This is the fifth article in my series on building Apps. Part I covered the basics of vision and marketingPart II was a discussion on the importance of reviewing App store guildelines. Part III covered writing requirements and Part IV was about prioritising those requirements.

This should leave you with a good idea about what App you want to build and why you want to build it. Next you need to find the right technical team to build the App for you. You have a few options:

  • DIY
  • Find a friend
  • Professional help

DIY

You can choose to Do-It-Yourself. If you have a computer programming background then this could be an easy option for you providing that you have the spare time to learn a new programming language and build the App. If you don’t have any programming experience then approach this option with caution! App programming is not easy! However, I find being a computer programmer an immensely rewarding job and I would encourage anyone with an interest to take up the challenge of being a programmer. Learning to be a programmer is a time-consuming task and this will significantly delay the release of your App.

Find A Friend

Lots of us will have friends who do computer programming as a job / hobby. If your App idea is reasonably small and simple to build then maybe a buddy will help you out with the initial programming work. I have seen this a few times and generally it starts off well, but tails off as things get tough… Generally your friend is helping you out because they are a friend. You probably are not paying them, so they are building your App in their personal free time after a hard day’s work. Your App will not be their top priority after a while and things will start to move frustratingly slowly. However, this can be a great way to get an App started at low or no cost.

A variation on this is “Find A Student” where you contact a local university or college who have Computer Science students looking for a project for their course. The note of caution here is that you are probably not getting a solid, professional attitude towards building your App!

If you are going to find a friend (or student), you will need to be (legally) clear on who owns the Intellectual Property of your App. No matter how good your friend is, get a lawyer and get a contract! It will save you a huge amount of heart-ache down the line…

Professional Help

If you are serious about your App idea and you have the money, professional App developers are the way to go.

Professional developers are committed to your App project. They can guide you through the process of building and getting an App to market. They will have a wealth of experience and will be able to forsee the pitfalls and help you leap over them!

Look for a professional developer with a proven track record of developing and delivering Apps. Sadly, there are a lot of developers out there with little App experience who are trying to gain that experience. Don’t be their guinea pig!

You should also closely question your potential developers about how they are going to approach your App development. You should be expecting to see working software (even if it is rudimentary) early and often. You should get a new version of your App every couple of days for you to evaluate and reflect upon. You should have a flexible arrangement with your developer which means that you can change your mind about your requirements as you learn more about your App.

Choosing your development team is a critical step in the development process and not one that you should take lightly. If you would like more information on this, contact McKenna Consultants for further information.

Next: Testing, Releasing, Feedback And Replanning

The final article in our series on App development will cover the processes of testing, releasing, feedback and replanning.