Author: Grzegorz Motriuk

How to estimate application development costs?

As a software house’s client, you should be prepared to go through a process of estimating the cost and time needed for developing an app. While this seems straightforward and most of the estimation work is done by the software house’s team, there are many areas which you should approach with mindfulness. To be successful, within budget, and on time, it is best to work closely with the development company.

Here is a 9-step guide that will help you and your provider work better together.

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Dlaczego developerzy i sprzedawcy powinni współpracować?

W klasycznym modelu sprzedaży usług IT pozyskiwanie nowego klienta wygląda następująco:

Osoba odpowiedzialna za sprzedaż – CEO, handlowiec, business development manager – poszukują projektu. Następnie przekonują potencjalnego klienta, że warto współpracować właśnie z ich firmą. Używają do tego różnych systemów i metod sprzedaży, lub opierają się na własnym doświadczeniu i intuicji. W kolejnym kroku już zakontraktowany projekt przekazywany jest do realizacji zespołowi. Osoba sprzedająca wycofuje się wtedy, ustępując miejsca specjalistom realizującym usługę.

Jest to podejście dobrze sprawdzone.

Ma ono jednak pewną wadę: zespół realizujący projekty może mieć dojmujące poczucie braku wpływu na to, jakie projekty realizuje. Dla wielu osób podejście „ja tu tylko koduję” jest całkiem naturalne, a nawet pożądane. Wielu programistów, testerów czy DevOpsów nie chce mieć nic wspólnego ze sprzedażą. Należy to uszanować.

W swojej pracy, pozyskując międzynarodowe projekty dla części FINGO zajmującej się usługami, staram się jednak włączać zespoły w proces sprzedaży już na wczesnym etapie, na długo przed estymacją. Oto dlaczego:

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Gamification in financial investor profiling at Switzerland’s Hypothekarbank Lenzburg AG

Individual investor diagnosing, profiling and training in banks has been traditionally done through interviews or pen-and-paper questionnaires. Hypothekarbank Lenzburg AG has decided to take a leap into algorithmic gamification to better understand their customers and prepare truly tailored offers for them.

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Gamifikacja w profilowaniu inwestorów indywidualnych w szwajcarskim Hypothekarbank Lenzburg AG

Indywidualna diagnoza, profilowanie inwestycji i związane z tymi procesami szkolenia zazwyczaj realizowane są w bankach poprzez wywiady lub papierowe kwestionariusze. Hypothekarbank Lenzburg AG zdecydował się pójść o krok dalej i wprowadzić gamifikację opartą na algorytmach, pozwalającą lepiej zrozumieć swoich klientów i przygotować dla nich indywidualnie dopasowane oferty.

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InsurTech: We’re disrupting the insurance market with world’s largest reinsurer

https://flic.kr/p/bER864

https://flic.kr/p/bER864

Can it get more exciting than that?

This autumn we teamed up with our new client, the London-based Munich Re Digital Partners (MRDP), to work on a sophisticated API that is revolutionizing on-demand insurance.

MRDP is a business venture that aims to change the way insurance is offered on PCs and mobile devices. While there are many InsurTech start-ups offering new ways to bring insurers and customers together, they often focus on the frontend and UX. MRDP offers them the back-end technology and helps them develop their disruptive products more effectively. The project we work on will also be a vehicle for AI-based  capabilities.

FINGO was chosen as the nearshoring partner for the project because of our expertise in building large APIs with global exposure and heavy traffic loads. Currently our shared London/Wrocław team consists of 5 developers and 2 DevOps engineers and is set to grow in the beginning of January 2016.

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How nearshoring improved one project’s quality

Let’s call it Application X* (the software is real, but I changed the name).

When a few years ago our developers first looked at the existing code of Application X, they were not exactly happy. It wasn’t the cleanest they’ve seen. It was far from the standards they got used to. PHP was polluted with HTML and MySQL queries. The names of variables were not in English, but in the client’s native language.  The project tracking solution used by the client’s dev team so far was clunky and the development methodology was in it’s infancy.

These were some of the challenges we faced after we decided to take over the development of Application X. So, what happened?

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Slack: how a bizarre dream became reality

I remember that day – we all had a big laugh.

About 5 years ago, the corporation I worked for announced the “zero e-mail program”. The global policy was meant to do exactly what it said – make our inboxes obsolete. Back then it seemed like a joke. The rumors said we would be using a hybrid of Facebook and Skype, invented specifically for businesses.

As we kept sorting out the tens of e-mails that were cc’d to us last night without any specific reason, sarcasm filled our rooms. We refused to take the whole idea seriously. It often happens when low-level employees are presented with a bold managerial vision. They are the soldiers on their front-line, and they know that their assault rifles will not be swapped for plasma guns, even when the president says so. Not in their life.

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How PIZZA makes Poland’s programmers better

It was early Saturday morning when I entered the main lecture room at the Institute of Computer Science at the University of Wroclaw. Some of the 100 young people at the audience were still dozing, some pumping their veins with coffee, others immersed in their laptops. The oldest ones were in their thirties, some of them as young as 16 and 17. They were all about to take part in PIZZA – an annual programming competition hosted by the students of the Institute.

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4 ways in which agile software development helps companies grow with less pain

Having software developed by an external vendor usually entails a degree of uncertainty, especially when done by a new partner. It is quite obvious that building trust often requires some time. The fact that the application will be unique and has not been tested by “crash test dummies” in the past is an additional risk factor. While all this is true, custom made solutions are sometimes a necessity – out-of-the box products simply won’t get the job done. The question is how the process of designing and developing the software can be a smooth ride for the client. Enters agile software development – here are five ways in which it takes the load of a client’s back.

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