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App Development: Speed vs. Quality - Can you have both?

May 9, 2019 1:38:42 PM |     Marcin Stozek

App development is a time-consuming process. It can be costly if mistakes are made in any aspect of development, especially if those mistakes are not caught quickly. Of course, many businesses feel the pressure to do more with less – faster, cheaper. And IT and engineering often feel it most.

It’s no surprise that sacrifices often must be made to achieve delivery goals. But the debate continues, can we accelerate rapid application development without sacrificing quality?

Rapid Application Development - without Compromise

When building an app, there are several layers to consider: code verification processes, feature developments, user experience, to name a few. In a perfect world, none of these areas are dependent on each other, but the reality is that many times they are. Overall, businesses aim to hit certain goals related to each area, which can leave other areas behind. Some focus on development completely and limit marketing efforts until it’s complete. Others begin promotions much earlier in hopes of creating a need before the official launch. And somewhere in the middle, there’s a perfect balance of building something that people want and delivering it in a way that makes it easy for them to consume (whether that’s through beautiful design, lower cost, or other). It takes a bit of focus and planning at the core of rapid application development for a good reason. Some companies and teams recommend work sprints with time to iterate on ideas and implementations between development cycles.

A common work sprint cycle may look like:

Ideation (1 week)> Development (2 weeks)> Testing (1 week)> Wrap and review (1 week)

This cycle will be repeated until the project is finished or a different cycle is implemented.

How to Identify Critical Features and Functionality

Now that you've optimized your processes, you notice you are still running behind the ideal schedule. Evaluate the project roadmap and see which features are absolutely essential to your launch. This prioritization can help you better understand where you can adjust. Ultimately, great application development is dependent on what the users expect. Do they care most about speed? Do they care more about how the app looks or about certain functionality? Beta testers are great for helping you understand what features and functionality are most critical. Beta testing can be done in an open or closed environment. Surveys are an excellent way to aggregate this feedback.

Once you have the core set of users on the product, you can dig deeper into understanding how they are using it by reviewing the logs. Are they using more features than others? Are they running certain reports? Does time of day matter? Could you enhance certain dashboards to highlight the most important areas?

Measuring Performance versus Security

It’s important to keep security and privacy top of mind as well. But at what cost? Again, finding the balance of keeping the app moving fast while protecting your users is key. Does your app run at blazing speeds, even on older devices? Do you want to support older devices? Is your team ready to optimize for security vulnerabilities?

The development team has to keep a focus on what the ideal application looks like, who it serves, and what sacrifices can be made to achieve the overall vision. There are a lot of moving parts, and doing it successfully takes skill. And the right tools.

Most importantly, you have to have data. To keep a proper balance, you need to understand how much CPU, memory or IO the application is using and what the real cost of a feature is before implementing (or leaving out). Software that helps you get meaningful information out of those logs can be a useful tool.

Is It Possible To Have Both Speed and Quality?

In order to achieve high-quality development in a short period of time, at least one of a few things needs to happen. As a developer (or an organization as a whole), you have a choice. Do you put more money at the project, know when to say it's good enough, or find new ways to work more efficiently? For example:

  • Throw extra money at the project: You can add more developers, penetration testers, and security auditors. Extra personnel does not always mean faster progress, but with efficient organization and proper team sizing, it can accelerate your development.
  • When it's good enough: Say the project interface is clear of distractions and looks clean. Is that enough for launch? Maybe you wanted to add in motion graphics or extra animations, but can those items be added later?
  • Finding new ways to work more efficiently: Monitoring logs during closed testing to identify and fix issues like application errors or security vulnerabilities can help you find the right balance.

Log Management and Application Development

Log management and error reporting are vital to successful application development. Beyond the app roll-out, log management is important in case of a system breach, critical vulnerability, or other error. When determining which logs to monitor, a few considerations need to be made, such as:

  • Are you subject to GDPR regulations?
  • Do you accept payments?
  • Does your business model require KYC/AML integration?
  • Do you intend to serve any government or corporate interests?

Each of these considerations will result in different information you are allowed or required to store and for how long.

If you want to learn more about how LogSense can help optimize your application development process, let us know. We'd love to show you.


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Topics: appdev

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