For over 20 years bPol has successfully implemented hundreds of projects in many industries located in different countries. Throughout this time, we have constantly improved our work process. Today we are hiring 43 developers from 7 different nations in our nearshore team and it is still growing. Now we would like to share with you some of our software engineering work optimization know-how. Here are 5 tips that will help you optimize the web development process, improve productivity and, consequently, more effectively implement customer projects.
At the core of our business, there is a strong belief that each project should meet established requirements and be delivered to the highest possible quality. Good cooperation, appropriate communication and proper optimization of the work environment in an extended team is the guarantee that programmers will focus 100% on a specific goal. We have gathered the experience of our employees and prepared a comprehensive guide that will allow you to save many hours of work on projects from the very beginning.
According to Federal Occupational Health reports, every hour of good planning can save us from 3 to 4 hours of wasting time struggling with excess data, waiting for additional information or incorrectly prepared tasks. Even though clients often come to us with precise guidelines, it is worth taking the time to study the project and prepare a plan to make sure that the website will do its job. Each project should be divided into small pieces at the beginning, which will facilitate the subsequent management. Your plan doesn't have to be hyper-detailed. It is said that no plan survives contact with the enemy. Many of its elements may change along the way, but thanks to the overall concept, you will be able to easily recognize the individual elements of the target design and make appropriate corrections. Remember that you are only planning your work at this stage. Don't try to be super precise but make sure that your nearshore team has access to the necessary information at every stage of activities. You can edit or share the plan via appropriate tools such as Trello, Asana or Jira.
Be sure to keep all your notes in one place. If it's more convenient for you to save them outside of project management platforms, use tools such as Evernote, Google Keep, Quip or Microsoft OneNote. In this case, it is worth betting on cloud solutions. Of course, the most important thing is the content; you could use a notebook or a piece of paper. Remember, however, that digital solutions will allow you to share your notes faster with other people involved in the project. When it comes to the code itself, it is a good idea for the nearshore team to choose the same examined editor. Good solutions are for example: Notepad++, Sublime Text, Brackets, or Aptana Studio.
At the project planning stage, it is also worth asking yourself and the client a few fundamental questions:
These few questions are enough to get to know the client's expectations better and to implement the appropriate solutions more efficiently.
When work planning and establishing the details of the project with the client, pay special attention to the framework of activities that you undertake to deliver. In bPol, we are always open to development, changes and evolution of projects but the challenge is related to time constraints. Each project should meet the initial assumptions and be of the highest quality. That is why it is so important to get acquainted with all possibilities of extending cooperation and including them in the work schedule. It is important that the budget assumptions are closely related to the scope of work. Of course, you can leave space for improvements and new implementations, but the customer must be aware of how long it may take to implement changes, and how much will be the additional cost of specified services. We believe that full transparency and hyper-communication translate into successful project completion.
It’s obvious that your nearshore team must have written millions of lines of code when following the path from small web development startup or single freelancer to a well-functioning software engineering machine. All of your projects have definitely not disappeared into a void. So why not use what you already have to improve your work on future projects? You can recycle many of your code fragments, saving you the time you spend writing the same scripts from scratch. If you haven't done so already, be sure to create a structured library of code snippets. Start by creating folders in which the names of the code categories will appear. One of the criteria for creating thematic sections can be the structure of the website - for example: footer, comment section, form elements etc. Of course, depending on your needs, you can choose a completely different standard. The same goes for the detail of individual directories and subdirectories. The most important thing is to remember about the possibility of easy searching for code snippets. Use simple keywords so that after a few months of the implementation of a project you could still remember a code’s purpose. If possible, it is also worth using the tools that have been integrated with your code editor. In Notepad++ you can use a SnippetPlus plugin. Dreamweaver has the built-in Snippets Panel with some default code snippets ready to use. Not having to switch between apps is another way to save time! It is also worth trying to use ready-made solutions. Among them, you should see what CodePen and CSS Deck offer.
We live in times when our work very often does not depend on a specific place and time. Many companies choose operating models based on the work of the extended team or nearshore team. In such conditions, the ability to share and exchange knowledge online is priceless. Fortunately, programmers, developers, web designers and coders - create a community that eagerly helps each other on the internet. Any developer can save a lot of time by taking advantage of the high-quality free resources shared online by their colleagues. Such materials should be collected and like valuable code snippets cataloged as intended and, if possible, stored in a virtual space with easy access for the rest of the extended team. What should be in our free resource library? All qualitative materials that can be used during the web development process. People dealing with UX/UI will certainly create individual folders for examined fonts, icons, buttons, and vector illustrations in the first place. The work of designers will certainly be accelerated by a previously prepared database of photos and pictures (preferably based on the Creative Commons license), PSD templates and various extensions to graphic programs. The extended team's resource library must also include ready-made solutions for web developers. It is worth collecting css libraries and plugins.
Finally, we have a little bonus for you. Below you can find a list of websites and tools offering many free resources that will certainly improve the Web Development process in your startup, company or organization: