The Need for Speed, or How To Build an App Fast

Alina Dolbenska
Writer
Speed up the process

Greetings, sprinter! You’re right in time for a news flash: statistics say there are 3.34 million apps on Google’s App Store and 2.04 million on Apple’s App Store, there are also 2,916 and 854 applications released daily on the platforms respectively.  

The numbers are impressive, new competitors enter the market every day, users constantly change their needs, and your app release isn’t even close. So, you have to run and speed up the process…

But wait. Keep calm and let’s take this one step at a time. 

It’s clear that the app market is pretty challenging and you need to push harder to win the race. According to researchers, it takes an average of 4 to 6 months to develop an app for 48% of companies, but only 24% managed to reduce this time to 1 to 3 months.

Fortunately for you, years of experience in app development have given our team enough knowledge to put you in the latter group. MadAppGang has been developing applications for various industries for more than 10 years, and some of our projects took just 6 weeks! It’s safe to say we know how to speed up the process, and we will share our secrets with you here. 

What causes a lengthy development process?

Whatever goal you have, you should clearly understand one truth: there are always effective and ineffective methods to reach it. For instance, if you want to be healthy, you won’t reach this goal solely by running six times a week. Instead, you have to stop eating junk food, fix your sleeping schedule, and cut the bad habits that harm your body. 

We can apply the same logic to app development. Not everything we do leads us to success, and a professional app developer has to draw a clear line between effective and ineffective approaches.

Overengineering

Overengineering in real life

Imagine you have to reach point B from point A. Instead of going straight, you take two extra left turns, another one to the right, draw a map, and plant trees on your way. Obviously, the result is not reaching point B, but getting tired and frustrated while stuck in the journey. 

Overengineering is in the same vein. It’s writing extra code or adding new features that solve non-existent problems. As a result, the app development process is slow and the key target (a good finished product) won’t be hit anytime soon. 

Avoiding modern technologies

People say ‘work smarter, not harder.’ And this refers not only to programming but all fields in general. Cleaning staff use hoovers instead of brooms, translators exploit Google Translate to finish large projects, and people use all sorts of digital messaging platforms to reach out to friends (they’re a lot faster than homing pigeons or even post offices).

All tools and approaches are being gradually replaced by new and improved ones that simplify workflows and hasten results. And when you refuse those modern tools, your productivity remains flat and may even decline in comparison to those who take advantage of the latest technologies without hesitation. 

The ‘go big or go home’ or ‘everything at once’ approach

That’s why perfectionism is not a good idea

There are many jokes about excessive perfectionism at the workplace and what it leads to — lots of time and resources wasted and little will to do anything afterwards. But how is it that the desire for perfection is so harmful to the end result? 

Voltaire once noted that perfect is the enemy of good, meaning when we focus on perfection, we tend to get mired in the details and may forget about one of the most important rules of achieving goals:  prioritisation. 

If you want your solution to be flawless, that’s totally fine and we’re on the same page as you. But business is always about understanding what matters here and now, not afterwards or in theory. While you could invest your time and money in what you define as perfect rather than the priorities, your path to success could be never-ending.  

5 Effective methods to speed up your app development

As MadAppGang is a team that has pimped its ride and has its pedal on the metal of software development projects, here are our carefully honed methods.

No overengineering

The first thing we recommend is to refrain from overengineering. MadAppGang studied this subject deeply and we can point out a few main features of our workflow that protect us from pointless endeavours:

  1. We set clear goals and give our team specific instructions. 
  2. We don’t only define the product’s current needs, but also decide on features that are non-essential and of secondary importance.
  3. We follow an iterative approach that includes careful Sprint planning. Every software feature is implemented only after the previous one is tested and ready to launch. 
  4. Since MadAppGang follows an Agile methodology, our clients are also involved in the development process, and regular meetings help our team quickly address any issues. 
  5. Everything we do is clearly documented so that nothing is missing. 

Use low-code and no-code platforms

The visual difference between low-code, no-code and custom coding

MadAppGang is a progressive team. We’re not afraid of up-to-date technologies and happily welcome these on board. Low-code and no-code platforms are just one example. In case you haven’t heard about this fabulous invention yet, low-code platforms allow you to develop software with minimal coding, and no-code means (wait for it) no coding at all

Programming is basically a developer giving instructions to a computer in a particular language, and low-code/no-code platforms are constructors where you can choose the instructions you want to give your hardware. So, you just drag and drop your application’s necessary components inside the given environment while the platform contains ready-made code for each. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? 

Low-code and no-code platforms can simplify your work, save your time and money, minimise the chances of failure or breakdown, and in addition, they are easier to modify. So they help you not only with coding but also with post-production maintenance. 

There are two types of low-code and no-code platforms: proprietary and open-source. We recommend the latter as with proprietary frameworks you don't have access to the entire code, making it difficult to modify the software and detect and fix bugs in the future. An open-source platform is more flexible, fully customisable and adaptable. 

Wondering which low and no-code tools to use? We recommend n8n, Budibase, Strapi and Node-RED.

Opt for a cloud-native approach

The difference between cloud-native and traditional architecture

Since big players such as Netflix and Uber adopted a cloud-native mindset, the approach has gained momentum worldwide. But what’s so special about it? 

Without going into the full details of the cloud’s benefits (as we’ve covered in our post on cloud app development), this approach is based on dividing the overall app into microservices and containers and then managing these parts in a private, public or hybrid cloud. 

Cloud-native applications are composed of smaller parts that are developed separately. This is in contrast to the traditional method where software is built as a single unit. Here’s how a cloud-forward approach affects app development: 

  1. It makes the process faster. Every developer in the team can work on a specific app component without waiting for others to finish their task.
  2. Cloud-native apps are easier to modify. You don’t have to go through the code and change it all to implement a new feature. Just create another microservice and launch it when it’s done, without affecting the app performance. 
  3. Minimum crash risk. Since each component is developed separately, detecting and fixing bugs is easy. Moreover, because their placement in the cloud is different, one error can't crash the whole system. 

MadAppGang is experienced in working with both traditional and cloud-native approaches. And if you need your application up and running in the shortest possible time, there is no doubt the cloud is for you. 

Consider using technologies that increase developer productivity

If you want your app developers to work faster and more efficiently, your choice of programming language is paramount. At MadAppGang, after deep analysis and testing, we settled on Golang as our main language for app development. 

We’ve got quite a list of reasons why, but here we’ll highlight the core ones: 

  1. Flexibility. There is a variety of products you can build with Golang, so you don’t have to limit yourself in its use. 
  2. Simplicity. Golang is one of the easiest languages to learn and use. It’s minimalistic: the syntax is simple and consists of just a few basic features. The language also has built-in code formatting. Developers can work faster, and with fewer failures. 
  3. Compilation. The language compiles everything into a single binary, which means you can run your app anywhere without installing dependencies. This significantly reduces development time. 

Golang helps us minimise the time and cost spent on development and app implementation and we recommend it if you want to build software faster. 

Start with an MVP

Standard MVP development cycle

We’ve already discussed why the all at once approach doesn’t work well for your performance, and that instead of focusing on implementing all the possible features in your application, it’s better to find out which ones are crucial now. 

From the tiny acorn grows the mighty oak, and in this case, the acorn is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). This method helps you enter the market much faster and test your software with real users and get the feedback you need. Over time, you add more and more relevant features to your product, but you should start small. Here’s a brief guide on how to develop an MVP: 

  1. Carry out market research to identify your users’ needs and research the competitors’ solutions.   
  2. Set a clear idea of what your future app will do.
  3. Create a list of main features, and keep it simple and uncomplicated. At first, your product should be able to resolve one problem, leaving extras for the future. 
  4. Develop and launch.
  5. Ask for feedback.
  6. Is the app complete? 
  7. Repeat.

An example of MVP

An MVP based approach is actually a cycle of constant product improvements until your users are fully satisfied. Such an approach means you deploy the product faster, and it helps you create a truly valuable and helpful solution.

And now, the end is near

For this article. But for you, it’s only the beginning. We tried to give you as much intel about expediting the development process as we can, but to tap into our full experience and start creating better software faster, please get in touch. 

At MadAppGang, we walk the talk and use the methods above to deliver innovative software solutions in a short timeframe. Being successful is not a cakewalk, but having professionals who roll up their sleeves and strike it big for you makes it easier. So get your top-notch gang. We’re just a click away.