The whole field of software development is fraught with complexity, riven with unclear requirements, paved over with the burned-out husks of project managers. A stream runs through the middle of the field; it’s a stream of the tears of business analysts.
In summary, designing and delivering software that matches up to the customer’s vision is hard.
The above rant summarizes that “Software projects have a propensity to go wrong” – where wrong will mean one of:-
- It is not possible within the bounds of physics, no matter what the salesman promised.
- It does not work as intended
- Cannot meet the requirements with the chosen implementation technology
- It does not meet the customer’s expectations
- It takes a LOT more effort than was initially anticipated
There is, strangely, a direct correlation between the experience of the software team executing the project and the likelihood of failure – and an inverse correlation between the knowledge of the team and delivery timescales, bugs, and believe it or not cost (that last one because an experienced team will use a standard set of libraries, naming conventions and design patterns that lead to higher performing, reliable code with fewer bugs that test quicker and require less maintenance)
The below image, which I have seen on my social media stream many times & in many forms over the last few years, nicely encapsulates the above –
Whether it be a simple web page or a full-fledged customized application, the same principles apply, simplistically these:-
- The customer aim needs to be well and succinctly captured and understood
- The customer use cases and journeys need to be captured and derived from the aim
- Detailed technical requirements need to be derived and assessed against the current implementation (If any), including performance, storage, etc
- Designs need to be produced:-
- User Interface (Including wireframes and graphic design)
- And at that point, development can start developing, testing, and iterating with the customer
Of course, rather than putting money on the table for professional development, it’s tempting to look at web application development as something that can be learned quickly.
And, if we are talking about a simple, relatively static web page, many services can put one of these together quickly – WIX, for example. Or, maybe your cousin is a bit of a geek and can “knock up” something a bit more complex. Or do you fancy learning yourself ?? . . . Three words – There. Be. Dragons.
Of course, you can learn to do the development yourself. That’s why the professionals go to college for a few years – or spend a few years in their bedrooms learning to code. Are you sure that you can rapidly master all you need to know to be confident that anything you create will be secure, stable, scalable, client independent, and maintainable? . . . Secure enough to deal with the customer account and payment details or avoid HUGELY DAMAGING DATA LEAKS and the class action litigation that will surely follow?
Or would you instead be selling stuff?
The bald fact of the matter is that Customer Web Application development in 2021 is a professional job. Web Application Development is a roiling, bubbling pot of changing technical standards, emerging security threats, regulation, and liabilities.
All of the above factors look scary, and they are – unless you are a professional, in which case they are part of your everyday life – in which case they are manageable. And by paying for a professional job, as well as avoiding the BIG learning curve, you mitigate the costs of extended delivery times hugely and more significantly getting it badly wrong.
There is good news here too. Paying for professional web app development is probably NOT as expensive as you think it might be. Of course, if your dream is to replicate the full UBER application functionality with additional location-based marketing, that will cost more than a more straightforward application.
What does “Not as much as you may think” mean? Well, for a custom web app that can work across desktop, IoS, and Android platforms, the cost can be as little as $500, and of course, the sky is the limit. This is where the services of a skilled business analyst team come into play – identifying critical functionality and differentiating it from the “nice-to-haves” – then delivering the vital elements within a framework that makes the application extensible at a later date.
Not all is plain sailing at this point, though – sorry – the next decision arrives – An independent freelancer or an outsourced development team ???? You’ve overcome the technical issue (Hopefully), but there are still pros and cons. With a freelancer, you are likely to achieve the lowest price; however, the delivery is expected to be a point solution, and then you are exposed to a single point of failure. IF the freelancer falls under a bus, gets a better offer, or goes awol, you are . . . . back to square one. Meanwhile, an outsourced team will probably be more resilient, work to a recognized framework, and be more resilient to resourcing issues.
At Umbric, we have designed and delivered many Web apps from the ground up – complex and simple. We are well used to extracting customer needs and delighting clients with the quality speed and costs of our products. We are there for you when you are starting and when it is time to scale (or change course)!
About Umbric Data Services
Forget knowledge; data is power – especially when hooked up to custom web applications leveraging the latest in big data, machine learning, and AI to deliver profitable results for business.
Umbric Data Services combines the latest in tech with good old-fashioned customer service to deliver innovative, efficient software that drives productive business insight and revenues in the click of a button. Isn’t it time you worked smart, not hard? Find out more about how we help businesses to grow – visit umbric.com today.