team decides which user stories will be delivered on the next sprint.

    In sprint review meetings, teams show what they have accomplished and are ready to ship. The sprint retrospective meeting is done before the next sprint is started. This is an open, honest, all-team discussion of what went well and what went wrong. At the end of the meeting, the team agrees on what could be changed to make the next sprint more productive.

    In order to derive effective results from teams following an scrum agile methodology, there are important considerations to take into account.

    Build teams wisely with hiring decisions and team design that ensure acceptance and cultural fit of its members. Training, mentorship, and coaching should be made available and if necessary part of new hiring decisions to create a support structure for implementation of agile development. Trust the team to make decisions and stay away from their daily process. The only way to build an effective scrum team is to let them organize themselves at their own pace and with their own collaboration processes and working agreements.

    Protect the team from disruptions during the sprint, especially from over-eager product owners who may want to introduce changes in mid-sprint.

    Make it a continuous process to identify and eliminate waste, encouraging lean processes and practices. Automate as many manual processes as you can. Create incentives wisely to boost morale and reward positive behavior recognizing in a balanced approach both teams and individuals for on-time results, high quality, creativity, collaboration, leadership, and process improvements. Create opportunities for growth with rotating team roles.

    Build software using scrum agile methodology

  • mobile app idea

    How to choose perfect developers for your mobile app idea?

    Select perfect developers for your mobile app idea

    If you want your mobile app to work well, you need to have a defined process of filtering and choosing a good team of mobile app developers. It involves knowing what you want ahead of time. Once you know what you want from your app, you will have an mobile app idea what questions to ask your app developers.

    What do you want from the mobile app?

    When you know what you want from the app, you will communicate better with the app developers. The examples to keep in mind are having social media integration and login features. Other things to remember include giving out mobile apps for free or having a lite and premium version. You should also consider if you want the app compatible with Windows or Android or iOS or all.

    Do you want the app to make money? You need to tell this to the app developers, so they know what app to build for you. It could be a pay-per-download with a range of prices based on the features of the app. If the app is free, the app developers need to know too.

    Ask the app developers to show apps they created and list clients

    You need to be sure the developers know what they are doing. The app developer should have a list of people for whom they have created apps. The list includes the apps created. You cannot tell who has created an app by looking at it. That is why you need to speak to the developer’s clients. When you check references, you will know how responsible the app developers are. The reason you are checking the developers out is to ensure you get the services for which you will be paying.

    Speak to the team ahead of time

    Part of having clear communication is to talk to someone before hiring the person. Speak to the app developers face-to-face or on call and ask questions. It can be in person or via video messaging. You will get a feel for the team and how knowledgeable they are. The conversation will decide how the team works. You want to understand your developers, and you want them to get your message too.

    Find out what smartphone the developers use. You will get a clue of their knowledge on the topic. Whatever app the app developers claim to build, they should have it on their phone(s). They should also be familiar with how the app works and be comfortable discussing it. Asking these questions will set up a clear communication between the development team and you.

    Set up a timeline for each phase of the app development

    Ask the app developers when a part of the app finishes. It will give you a better idea of how far along the project is. You want to meet your deadline, so it is important to set these goals. Another way to handle milestones is to mark a date on the calendar you will speak to the app developers. You expect to get an update once you talk to them.

    When you know the project is progressing well; you will feel more comfortable paying their fee. The developers will know what you want once you have set these goals. Matured team of app developers would recommend using Agile Scrum & other advanced iterative models for developing apps and get quicker feedback while it is done. These practices allow you to change the app’s direction (if need be) faster and have more control on progress of app development.

    Find out the special features the app developers can create.

    The features attract users to the app. Know what features to include and see if the app developers can handle it. It is best not to assume the developers know it all. Examples of unique features include 3-D gaming, social media sharing, product coupons, location sharing, offline synching etc.

    Ownership of the app

    The app is important to you, so you need to show who will own it. One way to show who will own it is to draw up a contract between you and the app developers. Add a confidentiality clause to the agreement. Make sure you will own the rights to the source code and all the contents of the app.

    Testing the mobile app

    Ask the developers how they will test your app. Most people check apps on the phones they will be using. You should also get an easy to understand explanation of how the developers will test your app. You want to get rid of any glitches before the app’s completion. If they find any errors, see how they will fix the problem and how long it will take to complete.

    Conclusion

    Your app will generate an income stream. You want to make sure you have someone experienced doing the job. It means knowing what you want so you can communicate well with the app developers. Find out how many other apps the developers has completed. It is best to speak to the developer’s clients and ask questions. One question includes how responsible the developers are. You also want to know how long it took the project to finish. Another question you should ask is how competent the developers are.

    Hire Certified Mobile App Developers

  • Agile Software Development

    Why is agile software development important?

    Why is agile software development important

    Agile software development solutions evolve through self-organized teams. It encourages fast and flexible changes through adaptive planning. While other methodologies have their proponents, there’s little doubt in any Agile software development shop that this method works well. To understand why agile project management is important, you only need to look at the rewards it provides.

    Scrum and Sprints

    In Agile, a sprint is a fixed time period where certain goals are met. At each sprint, your team and often the client will meet to discuss what’s to be accomplished and what criteria need to be observed.

    Scrum agile methodology is the repeatable framework. A scrum team consists of cross-functional members, a Scrum Master or project leader, and a product owner, or person representing the client or stakeholder. All work together on sprint completion. Scrum principles allow your team to work on various features in shorter sprints as requirements emerge, rather than following a sequential process that can easily be derailed if long phases of work have to be rolled back.

    The Benefits of Agile

    Iterative
    Since agile software development is iterative in nature, features are delivered in increments, so that testing, approval, and revenue can be realized early and continue with project development.

    Quality
    One of the key benefits of agile software development comes from integration of testing throughout the development cycle. Regular, specific testing during all phases ensures that quality issues are more likely to be identified, and allows time for corrections. Meeting quality standards at each increment also ensures that the finished product will meet your customer’s requirements.

    Transparency
    Agile principles encourage user involvement and a cooperative approach. This allows stakeholders to monitor progress and examine the product for assurances that your are satisfying expectations.

    Lower Risk
    Incremental testing, user involvement, and releases make it easier to identify issues. Any changes can be captured and dealt with at any early stage of development. This drastically lowers the risk that the final product will not meet requirements.

    Flexibility
    In many other approaches to development, significant changes can result in overhauls of planning, funding, and specifications that delay progress or inflate costs. With agile project management, change is an expected part of the process. Requirements evolve as the product evolves. Transparency and incremental progress allow your clients to make timely decisions.

    Cost Effective
    Establishing adaptive policies within fixed time frames make it easier to stand by fixed budgets. Variation comes iteratively in the evolution of the product, and does not impact cost. The agile philosophy of early release of features also means the competitive edge of faster time-to-market.

    Customer Engagement
    Direct involvement of stakeholders or their representatives, along with the level of visibility into progress and response to change, creates a better relationship between your business and the client. This leads to greater customer engagement with the process and greater likelihood they will consult you on future projects.

    Better Environment
    Agile software development methods provide a better experience for software developers. Rather than dwelling on specifications and long-term planning, teams get together regularly to discuss issues and progress with each sprint. The team can make decisions and explore options on their own. This provides you more motivated and focused teams.

    Kanban

    Kanban agile methodology is more loosely structured than Scrum. It works as a model introducing change as incremental improvements. In Kanban, work is planned on a visual board as states which every work item must go through. This generally includes In Progress, Testing, Ready for Release, and Released columns. Variation may be allowed through horizontal pipes, or “swim lanes”, but Kanban is focused primarily on managing work in progress.

    Scrum vs Kanban

    You won’t find it difficult to introduce Kanban to any Agile project. Scrum agile methodology offers a tighter structure for more focus, control, and direction where these things may be lacking and development is off track. But if there are already efficient, productive processes in place, Kanban agile methodology can improve your process over time without requiring any radical change.

    Some critics of agile point out that it is less predictable, and teams and product owners don’t always mesh productively. Collaboration is essential to success. Where that’s the case, the possible benefits of agile software development make it an important strategy you should consider.

    Contact for Agile Software Development

  • Digital Transformation with OTS

    How are digital initiatives shaping CIO strategies of tomorrow?

    Over the next few years, the primary focus for organizations will be on digital transformation. Business leaders now recognize that they must provide agility, scalability, and innovation to be competitive in a digital environment.

    The burden that falls to you as CIO is to provide more capabilities and performance. At the same time, you’re required to provide maximum resource availability to satisfy both business and consumers. Driving a digital transformation at the same time can be a challenge.

    To achieve this transformation you’ll the inclusion of IT in business strategy not just as a service provider, but an essential stakeholder. CEOs and business owners may have to make additional sacrifices and commitments to see that you can realize this transformation efficiently. This includes enterprise-wide collaboration on some or all of the following digital initiatives.

    Focused approach

    Given your challenges in integrating automated systems, IT is not as flexible as other business operations. It’s difficult to introduce innovation to an accepted infrastructure that’s in almost constant use due to the internet and mobile apps. But transformation requires agility.

    As more leaders recognize the digital demands of future business activity, you should be finding increased funding and more support. You must learn to foster a prioritized vision for your IT objectives, where even demands like security and data management take a second place to focus on development and integration.

    Digital revenue

    More third-party application are becoming available, so that it’s more difficult for companies to find alternative that provide genuine benefits over the competition. Technology itself is becoming more interconnected, such as self-driving cars and Wi-Fi enabled smart appliances. You must adapt to a more complex way of doing business.

    Companies are beginning to place emphasis on technical partnerships and mobile apps to provide marketability. Your deliverables must embrace popular mobile devices and an increasing number of open-source platforms. Integrating with wider and already accepted technologies provides your company new revenue streams that differ from traditional ideas of product marketing.

    Data Governance

    In the era of big data and cloud-based business analytics, information has become one of the most valuable assets at any company. Using data to maximize profits and improve efficiency is an important aspect of your role in the foreseeable future. As the volume of data grows, you will look for more automated approaches to business intelligence.

    A CIO may see analytics as a key asset of future business, but many stakeholders are not convinced of the value in investing more heavily. Data mismanagement has led to outdated or lower quality data yielding inaccurate results. Future benefits from analytics will require that you implement a data governance framework, and get top executives engaged in data-driven decision making.

    Collaboration

    Digital initiatives are likely to fail as business grows due to a lack of collaboration and effective integration. Digital transformation tends to be seen as simply a series of your specialized projects. Businesses that aren’t open to digital integration across the enterprise won’t have a clear picture of how you transform internal processes. Sales, marketing, HR, and other departments tend to compete for resources that detract from overall development. This is especially true if certain parties favor outsourcing or third-parry solutions rather than internal transformation.

    You may find it difficult to architect a program of digital transformation without the consensus and participation of management as a whole. You must convince the various stakeholders to participate and collaborate in a mutual solution that benefits the whole organization. Digital transformation can be seen as an ongoing IT function where specific ideas are married to your technical knowledge.

    Speed, quality, and innovation

    Until recently, you may have been reluctant to take up an equal partnership in upgrades that only benefit other interests. Other departments may have no grasp of the time, money, and effort required in your software development projects. But in the near future all business partners will be open to innovation in pursuit of the common goals of quality results and fast delivery.

    The Agile methodology works well not only in software development, but progress in other technical projects. Many companies are slow to deploy these principles, or to fully benefit from them, for fear that you might produce changes too rapidly to adjust to. But those companies that don’t embrace and adapt to rapid change are likely to fall behind. Transformation in the future needs to focus on not just your defined requirements, but speed of integration.

    Most managers feel that IT should play a more pivotal role in business strategies, but few IT leaders are influencers today. In the future, however, you will find that more key executives will understand that you provides not just a core service, but the impetus and leadership for essential technical progress.

  • Startups prototype creation

    Build Better User Experiences Through Prototyping

    Prototype development is a useful stage in the UI/UX development process, but many companies get it wrong. If done correctly, prototyping helps developers, designers and marketers iterate quickly on features and messaging. If botched, it can bog teams down in unnecessary choices and technical debt. Here are some tips to prototype effectively.

    Resolve to Throw Away the Prototype

    Prototyping is often thought of as the beginning of the software development process. In that light, the prototype is viewed as the software’s initial stage. The prototype will simply gain functionality and features until it is a more fully-built app or service.

    This is the wrong approach. A prototype should be treated as a standalone project. Handling prototypes as separate entities frees developers and designers from making tough technical choices that cannot meaningfully be decided so early in a product’s development. It also allows for testing ideas inexpensively, determining if they are viable before building out the necessary technical infrastructure.

    Don’t Get Bogged Down

    Software development is full of choices. A product’s database selection determines how its data will be modeled, stored and queried. UI frameworks dictate how it will look. Message brokers, container technologies, and many other factors all combine to determine how a product will look, act and be maintained.

    The prototype stage is not only the incorrect time to make these decisions, but it is also the wrong time to even discuss them. Prototypes should be as simple as possible, even going as far as faking features and interactions instead of relying on complex solutions and interactions.Prototyping is also a good opportunity to experiment with new technologies. Since it will ideally be short-lived, and since prototypes should be discarded, using new technologies gives teams the chance to evaluate their use in the larger project. It also lets developers and designers learn without worrying about mistakes being incorporated into a long-term development cycle.

    Identify and Test a Hypothesis

    The prototype is not the place to include every possible aspect of an app’s ideal design, every feature, every screen, and every corner case. Instead, it is intended to test a simple hypothesis.

    For instance, say a company is designing an on-demand app for delivering services. There are many features an app like this would require to be successful, from complex push notifications to screens for editing account details. The prototype should instead focus on testing the value proposition. Put in place just enough UI/UX development to determine if consumers find the platform helpful and useful. If they do, throw away the prototype and start building the final app.

    Conclusion

    Prototype development may seem like an expensive proposition. After all, why spend time developing an idea only to throw the work away? A common piece of advice is to measure twice, cut once. Building a prototype measures an idea, determining if it will fit expectations before making the potentially expensive mistake of building a thing that no one wants.

  • OTS Solutions news - K8 selects OTS Solutions

    OTS Solutions Selected as Virtual CTO & Technology Partner by Chicago-Based K8 Ventures

    OTS Solutions is proud to announce its partnership as virtual CTO for Chicago based K8 Ventures, LLC, a tech-venture firm with a focus on early stage companies. OTS is currently working on the production version of BAMM – Before and After Meeting Manager, a smart mobile and web based personal assistant that enables users to plan, book and manage their schedules with people and third parties. BAMM will be available in the App Store and Google play.

    Kurt Johnson, CEO, says, “Our partnership with OTS creates capital efficiency. OTS’ knowledge and scale ensure portfolio companies build quality products at market speed. We are excited to make BAMM available in both iOS and Android, and look forward to a successful October 2016 launch.”

    Hemant Madaan, CEO of OTS Solutions, has called the partnership “A strategic combination of two innovative companies that can ideate, innovate, and deliver to the market high-impact software solutions.”

    From its New York headquarters, OTS Solutions has been helping over 200 high growth startups & businesses around the globe in developing award winning web & mobile software apps for the past 14 years. Learn more

    K8 Ventures, LLC, is located in Chicago, IL and works with early stage companies as an accelerator and investor. With the company creation supply chain, go-to-market know-how, K8 has achieved significant capital efficiency and is redefining how early-stage capital is invested.

    Read full press release in media here – https://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/10/prweb13752805.htm

  • Agile development OTS Solutions

    Making agile development more predictive and less risky

    Healthy sales often depend on being first to market. Innovation and rapid deployment are important to tech and startup companies. This is why Agile software development methods are so popular. It can deliver software quickly while allowing for flexibility, feedback, and risk and change management.

    Making development predictable

    But fast turnaround is only the first phase. Speed has to be balanced against performance, reliability, and costs. Your product has to be sustainable in the long term. It has to integrate with existing systems, often across a variety of platforms.
    What this all boils down to is predictability – software development that can be consistently delivered on time and trusted to meet requirements, pass quality assurance testing, and bring value to partners and customers.

    The level of uncertainty

    Many companies adopt Agile or hybrid Waterfall approaches because they’ve seen and heard that it works for today’s development environments. But because it’s flexible, small and large companies may not be using it the same way or for the same reasons.
    These methods require defining and identifying requirements and risks, planning, estimation, and incremental development through Agile timeboxes. But discovering and designing as you go along is often too big and complex, depending on both the size of the project and the size of the team. Too many people. too many components, and undisciplined management can cause things to be overlooked. Changing requirements and priorities can make an iterative process essentially useless.

    Enterprise Agile software development depends on control and visibility to reduce uncertainty. Using velocity, story points, and release reporting help create early confidence on progress and more accurate timelines. Relying on the methodology itself to reduce time and costs is a fallacy.

    Redefining the process

    The software development process should involve doing enough investigation upfront to create more reliable plans and estimates. This in turn means more faith in commitments to meeting requirements while assuring higher levels of quality. Using Agile is not about responding to changes in plans, but sticking to a plan that can incorporate change. A better plan is more likely to accommodate change without disrupting the project.

    Agile software development can reduce the “cone of uncertainty” by delivering smaller, working pieces of code, and correlating the progress with project data through velocity. As the project moves forward, predictability comes with increasing ability to deliver on estimates, and the experience translates to future projects. There is still going to be a need for changes and priorities, but these can be viewed in terms of the incremental rather than the iterative process.

    Small projects may be better realized by iteration and fast, adaptive change, depending on the team and the requirements. But larger, more complex problems will have to involve predictability in obtaining results, and that’s gained from making everything align with an incremental, controlled process. Big projects may be slowed not by requirements, risks, or even the size of the team, but by bad planning.

    Want to learn more on techniques of agile development – learn here for comparison on scrum and kanban.

  • Mobile app development

    Top 10 things to keep in mind when developing a mobile app

    Maybe you have an idea for an app that could draw millions to your New York brand. How do you plan to build it? Which factors do you think are important? Here are the top ideas you should keep in mind before you start developing your own app.

    1. Uniqueness
    We all tend to get bored with the same old thing, including mobile apps. There are already millions of them out there. What people are looking for is something fresh and interesting that will hold their attention.

    2. Pricing
    Pricing a mobile app can be a bit difficult, as there are a number of factors to weigh. Think about how yours’ compares to charges for similar apps on the same platform or that are marketed in the same channels.

    3. Testing
    Be sure to test you app under as many scenarios as possible, even unlikely ones, as a reputation for bugs could sink it. Your app should be creative, reliable, quick, and easy to use. If coding and testing are a bit out of your league, turn to one of the premier mobile developers in New York for help.

    4. Budget
    Every phase in mobile app development costs money. Establishing a budget and using it properly is crucial. Make a plan and keep track of expenses so you can stay on track.

    5. Scalability
    There’s no way to predict which app will be successful and which will be ignored. In the event that it really sells, make preparations for the next step – mobile app development for multiple platforms. Start with a library of functional code blocks that can be easily changed as needed.

    6. Feedback
    Your app should have built in analytics and channels for user feedback to let you know what needs changing or what really works. In fact, you should be concerned if there’s no feedback…

    7. Research
    You should do market research to gain insight into what the competition is doing and what the target audience wants. Note the strengths and weaknesses of other app marketing campaigns, scan customer reviews, and visit blogs. What people want, and where the competition lets them down, is your window of opportunity.

    8. Efficiency
    Try to achieve maximum efficiency in all areas of development, but especially in the app itself. If it’s too slow, that’s inefficiency. Find ways to conserve data use and speed up loads.

    9. Waiting
    Mobile service waits can slow down apps. Don’t leave users staring at a generic string indicator that might suggest nothing is happening. Try using animations or text to let them know what’s happening.

    10. Description
    When a prospective customer is checking out your app for the time, Google Play and Apple store only show the first couple lines of it’s description, so make those as compelling as possible.

    There’s a huge market for useful and innovative apps. But there’s plenty of competition, too. These tips should help, but if you’re overwhelmed, you might want to consider professional mobile developers in New York. Getting your mobile app development can be a daunting task. Read here to learn how to do it well.

  • UI UX Services OTS

    Wireframing Vs. Prototyping: What’s the Difference?

    Prototyping and wireframing are discussed fairly regularly in the early stages of UI/UX design for software. It may seem that these concepts are interchangeable when in actuality they are drastically different. While both produce useful deliverables and help advance the development lifecycle, each requires different skills and produces different end results.

    Wireframing

    Often, when someone has an idea for an app, they begin development by deciding how the app might look. By sketching the user interface on cards or a whiteboard, it becomes possible to extract functional and other requirements for what must be built.

    Wireframes can be drawn in many ways. The simplest designs may start out as simple ink sketches on paper. Notecards are a great way to add size constraints to the interface, and to rapidly swap out components in order to simulate how using the app might feel. Later on in the process, the designs might be transferred to tablets or other digital media, and may even be exported as an interface draft for initial app prototypes.

    Wireframes are useful tools in UI/UX design for software. They allow designers and developers to quickly get a sense for how an app might look without technical constraints. Wireframes also facilitate extracting interface components, UI requirements and technical goals from an idea. Yet, while a wireframe achieves much, what it accomplishes is only skin deep.

    Prototyping

    Wireframes only address how software looks. Prototype development is essential to truly get a sense for how an idea will actually work. Prototyping is a stage in software development where code is written to begin putting an idea into practice.

    Instead of merely drawing interface components, prototypes actually lay out a basic user interface with whatever widgets are appropriate for the platform. Prototypes also create just enough interaction to make the app feel usable. In this stage, it is more important to experience the app than it is to start building a sound technical foundation.

    Prototyping should not be thought of as beginning to build an app. In other words, prototype development tests the idea. It may do this by faking some features, eliminating others, and deferring any significant technical decisions until software development on the idea itself begins. Be prepared to throw away the prototype once it has tested the specific assumptions about the design.

    Wireframing and Prototyping

    Exactly how these stages interact varies widely. Some development companies wireframe before prototyping so the prototype’s user interface feels more polished. Others start with a prototype, taking more time to build an interface that connects directly to working code. There is no right answer, and the choice is ultimately determined by what works best for a given team’s skills.

    But each has its advantages. Wireframing is great for covering lots of ground without building out technology. Prototyping gives a deeper sense for how a narrower piece of the app might work. Both are useful stages in the software development process.

  • co-development of software

    Know how Co-Developing Software Product Development is the Key to Balance Costs and Sustain Longer

    Why Co-Developing or Outsourcing Software Product Development Makes Sense
    Partnering with a software development company affords businesses the flexibility and responsiveness necessary to remain competitive in today’s fast-paced, constantly changing software product development market. What used to involve years-long project and development cycles can now be delivered in a fast, cost-efficient manner. For many companies, outsourced product development just makes sense.

    Here are four reasons why co-developing software product development makes sense for many businesses.

    Cost Savings
    The cost of maintaining a full IT staff dedicated to software product development is prohibitive. When you factor in the salaries, benefits, hiring and training processes, it’s easy to see why many organizations seek alternatives in the form of out-sourced development work. By relying on outsourced talent for development, companies can maintain the bare minimum of IT staff necessary to support, implement and guide the software products.

    Shorter Development Cycles
    Outsourced developers often have the resources and skills necessary to meet the aggressive time constraints of individual projects. They have the ability to staff-up with the right skilled developers to meet the demand. Not only does this shorter time to market present a competitive advantage for companies, but it also allows them to be more responsive to existing customer needs. Promises for enhancements and new features can be delivered sooner.

    Different times zones can also be a plus for productivity. Take for example the opportunity to develop during the day and test code at night. Or struggling to find more hours in the day that overlap, there is a chance to leverage teams in hat work in nearby time zones.

    Quickly find the Skills Needed
    As referenced earlier, outsourced product development companies have larger numbers of skilled developers than can be cost-effectively maintained in-house. The flexibility of being able to plug in different skills sets as the project demands becomes a boon to productivity and cost-savings. No longer do companies face the dreaded “switching costs” associated with getting staff trained on new technology and up to speed with the right development skills.

    Sustainability and Flexibility
    A companies ability to regularly bring updated, responsive software to market in a short time frame keeps it ahead, or in step, with the competition. The strategic strengths and sustainable development cycles mean the company will remain in a flexible and market-ready position for years to come. Co-developing software product development provides a strategic advantage.

    A software development company can also seamlessly switch from a waterfall development approach to an agile, iterative based product development life cycle. Agile has proven to deliver the better results for customers.

    Software development companies need their software product development cycles to be shorter and cost-effective while simultaneously providing the flexibility and responsiveness necessary to get to the top of the market. The costs associated with maintaining a large IT staff can hinder the profitability of many companies. Couple that with quickly out-dated skills sets and long project timelines and it’s easy to see why many organizations have turned to outsourced product development.

  • Software product development

    Why Software Product Development is Different Than Internal Software Projects?

    Why Software Product Development is different than internal software projects?

    Internal software projects can cover a wide variety of tasks, such as building a data warehouse or creating a custom application to be used internally by a business. Many projects might involve coding, but actually developing and producing software from an initial concept to successful release is an entirely different animal.

    Software Development Process

    The software development process, or life cycle (SDLC), is a structure for defining progress. There are a number of development methods which describe approaches to the tasks and objectives involved. These process models began with waterfall methods, which developed in turn into iterative, Agile, and extreme programming (XP) processes.

    Typically any software development includes stages of requirement analysis, specifications, software architecture, implementation, testing, documentation, training and support, and maintenance.

    In thee internal software projects, this cycle is completed for a version to be used by business and remains steady for a while till business needs new changes. However, software product development in many instances, development is never really completed, as there are numerous releases over time with new features and fixes as customer feedback is received and user needs change more frequently. With new cloud based SaaS products gaining foot in market, the cycles of development have become more agile and product companies are actually doing this shorter as possible to get more customer feedback as fast as possible.

    Driving Role

    With internal software projects, it is usually seen that CIO or IT heads get the requests for business software needed, which gets checked by them if available off the shelf. This is what drives to make decisions of creating this custom internally for their business OR if a off the shelf software package can be used to meet the needs with minimal or no customization.

    In technology startup space, CEO is more of an “idea man” or venture capitalist who hires or partners with a technology specialist to head up development. This is the CTO, or chief technical officer. In practice this is seldom a hands-on team leader but a technical adviser. In today’s development world of IT outsourcing, this is not someone with a vested interest in the technology startup, but a contracted, high-level consultant who can be hired as virtual CTO. The role may become more physical and they may need to bring a full time CTO in house once the product hits market

    Platforms & Technology Stack

    Today’s software product development can be extremely complex, and may need to run a variety of devices and platforms. Development teams must stick to their methodology to establish and meet requirements, plan system architecture, and coalesce constantly revised code blocks into a working product that satisfies all quality tests. Going at it with a poorly defined process will only lead to failure.

    In contrast, an internal project although being a very important requirement from business standpoint, does not necessarily need to support many platforms for user adaptability as most of the users may still be internal to business. Technology and architecture decisions however are equally important, still rank low as preference if compared with product development needs of a technology company.

  • Project management tools

    Team & Project Management tools for engineering managers of software companies

    One of the biggest challenges that faces any software development company is how to best manage the developers, engineers, requirements, code base, scope of work and even budget. It is easy to lose sight of these important factors while you’re developing the next greatest widget. Doing so, however, can cost your company money and even future work. It is key to find the right software development tools for your team.

    When researching, the first factor to consider is the type of software product development you do. Are you an app company that focuses on mobile? Do you develop tools for Government customers and worry about legal? Or maybe you develop custom IT solutions for small businesses. Regardless of what you develop, you need the tool that meets your company’s critical needs.

    Choice of programming languages at times make you decide against or for tools used for creating software, like IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) – .NET may be best coded using Microsoft Visual Studio, PHP / PERL / Python / Java have their own flares of specific generic IDE. One of such widely used IDE is Eclipse.

    Another consideration is your team size. Do you manage a small handful of engineers who all work together? Or does your team number in the hundreds across multiple worksites, maybe even multiple countries? Project management, tracking and transparency to stakeholders is the key to success for any project. The space of project management, collaboration tools has been exploding in past few years. We have options like Assembla, Trello, Jira, Basecamp, Asana, Git and many more such names all used by different teams for their own version of needs.

    Beyond just your team’s size, your infrastructure is key. Do you have physical servers on which you maintain your code base? Or do you develop in the cloud? This answer will be absolutely critical to choosing the right tools for your team. The infrastructure on cloud has its own options of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google, where one can host their code base and applications for production. Managing these instances or physical servers is also getting largely automated with tools like Chef.

    While cost is always a factor when looking at software development tools, be cautious that it doesn’t become your deciding factor. As with all IT solutions, the most inexpensive software management tool may not be the right fit. Almost always, the cheapest options have fewer features; while this may seem to be the right fit for your team now, always look towards future growth. As your team expands and diversifies, you do not want to have to purchase another software management tool. This is an easy way to waste your money and is best described by the old saying, penny wise and pound foolish.

    Don’t shortchange your software development company by choosing the wrong development tool. Whether you are looking at Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), Source Control Management (SCM) systems, unit testing frameworks, integration build tools, or Continuous Integration (CI) servers, you can find the right option for your team and project after deeper assessment and evaluating your needs in terms of size, criticality and scalability.

  • Agile-Development-Kanban-or-Scrum

    Agile Development: Kanban or Scrum, which is better?

    In an age of rapid technological progress, staying competitive requires a change not only in your products and technology, but in the processes used to develop them. This is especially true in the world of software development.

    In the past few years, the software industry has adopted agile development practices, which emphasize frequent launches rather than a few large product releases every year. Such practices help teams stay nimble and adaptable to rapid market changes. Two popular frameworks for implementing software agile development are known as Scrum and Kanban.

    Scrum:  With this methodology, the work is done in short bursts that are usually about two weeks in length, and it is divided up among people serving in three different roles.

    The first role is that of the Product Owner, who is responsible for maintaining the business strategy for the product. The second role is the Team, which is usually a group of fewer than 10 developers responsible for building the product. The third role is known as the Master, who acts as the bridge between the Product Owner and the Team. The Master also ensures that the Team stays on task by preventing the Product Owner from introducing new requirements in the middle of a development cycle.

    The benefit of this approach is that it allows the developers to do what they are good at while still enabling the Product Owner to drive the overall strategy. In addition, having one person act as a facilitator between the Product Owner and the Team helps to avoid wasted effort caused by poor communication.

    Kanban:  In this methodology, the emphasis is on continuous improvement and minimizing the cycle time. The work is planned out using “cards” that list the backlog of tasks that need to be accomplished. When a team completes a task, they simply take the next card and start working. Meanwhile, the product owner can add, remove, or re-prioritize items in the backlog at any time based on the needs of the business.

    Which one should you choose?

    Of the two methods, Kanban has less structure, which can be either a benefit or a drawback. In a very small team where communication is unlikely to be an issue, you can benefit from the added agility of this method. This is especially true if you are working on a brand new product that has yet to find a product-market fit, because you can quickly try new things, measure the results, and adapt. This allows you to easily experiment to find out what works.

    In a larger company, the focus on communication makes Scrum ideal. When your company finds a product that customers like, this approach can help you focus on what works while maintaining good communication between the product owner and the developers.

    Each approach to software agile development has pros and cons. Whichever approach you use, there is no doubt that agile development has numerous benefits over the old methods of software development, including more agility, flexibility, and improved communication with your team.

  • Right_Outsourcing_Can_Reduce_Burn_Rate

    How Outsourcing Software Product Development Done Right Can Actually Reduce Your Burn Rate and Speed Your Release Cycles

    Ever since the agile development model took over in many firms, being able to justify it from a cost standpoint has thrown some of the work that would be traditionally outsourced into technology product engineering methodologies that are more traditional and quantifiable in terms of return on the dollar spent.

    Yet agile non-withstanding, there is still a concern on the part of many experienced managers about being able to bring their projects in on time and under budget when using an outsourced team.

    Here are some tips that can help your software development company forge ahead with the partners that you choose to create your next application with:

    ROI doesn’t lie:

    At a large software firm, both the development models and the way that internal engineers interacted during projects used to change as management was looking at finding the best match for current conditions. For someone then taking those results and trying to apply them to their next project with outsourced product development, it became a tricky thing to find a way to compare apples to potential apples, given the stripped-down nature of the outsourced product development methodology. Just the same, once a model was developed and validated, it proved to be very useful in providing both a forecast and a system of checkpoints when it came to both cost and schedule, guiding the outsourced team to victory in terms of completing project milestones and meeting the budgetary goals.

    Re-think communication:

    Although many development models rely upon the meetings to keep a team cohesive and focused, the nature of a software product development firm that uses electronic and video communications with its offsite workers favors leveraging online communications to keep the team abreast of how a project is progressing. It therefore should not be as necessary to require as many meetings in order to meet your project deadlines. One SQA team tried an experiment at a large computer firm, avoiding all development meetings and merely reading the online notes, communicating via IM and e-mail and phone, and putting together automated scripts in advance of the product’s release. As a result of that strategy, they were able to meet their positive ROI goals without having a negative impact on software product development. Had they attended several meetings, the time that they spent during those meetings would have meant that they ended up costing the company more than they would have on similar projects in the past where automation was not part of the process.

    The upshot is that communication remains very important. Electronic communication, however can be leveraged to help meet technology product engineering goals.

    How is their project organized?

    Another thing that software development company managers can look at when they are
    interacting with their offsite counterparts is how their outsourced team is managed. As the client, if you have spent millions of dollars developing the most efficient engineering processes around, it is never wrong to throw your weight around by asking to validate just how your contractors plan to accomplish your goals. You do want to be careful regarding how fine a brush you use because they are not your employees- yet getting an overall feel for how they will organize the project is still within your purview.

    Outsourcing software product development can be rewarding to your firm when it meets the goals that you set for it. By using specific management techniques, you can create an environment where your contractors will be set up for success.