Frequently Asked Questions - XB Software

F.A.Q.

Here, you can find the most common questions about software development
and QA. We have grouped questions by topic and included useful references.

Recent Projects
Software Development
How to choose a software development firm?

When a company provides some services, it always left some tracks. Using these tracks, you can decide whether the company if worthy of your attention or not. Even before you start negotiating with the software vendor, you should form an opinion about it. There are dozens of sites that provide reviews on development firms. Make sure that software development firm is focused on the apps of your interest. Portfolio and case studies will help to define if a company has enough experience in your industry.

What is expected of customer in a software project?

The main thing that should be kept in mind is that you shouldn’t let things go by themselves. As a customer, remember that it’s important to start participating in the development process long before the first line of code is written.

The phase of requirements gathering should include a series of interviews with your employees to formulate what results you expect to get. After the development process is started, the worst thing to do is simply wait for the software project to be finished. At all stages of the development process, a customer should monitor the process and check the deliverables provided by the development company. It will help to clarify additional project requirements and assure that the resulting product or service will meet your expectations.

How to protect your software idea from being stolen?

Closely studied the question about “idea security”, we can distinguish several ways that could help to make sure your business idea isn’t stolen or copied and to give confidence in the future. You should:

  1. 1. prepare the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement)
  2. 2. select protective measures and make your ownership public
  3. 3. check reliability of your partners
  4. 4. follow up all your arrangements, questions and proposals about your idea over e-mail or messengers
What are the pros and cons of custom software development?

Custom software is designed and developed according to the requirements of a particular customer. Such apps are often not suitable for a broad range of users since they implement the specific functionality.

Advantages:

  • tailor-made apps / personal software development process
  • cost minimization in the long-term
  • maintenance ability in the long-term
  • integration capability
  • qualified support

Disadvantages:

  • development and verification cost
  • programming and debugging time
  • unfair software development provider, low quality of IT services
Should the customer own the source code for the application?

When you hire a software development company, it’s natural that the working application interests you first of all. It should meet your requirements, be convenient for the users, look attractive and do the job it was created for without any issues. But it’s also crucial to pay attention to what lies beneath the surface: the source code. You don’t get the right to own the software source code automatically when you hire a development company. Pricing policy may differ from one company to another. Sometimes the source code is included in the price. But some companies asks the client to pay a premium for getting rights to the code. Since ownership of the software source code provides the ability to copy, sell, and modify it, you should not underestimate the issue of licensing.

QA and Software Testing
Why QA should be included into your software development cycle?

A successful launch of a software product is a more valuable goal than high speed of development or low costs. Therefore, software testing must be included in every step of software development process. In consideration of the complexity of modern software, it’s hard to imagine a situation when development process can do without any tests at all. Nevertheless, sometimes there are cases of unsuccessful application launches caused by the wrong approach to the testing process. The reason is simple. Software development companies might include QA into the overall process just as a separate phase of the project which is isolated from other stages of development.

How early testing affects the product cost?

Since the complexity of the IT infrastructure increases, due to the overall number of the integrated systems, the need for software testing grows respectively. On the other hand, almost all companies aim to reduce software release time. That’s why the extension of the software life cycle due to the increasing testing phase is perceived negatively. Sometimes, it can lead to partial or even full refusal from testing which, in its turn, leads to the significant decline in the quality of IT services.

Neglect of software testing causes the following consequences:

  • reduced product quality (a prime cause of all the other implications)
  • the constant growth of indirect costs for quality assurance due to software defects that appear during the exploitation period
  • loss of customers who do not want to use low-quality products
The cost of software testing, or what the client pays for?

The main issues the clients are excited about while ordering software testing are as follows: what types of testing should be implemented for the working out product to make sure it is of high quality, how much is each type of testing and how to track the work performed by QA department to understand what the money is paid for.

The benefit of QA implementation lies in complete testing coverage within the stipulated requirements. For example, our skilled QA team carefully studies the provided product and make a comprehensive testing plan disclosing all types of testing this product will undergo. It includes:

  • creation of test documentation
  • load testing and automation of testing
  • testing of safety
  • usability audit
  • development of a testing report with a set of recommendations
Project Management
How long does it take to develop custom software?

Custom developed software can be considered as an implementation of a certain business strategy. Custom-made enterprise resource planning applications, data visualization tools, and business intelligence software have become an integral part of modern business. Such applications help to improve the efficiency of a company and make data-driven business decisions. In this article, we’ll consider how long a particular stage of software development can take.

Is the developed software GDPR compliant?

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new regulation law the main point of which is to define the rules that should be followed by each EU company that works with personal data of its clients. It will enter into force on May 25, 2018, and will require business organizations to protect the personal data and privacy of EU residents. The reason why it should not be ignored is that non-compliance will cost companies a lot. This new set of regulations affects all stages of software development life cycle. To avoid undesirable expenses and become a GDPR compliant company, each business owner should understand what personal data is and how it should be collected and stored.

Why do software projects can take longer than planned?

When you apply for application development services, one of the main intentions is to get a competitive advantage in the market for your product or service. Using custom software you can significantly improve the business processes that your company utilizes. Since the market does not stand still, the faster such software project is finished, the better for you. But the truth is that sometimes clients face the situation when software projects don’t follow the initial plan and take longer than expected. In this article, we’ll consider the most common reasons for delays in software development life cycle and the impact of missing the deadline:

  • Poor Planning
  • Missing Software Requirements
  • Too Many Features to Be Implemented
  • Losing Key Members of Development Team
  • Technological Challenges
  • Communication Issues
How IT outsourcing to Belarus can save your money?

The reasons why your business should outsource software development to Belarusian IT companies are:

  • similar timezone and good outsourcing company location
  • cultural compatibility
  • proved educational background of IT specialists and high qualification
  • fluent English
  • lower rates
  • high standards of confidentiality
  • government fiscal relief
Fixed price vs time & materials contract. Which one is better for my project?

There is no obvious answer, which type of contract is better. The closed nature of FP contract (from date of signing to date of project completion) requires customer’s confidence in product vision. In contrast, TM contract makes development process transparent, more efficient and manageable. If during project execution the customer discovers some trouble spots of the product, then the initial development plans can be changed to avoid spending money and time to implement a wrong development approach. But sometimes the budget is more important than the risks of not getting the best deliverable. So, when selecting a better contract, you need to think about project elements – budget, time, deliverables.

How to estimate cost of fixed price projects?

The estimation process is following.

To find out all requirements a business analyst discusses a project scope with stakeholders and then invites a technical specialist. Engaging a technical specialist at the decomposition stage leads to better and more accurate results.

The project is typically decomposed into smaller components called activities that represent the work to complete.

The activity list includes activity identifiers and the detailed description of work scope. These specified activities provide a basis for project performance at all stages: estimating, scheduling, executing and controlling.

When all the activities are defined, the business analyst and technical specialist sequence the activities using logical relationships and decide on a development path.

The determined and sequenced activities are estimated by the technical specialist and business analyst in work periods, usually days or hours.

During the project execution, the estimate allows measuring project progress against the time baseline and making forecasts.

When the estimate is ready we calculate the project cost

How much does custom software development cost?

The custom business application is the embodiment of your publicity and branding. So, whether your business big or small, if you don’t have a proper software it’ll be a hard task to achieve further growth. But what’s crucial is to define how much exactly the custom software application development price.

Project cost estimation includes:

  • the scope estimation of work for a custom software development
  • the cost of QA processes for software development and testing
  • the cost of maintainability of software development life cycle
  • other factors that have the biggest impact on software development costs
Should I hire a software developer or a software company?

Almost any business at some point faces the need of developing a custom business app to guarantee constant growth. If a company has sufficient funds and a team of experienced IT experts, it can afford in-house software development. Such software is produced by a company to use it within the specified organization with its own requirements, goals and specific working features. But in most cases, business relies on custom software developer.

Advantages of Hiring a Freelancer

  1. 1. Low Development Cost
  2. 2. Availability
  3. 3. High Flexibility

Disadvantages of Hiring a Freelancer

  1. 1. Limited Skillset
  2. 2. Quality Assurance
  3. 3. Poor Project Management
  4. 4. Lack of Maintenance
  5. 5. No Guarantees

Pros of Hiring a Software Development Company

  1. 1. Reliability
  2. 2. High Quality of the Final Product
  3. 3. Continuity of Software Development Process
  4. 4. Cutting-edge Technologies and Standards
What's the difference between ISO 27001/9001 certified companies and non-ISO companies in terms of customer satisfaction and organizational performance in IT industry?

The differences between different standards supplement each other increasing the efficiency of the IT company. The key aspect is that non-certified organizations experience substantial loss of effectiveness and productivity compared to certified firms. By implementing the 9001 and other standards, the organization can increase the customer satisfaction, create a continuous improvement culture, reduce the costs, and achieve additional market opportunities.

As a client, you can be assured that all your requirements, stated and implied, will be followed and the final product will be delivered on time. The 27001 standard guarantees that all your business information will be secured and your clients’ data will stay confidential.