Making software is an incredibly complex game to get into. From the start, you will have to work hard to organize a large team of people, all working on things only they know about. Along with this chaos, delays and setbacks can easily be caused during the process. All in all, this makes for a very big challenge, and a lot of people aren’t up for it.
Of course, though, you’ve already gotten there. You have a piece of software which is almost ready for launch, and you’re gearing up to get it out to the world. This part of your development is one of the hardest of all. So, to help you out, it’s time to explore some of the different stages you will have to face, along with some nice ways to make them easier.
Stage One: The Build
In some cases, you won’t have a fully-built piece just yet, and you’ll need to work hard to get everything ready. At the start of your development, you should have started using a system like Agile to handle and manage your workloads. With this in place, it should be really easy to get a quality piece of software onto the market, though you’ll have to work hard to make sure that people are adhering to your rules.
Care needs to be taken. Issues related to technical debt can occur if your developers try to rush the software onto the market. The same can apply if oversights are made when working on the code. Managing technical debt needs to be a priority within every stage of the development process, as the last thing you want to do is waste time and go back to the drawing board.
Stage Two: Testing (Internal & User)
As your project slowly grows into a full piece of software, you will need to spend some of your time working on testing. To begin with, this will all be internal, with your employees or friends helping you to make sure everything is working correctly. As you do this, you can hand out forms for users to fill in, giving you a chance to collect information about bugs.
Eventually, the testing you’ll have to be doing will have to reach out to a much wider audience. Thankfully, handling this can be done through a few different methods. Below, you can find some examples of this which should help to get you started with your own software.
- Everyone likes the chance to get their hands on something before anyone else does, especially when it’s free. For this reason, offering free betas to your users is an excellent way to get people testing your services. With a couple of adverts on websites like Reddit, it should be very easy to get people testing your work, even if you’re not too close to the end, yet.
- In some cases, the tools you might be building will be too sensitive to go into public hands this early on. Instead, you will want to be able to keep the work you’re doing secret and will need a method to get your tools tested without the right security. Thankfully, there are loads of testing companies out there to help you with this, and most will sign agreements to keep everything secret.
Stage Three: Marketing/Further Development
As your software is being tested, a lot of companies will also choose to start their marketing campaign. As with any product, this is an extremely important if you want your app to do well. To help you with this, you can find some of the best ways to get the word out about your project, without making promises you can’t keep.
- Over the last couple of years, websites like Facebook and Instagram have managed to become marketing giants. Influencing over half of the world’s online purchases, this sort of platform is incredibly powerful, even when you’re a small company. Using a platform like this well will take a lot of research, though.
- Aside from social media, you probably won’t need much more than a website to start getting your name out there. The biggest part of this will be SEO, enabling people to find your site, though it’s worth having some good content, too. A good website can make a huge difference when you’re building software to sell.
- As a programmer or techy, you probably don’t have a huge amount of experience when it comes to making a product popular. Digital marketing services can be found all over the web, offering to help you sell your products, as well as the company behind them. These sorts of services are usually very affordable, especially when you consider just how much they can do for your business.
Along with getting your software’s name out there, it’s also important to be squashing any of the bugs which come out of your testing. Repairing issues like the ones you’ll be finding will take a lot of work. So, it’s worth having a team dedicated to this job, if you have the resources. Any and all problems should be fixed before the proper launch, especially if they’re impacting a lot of users.
Stage Four: The Launch
Finally, as your marketing and testing draw to a close, you can start to think about the launch itself. This part of the job has to be done perfectly. Otherwise, you could have issues which draw people away from your product before it even gets started.
A large part of the work you have to do here will be choosing the right host for all of your goodies. For example, your website needs a place to live, and so do any databases which are attached to your software. In a lot of cases, this sort of thing can be handled by one company, with Amazon Web Services being one of the best around.
Along with this, though, you’re also going to have to do some monitoring. This is the true test for your project. People will be abusing your software, using it on different platforms, and having loads of different experiences. So, if something is to go wrong, you have to be there to fix it.
Hopefully, this post will give you everything you need for a successful launch of your next software project. Not a lot of developers consider this area like this, often skipping steps or ignoring key elements. Of course, though, like any business milestone, the launch of your projects is very important.