Handing off outsourced product development to Applied Visions: What to expect
When a company wants to develop an application but doesn’t have the technical knowledge to do so, working with a product developer is usually the best way to get it done. It’s less expensive in the long term than hiring an extensive in-house team, and hunting for talented people with the specific skills you need is difficult to get right without experience.
There are some concerns that many companies have when they consider outsourcing, which is perfectly understandable; bringing in a third party to work on your idea is stressful by nature. Applied Visions does things a little differently than most firms, though, and our outsourced product development process will make you feel much more confident that this is the right decision for your project.
It starts with a plan
Development doesn’t really begin until everyone has a clear understanding of your objective. Why are you making the application? Are you trying to automate part of your business, or are you looking to produce something for the open market? Is it tied into an embedded device, or is it a mobile app?
Once we figure out what it is you want to accomplish, we’ll begin exploring the best ways to do that. We’ll strategize with our experts and project managers—and you. That’s right: you will remain a part of the process, as much as you wish to.
At this point, we’ll build the right team for your project and outline a development schedule.
Mockup and design
One thing that makes Applied Visions different from a lot of other outsourced development centers is that we rapidly develop a mockup before we write a single line of code. This allows us to work on the design of the app early, without interfering with programming down the line.
Again, this is where your involvement comes into play. We find it’s far more efficient for us if we involve the client early and often, right from the planning stages, so it’s not entirely altruistic. It helps us stay within budget and on deadline when you have a say during the design process. Showing you a mockup of the application you’re going to get allows you to work with us to make the app look the way you want it to.
We can change a mockup quickly based on your feedback and input—more quickly than anyone can change an already-coded app. If you don’t like the way a button looks, or if you want the color scheme to match your company’s logo, or if you want to incorporate some other design elements, it won’t take long to accommodate your direction.
We also use our UI/UX experts to evaluate the design at this stage (and throughout the project), and to test it with actual users. Their feedback is similarly incorporated into the design aspects of the application, so we have an app that looks good and users actually want to use.
This step is important, because it makes sure that everybody is on board with the direction of the development. By the end of the mockup phase, you’re happy, we’re happy, the users are happy, and we’re ready to get to work.
A lot of firms outsource their custom software development—ironically, even when it’s outsourced to them in the first place. We operate differently.
We maintain a full-time staff of talented and dedicated engineers with a diverse range of skills and specializations. They can cover the vast majority of technical needs for any given project. If there is a knowledge or experience gap that we need to fill for a project, then we’ll identify the right person to fill it and bring them on board.
At that stage, they work for us, not for an outside firm. This is a small but crucial difference when it comes to producing quality work. Why? Because they’re accountable to us, not their company’s hierarchy. This is important to us, because we are, in turn, accountable to you.
Quality assurance and security
Just about every outsourced development center likes to claim that they’re quality assurance or security experts (or quality assurance and security experts). We actually are.
Security is built into every application we develop, from the ground up. At every stage of development, the code is thoroughly tested for vulnerabilities. We even developed Code Dx, an application that handles several different kinds of testing simultaneously, in order to better secure our projects and allow other developers to do the same.
At Applied Visions, we use continuous integration during development. This means that every time code is checked in—which is frequently, several times a week at least—the application is rebuilt, analyzed for quality and security, and tested. This might seem time-consuming, but it’s actually a huge time saver. There are always going to be errors, and it’s far easier to identify where an error comes from if it shows up right after someone checked in fresh code. The app is also checked for security vulnerabilities during testing—things like SQL injections, which cybercriminals can exploit.
When an error or vulnerability is found early enough, it is a matter of hours to fix it. If it’s found too late, it could take significantly longer—days or even weeks, which can push back launch dates, disrupting marketing strategies, revenue projections, and business plans.
Outsourced product development doesn’t have to be scary
Handing off software development to another firm is a stressful prospect, but working with the right company won’t be. The right business to work with is one that understands the value of your input, that forges a partnership with you, and that does more than just provide big piles of C# code. At Applied Visions, we don’t just write code—we build software products that you can sell.
If you’d like to find out more about us and our process, contact us, and we can discuss how we can help you. For more information on selecting and working with developers for your upcoming app project, please download a guide for CEOs about creating great software from Applied Visions today.