Don’t make these 4 common developer mistakes
After hours of coding, countless sleepless nights, a lot of excitement and maybe a little frustration, you’re finally ready to release your app. After a few weeks, you realise it’s not performing as well as you’d hoped it would – only a few people have downloaded it and you’re not getting the best feedback.
The good news is that there’s still time to change this. The even better news is that the process of monetising your next app can be a lot smoother if you avoid these common developer mistakes:
1. Jumping straight in
Failing to plan is planning to fail. A common mistake that many new developers make is diving straight into developing without first drafting:
- A software requirements specification document, outlining the interactions users will have with your app;
- A project plan, specifying approved scopes, budgets and timeframes;
- A business plan, defining your target audience, their behaviours and circumstances, as well as how you will market your app. It outlines the goals for your app and how you will achieve them; and
- A system design, outlining everything you need to meet the goals you set for your app. This could include architecture, data, modules, etc.
All three of the above are crucial if you are developing an app for a client.
2. Building overly complicated apps
Applications should solve a problem or meet a specific need, yet often developers build apps that solve personal problems rather than those experienced by their target audience. They also build complicated apps and try to be everything to everyone. Know the purpose of your app and make sure it achieves this purpose well.
3. Giving up too quickly and not accepting feedback
The application market is saturated, so it’s easy to get discouraged if you’re not getting the results you expected. By developing new skills and taking every opportunity to improve your app, you will be rewarded. Listen to what users are saying about your app – especially how they feel it could be improved – and use that feedback to build the best app possible.
4. Ignoring the technical stuff
Avoid getting tripped up by technical oversights by making sure you:
- Back up your work. Use a version control solution to record changes and recall specific versions in case anything goes wrong.
- Get the code formatting right. One small error can affect the accessibility of your entire app. Intel’s free XDKHTML5 cross-platform development tool and INDE productivity suite feature built-in code editors to simplify and speed up input of source code.
- Become familiar with web standards and technical SEO. Web standards deal with interoperability, accessibility and usability of websites, while technical SEO helps search engines to determine what your site or app is about, and includes things like XML sitemaps, 404 pages and 301 redirects.
- Prioritise testing and optimisation. Before you release your app, you need to test it on different browsers and devices. Users will get frustrated if the app does not work on their device, or if it takes too long to load. Intel Android lets you virtually test your apps on thousands of Intel-based devices, for free.
Remember that coding is only a small portion of the work. The bulk of your efforts should be put towards planning, marketing and testing. By getting these basic rights, you would already have set yourself up for success.