The answers to all of your burning questions.
WHO IS BOOVATECH?
We’re a team of business-minded engineers working to bring our clients’ best ideas to life. We work hard and we love our craft.
ARE YOU TAKING ON NEW PROJECTS RIGHT NOW?
Yes, we’d love to hear from you. Reach out to us right now about our software development project process.
CAN I SEE WHAT YOU'RE DOING ON MY PROJECT ON A REGULAR BASIS?
Yes. Transparency is our top priority. We’ll keep code in a shared repository and make sure you have access. We also provide daily status updates and weekly progress reports.
CAN I ADJUST PLANS, FEATURES, ETC. AS WE GO?
Yes. This kind of flexibility is important and could determine the success of project, but big changes after kick-off might affect budget or schedule.
WHO OWNS THE CODE AND DESIGNS YOU PRODUCE DURING THE PROJECT?
You do. Before we work, we’ll put a contracting agreement in place that will assign ownership of all work product and deliverables to you.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU'RE DONE? WHO FIXES BUGS?
Software is rarely “done.” As your business changes, your software product will need to evolve and adapt. But, we do expect the code we deliver to be free from defects and perform as intended. We’ll roll you over to a Hosting & Support arrangement so that we can address any issues or requests that may pop up.
HOW MUCH WILL MY PROJECT COST ME?
We can’t answer this question responsibly until we understand your idea, business, market, users, etc. While we can’t tell you exactly what your project will cost, we can draw on our experience and tell you what’s typical for the projects we’re best suited to help you with.
WHAT TYPE OR SIZE PROJECTS DOES BOOVATECH TAKE ON?
Boovatech designs and builds business-critical software applications. We’re a great fit for projects where user experience is critical and one or more of the technology domains of web, mobile, embedded, or desktop are required.
Projects like these tend to be large or complex, or both. They take a lot of time, and so they cost more money. That in turn means they need to be able to generate a lot of revenue, or possibly save a lot of money. Most of the projects we tackle are on the revenue side of a profit & loss statement (i.e. they grow your business in some way and generate revenue).
Many of the projects we do fit in one of the buckets below. There are exceptions, of course, but these are common.
- Web or mobile utility (does a few simple things well)
- Prototype or demo software
- Mobile app that compliments existing full-featured web application
- Basic new software application, rewrite of an existing application, or first phase of complex system
- Complex, multi-phase software application
CAN I COUNT ON THE BUDGET?
Yes. Our business engagements are “fixed budget, scope controlled” meaning we’ll help you develop a responsible budget, and we’ll stick to it. Since we’ve never worked with people who have fewer ideas than they have money or time, our job is to figure out the best possible software application we can build for the given budget. That requires thoughtful understanding of the users and the market. From there, we’ll work to control the scope of the project, both in depth (polish, refinement, complexity) and breadth (features, functionality).
HOW DO YOU BILL?
Each engagement is different. Even though most projects have a fixed budget, we track our time and invoice our clients by the hour. We feel this is the most transparent and straightforward way to bill you. If a member of your team is sick, or attends a conference, your project will have less time put into it, and your invoice for that week will be smaller.
HOW MUCH DO THOSE COMMON PROJECTS COST?
Here are ballpark figures for the common projects mentioned previously:
Web or mobile utility (does a few simple things well)
Prototype or demo software
Mobile app that compliments existing full-featured web application
Basic new application, rewrite of an existing product, or first phase of complex system
Complex, multi-phase application
HOW LONG DOES A SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT TAKE?
A typical small team for the projects we work on is two to three developers with a designer used as needed. A large team is six to eight people.
For a rough approximation of project duration, you can take the estimates above and divide by 32 hours for each person on the team. For example, a 1200 hour project takes approximately 3 months of calendar time for a team of 3 people (1200 hours / (3 people * 32 hours/person/week) / 4 weeks/month = ~ 3 months).
On large projects, we’re able to add people and go faster. That’s quite an amazing thing, actually, and not something every team or company can do. Growing the team obviously requires we have additional employees available since we don’t use contractors.
DO YOU CODE EVERYTHING FROM SCRATCH?
Boovatech teams get incredible leverage from open source tools, libraries, frameworks and indeed entire projects or our own proprietary libraries. We never reinvent the wheel when there is a tool that is suitable for solving a problem. We always program from scratch the parts that make your project custom and valuable.
HOW CAN I JUSTIFY THE HIGH COST OF CUSTOM SOFTWARE WHEN I CAN PROBABLY GET OFF-THE-SHELF SOFTWARE MUCH CHEAPER?
Off-the-shelf software includes functionality you need and functionality you don’t. The development costs are spread between many paying users which makes the relative cost per user lower. However, your competitors have access to the same features and updates that you do.
If you’re looking to create a unique competitive edge, It’s important that we tie the cost of custom software to an area of your business where you can experience a significant ROI in two years or less.
HOW LONG DOES CUSTOM SOFTWARE TAKE TO BUILD AND IMPLEMENT?
Anywhere from a few months to around a one or two years.
Don’t forget that a lot of this time is the upfront business consulting process at the beginning and the deployment and training at the end of the project. These need to happen with off-the-shelf software as well. If we’re comparing apples for apples, the timeframe to get the system in place and fully commissioned isn’t that dissimilar from a large off-the-shelf system.
I’VE HEARD OF A PROCESS CALLED AGILE AND I THINK WE SHOULD USE THAT TO DEVELOP OUR SOFTWARE. CAN YOU USE AGILE?
Maybe. We are well-versed in a number of different methodologies, but we think it’s important to choose the one that will work best for your project, not necessarily what’s in fashion right now.
Agile is great if you’re developing a new product that is (1) being driven by market-demand and customer input and (2) where there is very little opportunity to plan what users will find appealing.
The downsides of Agile include (1) significant effort to validate assumptions and gather requirements from prospective customers and (2) no real possibility of working to a fixed timeframe or cost. The Waterfall methodology is more of an engineering process that is heavy on design up-front.
We feel that the upfront piece of Waterfall makes it easy to plan and produce fixed timeframes and costs before development and testing begin. However, Waterfall isn’t really a good fit if the requirements are fuzzy and you need flexibility to change things on a regular basis.