Category Archives: software product development

  • DevOps

    What’s the Impact of DevOps on Business Continuity?

    What is the Impact of DevOps on Business Continuity?

    The IT sector has benefitted a lot from DevOps innovation. DevOps Development involves creating a single system of systems that incorporate cultural and technical philosophies that regard software development. The idea is to enhance the speed of support services and applications. DevOps aims at bringing ten new changes daily. It can take organizations a long time before the can roll out a new application because of traditional processes of software development, standard InfoSec and IT tool maintenance updates.

    With that in mind, DevOps is a technology movement that not many people understand. However, it is gaining momentum, and it is crucial to understand the impact it is bringing in the business world.

    What is DevOps?

    DevOps is a philosophical or cultural movement that seeks to create better ways of achieving the best software development to operations and distribution results. It comes from the observations made by commercial web startups that poor software results are occasioned by the absence of operational cross-team alliances, which is why devop software development appears.

    DevOps Development is proving to be a good solution to different business problems through advancements of technology. Organizations are now enjoying the increased certainty of intent, safety, and quality. Although it seems like integrating DevOps into business continuity is becoming somewhat prevalent, it is not always seen as a highly valuable option. Organizational continuity is crucial especially if something major has happened. This implies that organizations have to change their business continuity competencies in the following ways with regard to devops software development impact:

    To maintain your business continuity, you must adapt to meet the competitive, supervisory, structural, technology or the new market prospects. Secondly, every business organization must provide stakeholders, suppliers, staff, and customers with an assurance that it will remain strong.

    With DevOps, organizations can come up with, test and release new technological changes every two weeks or less. As such, anything that is released must be ready for production. This is achieved through:

    • High-level (epic) business needs to be broken down coupled with a statement that shows the effect of the request.
    • Confirmation of the work being performed should be done by user stories tests also to ensure that they can be used anywhere.
    • The feedback should be availed to the development of infrastructure and cloud provider and product owner concerning the success of the tests performed.
    • Any outstanding matters must be fixed before the change is affected. Lack of a continuity test implies that the user story is the priority in completing near future sprints.

    Some companies have even adopted the DevOps philosophy to scale their operations as they enhance their services to their customers.

    Impact on the business continuity maturity assessment queries

    To understand the business continuity capabilities of your business organization, you can as several questions to those who can provide suitable responses. Try to find out.

    • The frequency of the tests for the code as it is created
    • If they do test before going live
    • The number of people that creates the code likes new applications, internet, as well as the visualization of infrastructure.

    The idea of business continuity is to ensure your business remains as such, which is why it is crucial to understand how devops software development works in a bid to maintain competitive advantage, compliance with regulations, a safe working environment for all and the need to access your products. These activities can be automated through technology especially in organizations whose business continuity practice is mature. This calls for mandatory changes, which are tested during the product life cycle.

    As such, DevOps has tools that support these capabilities, and they should be part of the development especially when testing the infrastructure or framework. The policies that concern business continuity management, practices, and processes can be factored when incorporating DevOps in your organization.

    When it comes to information, every business organization is turning to the cloud. As such, DevOps becomes a good opportunity. Other big organizations are using a modernized approach. The idea is to ensure that you are not left out as one of the frontrunners. This will help you in dominating the competition in the marketplace. With DevOps, there is a continuous integration and enhanced collaboration to ensure business requirements are in line with IT capabilities.

  • Kanban Methodology

    Benefits of Using the Kanban Methodology for Software Development

    Benefits of Using the Kanban Methodology for Software Development

    The Kanban method is one of the best time and resource management strategies that you can use as the owner of a software company. Software development is a complex, multi-step process, and this technique will effectively break it into steps for you. Here are some of the most important advantages of the kanban method:

    Kanban Uses Visual Cues To Keep Your Employees On Task

    Many people in the software industry are visual learners, and this means that the technique is especially effective in this field. This also is one of the reasons why this time management method is used by companies all over the world.

    You Will Be Able To Develop More Software Programs

    Numerous companies have found that this technique has increased their productivity level, and this is true of many software companies. One reason for this is that the method has its roots in lean manufacturing, and this manufacturing technique was specifically designed to reduce the cost of production. Reduced cost of production can make it possible for you to develop and sell more software programs, and this can significantly increase your profits.

    Kanban Is Exceptionally Responsive To Demand

    Many other time and resource management techniques fail to adequately take unexpected events into account. This is especially important to consider if you have a software development company, and unexpected events are quite common in the industry. In fact, this is often thought to be the biggest advantage of this time and resource management technique.

    This Technique Will Make Sure That You Develop High-Quality Software Programs

    Kanban methodology comes with built-in quality control techniques. In fact, the method originated in assembly line manufacturing, and it was designed to increase productivity while reducing the chance of a defective product being made.

    Kanban Methodology Is Empowering To Your Employees

    The technique places a substantial amount of control with your mid and lower level employees rather than upper-level management, and this helps to ensure that your workers stay motivated. In addition, this ensures that the strategies that you use are as practical as possible, and this contributes to a higher-quality product.

    Your Inventory Will Be More Carefully Managed

    While software design often does not involve as many physical materials as other industries, there are still many types of resources that need to be managed. Some examples of resources that kanban can help you to effectively manage are money, storage space, and the operating capacity of devices, and numerous companies have found that it is effective for this.

    Downtime Is Taken Into Account With Kanban Software Development

    Many other time management methods do not adequately take downtime into account, and this can mean that your employees consistently get tasks done on time. However, kanban is highly effective at taking various forms of downtime into account, and this ensures that deadlines are realistic.

    Kanban Software Development Can Ensure That The Products You Make Are Keeping Up With The Times

    A lot of other time and resource management techniques do not adequately ensure that the software development that your company creates are keeping up with the times, but kanban will take into account the fact that you will need to create new software programs to keep up your software current.

    It Will Prevent The Overproduction Of Prototypes

    While it is important to have prototypes of your software, it’s important that you do not have too many of them, and this can make it difficult to determine which one will be marketed. Luckily, there are highly effective methods included in the kanban method that will ensure that your software development employees do not overproduce prototypes.

  • Artificial Intelligence

    Top Trends of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Workplace

    5 Trends of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Workplace

    There’s no avoiding artificial intelligence. From devices like Alexa in many homes, to mobile apps and and marketing – AI already has a place in everyone’s daily life. And business is no exception, as AI is already being used to make better decisions and utilize data. Here are a few AI trends you should be aware of for your business.

    1) Artificial Intelligence Takes on Big Data

    Businesses are starting to make decisions by studying excessive data from a wide range of sources. Because of this, algorithms and real-time methods have been used to break down this data and help businesses use it quickly.

    AI helps in this space by breaking down the data to create predictive analytics. Then, artificial intelligence goes a step deeper, and uses machine learning and deep learning to improve the predictive analytics. This will allow businesses to give their customers the precise experience they’ve been looking for.

    2) Voice Assistants

    If someone argues that AI is being exaggerated, ask them how familiar they are with Alexa and similar devices. These are the most common examples of AI.

    And now, they’re making their way into the workforce. Digital assistants that can make use of voice commands are slowly going to become commonplace in the office – as they’ve already become commonplace in the home. For example, nearly half of the mobile applications on the market can process voice commands. It is only a matter of time before business applications can do the same. Business will be able to improve as employees can have more complex interactions with the applications they use the most and the data that’s most useful.

    3) Reshaping Mobile App Development

    Because AI can process data in more complex ways than ever before, the mobile app development space will undergo a complete transformation.

    Mobile users are seeking a custom, personalized experience – and many companies are able to provide it for them. This means the remaining businesses must make use of AI to provide a personalized experience on their mobile application in order to stay competitive.

    To reach this goal, the role of the mobile app developer will change. This used to be a job of coding applications to conduct specific functions. Now, a mobile app developer will work with AI so that it can process data, improve organically, and learn from users. AI will reshape the way businesses approach applications, and the hiring of those who will work on these applications.

    4) Automation via Robotics

    There’s a process called Robotic Process Automation. What it does is make use of AI to complete repetitive tasks at huge volumes. This can be anything from a simple business transaction, to processing and presenting data.

    Using this system saves a business both time and money. This is because Robotic Process Automation can complete the assigned task quicker than any employee, and more accurately. In order to stay competitive, businesses will have to implement this system and use the money that is freed up to invest in other business strategies.

    5) AI Will Actually Create New Jobs

    When people hear about AI in the workplace, they immediately translate this into robots replacing humans and taking over the job market.

    On the other hand, AI will actually create new jobs. Not only does it put computer scientists in high demand, but it requires new positions in order to run the AI. These positions include engineers, accountants, retail analysts, and more. People will be needed to train others on how to use AI. People will be needed to prepare and organize the data for the AI to process.

    So, the problem is not that AI will wipe out jobs. It will create new jobs, and organizations will face the challenge of finding candidates who can take on these responsibilities.

    It’s no secret that AI is going to continue to build its presence in the workplace – just as it has in the home. While the consumer sees things like Alexa and mobile applications that accept voice commands as normal, they will soon see this type of technology as normal in the office, too. This will reshape the role of developers, and create new positions that companies will have to fill. While this will be a big challenge for businesses to take on, the potential rewards are limitless.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    Click to find best tech startup advisory

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Mobile App Developer

    What are the common things to consider when selecting a mobile app developer?

    Common Things to Consider When Selecting a Mobile App Developer

    Selecting a mobile app developer is not a straightforward activity and should never be rushed because the outcome may not be favorable. You may be tempted to go for the cheapest quote, but this might cost you more than twice the highest estimate you have. So, what should you consider when selecting mobile app developer?

    1) The Portfolio of the Developer

    Top mobile app developers have a history in the business, and that means there is at least one app they have designed. Usually, they are proud to display the apps they have made. If they don’t have samples on their websites, you can ask for a list of companies they have worked with.

    This will give you insight into the kind of apps they design and the level of service you should expect once the job is complete. Mobile app developer who have designed high-ranking mobile apps in the past are very likely to create a great product for you too.

    2) Check the Reviews of their Apps

    Some apps may look good but are not functional at all. Sometimes, the targeted audience is unable to use apps that you find simple and well designed. That is why user reviews are important. They help you determine the mobile app developer capacity to adjust their products to suit the intended users.

    Ideally, you should find a mobile app developer who has worked in your industry. A medical app and a smartphone game alternative are made differently. What makes one product great might make be the worst quality in the other app.

    For consistency, you can look up the reviews on the apps made within your industry or similar sectors. This will allow you to analyze the mobile app developer properly.

    3) Find a Developer who Understands Marketing as well as App Designing

    Mobile applications are a means to more business, and as such, they need to be marketable. A business-minded mobile app developer will brand your app and add the proper elements to make it good for client conversions. The developer should understand all the aspects of your business since the app will also be a base for your company.

    You can ask the developer what value they will add to your company through the app. The answer should point you in the right direction.

    4) Hire a Developer who will Stick with you even after the App is Delivered

    Often, developers will want to forget about the app after the money is paid. Be careful, however, because bugs always come up in software. You may not notice it in the demonstration or even in the first weeks, but they will show up later on. Remember that your app is a pathway to more business, and delays will cost you a lot of money. To prevent such incidents, find a developer who is ready to fix problems that come up later on.

    You can find this out by checking their warranty agreements. The guarantee should run for a period that is long enough for you to uncover bugs in the product. Also, you can consult some of the developer’s previous clients to see how they handled bugs and issues in their software.

    Don’t believe any mobile app developer who tells you that their apps never have bugs. That might imply that they are dishonest. All apps have bugs and might need to be improved in the future.

    5) Make sure you are working with a team

    Teams are better than individuals since they will be able to come up with a functional app that is also easy to use. The business aspect of your app will be taken into consideration and still allow you to access the best talent in mobile application development. Also, get the contacts of the person who will be in charge of the project. That way, you will be able to get timely updates on the progress of the job.

    Conclusion

    It is very easy to go wrong with the selection of a mobile app development company. There are many people who claim to design great apps for you, but most will give out poor products and even poorer customer service. To reduce the probability of such incidences, you should consider the tips outlined here.

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  • 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.

  • How to build a winning Internet of Things strategy?

    How to build a winning Internet of Things strategy?

    How to build a winning Internet of Things strategy

    Internet of Things is opening a new era like opportunities and for consumers and businesses ever since mobile revolution dawned. It is expected that its products service suppliers will have the capacity to generate more than $300 billion by the end 2020.

    But the process about bringing together sensors, connecting devices analytics, cloud, and machine to machine communication requires careful strategy and planning from the Internet of Things. However, the internet stuff is a long expedition. For this reason, it is imperative to take some small steps. Always prioritize your options, identify your goals, and analyze your market to provide Internet of Things solutions.

    Take Smaller Steps
    One you have the idea, it is now time to create a prototype model and a minimally viable product. It is also imperative to understand and analyze to requirements needed to answer questions about costs, performance, and insights. An effective strategy requires you to lay down your requirements with the necessary strengths to make your solutions successful.

    Think about Customer Experiences First
    The internet world is all about connecting the world and people. Before taking your heels to the internet project, be sure to keep all your customers first. Work towards improving your customer experience while getting obsessed with your customer needs. As a matter of fact, you should never thing about monetizing a product. Before you start getting money, be sure to gain your customer’s trust and improving customers’ lives.

    Incorporating Security
    Whether it is all about financial data, personal data, or healthcare information, access to confidential or imperative data makes security one of the crucial aspects. One of the most vulnerable points of the internet is data security. Data and information breaches could cost you billions. Security should be the first thing you think about. Never make it an afterthought. Stay abreast on security technologies and encryptions to minimize data breach risks.

    Outcome-based & Platform Centric Approach
    Be sure to make your internet of stuff a platform where business thrives. Be sure to make it a better place for other businesses. You should let your platform offer a substantial amount of competition to help the consumers get the best service or product. Be sure to let other businesses create competitive advantages to grow and steer ahead all their businesses. You can also seek more ways to allow other companies and businesses to leverage connected devices.

    Providing 24*7*365 support
    Considering the complexity associated with the internet platform products, the possibility of switching off your device is impossible. The development company for Internet Of Things must be sure to make all devices function seamlessly to offer a better user experience among businesses and clients.

    Scalability
    Predictions reveal that the number of devices connected to the internet will be approximately 38 billion by the end of 2020. The current rate shows that more than 13 billion devices are connected on the internet. This reveals an increase of more than 250 percent. For this reason, we are presented with the most imperative aspect of scalability. For you to be sure that your network will have the capability to support all the devices, it is imperative to have a robust plan. As your numbers increase, you need a product that can seamlessly scale up in the platform. Lack of scalability results into data insecurity and poor performance.

    Big Data Management
    With the internet, there is a continuous flow of data and information. This information is very important in the transformation of businesses and helps business owners make informed decisions. It is a daunting task to manage an endless flow of data. The challenge comes when you want to harness this data, analyze it, and create better business results.

    Omnichannel Experiences
    The internet is all about allowing customers to interact on different business platforms with many devices. It is all about creating seamless experiences and Omni channels. This consistency brings out consistent data and strategies. Small channels, also known as Omni channels, will help you manage your internet activities with increased capability and security.

    Just creating an internet solution will not yield the required success. However, be sure to provide the best value to your clients in a manner that is not paralleled in the industry. You can also improve your company operations through the creation of streamlined business prototypes.

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  • Mobile App Strategy

    What are the great metrics to measure a successful Mobile App Strategy?

    Great Metrics to Measure a Successful Mobile App Strategy

    Coming up with an idea and development efforts for a smartphone app that will enchant customers may be just the first step of a new business. For businesses to stand the test of time and survive through ever changing market environments and needs require a mobile app strategy for success. If your business depends on successful mobile app development you then must start by defining what it means to you. How do you measure success, what are the right metrics?

    There are basically four kinds of metrics:
    Performance: The focus of these metrics are on the customer experience as it uses your app.
    User and usage: Marketing uses these metrics as indicators on customer demographics.
    Engagement: These metrics tell how users are engaging with your app.
    Business: These metrics answer the impact of your app on important business questions like revenue.

    Performance metrics

    Customers hate it when their app crashes, so you want to know about it. An example definition of a performance metric is app crashes per load attempts or you could relate it to performing a particular operation.

    Your app probably needs to access other services and the time to get your request in and out is called latency and is usually measured mobile app strategy in milliseconds. Latency directly impacts how a customer perceives your app as fast or slow. Another latency related metric is how well your app responds to increasing loads. You can have a low latency at the start but as the customer interacts with it and the request queue grows it may start to slow down significantly.

    Usage and demographics metrics

    Your development team can find out about your user base as a monthly or daily active users metric. This is very important if your mobile app development business model relies on advertising revenue.

    More details about your user base can be obtained from knowing which mobile devices and OS they use. This metric helps you focus and prioritize your mobile app development efforts according to your user’s platform of choice.

    Knowing where your user base is located is also very important for app development. Are you reaching out to a global market? Where are the majority of your customers? Do you want to target aspects of your app by geography?

    Engagement metrics

    A key indicator of how much your customers like or dislike your app is by looking at engagement metrics.

    Session length is a measure of time between app open and close. A long time is a strong indicator that your app is useful and liked.

    Session interval is another time measurement showing how much time a user spent on a particular function. With this knowledge, you can streamline your continuous improvement program and focus your value-added efforts on the functions that attract your user base.

    Your app can be downloaded millions of times and you may consider that a success. But is it really? Retention rate measures the percentage of customers that return after that initial engagement. By combining this metric with others your app development team can work on personalization features. Your user base may not be gigantic but those who are can be turned into loyal paying customers.

    Business metrics

    You may have to pay some of your distribution channels and you want to know if they are really worth the expense. The acquisition cost metric tells you from which channel your customers are coming from.

    Transaction revenue metric is very useful for apps that support retail product and service transactions such as shopping and travel.

    Abandonment rate metric is one you want to watch very carefully. It is a ratio of transactions abandoned vs. transactions initiated. Transactions may be abandoned due to performance, experience, or expectation issues and your app development team must be on top of it and devise fixes to prevent customers from going away.

    Once you have a user base and a business model that seems to be working you want to think long term. Lifetime value will be then your primary revenue metric. Your mobile app’s value is measured in relation to how much your users are worth during the time they are using it. Lifetime value is not only revenue in dollars but can be used to measure social sharing indicators, a number of articles read, or another measure of value that is important to you.

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  • 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.

  • How to Make Money with Mobile Apps

    How to make money with mobile apps?

    Mobile app development has become a very big market. The use of mobile devices has continued to increase with manufacturers coming up with new products every few months. Consumers have more options when it comes to operating systems unlike before when they only had about three alternatives. This growth has seen a new market expand for developers- mobile applications. With consumers always looking for something better, developers discovered the numerous advantages that having applications for mobile use would provide.

    From gaming to shopping to getting directions, mobile apps serve all kinds of needs. However, not a lot of companies have thrived from developing apps, and that is because they didn’t use the right monetization models. Making money from apps is possible, but it has to be approached analytically. So, how can an app make money with so many of them out there?

    Determining Pricing

    Before seeing how a mobile application makes money, consider elements that affect the pricing technique. The interaction that users have with an app will dictate the best way to make money off it. Some pricing models only work when an app requires a significant engagement with the users. If consumers don’t spend more than a few minutes on an app, then such a tactic would be ineffective.

    The utility of mobile apps is another matter to consider. How useful does a user find your mobile app? A mobile application must fulfill a need for the consumer if it is to profit you. Value also goes a long way in structuring an app to make money. With hundreds of other apps providing the same services like yours, why should people download yours? Integrating all these elements will position an app to rake in profits.

    Advertising on Free Apps

    One popular strategy of monetization in mobile app development is to offer apps for free and then charge for advertising. In-app advertising can bring in a lot of money but only if an app has a lot of consumers using it. An app with only a few downloads would be impossible to make money off advertising because advertisers pay for the number of impressions. Developers make money from a large number of downloads and high engagement with the app. The longer users interact with the tool, the more adverts you can display; and therefore, more money. Even when you charge a few cents per ad, an app with a lot of users and prolonged engagement will still make considerable profits.

    In-app Purchases

    Another pricing option that has worked very well, especially for gaming apps is offering them for free and then selling additional features. What happens is that a developer provides limited features to consumers who get to try out the app without having to pay. If a user wants to access the premium version of the mobile app, then payment is necessary. A lot of gaming apps do this where you have to buy powers, hints, coins, or bonuses to advance in the game. This strategy works because users have already seen what the app can do and like it. It is a chance to prove the usefulness and value of the app. Developers can also make money by charging for updates.

    Subscription Apps

    The subscription module only works for selected mobile apps, particularly in the media industry. The way it works is that users have to pay a fee to use the app for a certain period. A majority of high-quality magazines and news sites use this model. A subscription-based app can be tricky to pull off because users expect new content each time they log in.

    One-time Charge Apps

    App developers can also make money by designing a tool that requires users to pay only once to download it. Updates and other features for enhanced usability are expected to be free. For an app that doesn’t have a lot of customers and a short user engagement, this would be the most strategic moneymaking option. However, it means that the only way the app continues to make money is by getting new customers. Such an app has to be very well designed to convince clients that it is worth paying for even before seeing what it can do.

    Paid Download, Paid Features

    This pricing model is very hard to get away with because it requires customers to pay for the initial download and in-app features. Making money this way is possible but only with very valuable apps and even more useful features.

    Manufacturer and Carrier Partnerships

    Recently some app development companies have been working with mobile carriers and brands to have applications released with devices. It means that when a consumer buys a smartphone from a specific brand and carrier, they automatically get the app. This tactic could work, but it also means sharing profits with the other two partners.

    Mobile applications have incredible revenue generating potential, but they have to be good enough to appeal to the target audience.

  • Mobile App Development Cost

    How much money is needed to create a good app?

    If you’re considering making an app for your organization, it’s wise to determine early on how much mobile app development cost needed for a good apps. Because the complexity involved in developing apps varies widely from project to project, the costs involved fluctuate widely as well.

    Unfortunately, that means there is no single answer to a question like, “how much mobile app development cost?” But by working through the considerations listed below, you can reach a clearer understanding of how expensive your project might be.

    Who Is Developing the App?

    The first question to consider—and the one that will determine much about your approach to the project—is who exactly will develop the app?

    The are essentially two options here. In the first case, someone already working for you company could develop the app. (That person might even be you!) In this case, the total cost of the app development work is no higher than that person’s salary. If you have an experienced and capable developer on staff, and they have the time to take on a significant new project, then you might make your app without any new budget outlays.

    On the other hand, you could hire a freelancer or dev shop to handle your project. This can be an expensive proposition; high quality developers often bill more than $100 per hour. That’s $4000 for a full 40-hour work week. But, given the value that many mobile apps deliver, this can certainly be money well spent.

    How Complex Is the Project?

    If you are outsourcing the work to a development company like OTS Solutions, how much you pay them will depend largely on the complexity of the project.

    Many times, the mobile apps that clients ask for are relatively simple. If you don’t need much graphic design, and your app doesn’t include lots of interactivity, it might only take a few weeks to make.

    On the other hand, apps that require lots of design work, and include many interactive elements (like games, forms, purchases, etc.) can require hundreds of hours of work. And on top of design and development, complex projects also require more project management and QA work.

    It’s very common for complex apps to cost tens of thousands of dollars. But again, if you are developing apps that have high value for your organization, that price could be a fantastic investment.

    Controlling Costs

    No matter the size of your budget, you’ll want to do everything possible to minimize the final cost. And there are a number of effective approaches to limiting the cost of software development, without sacrificing features or quality. Below are some of the most important ones to consider.

    DIY Project Management

    Even if your organization doesn’t have developers in house, it’s likely that you do have employees with project management expertise. Leveraging their time can be an effective way of limiting the price you pay outside freelancers. Tight project management will keep the work on pace, and reduce the time developers have to waste figuring out exactly what is expected of them.

    Create a Clear Project Plan

    On a similar note, creating a definitive, comprehensive project plan before hiring freelancers will not only save you headaches and heartbreak, it can also save you thousands of dollars.

    For those without experience making applications, it’s normal to assume that most of the work consists of actual coding time. But in fact, things like requirements analysis and drafting design specs can be equally challenging, and eat up a huge portion of your budget. If you do your homework first and keep that work in house, you can easily save 25% or more on your outsourcing costs.

    Limit Feedback and Revisions

    Once you start to receive design mocks and prototypes, you will undoubtedly have ideas on how they could improve, and your project plan should account for revision time. However, you should be mindful revisions to a features (particularly once coding has started) can double or triple the time involved, and multiply your costs accordingly.

    So when offering feedback, be sure to ask yourself how important your requests really are. If they are “nice to have” but not essential, consider holding your tongue and saving yourself some serious money.

    Take an Iterative Approach

    Lastly, many clients begin software projects with bloated lists of requirements that include numerous features their users don’t really need. This is a recipe for frustration, and perhaps more importantly, a surefire way to waste money.

    Rather than attempting to build you dream application right out of the gates, consider aiming for an MVP—minimum viable product—instead. Ask yourself which one or two features are absolutely critical for the initial success of your project, and see if you can scale back your plans to just those items.

    If you do decide to build an MVP, it can be especially helpful to work with a dev shop like OTS Solutions. Experienced developers have a sharp eye for “scope creep,” and their input will help you determine which features you really need, and which can wait until after your app becomes a hit.

    The Bottom Line

    As is often the case, you get what you pay for when it comes to mobile app development, and quality isn’t cheap. Whether you pay hourly or flat price your project, you should expect an effective hourly rate of $100, if not more. If that seems steep at first, don’t worry. There are many ways to control your total costs, and a well made app will pay for itself over time.

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  • How to be a better startup founder in 2017?

    How to be a better startup founder in 2017?

    “How can I be the best startup founder I can be?”

    It’s a question every entrepreneur has asked themselves at one time or another. Unfortunately, it seems like every technique to improve your business either takes a lot of time or money (or both).

    Thankfully, there are many steps you can take to be a better entrepreneur in 2017; if you apply the following tips appropriately, we’re sure that your start up will really start up.

    Knowing Yourself: The Theory of Constraints

    There are no shortage of books that claim to teach you the “right mindset” for entrepreneurs. Many of them focus on positive thinking and growth mentality, which is a good place to start, but to be truly successful, you’re going to need to be honest (and occasional harsh) with yourself.

    If you’ve ever worked in manufacturing or production, you’re probably familiar with the idea of the Theory of Constraints (sometimes referred to as the “TOC”). Essentially, TOC is bottom-up approach to improvement in which you outline every single step of the manufacturing process, with the goal of finding the proverbial “weakest link”.

    This theory can apply to your personal life, too. Take a personal inventory of your traits as an entrepreneur. For the sake of explanation, let’s say that you have realized that you have the following problems:

    • Wasting too much time on social media or other “time-wasting” technology
    • Taking too long to respond to emails and messages
    • Having problems with employee retention

    We don’t know about you, but we’d definitely choose “employee retention” as the most serious issue, and therefore, the first one you should work on. By slowly rooting out your…shall we say “lesser qualities” one by one, you can efficiently and quickly improve your skills as a startup owner in 2017.

    Harnessing SEO and Knowing Your Competition

    As the owner of any sort of business, you need to know what makes your product or company unique. What are you giving your customers that your competition isn’t (or can’t)? This means it’s crucial to have a thorough understanding of the other businesses that are competing for your customers.

    These days, one of the easiest ways to do this is by checking out their website and social media presence. If you want to dig even deeper, you should do a Google search for “(your line of business) in (your area)”. See which websites pop up before yours on a simple search–those top few results are your fiercest competition.

    It’s an unfortunate truth of business these days that if you’re not in the first page of Google results for your kind of business, you’re invisible. If you want to fight your way to the top of Google, you should start researching SEO techniques.

    SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to an ever-changing series of techniques ranging from content to website organization, link-building, and more. With the necessary SEO knowledge and application of a few techniques, it won’t take you long to start making your way up the search engine ladder.

    If that all sounds a little complicated, we understand. We recommend Red Evolution’s excellent guide for entrepreneurs and development professionals who are new to the world of SEO.

    Growth Hacking and Bootstrapping

    If you’re an entrepreneur, or you work in development, you’re probably familiar with the term “bootstrapping”. It’s a term that refers to self-funded businesses. Although it’s really difficult to fund a business by yourself, every entrepreneur can learn from the mindset of successful, bootstrapped businesses, including:

    • Promoting maximum efficiency in the workplace
    • Keeping expenses as low and as lean as humanly possible
    • Putting in extra hours as the boss or manager to minimize payroll

    The last 2017-centered technique we’ll examine today is “growth hacking“. It’s not as complicated as it might sound–rather, growth hacking is a catch-all term for low-cost internet marketing strategies. A few of these include setting up automatic social media posts or inbound drip email campaigns.

    Although there’s no “one-size-fits-all” strategy for business success, with the right mindset, research, and techniques, you’ll make 2017 your business’s year!

  • 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.

  • The Internet of Things

    How the IoT is changing business today?

    The Future of Industrial IoT And Your Business

    As far back as the assembly line, we have used technology to gather data in order to increase output, become more efficient, and more effective. We are just now entering the age of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

    For companies in any sector that take advantage of the use of technology, now is the time to get ahead of the curve. Fortune 500 companies are ill equipped on their own to handle the sheer amount of data that sensors produce, but Centers of Excellence aim to solve this issue.

    Centers of Excellence

    To properly analyze and execute upon the data created by the billions of available sensors that exist today, companies are putting together brain trusts known as ‘Centers of Excellence’. These are think tanks filled with directors, software engineers, hardware engineers, and various other positions that are experts in IIoT across global business sectors.

    Big Data

    Sensors around the world are producing big data. Uses for this data includes increasing the efficiency of manufacturing, refining current and creating new products, and lowering labor costs.

    Everyone is in search of a faster, cheaper, and more reliable way of doing things. Data captured and made use of through sensors are a surefire way to contribute to this goal.

    For example, if a Caterpillar machine has sensors that can capture and relay data such as movement, fuel, and hydraulic usage, engineers can improve upon current machine designs. This will allow them to refine their designs in order to make the machines more efficient, more effective, and more attractive for the consumer. After all, who wouldn’t want a more reliable and less expensive version of products that are vital to daily operation?

    Automation

    Labor costs are the first line item in the budget for nearly every business. Businesses need people to produce, operate, and maintain the products that they produce. For now, that is.

    Drones, robots, and driverless cars are already in use. While this may not be good news for the laborers, it is certainly good news for companies looking to cut costs and increase output. In fact, a driverless trucking company has already made a delivery of beer purely without the use of human labor. Imagine the ability to run your trucks 24 hours a day without the need for the human drivers to sleep. The ability for robots to run 24 hours a day forming, cutting, and welding sheets of metal to be used in various applications. Let us not forget drones that inevitably will fly commercial planes without the use of pilots.

    Data As A Product

    Big data is a name that doesn’t do it justice. With billions of IoT/IIoT devices and sensors now connected that each spit out a continuous stream of information, there is more information than people know what to with.

    In the future, when companies who are late to the party finally understand the need to join the connected devices and big data revolution, it will be another great opportunity for the early starters to cash in.

    The data that they collect today will be able to be sold to these late joiners in large packages for extremely high amounts of money. This is because they will have years of invaluable information collected and analyzed that late adopters will see as a necessity in order to survive, let alone thrive.

    Those companies that choose to jump the roadblocks and navigate their way with a compass early on will be able to sell their GPS-precise (so to speak) information at a premium.

    Final Thoughts

    The future of automation is close. Those companies that decide, and decide now, to get in on developing technologies on their own and through centers of excellence will cost them a lot of money now, but they will reap the rewards in the future. Their companies will understand what works and what doesn’t, thus being far ahead of the curve compared to late adopters. And when those late adopters finally arrive tomorrow, they will be met with a heavy price tag for guidance and data from those early adopters that took the risk today.

  • How are technologies changing the way people interact in the workplace?

    How are technologies changing the way people interact in the workplace?

    In today’s fast-paced working environment, technology holds the key to success. From thriving corporate environments to smaller, tight-knit startups, software and gadgets are vital. This helpful analysis shows off just how tech in the workplace has a valuable impact when it comes to collaborating on a team, communicating effectively, staying productive and much more.

    Innovation

    The internet is ripe with tools to promote innovation in the modern workplace. Many of today’s workers rely on free software and programs to brainstorm and iterate ideas. Krita, Google SketchUp, Inkscape and Pixlr are just some of the many robust visual tools that today’s companies should take full advantage of. With visual communication, it’s easy to approach problems from a new angle and ultimately innovate more efficiently and creatively. For the ultimate idea development in the workplace, these tools are absolutely essential.

    Collaboration

    It has never been easier to collaborate than in today’s world. Google Drive and Dropbox are perfect for file-sharing, while other tools available online even allow real-time collaboration. For workplaces that are either limited on space or want to connect with people in a wide variety of locations, RealtimeBoard and Ziteboard are a few of the many helpful, digital whiteboard collaboration tools. Additionally, workplaces that involve coding and programming have a slew of real-time collaboration tools as well. With options like Kobra, Cloud 9 and Code Pad, modern workplaces can experience the best of collaboration no matter whether every employee is in the office or if the organization involves off-site independent contractors.

    Research

    The internet makes it possible to stay up to date and research online content to maintain a competitive edge. Whether you need to understand market conditions before launching a new product or you’d like to stay on top of trends in the virtual reality industry, it’s easier than ever before. Sites like Twitter, Instagram, Medium and Facebook make it possible to consume valuable information on a daily basis. With plenty of niche sites created by passionate hobbyists and industry veterans, there’s a wealth of information that’s transforming the workplace on a daily basis. These days, employees are more likely to come across valuable, shareable information that promotes collaboration and innovation in the workplace.

    Connectivity

    One of the most important aspects of a quality working environment is effective communication and interaction. Whether attending conferences or simply keeping up with daily tasks, technology keeps employees connected. Tools like Slack, Skype, Whatsapp and more help everyone to stay on the page and stay in touch. With the increased use of wearable gadgets, it’s even easier for employees to stay on top of important work-related updates. Overall, today’s technological advances mean the entire workplace can stay connected and on top of tasks, even outside of the office.

    A Worldwide Connection

    Today’s technological tools mean a lot for employees and hiring managers alike. With instant online messaging and high-quality video calls, the job search has become more accessible to individuals no matter where they’re located. It’s easier to network online and connect with professionals around the globe. Likewise, employees are always looking to gain a competitive edge with online learning tools and worldwide job searches. The impact these tools have on how people interact in the workplace can be enormous when you consider how large the worldwide talent pool truly is.

    Productivity

    Although some of today’s naysayers may harp on digital communication, it surely has a positive impact in the workplace. Especially when it comes to larger companies, tech limits the necessity to track down relevant documents and individuals. Likewise, employees can avoid distractions and focus on work without lengthy or difficult communication with chatty coworkers. Although in-person collaboration is absolutely a bonus for a thriving organization, there are times when it’s more important to get down to work. With the flexibility of smartphones, laptops and answering machines, the workplace has easily become a much more productive environment.

  • 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

  • IoT application

    Why should CIO invest in IoT application development?

    Why should CIO invest in IoT application development

    In an ever-growing number of industries, the Chief Information Officer is becoming an indispensable part of the leadership team. As your organization’s CIO, it’s your responsibility to keep track of the constant technological changes confronting you and position your team to take full advantage of emergent opportunities. When it comes to the Internet of Things, IoT application development should be a vital part of your approach.

    The Scope Of Possibilities

    The Internet of Things has made a rapid transition from trade journal buzzword to core function for many companies. The IoT application is no longer about “pie in the sky” consumer goods like smart refrigerators; today countless companies are finding real applications for this technology that can drive sales, boost profits, and reduce costs.

    One of the most fertile fields for exploring Internet of Things opportunities is in the field of business-to-business and enterprise commerce. If your company provides smart products that other companies rely on, you need to be prepared to make full use of the data those products collect. There are two key challenges standing between your organization and the full realization of its IoT application potential: Coping with the scale of the data collected and building the tools to put that data to work.

    Problems Of Scale

    Your company doesn’t have to deploy many smart devices before you find yourself facing a tidal wave of incoming data. IBM recently estimated that a single smart car could generate as much as 25 GB of data per hour when in use. Even though your own devices are likely to be less “noisy,” the amount of data you need to sift through scales exponentially as more devices are deployed.

    App development is just part of making that data productive. You also need the IT infrastructure in place to receive, store, and manipulate your device data. The traffic between your organization and its devices may be two-way or one-way, and your infrastructure should be ready to handle the increased traffic that smart devices impose upon it. Successful implementation of smart devices will definitely put you into a “big data” situation, and you need to be ready to take full advantage of that.

    User Vs. Supplier Opportunities

    The sheer variety of different ways you might take advantage of smart devices and their data makes it difficult to talk generally about the sort of applications you’ll need. Just bear in mind that you likely have opportunities to benefit both your own organization and your end users. You may want to invest in separate teams to cover each of these bases.

    Strong applications for the user side of your smart device network will significantly improve your users’ experience and help you meet your customers’ needs. To this end, your user-side apps need to focus on ease of use and reliability. On the supplier side, you need to build robust tools that will allow you to streamline your other services. Look for every possible way to streamline your organization’s workflow through the data your devices collect. Making device data available to your support department can result in significant maintenance savings, for example.

    Why IoT Application Development Can’t Be Left Behind

    You’ve already gotten a glimpse of the advantages that you can capture by paying attention to the software side of smart devices. What about the potential pitfalls you face if you neglect your iot application? Justifying the resources you invest in apps requires you to present a compelling picture of the dangers you’re avoiding.

    While falling prices are a big driver behind the growth of the internet of things, building smart functionality into your products still represents a significant investment. Those costs will be wasted if your organization doesn’t have the software “muscle” to take advantage of the opportunities you’re building into your hardware. That means building and maintaining a potent iot application development team both to meet your current needs and to identify emerging ones.

    Smart devices are going to play a transformative role in a lot of different industries over the next few years. Is your organization ready to take full advantage of the possibilities they unlock? As the CIO, you have a responsibility to take the long view and line up the resources that will be crucial in getting the most out of your devices.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • MVP, tech startup, OTS Solutions

    The Foundation of a Successful Tech Startup

    The first phase of a tech startup is chaotic, fast-paced and exciting. There’s an idea, and the first step is to launch the company and bring that innovative idea to fruition. A tech startup will do this by building its Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

    MVP Vision
    The MVP is a scaled down version of your product that has enough features to convince the target audience to engage. These early adopters are crucial to gathering the feedback needed that will ultimately prove there is both an interest and demand for the product.

    When building a Minimum Viable Product, it’s essential to remember the word ‘minimum’ — too often, entrepreneurs get caught up in creating a robust MVP that the window of opportunity passes and the need is met by another company. Additionally, entrepreneurs in the MVP phase don’t have large budgets secured yet, so the MVP is limited by financial constraints. Picture the core value of the product and the fastest way to demonstrate this value to the target audience. That’s the basis of the MVP.

    MVP Development
    While the MVP may be the most simplified version of the product, there’s nothing simple about building it. Moving from concept, to design, to development is the longest part of launching a tech startup. While there are plenty of do-it-yourself tools available to put the MVP together, it’s important to think beyond the initial cost to the long-term successes and flexibility of the product. An outside development firm will take into account the founder’s vision and brand, as well as UX and necessary troubleshooting.

    There are many ways to go about constructing an MVP, some of which have been used in the beginning stages of companies like Zappos and Google: Wizard of Oz MVP, Concierge MVP, Piecemeal MVP, etc. Each has its own advantages, challenges and benefits, depending on the overall goals of the tech startup.

    MVP Launch
    Deployment of an MVP should be quick and efficient, pushing the product to the target audiences with a team in place to respond to any mishaps (i.e. bugs, poor user experience, etc.). Agility is key to a successful launch and gaining as many early adopters as possible.

    The launch phase of an MVP can also be called the learn phase, because this is when a tech startup will gather information that will dictate the future, and potential success, of the overall product. A team dedicated to implementing customer feedback will inspire users to not only provide invaluable insight, but develop a personal connection with the overall brand.

    Click here to read more about how a tech startup can go from initial funding to business growth.

  • 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.

  • Load & Stress Testing for software

    How to use load testing as tool to test scale possibility for your software products?

    Checking Your Software’s Scalability: How Load Testing Helps
    The software industry is littered with success stories about the killer app that reinvented the marketplace and made its creators rich. For every one of those happy endings, there are a healthy handful of sadder stories about the program with tons of potential that died a messy death as soon as its operators tried to scale it up. If you want to avoid this ignominious fate, load testing your software product will ensure that scalability doesn’t turn into its Achilles’ heel.

    Load Testing Defined

    Load testing is an attempt to test your software in a realistic usage environment. The goal is to accurately simulate what will happen when the software is subjected to normal use at high volume. There are countless tools available to this, and many types of software – such as web applications – can be properly tested using an off-the-shelf testing tool. Examples include Apache JMeter (desktop) and The Grinder (Java-based). Some products, though, require specialized (or even scratch-built) tools to model their “live” operating conditions.

    Load testing can apply to any aspect of a program. The most common form of load testing today involves subjecting a piece of software to multiple user inputs; this is particularly vital for online software. Load testing also applies to your software’s capability to handle data, though. You need to verify that your program will accept your expected volume of input without choking.

    The Blurred Line Between Load And Stress Testing

    There used to be a sharp distinction between load testing and stress testing. As noted above, load testing is shows how your software performs under expected conditions. Stress testing is intended to push your software to its breaking point. Sometimes the same testing tool can serve both functions, but many are designed exclusively for one or the other. This is why a multi-tool testing platform (like Taurus) may be useful for organizing your testing procedures.

    In today’s programming market, you’re always hoping that the new software you’re developing will turn into the next Uber or Instagram. If you’re being optimistic, you’re not going to set an upper bound on the number of users or the volume of data you anticipate. Thus modern load testing often expands towards – or even becomes – a form of stress testing.

    What Proper Load Testing Reveals

    Good load testing does more than simply confirm that your software will work as intended. With the right tools, you can measure your program’s performance as it approaches or exceeds anticipated loads. Response times, resource utilization, and efficiency can – and should – be measured during load testing. Full load testing will also discriminate between “steady” loads and “peak state” loads; showing what your software is capable of sustaining in both the long and the short term.

    The benefit of load testing is that it will illuminate the limitations your software is going to face once it goes live. You can identify processes that serve to bottleneck the program as load increases; these can be addressed through design refinements to minimize their impact. You’ll also get a better understanding of how resource consumption changes with increasing loads; this information will be vital when you formulate plans to keep pace with an expanding user base.

    To get the most comprehensive results, it may be smart to outsource your testing requirements to a specialized team. Many firms have capitalized on their testing expertise to deliver more far-reaching and informative results than you can develop in-house. If you’re hoping for your software to expand to the largest scales, investing in an experienced testing team can be invaluable.

    Every software product should receive at least some form of load testing before it’s introduced to the public. The more careful and thorough you are during this process, the better prepared you’ll be for rapid expansion. Comprehensive load testing is the best – if not the only – way to make sure your software is ready to grow.

     

  • Automated unit testing

    Software Development Managers – How automated unit testing helps in controlled incremental releases?

    The Indispensable Merits of Automated Unit Testing
    Does it work?

    Because of all the rhetorical noise that can come with a hugely complex industry such as software development, you can accidentally lose sight of this fundamental question. The fact is, the only thing that matters to your client is “does this program do what I need to do, and does it do it reliably?” The way to ensure this is a simple, yet elegant development solution: unit testing.

    When developing a new software feature, you might take the naive approach and hand your engineers a rough specification, and have them implement your ideas to the best of their ability. Then, although they might have even designed a good feature, sometimes it just isn’t what you or your client needed. The perfect solution to this is test-driven development and unit testing. Using this method, instead of making guesswork of what needs to be done and then testing it later, only to find that the feature isn’t quite right, you instead write the tests first, ensure that they fit exactly what you want your piece of software to do and only then begin development. Initially, all the tests will fail. But as your engineers code the feature, they code specifically to pass each test, and as a result they code exactly what you need to get your feature working, released, and useful.

    Unit testing is especially important in incrementally released software. As you continuously roll out scores and scores of new features, it can become impossible to make sure the entirety of your program is functional. On a piece of software that is even two years old, there can be hundreds and hundreds of features that need to be ensured to work. It cannot be assumed that if a feature worked in a previous release that it will always work, as software engineering is an inherently finicky task, and the most minute change can break features for reasons entirely unknown. This is true especially if you have to change the fundamental structure of the program in order to roll in the new feature, which happens more often than you might think.

    In addition, manual testing requires your engineers to repeatedly execute repetitive tasks. Saving your engineers’ time, especially by running overnight test suites, can in addition save your company a good amount of money.

    There are scores of software development services created with automated unit testing and test driven development in mind. There’s one in any competitive IDE and one for virtually any language. Without a doubt, there’s multiple automated testing software development services for whatever technology you decide to develop your product with. Automated unit testing is a simple, elegant way to ensure a viable, reliable product, it reduces development costs, wasted time, guesswork, and headache for everyone involved, and all of the tools and services are already in place for you to integrate it seamlessly in your enterprise. In light of this, automated unit testing is, without a doubt, an indispensable practice to any software company.

  • 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.

  • QA_Testing

    How QA & Testing Effort has Changed in Software Product development in Past Years?

    The beginnings of software engineering came at the start of the computer age, with government insistence on exacting standards from large technical defense contractors. Today, at virtually every level, quality assurance testing has become a critical part of software development. But how has that role changed?

    Waterfall to Agile:

    The software world has been moving into leaner methodologies to streamline product development. Engineers who used waterfall development strategies have slowly gravitated to Agile methods such as Scrum or Extreme Programming. Agile techniques have overtaken software development and the role of QA engineers since the Agile Manifesto appeared: https://www.agilemanifesto.org/

    At one time a big allotment of time was designated for “testing”, and developers simply sent blocks of code to QA testing and moved on. Now programmers and QA engineers work together to produce quality code at each stage of development, while considering end-user feedback before moving forward. Today the QA engineer is an essential part of the development team.

    Software development methods: https://noop.nl/2008/07/the-definitive-list-of-software-development-methodologies.html

    Single to Multiple Platforms:

    Not too long ago a software development company produced applications for use on one or two platforms only. Today’s applications, in a world of smart phones and Internet, often must have a server component and an API compatible with both mobile and desktop devices. In addition, each application must work across a variety of popular platforms, such as iOS, Android, Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox, to name a few. Even a simple application must be tested across these different platforms, requiring quality assurance testing engineers to have familiarity or specialized knowledge of all of them.

    But Agile, too, is forced to adapt as extensible, open-source software platforms become more of a norm. Unified process methodologies were created to provide a more extensible framework for development, and QA engineers have more testing to do as development embraces open-source solutions: https://www.opensourcetesting.org/

    Manual to Automated Testing:

    Browsing the Web these days, it’s hard to imagine the dull, non-interactive pages of early HTML pages that displayed text and photos and did little else. Today Web applications are full-service word processors, spreadsheets, translators, photo editors, and much more. These applications are often as sophisticated as many desktop versions, and also must work well not only the variety of browsers, but many scripting languages like JavaScript, Python, or Ruby. A software development company will often have many specialists writing the same functionality in different code.

    Unfortunately there is no easy compilation step to check syntax over a wide variety of languages:

    QA testing today can rely on automated checking tools to ensure that applications run together seamlessly, no matter what script is used, to meet standards from load-testing to multi-browser support. These tools also include essential features such as unit and load testing, or regression. Today’s QA needs not just some developer skills in software code and scripting, but specialized knowledge of these testing tools that would otherwise make todays complex, multi-platform approach to software development a nightmare.

    Every project manager, regardless of background, has to be familiar with a growing variety of development methods and testing tools to get the most prolific results from his team in the shortest time span possible.

    Software development is changing to the point where it’s the QA engineers and not developers who play a critical and central role.

  • Remote-teams-for-product-development

    How Setting Remote Teams can Actually help in Increasing Efficiency of Product Development?

    How Setting Remote Teams Can Increase Efficiency on Product Development:

    Product development is a time and energy consuming aspect of business that requires all hands on deck. Successful product development requires project managers, designers, developers, marketers and more, and it seems like it would make the most sense to have them all in the same place working together. While the traditional in-house approach to product development still works for millions of companies around the world, remote development has its own advantageous worth exploring.

    What is Remote Development?

    Remote development means that the members of your development team can work from anywhere. It can be their own homes near the office or a country away. Remote product development hones in on each individual party’s skillset and decreases distractions and unnecessary crossovers, maximizing efficiency and improving the overall quality of your final product.

    Remote Software Development:

    The team effort that goes behind software development can actually be improved upon through remote software development. Apart from granting more freedom and space for your current team members to focus on their responsibilities with minimal distractions, software product development remotely is a booming industry with thousands of qualified professionals looking for work around the world. You can recruit experienced developers in your industry that you would have no way of collaborating with otherwise.

    How Remote Product and Software Development Benefits You:

    IT solutions can be done in-house and oftentimes, face-to-face consultation is necessary to get the job done. However, we’re in an era that allows us to connect with virtually anyone in the world in a matter of seconds. The IT solutions at your disposal aren’t limited to your business location. A software development company can strengthen their international presence by hiring remote software developers and IT professionals to work directly for their company. With tasks that are normally delegated to other employees being taken care of by remote workers, your team can work on developing the highest quality of software in the fastest amount of time.

    Software Product Development and Remote Workers:

    You may be hesitant to send your employees off on their own and expect them to report back in on time or to hire people who you have no way of meeting in person. However, remote software developers are just as diligent as the ones you have working at a desk in the office. There are also specific softwares you can use to make sure that everyone on the product development team is working when they should be and meeting all of their deadlines.

    A software development company that reaches out and embraces remote workers for their next product development endeavor won’t just be able to better prioritize their objectives and reach their goals faster, but they will also be establishing useful industry connections that can lead to company growth and new professional opportunities.

  • CTO-and-CIO

    How is a CTO Role Different than CIO?

    Differences between CTO and CIO:

    As head of an organization or in top level management, you may be faced with a challenge trying to understand the differences between a Chief Information Officer and a Chief Technical Officer. A clear understanding of the two job roles will help you access whether your business needs them or not. Overseeing the people in these positions can be harder as some of them may not have a thorough understanding of their roles. Every business need not have people in these job positions, but as they grow they may need people for these job roles depending on their type of business. People in leadership, especially in technology, need to understand the two job roles to make the right decisions.

    Similarities

    The reason distinguishing the two job positions is hard is because they share a lot of similarities. Both must have strong leadership skills, a clear understanding of the main underlying technologies, sound operation and management skills, business-oriented mindset, and efficient communication. The way they handle the similarities is what differentiates the job roles. Smaller organizations that only have one of these positions, must have a manager that complements with skill sets that are lacking. For instance, a startup may only have a Chief Technical Officer and will only be focused on startup product development. In such a case, a manager to complement the role for internal processes will be needed.

    Chief Information Officer

    The job roles of the CIO are focused on an organization’s bottom line. They use their strong leadership skills, a clear understanding of the main underlying technologies, sound operation and management skills, business-oriented mindset, and efficient communication to improve the efficiency of internal operations. The CIO manages organization’s technology infrastructure, oversees internal IT operations, aligns business processes with technology, focused on internal users and business units, works with vendors that provide infrastructure solutions, and aligns the organization’s IT infrastructure with business priorities. The key responsibility of the Chief Information Officer is to ensure the organizations runs efficiently by providing effective communication and maximizing productivity. For instance, for a software company, they ensure efficient use of internal resources for software product development.

    Chief Technology Officer

    The roles of the CTOs are focused on an organization’s top line. They use shared similarities CIOs to develop technologies that aimed at product development. The CTO is the organization’s technology architect, oversees the engineering group, uses technology to enhance the organization’s products, focuses on external users (customers/buyers), works with vendors that provide solutions that improve the organization’s products, and aligns the organization’s product development with business priorities. Based on the software company example, they are focused on software product development to meet the needs of the customer.

    Conclusion:

    It is evident that the two roles can easily overlap. A closer look at the job roles of each, the Chief Information Officer needs to be skilled and organized to deliver. On the other hand, the Chief Technical Officer has to be creative and innovative. That is the reason small companies will focus on the product, for instance, a startup will have a CTO for startup product development.

  • BOT_Model

    Build, Operate and Transfer Model – Getting Software Product Development Done Right

    The Industry That Never Sleeps:

    Software product development is a fast industry. What worked yesterday may be obsolete today. Because of this, your programmers never sleep, the research and development never ends, and as part of the leadership of a software development company, you are constantly balancing risks and returns.

    Yet despite all this endless work, the obstacles of software development continue coming. Profits are low, turnover of new software is too slow, and losses keep piling. The pressure never ends.

    Have you ever asked yourself, “Why isn’t there a better way to do develop software?”

    Turn to the Government:

    It may be time for you to take a page from the government playbook. Historically, government infrastructure programs have always faced dual problems. First, governments naturally could not keep up with all the latest trends in construction and engineering. Think about how quickly every single technology changed during the Industrial Revolution! Overnight, old technologies became obsolete and if a government had spent millions of dollars on that obsolete method, they were simply out of luck. Second, the government could never justify spending millions of public dollars on research in an age of democracy and transparency. Without guaranteed returns, public outrage would increase with every dollar wasted.

    If you are leading a development company, these challenges may seem similar to what you are facing on a daily basis. So what did governments do? Faced with the dual challenges of rapid technological change and minimal research and development capacity, governments cleverly turned to the build, operate and transfer model of public project development. Example: https://www.thehimalayantimes.com/?s=Promotion+of+public-private+partnership. In this model of development, governments outsourced pieces of new public projects to third party contractors. Governments paid a fixed fee that gave contractors a fair return on income, and the contractors would build and operate the physical asset for a fixed term. After the term ended, the contractors would them transfer ownership of the asset to the government.

    How does this help me?

    Why was this a win-win, and why will outsourcing development be a win-win for your software development company? Outsourcing removes the two major risks of software product development. First, by finding expert firms in their field to develop and operate a software, your company will be assured to purchase the latest technology for your project. After all, if you hire an expert C+ developer, then you can be sure that he will know more about C+ then your Java programmers.

    Second, because you are purchasing this expert, the research and development is already included. You will have gained the many years of experience that developer has with one simple hire. Soon you will have a new, cutting edge software developed at a predictable fixed cost, for which you will not have to pay operating fees for as long as you want, and you will be in a better position to reap the benefits.

    So why did governments turn to the build, operate, transfer model for product development? For the same reason your software development company should use BOT models in your software product development. You will enjoy more flexibility, operate with lower risks, and develop products faster with one simple hire.

  • Product Development

    Don’t Just Outsource Your Product Development: Treat It Like Your Own External Team

    Although there are a quite a few benefits to outsourcing project work in product development, there can also be pitfalls that set efficiency against cost savings, resulting in more work for your firm. One of the most popular ways to counter potential problems is to set the environment in your organization so that outsourced product development workers are treated like an external team.

    Here are some ways to approach making changes that can enhance your results on your overall approach:

    Focus on synergy:

    One successful software product development firm adopted a strategy of keeping team leads in the United States and then outsourcing all development to their outsourcing partner in India. They were able to achieve productivity gains through synergy by focusing on finding a partner that could meet their cost/performance requirements. Once they made their decision, they spent extra time and budget on developing a strong working relationship with their counterparts, introducing the software product development people overseas to their company culture and work processes. They begin to see a return on their investment after the first few months of project work and have not looked back.

    An important part of emphasizing synergy can be to have your key managers or executives spend time with the people that you will be working with in advance of engagement start. The more that they can learn about capabilities and tendencies, the smoother the ride will be.

    Metrics are important:

    If you talk to tech executives involved in software product development you will likely hear tales of partners that worked out and others that turned out to be a larger cost than they might have paid if they were doing things in-house. The curious thing is that although North American firms have been outsourcing for a few decades, finding a partner that meshes well with your expectations in the short term and the long term is not an exact science.

    Metrics, therefore become a pretty important part of helping you to establish and maintain control of the development process from a cost standpoint. An important component of project work is looking at integrating ROI into what you do with your outsource team. If you have solid data from previous projects, you should be in a good position to homogenize it and use it to build potential comparisons with your upcoming work. It is a good idea to see if you can separate the data beforehand, keeping any projects that didn’t emphasize building external teams apart from data from projects where you might have. That way, when you run your numbers as your project progresses, you will be able to see precisely how much your synergy efforts are paying off.

    Overall, the trend of late among companies that outsource is to continue to look at ways to integrate their partners more. And whether that takes the form of keeping your managers local and managing the teams directly or building relationships with multiple vendors so that you can utilize their strengths, the upshot is that if you do integrate more, treat outside engineers as your own team and use metrics like ROI to help guide your performance, you will get better results.

  • Planning a research & development

    Planning a Research & Development Team for your Software Product

    Getting Ready to Launch a New Software Product in the New Year? Here’s How to Form Your Research and Development Team

    When you’re in the software development industry, you know that getting your product to market is one of the most important initiatives for being successful and making money. But if you’re product rushes to market too quickly, you’ll lose money in the end. That’s why it’s so important to plan with your software product development team. If you’re among the many technology startups in NYC who are looking for tips on how to find the balance between getting a product to market and doing it in the right amount of time, read on to learn our top three tips for getting there.

    Tip #1: Set Small Goals that Lead to Big Ones

    When you are planning for a software launch, your software product development team members must all be on the same page about the goals at hand. Set your goals too lofty and no one knows what to do. That’s why it’s a good idea to set small yet strategic goals that build on one another and point to a set of larger goals. Your team will feel more motivated — and they will be more specific and pointed in the execution of those goals.

    Tip #2: You Hold Team Members to Their Duties

    There are many moving parts on a software development team — with many members in different roles. You have project managers and engineers and designers. Make sure each member knows his or her role and duties. When you set a deadline for something to be done and that team member agrees to it, there need to be consequences if it doesn’t happen. Missing a deadline can be major money and hold up the software launch. You need accountable and smart people on your team.

    Tip #3: Select the Best You Can Get

    When it comes to software development, you need really bright people on your team. So try to hire the very brightest and creative people you can. You bring engineers who can build the software and work out its quirks. You need a really great project manager who exhibits great leadership skills and organizational skills. You also need a team that works well together. Sometimes fit matters a lot more than experience — but it’s important to know when you can let one go a little more for the other. In the end, you want to put out the very best software product for your consumers, so you need team members on the side of the software from day one until the day the project launches.

    Many Technology startups in NYC are a bit mysterious in their tactics for planning the initiatives of their R&D teams. But the more the collective group can share, the better we are together — and hopefully, the better our products will be in the end. It may be even wiser to hire a consulting group or company that focuses on startups to help setup a great R&D team together and work on development cycles for the product. Good luck, and let the research begin!

  • software-product-development

    How a Traditional Software Project Development Different than Developing a Software Product?

    A systems development cycle (SDLC) for a long period has been the conceptual model for developing software; it has defined phases. The stages include user requirement definition, analysis and system designs, system requirement definition, testing, maintenance, and implementation. These models are commonly referred as plan- driven models since they emphasize on planning continuum. However, the modern world is experiencing rapid advancement in the field of business and technology. Software product requirements are changing continuously, and they may not be clear.

    Product development approach used by companies face the need to adapt themselves to complex environments, which call for continuous transformation on how they develop a software product. Under the current circumstance, business agility is the fundamental elements in gaining market success and strategic advantages. Achieving modern software demand, organizations need to have agile techniques, architectures, methods, and tools that can react to real time changes and requirement. Agile methods are increment; they can accelerate delivery of quality product through continuous planning, feedback and close communication between developers and customers. This article proposes an incursion on how traditional software development project differs with developing a current software product.

    The nature of software development is highly complex undertaking; it characterized by various requirements and need for specialized and diverse skills. It is common to find organization often overwhelmed by inherent complexity requirement. Often the process is poorly defined and unpredictable due to undefined inputs and outputs, and thus, the process is considered unrepeatable.

    Since inception, rational and engineering based approaches such as Waterfall method had been employed to develop projects. These traditional models assume that problems can be well defined; hence, the process can be optimized, and extensive up-front planning is conducted to measure variation in the development cycle. From customer’s perspective, these traditional approaches have pro and cons. The definite advantage is its scalability since large projects may need an active plan. However, its shortcoming is based on assumptions that customer requirements are always understood completely and that they do not change, which is rarely the case. Further, the process takes too long, such that by the time they reach to end users, users requirement have changed.

    To address the shortcoming posed by traditional method in Software product development used a set of light methods referred as “Agile” was developed. This method uses various scientific tactics to overcome dynamic limitations. One of the methods is to use Empirical Process Control, based on “soft thinking”. The other method is usually, to refer to Product development approach used in an organization as complex adaptive system and designs team structure around it. The process changes from linear cycle model into an evolutionary delivery model that is characterized by periodic reflections, short interactive cycles, adaptations, and continuous integration of codes into the software product under development. Also, agile product development calls for constant collaboration with customers through their input and feedback at various checkpoints.

    Successful transition of organizations to agile methods of Software product development used may depend on careful consideration of personnel and processes aspect that may need to be changed in an organization. Moreover, an organization may need to consider a combination of both Agile and traditional methods based on projects size, customer readiness, complexity, and a need for speed.

  • agile-product-development

    Developing Software Products: Agile or Traditional Model?

    When it comes to software product development, organizations are faced with a persistent need to have the ability to adapt themselves to complex environments and needs. This need for the ability to quickly adjust can be defined as system agility. Much in the same manner that all other areas of life are dynamic, so is the life cycle of software development models. As the overall environment changes in a startup or product requirements that may evolve, the needs will change, and the manner in which that software is developed will also change to conform with the needs of the stakeholders and users that use it. Maintaining this type of agility requires architects with agility, as well as agile tools and methods. When it comes to software product development, the idea is to sustain the discipline necessary for optimal quality, while possessing the agility necessary to meet the need for constant change.

    While it may seem that the agile software product development method would be an automatic choice for most instances, there may be times in which a traditional model will be more conducive to producing the software product that is needed.

    Working with a Traditional Model

    Traditional models call for a more precise approach in which teams will work according to a highly detailed plan that consists of a comprehensive list of detailed characteristics in addition to specific tasks that will have to be completed within a specified period of time, because the specificity is related to the product and its lifecycle. This type of model is 100 percent dependent on the requirement analysis and precise planning at the initiation of the lifecycle. Additionally, any type of changes that take place will have to be filtered through a strict change management process and may cost more.

    Understanding the Agile Model

    Agile methodologies are reflective of the use of adaptive software development mechanisms and practices. The agile model uses an adaptive approach in which there is no detailed list of pre defined requirements, but only those user stories that are absolutely necessary for the development of the software product. When it comes to product development cycles, the demand for change favors the adaptive model, because it has the potential to extend the lifecycle of the product. When a software product is highly specified and locked into the constraints created by a more traditional development approach, it is likely that the product will quickly become outdated. The digital world is a rapidly evolving force, which means that the tools and mechanisms that users depend on must evolve.

    In the past, the use of traditional methods meant that the only evolutionary process for software products was to create a new one; however, agile software product development models allow for the development of software products that have the agility to be readapted as the need arises. With evolving new ways of delivering software as service using cloud, no wonder Agile has become most preferred way to perform software product development in modern times.