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Leadership

Bytelion is an Official Partner for Baltimore Innovation Week 2019

By Agile, Innovators, Leadership, Product Design, StartupNo Comments

Bytelion and Baltimore Innovation Week

Bytelion has always been proud to call the Greater Baltimore area our home.  Baltimore is brimming with leading institutions, anchored by The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). The city proudly represents some of the top creatives minds and a growing cultural scene. Byte.lion is proud to support startups and established corporations in Greater Baltimore, as we are greatly invested in seeing the city flourish as a technology hotbed. 

We are excited to announce that we are an official partner for Baltimore Innovation Week 2019 (BIW19). Presented by the Emerging Technology Centers (ETC), BIW19 is an opportunity for leading organizations to celebrate and support Greater Baltimore’s burgeoning tech ecosystem.

Who is Presenting?

Our Head of User Experience, Marc Hausle, will lead a free session on Lean Product Design for Startups during the creative & media track day of BIW19. With Marc’s experience overseeing user experience at Byte.lion and leading teams at Google & Apple, he noticed that startups are stuck. As a founder, one may have a great idea and want to launch as quickly as possible, but time and financial constraints hold them back. Our company is rooted in software entrepreneurship, and thrives on driving value and efficiency to iterate rapidly and reduce capital inefficiencies. 

On Tuesday, October 8 from 4:00 – 6:00 PM at Clark Burger Fells Point, Marc will provide his insights on how you can design a software product that drives user engagement in a shortened time period and without hefty financial commitments, while indulging in burgers and beer! You will have the opportunity to meet some of Greater Baltimore’s leading founders, entrepreneurs, designers, and c-suite executives.

Spots are limited, so please register now to ensure yummy drinks and burgers!

Bytelion decided to become an official partner for BIW19 because we believe that the Greater Baltimore area will continue to thrive in entrepreneurship and innovation. With the amount of tech talent coming out of JHU and UMBC, as well as the massive incubators, accelerators and coworking spaces, Baltimore is poised to be the best! We are in a prime position to continue to support startups and large corporations in an effort to spearhead growth in our area.

Bytelion is more than a quickly growing, custom software development firm. We are a focused team of creatives, techies and innovators that transforms ideas into beautifully designed mobile and web products. Using industry best practices, our team is dedicated to researching, designing and developing products that deliver world-class user experiences.

Our team looks forward to meeting you on October 8th during a night of great food, networking and experiential learning!

Enterprise UX Gone Wrong

By Design, Leadership, OrganizationsNo Comments

There are many things that can go wrong when building a web-based platform or application, but the most tragic of offenses comes from a poor UX plan stemming from the very beginning of the development process. A great UX process, accompanied by a team of highly qualified individuals will make a world of difference, from your wallet to the face of the product. The following are symptoms of a poor UX process and how it impacts your product.

 

Your Bottomline Is Suffering

You may not be sinking, but you’re losing money. Perhaps you aren’t hitting your quarterly goals or are starting to see negative trends. It may be a surprise, but design can help solve this problem.

Strategy and Discovery

There is a good chance your business is heading downhill because of poor planning. As in a lot of things, business needs planning, not just financially, but with all that you do. The design is not an exception. The first step to a great User Experience (UX) is to review and understand your business requirements. You could potentially be focusing on one or more of the following business strategic priorities:

  • Reduce costs
  • Increase revenue
  • Increase new business
  • Increase existing business

Having the team and stakeholders on the same page as to what the goals of the company are can pave a clear path for the design and development team for the next steps. No more asking “why are we doing this?”. With business and user requirements determined and explained up front, everyone will know why each aspect of the product is the way it is and more importantly, how to better accomplish the goals of the product. Additionally, planning in advance allows for you and your team to be more knowledgeable and make informed decisions about your product resulting in higher user engagement.

 

Business Strategy is the foundation of the UX process, without this,
you can expect your product to come crashing down.

 

Late Deliveries and ‘Never-ending’ features

Your project is behind schedule, priorities change on a whim, features never seem to get pushed.

 

Defining Scope

Why is this happening? Simple: Your project scope is out of whack. Either you never defined the project scope with the team, or your scope is starting to go off the designated path, leading to unfinished, late work. Scope definition benefits the team and product in many ways. It allows everyone to be on the same page about what can be done in a specific time frame and how it will be done. It is best to know your user and business requirements before trying to define your project scope. Once you know your goals you can begin to prioritize the next steps based on the requirements set in place, Prioritizing can be, and in many cases is, the leading problem in most production. A lack of prioritization is largely caused by stakeholder disputes which in turn cause uncertainty among the team and ultimately leads to nothing ever getting completed in a timely fashion, if at all. Stakeholders will be able to see, with abundant transparency, the project timeline, and feature prioritization. This also saves the development team from stakeholders who want to start changing and adapting the project scope mid-project. Defining the scope allows you to build products that are useful for your users and meets their needs.

 

Your project scope should not be defined by opinions and ideas, but rather on the user and business needs and requirements.

 

Engagement is down

You’re losing users, they aren’t spending much time using the site or app, customer purchases are low, or you can’t get users to onboard. Users don’t seem to be catching on to your product, so what gives?

Structure and Ideation

Users like pretty, fun, unique things, but they also like what they know. They don’t want to think, guess, or wonder while they’re using your product. In order to successfully build a product that users will not only enjoy using but keep coming back to, you need to know what your users want out of your product. Engagement is 100% related to your business and user requirements. If you have not written out and made it clear what your purpose as a business is, as well as what your users need from your product, you cannot successfully build a product that is created for your users. Understanding what your customers need and want is key to providing a service or product that meets those needs.

 

For example, imagine a user has just ordered an item from your website and wants to know about your return policy, but can’t find any information regarding this on the purchase confirmation page, they will have to start searching the site to see if they can find the information they need. Not giving the user the information they need when and where they want it or expect it can lead to frustration and an overall bad experience. Users will have a better experience when they have to think less, and know more.

 

Your users are the core of your product. Understanding how they think and why they use your product will help you build the right structure.

 

Massive Project overhauls

You’ve had re-designs, feature recall, structure changes, the list goes on. You thought you got it right from the start, but things keep needing to be adapted, changed or removed altogether.

 

Skeleton and Prototyping Phase

Lots of changes and modifications to a site either prior to or shortly after launch can most usually be linked back to the failure to draw out, wireframe, and iterate on the initial design layout. This step is crucial to the future of the product as it allows you to identify holes in the plan, points of user error, and feature issues. By foregoing this creative and iterative process you go straight from a features list to finalized design without much thought in-between. Iteration is crucial to the success of a design, but not less or more important than asking the right questions and listening to your users. A major player in project overhauls is a team’s inability to read user data correctly, interpreting what the data says to meet their needs or opinions. Cross-vertical collaboration needs to occur when discussing user input to make sure discussions involving technical capabilities, financial constraints, and design aspects are considered when solving issues or implementing new features. A product’s ease-of-use is directly related to your team’s ability to collaborate, understand user data, and adapt and iterate when given new information.

 

Iterative design produces the best result. Your first is never your best.

 

Brand Experience isn’t right

The colors are off, the logo is confusing, the imagery is tacky, it looks dated. Maybe your site looks nice but isn’t a good representation of your brand. Whatever it is, you know it’s got to change.

Surface and design

Your product’s look and feel isn’t matching the look and feel you had in mind or isn’t looking good at all. This is all due to the UI (User Interface) design. The UI is the ‘surface’ of a product and conveys to users the meaning, use, and connotation associated with the business and product itself. The UI covers everything from colors and fonts to animation and transitions. A good UI will take into account who your users are, how they should feel using your product,  and your business’ brand. A common occurrence that can cause the UI to not have the right feel is when the design does not line up with the target market. This can happen for a number of reasons, possibly because you do not know your target market, you are making assumptions about your target market, your team has not spent the time to get to know your target market, or most commonly someone on the team, typically the product manager or a stakeholder views the product as their baby and does not want to listen to any views other than their own even when those views are backed up by data. You can help to avoid these types of mistakes by clearly laying out who this is for and why the choices being made make sense for that groups of persons. The overall feeling about the brand/product should be good or your Brand Experience is NOT good.

 

You think you’re ‘Done’

It doesn’t matter what your business delivers, you are never Done. Your user’s wants, needs, and goals are ever-changing and you need to adjust to make sure you continue to bring a useful, functional, pleasing product.

 

Testing and Evaluation

Design is a key aspect of updates and adjustments to your product since using a UX process can help you determine the best options for your business moving forward. Whether it’s interviewing users or doing A/B testing, the most impactful tool you can utilize is testing. Testing your product through various means will give your team insights into the way your users’ think and how they feel when interacting with your product. Through the evaluation process, unknowns are discovered that allow your company to pivot and adapt quickly and more purposefully, providing greater meaning to your product. An issue you can and most likely will run into through testing and attempting to make changes to the product will be a stakeholder coming forward and disagreeing with decisions because they feel the product is better one way than another purely based off their own opinion. This is referred to as Pride of Authorship. They believe since they started the project that they should have it the way they want it, which you could argue is correct and fair, however, this thinking can damage the product, user engagement, leading to a poor team environment and a hurting the bottom line. Keeping stakeholders aware of the core users’ needs and goals and how new feedback benefits the company and product can allow them to see their version may not be the best holistic option.  

“Usability testing shows you if something is usable. Beta testing shows you if people will actually use it.”
Rachel Decker

Our Brilliant Bytelion Interns: 4 Maryland Students who have blown us away

By Leadership, UncategorizedOne Comment

Investing in Carroll County’s technical workforce is an essential component of Bytelion’s strategy to attract the best employees. It has been a privilege to work with incredibly talented students from Carroll County. The students are from McDaniel College, Carroll Community College, The Carroll Technology Center, and local high schools including Manchester Valley and South Carroll High School. To foster such talent, our experienced, full-time employees, worked as mentors to guide and oversee their development. In every department, we utilized our intern’s skills. From strategizing client brands with our team’s top designers to generating code with our software engineers, they have done it all. Our staff has admired the energy, confidence, and novelty that the interns have brought to the office, and we are proud to share their experiences with you. 

Stephen White at MAGIC'S Capture the Flag Event

Stephen White at MAGIC’S Capture the Flag Event

Flourishing in Frontend Development

Stephen White attends South Carroll High School.  He first heard about Bytelion through the MAGIC Hackathon Weekend. Stephen worked with Christopher Poe, an AngularJS Web Developer, on Frontend development projects. Stephen says that he “gained invaluable work experience” from his internship at Bytelion, adding that he now “knows what it is like to work in a digital firm.” During his time, he has learned in detail the concepts and basics of working in an agile development environment, contributing to sprints, daily scrums, and sprint-based meetings, which he was foreign to before his time at Bytelion. One of Stephen’s favorite parts of the internship was having a mentor. He emphasized how the opportunity to talk to an expert was unlike anything he had before; it was beneficial. Stephen aspires to continue this partnership as he pursues a career in software development after college.

untitled-design-3

From Intern to Full-Time Employee

Before starting her final semester at McDaniel College, Kathleen Biddinger began her internship at Bytelion. After a couple of weeks of exploring the company, and helping various departments, she quickly discovered her niche: Quality Assurance.  Kathleen performed regression testing for Preferhired with her mentor, Mark Majer. During her internship, she supported Data work and dabbled in design and marketing. She was offered full-time employment with a role in QA after graduating from McDaniel College with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science. Kathleen thanks Bytelion for the opportunity to progress her skills, “I can now write automated tests using Python and Selenium!” Kathleen loves working at Bytelion: “the team is comprised of supportive and motivated people, but what I love the most is how funny they are. At Bytelion, I feel like I am valued for my work, and Terry genuinely wants his employees to succeed.”

Kathleen also wrote her first blog for Bytelion about Quality Assurance check it out here!

nick-s

Blogging for Backend Development

Nick Sica is currently a high schooler at Manchester Valley High School. He discovered Bytelion through a career coordinator at the Carroll County Career and Tech Center. He remarked, “What I liked most was that I learned a lot. It isn’t just a ‘go and get coffee for everyone’ type of internship. You work with your mentor on a team on real projects. You learn a lot as an intern at Bytelion.” His mentor Ryan Dagit, a Backend API developer, was there to answer all of Nick’s questions and guide him through the internship. In addition, Nick also wrote a blog about Backend development on our website, be sure to check it out here!

Kristen Vogel (Second from Right)

Kristen Vogel (Second from Right)

Designing their path

Kristen Vogel (second from the right) is an intern from Carroll Community College. She spoke fondly about her time at Bytelion: “I feel that I am much more fluid between Illustrator and Photoshop after my time at Bytelion.” Kristen learned about the internship opportunity through a Bytelion employee, at the Carroll County MAGIC Hackathon Weekend. Kristen explained that the course provided a glimpse into the professional world, gaining experience from attending meetings with clients to operating productivity software effectively. Her mentor Halie Wickiser, Bytelion’s UX/UI designer, said, “working with Kristen was always a positive experience. We were able to work side by side on a daily basis discussing, analyzing, and composing designs and ideas for various projects.” Kristen said to date: “It was one of the best collaborative experiences I’ve had.”

Final Thoughts:

Providing high-quality experiences for young professionals in Carroll County, MD is a critical component of our hiring strategy.  Teaming up with local organizations such as The Carroll Technology Council and MAGIC have been fundamental to our success and getting our message into the community. As our Internship program grows, we are always searching for talented students to work with us. We believe by investing in locally,  Bytelion can support tech growth and provide opportunities for students in (and surrounding) Carroll County. Educating our interns about our company can help them gain the necessary skills they need to pursue a career.

Contact Us!

Interested in interning at a fast paced software company? We have several opportunities for engineers, product managers, testers, and designers available.  Please contact us at info@bytelion.com

The Generational Shift in Staffing–How to Stay Ahead of the Curve

By Leadership, OrganizationsNo Comments

The youngest of the baby boomers are now in their fifties, and the largest population of workers is now comprised of Gen X and Gen Y. The most recent group to the workforce, the millennials, now represent over a third of the US workforce. With this great influx of technology-savvy workers, the days of cubicle farms filled with huge desktops are numbered. Millennials that are entering your workforce are not just looking for a paycheck, they need to be convinced that you are the right fit for their needs. How does your company look in their eyes?

Mobile first and upgrade your Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Reaching millennials will need to be lead by a mobile-first strategy. Mobile devices are here to stay, and job candidates want to use what is in their hand to conduct their lives and their work. All customer-facing interactions need to be on par with the latest technology trends. Your main website has to be mobile responsive, and any recruiting efforts need to have the feel of a native app. Millennials need to feel that you represent what they want, seamless, intuitive communication, and the best current technology. Ask yourself, if they are tempted to apply, is this process an easy one? 

Clunky mobile apps lead to far higher rates of non-submitted applications. How does your site compare to others that millennials may also be looking at? Once they have applied, will your ATS weed out the best or the worst? Have you considered going a step further and introducing an A.I. platform to help find the best candidates? We are now at the point where those organizations using the best tech will gather the best talent to their groups, leaving the rest to apply to organizations with less sophisticated systems.

Maximize your employee referrals.

Current employees often find the best new hires. They sell the company and culture better than any recruiter, ensuring an excellent fit and long-term commitment. How can you assist in this process? Incentive offers buried deep in the HR tab of your intranet are not very helpful. Modernize the effort by bringing attention to recruiting programs on your homepage with a link to open positions, and introduce new ways of connecting their social networks to your recruitment efforts. Have an active, pay-based referral program and pay well for hired referrals. Even consider a repeating annual payment for each hire an employee has brought in. This small annual incentive will keep attention on recruiting efforts.

Engage the applicant

Once interested, how do you get an applicant to commit to your organization? Email is no longer the only way to communicate and is becoming slightly dated. Take advantage of the tools candidates are already using. A quick video call or a Facebook message can provide the necessary interaction to capture the candidate’s focus. Are you capturing their preferences in the application process?

Staffing strategies have to evolve as the candidates evolve, and successful past efforts will not cut it as the needs of the employees change. Staying ahead of the curve means transitioning to methods that get you the best hires. Strong mobile technology, improved ATS, and a turbocharged referral system would find you the most qualified individuals.

 

Worst LPT Reddit Post Ever | How to get a raise… look for a new job

By Leadership

Hiring, training, and retaining people is perhaps one of the most validating experiences in life.  It is validating to the individual who took the risk to hire and the person being hired.  As an avid reader of Reddit, one of my favorite sections is the ‘Life Pro Tips.’ In LPT’s, “expert” advice across a variety of topics is given.  The following is by far the worst.

screen-shot-2017-09-13-at-11-53-58-amFull URL

Bad Comments

I am sure that the author’s point of view and the subsequent comments from disgruntled employees is correct based on their experiences, but there are so many more variables.  If you go through life seeking new employment when within a bad company, you are doing it right.  If you end up leaving good companies to get the next raise, you are making a galactic mistake.  Here are some of the comments that I thought were particularly bad.

  • “A smart person once told me,  ‘the best time to look for a new job is when you don’t need it.’ ”
    Stop. Understand your business and think five years out about how profitable you could make the company and do it.
  • “In most industries, especially IT, your biggest and best promotions will 90% of the time come from another company. That’s what I’ve learned, anyway.”
    Take time to understand what your value is to your employer.  You may be working in a business that doesn’t make money from your job, but they need it to function.  There may be some other businesses that need your job to make a lot of money so that they can pay you more.  Find out how you can help your company make money and do that!
  • “One thing that I have realized is that each job will always see you as you were when you applied. Think of your little cousin. They’re always going to be that little cousin no matter what happens. If you’re the fresh out of school new employee three years later they’ll still remember the fresh out of school.”
    Wrong.  You are a tiger and an ass kicker.  Don’t be a wimp.
  • “Speaking as someone who is in his early 30s and has been laid off twice. Company loyalty only exists to exploit you.”
    Victim speaks!  Just imagine if you, the reader needed to hire someone.  Are you now an exploiter?  Most likely not.

Positive Comments

I did find some sensible comments from level headed people.  As an employee, if there are mutual trust and respect with your employer, you should give absolutely everything you have to that job to make the company more respectful. Read books, look at trends, and think beyond your current role.  Track competitors, read about your clients, make suggestions.  Prepare and give talks.  Do not stop being a money generator for your company.  Not only will you make it impossible for your company not to give you a raise, but you will also be able to work yourself into a position of power and influence with some great people.  Those relationships last a lifetime.

  • “After you get your first job out of college: every six months have a one-on-one meeting with your supervisor. Talk about your progress within the company/agency/group, and voice your support for participation in projects or programs that would be beneficial to your career, or promotions. Let your supervisor know you are interested in challenges.”
    Right on.  Bring value and communicate. It is a win/win.  We do this every three months at Bytelion.
  • “That’s right, never stay in one place too long. Don’t form any lasting bonds, don’t preserve institutional knowledge, don’t let there be any stability in your life. You’re a shark, endlessly prowling, endlessly growing larger, cold as the ocean depths. Life is definitely better that way.”
    This is rough!  We don’t completely agree with this.. but we believe that building company culture is extremely important.
  • “I honestly completely disagree. A very wise CEO of mine once said, “don’t day trade your career.”
    This commenter is alluding to the fact that everyone is always looking for something better. In reality, you should find a decent company and stand fast. You will incur so many gains in compensation and experience (especially in a start-up)…
    If you ARE in a toxic environment, GET OUT. Everything is subjective.

Final Note

In many ways, working for someone is like being in a relationship.  You want your partner to be fun, hard working, exciting, and have some challenges. You don’t want your relationship to be exploitative, boring, easy, and too comfortable.  Selecting the right partner is tricky.  If you can find one worth keeping, making it work will be amazing for everyone.

 

 

Scrum.org vs Scrum Alliance: How to Train in Scrum

By Agile, Development, Leadership, Organizations

Introduction

Agile methodologies have gained significant traction since the 2000’s.  Scrum is an Agile methodology that promotes bottom up leadership by utilizing self-organizing teams, not top down direction.  To understand why Agile is such an effective development strategy or how to transition your difficult team to agile, check out our other Blog post: Corporate Agile & How do I Transition my Difficult Team to Agile? 

The big question is you are most likely having is what is the best company to certify with: Scrum.org or ScrumAlliance.org?

History

During the early 1990’s Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland jointly presented a paper at the Business Object Design and Implementation Workshop in Austin, Texas. This gained more publicity in the 2000’s and led to the birth of what we now know as SCRUM. Schwaber and Sutherland formed the Scrum Alliance and the CSM (Certified Scrum Master) certification. In 2009 Schwaber left and created his own certification, PSM (Professional Scrum Master), at Scrum.org.   One of the best articles that we have read is from .  If you haven’t read this article about the fragility of the scrum certification process, you should.  Below is our take on each program.

If only we could settle this with an epic of rap battle between Ken and Jeff.  Sigh… this topic most likely won’t reach the high ERB entertainment threshold,  lets take a quick look at the different ways people can become certified.

Scrum Alliance

The Scrum Alliance alliance offers certification to become proficient in Scrum, whether as a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Product Owner (Certified Product owner) or even Developer (Certified Scrum Developer). The test’s only requirement is a two day Scrum course (approximately $1,295, depending on the instructor). Once you have completed your training, you can take your test online. The pass acceptance score is 24/35 questions (65%). Obviously, this is not particularly difficult to pass, but it’s not meant to be. You have gone through the rudimentary training, and you understand the basics. To become truly accomplished at Scrum it takes experience. For training courses to receive certification via the Scrum Alliance, you can find a searchable list of available trainers/ courses on the home page of their siteSample of a course

Scrum.org

 

For those who do not have the flexibility for a 2-day course, or for those who have their team spread geographically, Scrum.org has you covered. Scrum.org offers certification straight up with no mandatory training. You will however need to motivated and pull your own training courses together.  Obviously, it is best to train before taking the test as it has an acceptance score of 85%. The courses are named differently than those of the Scrum Alliance (e.g. CSM is PSM (Professional Scrum Master)) but they cover the same material. Scrum.org offers 2/3 levels of certification with varying prices according to the certification. For example, a PSM certification is typically $150 for the first tier, $250 for the second and $500 for the third. A Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) only has two tiers ($200 and $500).  For all of the certifications, you do not need to take the lower tiers. If you feel you are capable, you can go straight to the top!  Don’t worry however, there is a pricey class you can attend as well for $1,495.

Failing the Scrum.org Test

Here is a story about failure and success with the scrum master certification.

Summary

Cert Type Scrum Alliance Scrum.org
Certified Scrum Master/Professional Scrum Master ~ $1000 $150/$250/$500
Certified Scrum Product Owner/Professional Scrum Product Owner  $1200 – $1500 $200/$500
Certified Scrum Developer/Professional Scrum Developer $1800 – $3000 $200

Scrum certification isn’t required, but it is a nice to have.  Because of the pricing and convenience, we enjoy scrum.org’s model thoroughly.

Note: Both sites offer various other forms of Scrum certification which are worth taking a look at, but these are the three core ones.

Additional Resources

The internet provides many free resources for Scrum training. My favorite is the Scrum Training Series by Michael James (shout out to Michael, thank you for your impressive training via your site!!)

Regarding books, if you want a quick page turner you should try ‘Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction‘ by Chris Sims and Hillary Louise Johnson. For a more in depth look into Scrum ‘The Elements of Scrum’ by the same authors will provide you with all you need to know.

If you have any questions feel free to comment below or shoot us an email at info@bytelion.com 

Never, Ever Invest in Specs

By Design, Innovators, Leadership, Software Lifecycle, StartupNo Comments

So, here is a scenario… you want to develop a new software product, but you aren’t sure who to hire or how much it will cost. What should you do?

Don’t Do This


Before I tell you what you should do, lets talk about what you should not do… pay a development team to break your application down into user stories or worse yet, a requirements document.  The amount of waste that you will spend on this is enormous with little value for a potentially large investment.

Common myth:  Once you have the specification, you can hand it to other developers who can create estimates for your application, right?  Wrong.  Developers cannot possibly pick up a cold specification and accurately estimate the project.  They still need to walk through the application, visualize it and ask questions about the features.  Even if a developer understands the application after investing an enormous amount of time, they still might not be able to accurately estimate it.   Why?  Read this. https://blog.codinghorror.com/how-good-an-estimator-are-you/

Specs are Boring and Painful to Read

specs_vs_ui_mockup

If you aren’t going to spend money on specs, what should you do?

Steps To Preparing Yourself


Step 1.  Become a hermit 

Roll up your sleeves and invest in learning a simple mockup tool like, https://moqups.com. Lock yourself in during a weekend and mock out what you want your application to do.  In a weekend, a founder can reasonably figure out how to build the critical 5 or 6 pages of their application.  Then, they can provide this to a development team to get their concept across and produce a well engineered prototype.

Step 2 . Pick up the check… the lunch check that is.

Use the money you saved by not paying someone to do your specification and take a few people out to lunch that are friendly to you AND understand your market very well.  Use this time to shore up your thoughts and produce another version of your application based on what you have learned.

Step 3. Deliver a working Prototype

Select your team using this simple outsource process.   Not sure how do this? Check out our “10 Minute Guide To Hiring Outsourced Team

Summary


At the end of the day, you are accountable for every dime you spend.  You are the only one.  You can blame a team delivering poorly after a few sprints, but that it is.  As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for selecting people to work for you and firing them.  If you blame your development team, then you are weak sauce and not ready to run a startup.  Be prepared to fire.

Message To Garcia For Software Engineers

By Leadership

If you have not read Message to Garcia, it is well worth it.  The essay is just as applicable in 1899 as it is now in 2013.

When people think of the skills needed to be excellent software engineers, they often sight things like intelligence, education, and experience.  While these are all important things, they are secondary attributes.  The most important attributes however are integrity, moral strength, and grit.  A small team of people with these attributes are virtually unstoppable.

Writing software requires developers to push through difficult obstacles in order to complete work.  Instead of  jungles, software engineers face problems such as complex integration issues,  policy, and system opaqueness.  Having integrity, moral strength and grit are required to push through these issues.

Bytelion developers and teams are chosen based on their ability to start tasks and not stop until the task is complete.  We pride ourselves on our ability to deliver our message to Garcia.

The next time you have something to do, put it in terms of “Message to Garcia” and see what you can accomplish.