Guide to Software Development Outsourcing

Many businesses don’t have enough talent in house and startups need multiple experts for their software development outsourcing project, that’s why they’re outsourcing. Therefore, people are normally left to a “wild west” of tactics in the outsourcing market and none of them will succeed. Waterfall development will fail, as previously discussed, but even agile shops don’t put you in the process with them. Our team integrates with your to partner for success. If you go with outsourcing software development from other firms, there are a few important points to remember.

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Adam Paul
App Quote - What's a non-technical person to do?

App quote…. No Two words are more misunderstood in the outsourcing of app development than these. Getting an app quote, while seeming straight-forward, in reality has no real way of being an exact quote or even properly explain and vet development talent when a non-coder looks for a team. Our team has worked in the industry for years and has settled on a solution that has the least friction for non-technical people needing apps for their startup or business. Below are the 5 most important considerations when at the “app quote” stage of development.

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Agile App Development

Most people feel (non-coders) that you give a list of specs or “statement of work” to a developer, get quotes, develop the app, and then you part ways with a perfect app. This is NOT how it works. Agile development was developed with 12 core principles that focus on iterative development, not the “waterfall” approach most non-coders assume is the industry standard way (and only way) to get an app developed.

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Finding developers

Finding developers is hard, and a non-coder has almost no chance of landing great engineers. Even large businesses have trouble finding great developers and they know how to vet them and people want to work for them with their high salaries. Freelance sites make it easy to find developers, but are they great? You can take the company’s word for it or look at reviews, but in reality there is no way to vet them as a person that can’t code.

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What is the agile app development cycle like?

The agile development cycle prescribes specific meetings that help coordinate and add a system to the development process. By structuring the meetings in the following way, the whole team has complete transparency into the development cycle at any given time. We have found, as the industry has, that the agile development cycle is much more effective at delivering on time, on budget, and on specification. As has been already covered in this series, waterfall fails to deliver what agile can.

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Planning your MVP

So you have what you need and a team you trust to implement it. What do you do next? The most important next step is to begin the living document called the backlog and draw some cut-lines. During the very first meeting (before the first Sprint Review meeting), the team sits down to go over what is most important in the app and start to define a rough draft of items they would like to see in the first (MVP) through later sprints.

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How do you hire an app developer?

It can be daunting to undertake development as a business that doesn’t have or know any coders and other development experts. A common mistake made is to get a bunch of quotes and get the app they want developed. This makes sense, but according to Gartner, it is going to fail because “agile development is essential for mobile app development”.

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Your idea is worthless, but don't worry

You're watching television one night and you see a commercial. As the paid monotony plays out, you start to hear things you've talked about before, "I had that idea!" then comes out of your mouth inadvertently. As you watch the hypothetical dollars flow to another person's not-so-hypothetical bank account, you lament your lack of action. This is the moment you start thinking about every other idea you have and where the embers for the next great idea you're about to have. This scenario is very common and holds in it the true value of an idea, nothing.

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Agility as a Service: Why you don't need a technical co-founder

Mission Command membership offers you a way to completely own the process of developing your app, now and forever. Agile is the app development community's standard method, but costs a bunch because there are multiple roles and experts needed to truly become agile. Blast Off Apps has developed a system to develop apps and other software that puts YOU in command, leaving the technical details to us aka Agility as a Service.

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Agile Ceremonies Series: Backlog Commitment list

Users have many request for features, so do your team members and there are always those pesky bugs that pop up from time to time due to 3rd parties updating their requirements. This leads to a long list of requirements that need to be implemented, but to do that in code, you’d end up with an ever elongating list of features that are taking longer and longer to complete. This will obviously frustrate users that already have very short attention spans.

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Adam PaulAgile Ceremonies, agile
Glossary of Common Terms

App development relies on highly specific, highly technical language, which is great for accuracy but not always ideal for the everyday person. For example, we utilize Feature-Driven Development, which is defined below.

We hope this glossary helps you feel more confident and knowledgeable when discussing app development.

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Meetings in Agile App Development

There are different methods to actually code every given piece of functionality, which leads to great variability in app quotes you may have seen.

We utilize Feature-Driven Development.

In practice, this means we start with the Visual Prototype stage of development and then code the backend – the larger portion of work – once those visuals are confirmed. This leads to less chance of mismatch in expectations.

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