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    Software Development Process as House Building: Successful Projects vs. Air-Castles

    Is it easy to create something in a virtual world? Well, it doesn’t require carrying heavy bricks here. But not everyone who tried is happy with the result. Why? Perhaps, it’s because not everyone is clear about the result they expect. Furthermore, the whole process is also surrounded by myths. As a result, there is often much chaos in business communication with developers.

    Meanwhile, digitalization is becoming a must-have for any business to survive. Few can afford not to care about these things. So why not delve into this topic, replacing abstractions with convenient examples? — How about a house-building analogy?

    What hides behind words

    The company I run is a software vendor. And it seems that everyone who reads this collocation has their own idea of what we actually do. That’s why I hope the overview below will be useful. But to start with, it’s worth mentioning that confusion often arises even with the terminology used in the industry.

    For instance, if somebody comes to us for software consultancy with the idea of ”creating a web application,” it makes sense to double-check the incoming information. It really happens that a founder says “web application,” meaning a product that customers will install on smartphones for use. Such mistakes sometimes cost time and money.

    How can we describe this case using the proposed analogy? Let’s imagine that you are preparing a project for a hotel. Even without going into details yet, you obviously need to begin with defining a place where to put it. Because a bungalow that you would like to put on the seashore clearly differs from a hotel in the center of a city — they are two completely different buildings, meeting the infrastructure, construction principles, and visitors’ expectations. That’s how important is the purpose the product is designed for.
    Software Development Process as House Building: Successful Projects vs. Air-Castles 1

    Something you could grasp between your fingers

    It’s crucial to clearly understand what exactly the software creation consists of because this allows you to make assumptions about how much money, time, and effort will be required. Therefore, we are planning to post a series of articles on our blog. They are meant to help you sort out or take a new angle on such aspects of “software building” as:

    • How to explain to contractors exactly what you are going to build before they start to build something different — upon gathering requirements for a project.
    • Which are the opportunities and limitations laid at the foundation stage and determine the margins of later maneuver — for choosing the proper tech stack.
    • What can help you communicate equally effectively with bricklayers, carpenters, and plasterers — in terms of selecting the right people and team management.
    • How to lay every code-brick in its place and when it is better to accelerate with modular constructions — by сombining of technologies and frameworks.
    • Why design development isn’t just a painting of the nice facade, but also the proper space planning — and you don’t want someone to get lost, do you?
    • How you would like to taste the comfortable life before moving into a larger home — moving through the prototyping and delivery stages.
    • Who and how will keep your house orderly by taking out the trash, screwing in the light bulbs, etc. — i.e., supporting your product.

    Software Development Process as House Building: Successful Projects vs. Air-Castles 2

    What’s in this for you?

    These articles should come in handy if you are a fledgling startup or a business looking to open a new online direction. Or if you are a liaison between your company and vendor. With a clear understanding of the issues above, you can be on the same page with the developers and better represent your interests. This will ensure a better calculation of what is happening with the money directed towards the development processes. Also, it will help to inform investors about the timing competently.

    Of course, the suggested analogy is not always entirely consistent. Say, you hardly need bricks and mortar. For example, one of the nice things about online projects is that it’s easier to test and scale them, making iterations. But it’s helpful to rely on common sense here as elsewhere in business. In other words, those who take into account how each decision impacts the building stability as a whole know more about the difference between an air-castle and a successful project.

    It would be great to discuss this article with you

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