Give us a quick overview on Software Brothers. When and how did you begin this journey and what were your motives to be successful in app development?
In SoftwareBrothers we develop Web, Mobile and Desktop apps for clients around the world. We work with the latest technologies and maintain very high standards.
I love my work as the CTO. Each client comes with a unique vision of their product. By helping them achieve this vision, we became some sort of co-founders who partly share the credit for its success. So, after a couple of years in the role, I can tell that I:
1. Decreased food waste in the UK (project Kitche),
2. Improved education in the Philippines (project Terp)
3. Helped women in Saudi Arabia to find the nearest gym (7araka)
What is your role in the management and development of Software Brothers?
I am the CTO (chief of technology) and the co-founder.
Tell us about your biggest achievement in the industry
I’ve already mentioned the three interesting industry-disrupting projects we built. But when it comes to the IT itself I think that one of our key achievements (again, we have a couple of them) is the open-source project that we’ve launched recently. This is an auto generated admin panel which speeds up the delivery time from weeks to literally hours, and a lot of people around the world already use it in their startups.
How do you schedule the development phases of the apps to promise the timeline to your clients?
The most important part of scheduling is splitting the project into smaller, manageable, pieces – ideally 2 weeks long. Each of these pieces has to be a working element which can be released.
Then, we schedule the most important features (aka the crucial user path) in front of the timeline and then release the MVP version as soon as possible.
From a technical point of view, we use Jira along with Jira Portfolio to plan and monitor the timeline. It gives us an overview of all the things we’ve estimated along with the information on how much time is needed to finish all the tasks. So we could base promises we give to our clients on real, quantifiable data.
How do you help your clients in choosing the right yet profitable platform for app development?
By profitable platform, I understand something which is:
2. Easy to implement (short delivery time), and
3. Not expensive when running/hosting
Unfortunately, no technology meets all these needs at the same time. Take server-less as an example – it’s almost free when you start using it, but as soon as the user-base grows, it could be more expensive than hosting on the Kubernetes cluster. It’s pretty tricky so you have to analyze all the aspects in a long-term perspective.
What we can give our clients is the knowledge. Based on the dozens of projects we have launched we know which technology is best suited to a given project’s size, team and any business requirements the client provides. This is the part where we become the client's partner. We need to truly understand their problems and needs to provide the solution which is best is this specific case.
We also try to reuse things we’ve already built. It simply saves time and money and allows us to spend the budget on some new cool features or the UX. The above-mentioned admin panel could serve as a perfect example. So by working with us, clients always save lots of time compared to other software houses which don’t have such extensive experience.
Which would you suggest for a successful and profitable business progression, Native or hybrid apps? How do you define the factors that influenced you to make this choice?
The first factor would be the functional requirements. Not everything could be done as a hybrid app. So let’s assume that functional requirements are not the issue.
If one or more statements from the list below are correct, hybrid app would be the way to go:
1. Team size is small (i.e. under four developers)
2. Client wants to build both iOS and Android apps at the same time, or have one ready shortly after the other,
3. The project is at the starting phase where requirements could change very often (pivoting the app).
The more of the above statements are true for the project, the more I would suggest building a hybrid app.
How do you scheme your pricing model? How do you fix your budget?
We charge based on the hours spent on a project. This allows us to be flexible, so adding new developers to the team (even those working part time) is not a problem when the project needs it.
How helpful are the mobile apps developed by your team, for enhancing your clients’ business?
Apps we build for our clients are usually the core of their operations – without them, their business doesn’t exist. This is a huge responsibility but as I mentioned in the first question – success is worth it.
What according to you are the best practices to attain client satisfaction?
I believe that the most important thing is communication. It has to be clear and precise. This is the case especially when you work with the software house from a different country or even continent.
In every project, there are a lot of problems with technology, features or usability – there is just no place for problems with communication.
How do you update your business system to be in pace with the technological advancements?
In our mission there is a statement: “we hire experts hungry for personal growth” which is one of the three key ingredients of our existence.
In order to keep up with the technology – our developers should:
1. Perform lightning talks on the newest things they have learned,
2. Attend conferences and often present as speakers,
3. Build open-source tools in company hackathons where they try out new solutions,
4. Attend the so-called: “Architecture Sessions” where we decide about the future of technology in our company and gradually implement new things.
From my perspective, Technology and Development is like an escalator going backwards. If you stop learning you actually start moving back. In order to keep up, you have to gain knowledge and move forward every day! That’s the attitude we promote in the Team.
What are your thoughts about AR, VR and Internet of Things (IoT)?
The first thing which comes to my mind when I think of IoT is: “use a soldering iron with caution!” – I still have a bruise on my hand after my first IoT project.
But to be serious, AR and VR are very cool things especially when it comes to novel
marketing campaigns. IoT brings the Internet closer to people. But does it change the world? Will it increasingly gain popularity in the following years or simply go into oblivion? I don’t know. Everything is changing so fast so you have to be focused on what is going on right now and simply react – this works in our case at least.
What do you think will be the future of Mobile technology?
I strongly hope that there will be a standard of writing applications for all platforms and it won't be called hybrid – it will be just a standard.