This is where it gets weird and hard to understand. This is also where it kind of feels like nothing is happening. But truly, the most is happening here.
Starting your app development
In the process of app development, obviously development is key. And development is something people with particular skills do. It’s not something you can just look at and understand. It’s basically lines of code that look like The Matrix.
Development is usually broken down into two key areas:
1 – Front end development
This is what people see, it’s based on your designs and it is bringing your designs to life. It’s what your users will interact with and touch and it displays what your app is doing. If you visit any website, you are seeing the result of front end work
2 – Back end development
This is where the work of your app is being done (mostly). It’s the database and calculations and algorithms. Your users will never see the backend. It’s highly likely, you will never see the backend. And if you even do see the backend, you won’t understand it.
What comes first is a chicken or egg kind of situation. Your developer can make your frontend but it won’t be able to do anything, they can make your backend, but you won’t be able to see anything.
Some developers will work on a single part, and some companies only have the resources to work on the parts one at a time. Some will build both at the same time because they have the resources.
It’s another very important thing for you to understand about your chosen developer. What kind of development resources they have, how they are working on apps, how they are building the backend and frontend.
One of the most important things to do with development is arrange and understand the timelines around it. A lot of people will start to panic here because after a few weeks, they see literally nothing, they’ll start to push the developer for daily updates and want to see what is done. And a lot of the time it’s not possible to really show what has been done.
This is why, when starting your development, you work with your developer to work out a timeline for when and how they will develop what functions, and when and how they will show you.
It could be that after a few days, they’ll show you the developed sign in page. But this is really now different to the designs you’ve already seen. They’ll need to create the backend sign in functions, including things like forgot password and button redirection, and if you have sign in with Facebook this function and so many more things.
You spell it out like the below:
Today – Start
Date – Develop this
Date – Develop that
Date – Develop the other
Date – Show the client the functioning front end and back end development for this that and the other
See this all comes back to my previous blog in this series about managing your expectations. One of the way to manage your expectations is to work with your app developer and understand what they are doing, and how they can show you what they are doing.