Integrating New Arrivals

Our customers often inquire as to how in the world our newer developers will be skilful enough to deal with our development process — and really, who can blame then?

After all, how laid-back and comfortable would you feel if the man assigned to the critical case of your tooth extraction were an obvious hatchling fresh out of dental school?

“Let’s see then… I think this, no, erm… this over here is what I need! Right, could you open up your mouth, please? Uh huh… Oh dear. Oh no. That won’t work, will it? Well, maybe something sharper!”

Horrifying, right? Of course, to begin with, the words “comfortable” and “dentist” are hardly representative of a pairing made in heaven; but the point, nonetheless, is you would probably feel a lot more at ease if the drill were handed over to an experienced professional.

Now thankfully, as you probably know, our own situation is entirely different. But just to help to allay those fears, Software Planet would now like to reveal our careful and deliberate process for successfully integrating newer arrivals into the heart of our company.

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Raising Giants: Our Internship Programme

How often do you take the time to invest in your future? For most of us, as life kicks into full gear, the opportunities seem fewer and farther between.

Yet as many of you will also know well, no better time for change exists than in the pivotal years of our youth. This is when a single miscalculated move could quickly spell the difference between a burgeoning career in something you love and a lifetime of hopeless disappointment.

For nearly a decade now, it is precisely this awareness which has formed the basis for one of Software Planet’s most beloved projects of all: our internship programme.

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The Road to Continuous Deployment

Anyone experienced with traditional IT environments will probably be familiar with the age-old tension between releasing new features and guaranteeing stability. In these unfortunate circumstances, development and production teams work separately from one another, paving the way for a series of issues in both delivery fluidity and compatibility.

This is very much akin to sprucing up a big, circular cake and somehow attempting to fit it into a much smaller — possibly star-shaped — box for delivery. Just as you would likely have to slice the cake up in order to make it fit inside the awkward packaging, due to the natural differences between development and production environments, operations teams must tweak any code that is sent their way.

Of course, in this day and age, the industry demands agility. So in order to get around this issue and expedite the delivery process, here at Software Planet, we make use of continuous deployment — a practice that while admittedly requiring a series of big changes to attain, has the power to take your production capacity to exciting new levels.

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SPG Reviews: Influencer Marketing Solutions

Understandably, our customers are often concerned about the correct way to go about marketing their software products. But while no magic recipe for success currently exists, in recent years, it has become increasingly clear that highly sought for solutions like Google Adwords and content marketing can only take you so far. Beyond there, one must think outside the box.

So for this article, we would like to highlight just one of the many ways that you can do this, by ramping up your marketing efforts through the engaging power of social influencers.

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Building a Product: The Right Team

While most of our days are spent working on software projects, from time to time, we are asked by our customers to help build a product instead. This task, however, tends to come with a perceptible measure of adjustment, as it calls for a very different mentality and set of skills.

Having this in mind, today we would like to begin a brand new series on developing products and how this differs from conventional development. This first article will focus on our customers and the team of creatives they will require.

After all, building a successful product may not always be a walk in the park, but it certainly becomes a lot easier when you have the right people at your disposal.

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User Stories: Bridging the Gap Between Customers and Developers (Updated)

When choosing a software provider to create the web or desktop solution your company needs, communication is indeed key, but this may be easier said than done. The gap between programmers and customers can quickly become apparent and is often a challenge to master, as most customers are unprepared to discuss their projects from a strictly technical point of view.

In order to get past these difficulties and effectively relay their requirements, some companies resort to UML or workflow diagrams, while yet others go for UI sketches and lengthy free text descriptions.

At Software Planet Group, however, we think both customers and developers should always be on the same page, and speak the same language (see our article on the system metaphor for more on this subject). This is why wherever we can, we aim to simplify the management of requirements, using tried-and-true techniques that enable us to quickly determine the full scope of a project, estimate and re-estimate particular features and releases.

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Native vs. HTML5 vs. React Natve Apps: Who Wins?

In the seemingly eternal battle for mobile domination, campaigns are waged on multiple levels.

However, while most people are well acquainted with the public squabbles of Apple and Samsung, in the background, a much more subtle contest takes place, as programmers and CEOs scuffle to determine the best technology for mobile app development.

Understandably, to the technically disinclined, it may come as a surprise that not all apps are built natively. Yet in reality, not only are alternative technologies extremely common, but there are many valid reasons for putting them to good use.

A Cornucopia of Options

Beyond iOS’ native ObjectiveC and, Swift, and Android’s own version of the Java programming language, software engineers are able to create apps using web technologies like HTML5, or hybrid solutions that include both web and native components, such as Flutter, PhoneGap, React Native, the Ionic framework, among others.

With every case, it is important to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses that will serve to aid companies in their final decision.

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The Importance of Animation in UI Design

While the launch of the iPhone just over a decade ago is rightly hailed as a revolution in mobile technology, it also heralds the beginning of a much quieter — yet comparably significant — transformation. Thanks to touchscreen technology, operating our applications has evolved from merely clicking up and down static lists to pinching, tapping, dragging and swiping our way through our programs.

Paired with modern animation tools, these powerful new ways to interact with our systems pose exciting — and often unexplored — opportunities for any business hoping to better engage with their customers.

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Sitemaps: Your Project at a Glance

Unless you’re a real-life Sherlock Holmes, you’ve probably struggled to make sense of all the information that inherently comes with any large project.

When creating websites especially, this challenge can be tremendous, as in order to minimise clutter and maximise revenue, one must somehow determine which pages should be used and where, as well as how and why.

Thankfully, however, a little trick of the trade exists to curb this problem — to be specific, maritime trade!

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Best Practices for Evaluating Design

For the artistically disinclined, choosing the look that will one day represent your product or company can often be a time of confusion. After all, what constitutes “good” design anyway? Isn’t all of that subjective?

To a certain extent at least, the answer may be yes, but the real goal of any design team is not simply to achieve something attractive — though that too is clearly important — but to effectively communicate through visual means.

With this in mind, we’ve assembled here some expert tips for assessing and critiquing your team’s design.

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