Software Dev Fail: Dev partner vs local freelancer….
When you plan to create a new app or add features to legacy – think about who you use to support your business…!
Here are some painful lessons learned from one of our Clients…
Texas Startup- Ruby on Rails Web app and Hybrid Mobile app
A start-up from Texas was referred to us by a mutual friend. They had been struggling to finish up the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) which is a web application for rating local businesses and sharing feedback among contacts.
The problem they had was that they started development using a local freelancer who then moved to something else. Then they hired an offshore freelancer to continue working on pending features. The communication barriers, along the learning curve and mostly the time zone differences made the whole experience a disappointing one.
They came back to the local freelancer approach and continued working like that for a period of time, until the application was nearly finished. At an estimated 80% progress, the freelancer moved to some other project and the company found themselves once again in the need to hire a new developer.
When we were presented with the project, we knew the challenge would be getting up to speed on what was already done by 3 different developers. Spaghetti code was expected. Fortunately, all previous developers were good enough to document their code and follow many best practices, so we didn’t have to deal with cryptic code.
After finishing the remainder 20% of the web app, we were assigned the mobile app too.
During the development of the mobile app, we also lost the lead developer. The difference now was that being partner of an established Software Consultancy firm, the client found we were able to almost seamlessly assign a new lead developer to their project. The knowledge was already shared and we didn’t lose traction and continued the plan to release the mobile app to Beta on time and on budget.