Creating Consumer Apps: What you need to know

Photo of man tapping smartphone by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

The overwhelming popularity of mobile apps has contributed to many success stories for a lot of companies, but that popularity has also caused a saturation of the market as many app developers try to cash in on the trend. Back in 2007, when Apple launched the iOS platform (it was called iPhone SDK at that time ), the world first became acquainted with the mobile app.  In those days, virtually any app that made it to Apple’s App Store had a decent chance of being perused and downloaded. Today, businesses creating a new app face a daunting amount of competition in the App Store as well as in Google Play and on other app marketplaces such as Amazon. If you’re thinking about developing an app, or are already invested in the process, here are a few considerations that might help your app stand out and become successful. (more…)

Proofing the App

Image of old Magic Yeast product

I wanted to make calzones for dinner last night.  It was getting late, but in my mind I could already see the ricotta and broccoli filling and smell the melted cheese.  I usually buy a blob of dough from one of the local pizza places, but this time I was going to start from scratch.  The yeast, though, gave me pause: would it rise?

In baking, there’s a concept of proofing the yeast.  A baker is never certain that the yeast is still active, and it’s a sad day to anticipate and work on bread only to find a small hard lump of unrisen dough at the bottom of the bowl.  So before kneading in flour, the yeast is mixed with water and sugar.  If bubbles form, it’s working and you carry on; if it stays flat, you toss it out and avoid heartbreak.

My yeast did foam, but so slowly that I would have been eating my calzones somewhere around midnight.  So instead I shifted gears and made soft buttery pretzels, which don’t need to rise for so long, and they were delicious.

What’s the connection to software development?  App ideas need planning and proofing, too.  There’s little worse than spending large amounts of time and money creating a beautifully finished product only to watch it lie unused.  That expenditure might be avoided with development’s form of sugar and water: requirements, design, prototyping, and a minimum viable product. (more…)

2014 Review: Day 10

“I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold” by Charles Demuth

Last day of 2014, last day of our look back at the Art & Logic Developer Blog’s year…

 

My turn again, in which I think about software development, and how important it is that clients understand its actual nature, and how it differs from other kinds of work…

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5 Things I Wish My Clients Knew

Image of “I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold” by Charles Demuth

“I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold” by Charles Demuth

Earlier this summer, I spent a few days onsite with a client working through hammering out requirements for an upcoming large project. One day during a lunch break, my client asked me a question that I’m surprised no one has ever asked me before:

“We want to be the best client you’ve ever had. What do you wish we knew so that can happen?”

I think that I came up with a fairly reasonable reply at the time, but I’ve been ruminating on the question all summer long. Here are the first five things on my list of what I wish all my clients understood about developing software: (more…)

Upsource: New Code Review Tool

I have a special place in my heart for web apps that make coding management easier.  This week, my crush is Upsource, a new code review tool (and source code repository browser) that’s in a semi-public alpha period.

It looks to have a great interface for:

  • starting ad hoc reviews or requesting reviews
  • looping in other people to discuss or watch the review
  • linking to reviews or multi-line selections
  • adding new code revisions to an ongoing review (more…)