John Feathers' Post

What to Expect from Our Estimates

If you are reading this article, our trusted business analysts have likely agreed to impart upon your project some much-needed estimates; and well, you’ve come to the right place!

After all, for today’s blog post, we would like to spell out our meticulous process for preparing estimations, the different sorts of artefacts you should be ready to receive and how this all will play out in the end — on that note, by the by, if you find that any or all your expectations have not been adequately lived up to, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time. This will help SPG to continue improving our company’s services for you as well as our future customers.

So, with this in mind and without further ado, let us dive right in!

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Dawn of the Progressive Web Application

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change” ~Charles Darwin.

Do you remember when native mobile applications first came meteor-crashing into the scene? Most people couldn’t get enough of them! From amusing virtual lightsabers to far more handy unit converters, back in 2008, it didn’t matter if your program was a star or a dud — if it was on the iPhone, all eyes were on your company.

But just as natural selection is so crushingly apparent in nature, in today’s lightning-paced, ever-changing technological world, the ubiquitous native application, long unchallenged, may soon be reaching an untimely demise.

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FAQ #1: Why Do You Require a 2-Month Termination Notice?

Today, we are starting a brand new series of articles on some of the questions Software Planet Group are asked the most. Our hope is that these will someday serve to help you quickly refer to them in the future, should any queries arise.

The first of these questions has to do with our 60-day termination clause — that is, if our customers no longer wish to work with us, then we ask that they provide us with no less than 2-months’ notice.

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Pitfalls of the Estimation Process

No estimation process can ever be foolproof, and the same is true when dealing with user stories. For this reason, in this article, Software Planet would like to lay out a few of the most common pitfalls that stand dangerously in the way of preparing reliable — and achievable — estimates.

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Making the Most of Code Review

Every Agile development process strongly stresses the motif that the main goal of developers should not be to concern themselves with side issues, but rather to generate working code. This allows us to implement a variety of features in accordance with our customers’ requirements.

Unfortunately, however, out in the real world, it is crucial to not only strive to implement functionality, but also to ensure your code will be kept clean and without duplicates, being easy to understand, support and extend, makes extensive use of automated tests and presents as little as possible technical debt — that is, valuable work postponed by virtue of restrictive deadlines or other more pressing priorities.

This is why over the years, both customers and programmers have jointly devised a number of solutions for assessing code quality as well as providing projects with the appropriate level of support, throughout development. Of all of these, however, one popular technique distinctly stands out — the exceptional practice of code review.

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Our Development Process

At Software Planet, we take great pride in our customer-centric development process. This is why from start to finish, a striking sense of partnership is present in all we do.

Still, we recognise that for those with limited exposure to Agile development, an inescapable learning curve may also be perceived; so for this article, we would like to walk you step-by-step through our tried-and-trusted methods.

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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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