Software development and software engineering are blanket terms often used to describe a service offered by tech companies. They will often have software developers who are skilled in a variety of areas – be it apps, ecommerce, content management, websites, bespoke systems... the list is endless. And with so many frameworks and languages available with plenty of similarities among them, it can be overwhelming knowing exactly what you need from a software developer.
But that's how a project usually starts – if you have an idea or a set of requirements, a UK software development company (such as ourselves) can talk you through it all and provide a solution tailored to you, with no stress and no worry.
Software development services – what are they?
Software developers work on a variety of projects. There are apps (including desktop apps, tablet apps, mobile apps and even games console apps), websites (including desktop, responsive, tablet and mobile), then there are online stores, management systems, basically anything that can be dreamt up and realised.
Some software companies may specialise in just one of those, but often a software development company will have skills in all areas due to skills cross-over within the disciplines. We've worked for lots of different clients in various industries.
Picking the best software development option
You may know exactly what you want, but often clients know how they want the end-product to function, and perhaps look like, but appreciate guidance on how best to get there.
At Eastpoint, our experienced software developers (I won't call them old) keep on top of all software development best practices and advancements. They are always interested to learn about new platforms or languages that will improve the service we offer to customers.
If you are a fellow techie, we are happy to discuss the ins and outs. If not, we pride ourselves on honest advice and can handle that side of things for you.
Essentially, what every client is looking for is great work, with attention to detail and a high quality finish that helps you achieve your business goals. That's always what we aim for.
Software Development Outsourcing:
We've worked for lots of different clients in various industries and have experience working with other agencies on outsourced development work. We treat the project just as if it was our own, maintaining our high standards and working with partners to achieve the best outcome.
If you are looking to have a web app built, or have an idea for a web app that you need to see realized, you may be looking for a bit more information about what it is and how it is built.
The information below should shed a bit more light on the phrase 'web app', which is often interchangeable with 'website', just to be awkward.
How does a web application differ from a website?
A web app is more about functionality, so a web app is like a tool that you use to do something. Facebook is a web application because go on there, talk, share photos etc. Google is a web application; users specifically go on there to search.
A basic website would not really be called a web app. A website is the bigger picture, and sometimes offers little functionality, for example a simple brochure website, which is a marketing tool for a company to explain what they do.
A web app usually suggests a greater degree of interactivity or complexity.
When to choose a web app over a desktop application
A web app is often chosen due to ease of maintenance and support, as all the complexity is hosted centrally as opposed to being installed in devices.
Web apps allow you to take advantage of certain tools available on this platform, such as jQuery and responsive web design - to be able to create mobile friendly versions of the apps.
A device dependent desktop application will have limitations on the type of computer or device it can be used on, for example developing something with the Microsoft language has to run on Windows computers. Web apps typically depend on the user having access to a web browser, which all connected devices would have.
Although all projects differ, this is an abbreviated and general guideline explaining what to expect from the web app build process.
Generally, you will first chat to a web app developer about your objectives and requirements, after that the developer may need to gather further details.
Once those are decided on, a developer would usually next design how the user interface will work and design the technical solution. Then programming work can start, which is normally between a third and a half of the total effort required.
After completion of the build, testing is carried out. Then it's time for the customer to test and make sure they are happy with the result. Then your web app can be launched!
Web App Development Outsourcing:
You may know all about web apps already, and have clients wanting this service, but do not have the resources to fulfil a project within the timescales needed.
Outsourcing the web app development could be a good option. Here at Eastpoint Software, we have experience working with other agencies on projects. We treat any outsourced work just as we would if it has come directly to us – we work to a high standard to fulfil the brief.
Web application outsourcing allows you to make use of a specific skill-set without the hassle of recruitment and permanent staff.
We are Eastpoint Software, web and software app developers, Cambridge. We offer high quality, cost effective web development.
If you are looking for a web application development company in Cambridge, give us a call on 01223 690164. Our experienced developers have worked on a number of projects. See more at our website www.eastpoint.co.uk or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Responsive and mobile websites: Websites designed for mobiles and tablets As websites evolve, technologies develop and user experience improves, it is important to make sure your website is up-to-date and making the most of what's available. It is becoming increasingly common for websites to not just be designed with a desktop and monitor in mind, but to also look good (and suitable) for small mobile screens and medium sized tablet screens.
Mobile websites and responsive websites can cater for these demands.
What is the difference between a mobile app/website and a responsive website?
Mobile – typically a version of the website built specifically for mobile Responsive – built to adapt to whatever device it is on
Should I get a mobile website or a responsive website?
From a practical stand point, a responsive website will mean one version that works on all devices, and only one website to build. It covers a wide array of devices with a single version. If a new phone is released with new screen dimensions, you've already got it covered. Your responsive version will simply fit to the size of the device.
The benefit of a mobile app is that if you are targeting a specific type of device, you can develop the app or website quicker, and it will be tailored entirely to that device.
A mobile or responsive website – is it worth it?
Whatever your budget for your website, making it “responsive”, so it looks good in all formats, is a wise investment. As more and more people browse online via mobile phones, iPads and tablets, it is important that your business , service or shop, can still relay information and provide a good user experience, regardless of how and where you customer goes online.
Responsive websites automatically adapt to the size of the screen. This doesn't just mean that information and graphics become condensed, it also means words and images are displayed in different ways, or sometimes omitted to provide a less cluttered, easy route to information. When space is limited, you may wish to prioritise so you know your customers are getting what they need, straight away.
Can my website be converted into a mobile/responsive website?
Most likely, yes. Usability and page design is different on mobiles, so your website may look slightly different but with a cohesive design that will link seamlessly with the full web version of your site.
Often, a mobile app developer will suggest that the website is built from scratch, in order to make use of new tools and technologies. This is particularly worthwhile if you have an old or neglected website, to create a fresh re-launch.
How much does a mobile website cost?
As you will expect, it does depend on the size of the project - how complex the pages are and how much user interaction there is. For example, is it just content-based, or does it have a shopping cart? Generally, the more interaction there is, the greater the project cost – but even more to be gained by providing a great mobile experience, rather than a confusing experience as your customers try to navigate a full website on their mobile.
Where do I go to get a mobile website?
A lot of web developers also create mobile websites, software and apps. Here at Eastpoint Software, we speak to our clients, listen to their needs and provide an estimate for the work. We also offer mobile app development outsourcing, so if a client has asked you for a mobile website and you do not have the skills to build it in-house, we can help.
It is known for its picturesque river and historic university colleges, but Cambridge is also a world-class technology hub.
If you are looking for software development services in Cambridge, here is a brief example of how the city became central to the UK's technology industry, and how that benefits you.
A history of technology and software:
The Cambridge area is often referred to as the 'Silicon Fen', due to its high number of tech companies and start-ups. With a famous university that attracts the world's brightest students, perhaps it's not surprising that it would become home to innovators, inventors, and ground-breaking technology.
The first companies took root in the 1970s and Cambridge gradually grew as a hub for technology, attracting start-ups and providing a pool of collaboration and advice.
In the 90s, Cambridge software and technology companies were experiencing investment, growth and success. Despite being a relatively small town outside of London, Cambridge had become world-renowned.
Business hubs and premises that were created and expanded over the years include Cambridge Science Park, St John's Innovation Centre and recently the Hauser Forum.
Notable software businessmen and companies past and present in Cambridge include Clive Sinclair, Acorn Computers, Hermann Hauser, ARM, Microsoft, Red gate and games design company Jagex.
Community, Events and Talks:
Being a web developer in Cambridge means you stay up to date with new products, trends and ideas, making sure you can offer your clients the most beneficial route to realizing their brief.
At Eastpoint Software, we specialize in agile development. Here in Cambridge there is an annual event called Agile Cambridge, a software development conference with workshops and networking.
Eastpoint Software hosts the monthly MongoDB event, where users of the programme meet-up with a MongoDB employee to discuss ideas and uses of the platform.
The Cambridge Network promotes networking, collaboration and growth between businesses in the area.
Eastpoint Agile Software Development Services and Project Management Company in Cambridge. If you want maximum flexibility and regular progress reviews during software development, adopting an agile methodology could work best you. Agile methodologies focus on collaboration between the client and the developers, completing work in stages and adapting and fine-tuning work as the process continues. It is a popular method of working as it provides so much flexibility, and therefore, perhaps most importantly, it ensures as the development team learns more about the specifics of the project, it can adapt easily.
The team that originally proposed agile presented it as having come to value:
Individuals and interactions (over processes and tools)Working software (over comprehensive documentation)Customer collaboration (over contract negotiation)Responding to change (over following a plan)More info can be found at the Manifesto for Agile Software Development.
How does agile work?
Agile can be interpreted and implemented in different ways, but typically the idea is to have an integrated, multi-discipline team working on a project or system based on the customer's needs, but without the weeks or sometimes months of planning involved with a more traditional approach.
After a quick turnaround of about two weeks, typically working on a small aspect of a larger project, the work is taken to the client for feedback, and this feedback is then incorporated into the next two weeks of work, and so on. This approach does not mean work is erratic or purely speculative – it requires skilled, disciplined, knowledgeable developers and continual product testing.
The client is fully engaged throughout the project, providing decision-making and domain-guidance throughout – ensuring they are well aware of what's being created at all times.
What are the benefits?
Being agile allows you to refine and adapt your plan as you go along, rather than working to the letter on a pre-defined plan that will often need to change anyway.
Since work is delivered in stages, any unforeseeable problems with the requirement or the implementation are picked up early. For a customer embarking on a large development project, is typically means greater visibility throughout the work, and, generally, leads to a more effective development relationship.
Is agile for us?
Agile methodologies allow for a much quicker start and frequent presentations to client – work is expected to evolve and clients will be part of this process, rather than just seeing an end product. But this work in progress approach is not for everyone, and not all customers will need to, of have the time to, collaborate on an ongoing basis.
Agile processes are not necessarily quicker on the whole than a traditional plan and build, but they do allow for greater flexibility which reduces project risk and may well save time in the long run.
Why use Eastpoint?
We are experienced with agile project management, both working within an existing team or taking on a project ourselves. Three essential parts of our company culture enable agile to work: our clarity of communication; our transparency; our focus on quality. These help to break down the barriers between the customer and the development team.
Eastpoint Software use proven development methods mixed with creativity and both emerging and established technologies to give your business the best possible product. Our creative but disciplined coding, testing and implementation ensures that you end up with the software product that you need.