In our previous article on the top tech problems startups may face, we discussed the first five IT issues budding companies have to address. Now you know why it’s important to have an in-house CTO to guide the software development, how to choose a tech stack for your next product or what to do when your ongoing outsourcing partner delivers poor-quality solutions. Here, in the second part of the series, we’ll talk about problems with continuous integration and continuous delivery, load testing, quick team enhancement, what to do if the delivered solution is full of bugs and how to turn a prototype into production-ready software. Plus, we’ve included a bonus reason for you, so be sure to read to the end.
Problem 6: The CI/CD system is not in place
There are many ways to approach software development. Continuous integration (CI), continuous deployment and continuous delivery (CD) are probably the most popular, with CI leading the way. This approach allows automating the build and testing of code every time somebody commits changes to version control. CD is a step up from CI in terms of automation: every change made to the software is delivered to a production-like environment to ensure it’s ready to be deployed to production. The next logical step after CD is continuous deployment, a practice of automatically releasing every change that passes all stages of your production pipeline to the customer.
Sounds perplexing? It might if you’re working for a small startup. Not every business needs such complex release processes. Some startups don’t think that using a CI/CD system is worthwhile because of the many seemingly unnecessary stages, while others simply don’t understand its benefits. Still, deployment automation is worth considering, especially if the pace of your release process leaves much to be desired. In that case, outsourcing the setup of your CI/CD processes or hiring a consultant is a great idea. A qualified vendor can set up the environment and integrate your existing process for smooth deployment and delivery.
Problem 7: The solution is full of bugs
Well, to your customer, that’s just rude. When users start interacting with your software and encounter bugs, they likely roll their eyes and quickly switch to a competitor—there are plenty of fish in the sea. Why didn’t you test it before the launch? Running behind with the release with no time to fix the critical bugs or not testing the software thoroughly enough are lame excuses. You need to hire an extended team of testers who will work in parallel with your in-house team of developers. Engaging outsourced Quality Assurance (QA) will ensure someone is monitoring the potential issues and catching nasty bugs before the release. Remember, your users are not your testers. Don’t make the mistake of dropping testing to save money. In the end, doing so will probably cost you more—your reputation.
Problem 8: You skipped load testing
Startups often rush into delivering their tech solutions, leaving the issue of scalability behind. Stop. We know you’re eager to launch, but did you forget load testing? If a startup expects the solution to succeed, the company has to make sure it doesn’t crash when many people start using it simultaneously. For companies that can’t perform load testing on their own, outsourcing this kind of service is a good option. An experienced partner can simulate the real-world load on your software and assesses the system’s behaviour during normal and high loads. This partner can also give you tips on improving capacity and consult your startup on handling significant loads in the future.
Problem 9: Difficulties with prototyping
When you dream of bringing a new product to the market, developing a prototype is a great first step. The benefits of prototyping are pretty obvious: it allows you to see and demonstrate what the end product has to look like and save money, resources and time on massive development. Let us give you a couple of tips on turning a prototype into a full-fledged software product.
First, quality assurance is a must. It might seem that a small piece of software with just basic functionality won’t contain bugs. But, there’s no such thing as software without bugs, and a prototype is a great sandbox for testing your app’s critical features. Plus, it’s an opportunity to detect major potential bugs early and fix them before developing the production-ready software.
Second, always ask beta users and customers for detailed feedback on their experiences after interacting with the prototype. What functions work best? What needs to be modified? What functionality is missing? What is unnecessary? Is the app intuitive? What about the user experience? Answering these questions about the prototype can help improve the usability of your future solution.
Problem 10: It’s hard to form a scalable dedicated team
Putting together a proactive and efficient team is no piece of cake. Searching for candidates, sorting through CVs and conducting interviews take a lot of time and attention away from your main business goals. If you’re a small startup, it can be nearly impossible to find affordable candidates who are both skilled and eager to work for you. But never say die! All you need to do to gather a new crew or enhance your existing one is to outsource a dedicated, scalable and close-knit team that’s ready to join your startup remotely.
Within weeks, a vendor can set you up with professional developers focused on your startup’s success. You can select team members yourself or leave it to your partner, work according to the fixed-price or the time-and-materials model and contract the developers for a month or a year—there are lots of possibilities with outsourcing. And, because you’ll still monitor the development process, these developers will feel just like an extension of your in-house team.
Problem 10+1: Confusing or vague reporting
Not every startup owner is tech-savvy, but they do want to be aware of how their business ideas are being transformed into tech solutions. Timely reports should do the trick here, but often they’re sloppily put together in a language only die-hard programmers will understand. If the reports your outsourcing partner hands in tell you nothing, they are a waste of time for you both. You need to understand what’s going on with the development of the key product your startup offers, so be sure to explain to your vendor that clear, easy-to-understand reports are essential to you as a manager. Or stick with an outsourcing partner that presents complex technical reports logically and concisely, making them understandable even for non-techies.
Building a startup is a roller coaster ride. One moment you’re at the top of your game, and the next thing you know, you’re not sure if you’re going to survive. The stress and responsibility of starting a business and launching a new product coupled with the pitfalls of the industry often break struggling startups. Whether you have trouble selecting the right software development approach, issues with the quality assurance of the solution or difficulties with prototyping or team extension, it’s important to know that someone has your back. A carefully chosen software development outsourcing partner you can trust will support your tech startup every step of the rocky road to success. ElifTech will gladly help your budding business flourish, so don't hesitate to contact us today!