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XB Software

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Interview with Vitaly Hornik, COO - XB Software

Vitaly Hornik Interview on TopDevelopers.co

Vitaly Hornik  linkedin

COO, XB Software
Give us a quick overview on XB Software. When and how did you begin this journey and what were your motives to be successful in app development?

I started my way in web development 20 years ago. My first project was for HR specialists and micro tenders organization. Shortly it became clear that desktop applications would migrate to browsers. Remote web servers would become some kind of mainframes, and browsers would become kind of terminals. And we were only at the beginning of this process. Like it was 20-30 years before that. In fact, progress is cyclic, and we had to be in the forefront of a new stage. That’s how XB Software was put on the map.

Success of our company, like of any other, lies in the ability to change simultaneously with the world around us and value our employees without whom it wouldn’t be possible. Employees are the most valuable asset for the company their daily striving and efforts lead to development of firm partnership with our customers. Some of them are with us for more than 10 years.

What is your role in the management and development of XB Software?

I see my role in helping the Team to progress and seek to expand the company through their professional growth in both management and development spheres. According to my experience, the best approach is to hire those whose interests and goals are close to the company’s ones and form mutually exciting goals. As wise words say: “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

Tell us about your biggest achievement in the industry

We implement the clients’ ideas, so I believe that every successful project and every satisfied client is a new achievement. We don’t divide our clients into more and less important. All of them are equally important for us. Moreover, XB Software has its own  products - components and libraries - for making high-quality custom solutions and speeding up the development process. Webix multi-widget JavaScript UI library and DHTMLX JavaScript UI Components help us perform development in the agreed terms and budget.

How do you schedule the development phases of the apps to promise the timeline to your clients?

Drawing on the best industry practices, we choose the most optimal way to execute the project. With a detailed scope, we can plan everything and set the deadlines for each phase - that is the good old waterfall model. The fewer details of the final product are provided before the project start, the more attributes of Agile model we take advantage of. In the case of the full transfer to Agile, requirements are formed and implemented almost simultaneously. I mean, if before the start of the project, we know only a general idea, our PMs and BAs focus on it. During communication with the customer, they prioritize new features and postpone ones that do not add significant value to the product.

How do you help your clients in choosing the right yet profitable platform for app development?

As a rule, customers don’t have a deep understanding of constantly changing modern platforms, trends, and technologies. They come for help and advice to choose the right solution to avoid wasting money and time. The more we communicate with the client, the more information we get from one, the better we can choose the tools to make the idea come true. Sometimes it is necessary to create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to test the idea in practice and receive feedback from consumers.

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?

Modern hybrid applications (ones that combine elements of both web applications and native - developed for use on a particular platform or device) are pretty fast and powerful now. They cover almost all needs of mobile development. Outside of their capabilities lie applications requiring high performance, e.g., games and applications that supplement the operating system with some features. For example, no hybrid technology is able to run WebRTC app on Android 4.0, but a native one can.

How do you scheme your pricing model? How do you fix your budget?

Many entities have an effect on the final product price such as: customer preferences, market situation, product description, etc. The most crucial is the description and scope.  The more detailed the description is, the more accurately we do planning and commitment. Unfortunately, by no means always, there is a detailed description for various reasons, but we are requested for the fixed budget. Therefore, we still may develop an application for a given budget. With this approach, we break the product into several parts, fix the budget for each part, describe in detail the scope of each part for a given budget, and implement it within the budget. And, finally, our team provides you the product desired on time and under your budget so that you could present it to your consumers, get profit, and add new features in the next versions.

How helpful are the mobile apps developed by your team, for enhancing your clients’ business?

The way I see it, this is a general question. All mobile and web products we develop benefit society and help our clients earn money. Some products are more successful, and others are less. Any development is a risky activity, and within our capabilities we manage risks to increase the likelihood of success. Our efficiency in client’s success comes from PM and BA following the latest trends of business development, news of well-regarded magazines, which helps us to share new cutting-edge solutions to our clients earlier than our competitors.

What according to you are the best practices to attain client satisfaction?

The best practice was defined several thousand years ago, we just follow it: love your neighbor as yourself. Сommunicating with a client, do your best to achieve success. You should want to implement the idea as much as the client wants it. And then success will come, job satisfaction will increase.

How do you update your business system to be in pace with the technological advancements?

Everything is constantly changing, some technologies become abandoned, and new ones appear. We need to read the news and reviews to find useful tools and practices to change ourselves with the world around us. Well, of course, it’s necessary to study guru’s work, for example, Dan Heath and Chip Heath, to ensure that the changes will do no harm.

What are your thoughts about AR, VR and Internet of Things (IoT)?

I would also add the Blockchain technology to this list. These technologies will change our world much more than the Internet and a mobile phone did.

What do you think will be the future of Mobile technology?

Mobile devices will become more and more powerful. As their performance grows, more and more applications will move from computers and laptops to mobile devices. As a result, the cycle, when everyone will have a console in a pocket, and one mainframe will be accessible for many users, will complete to start again.

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