July 2019 | Mood Up team - software house
Illustration of native apps being superior to hybrid apps

Native vs Hybrid – which is better for Mobile App Development?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

With hybrid development tools such as Ionic or Cordova being all the rage for app development these days, you might think that native app development is taking a backseat. We believe otherwise as native app development is still far superior to hybrid apps due to their inherent ability to fit into the app ecosystem it was made for. Such development is vital for when working with the world’s top mobile operating systems, which are very different from each other and require developers to use languages such as Java, Kotlin (Android), Objective-C and Swift (iOS). 

So why should you pick native app development over hybrid? We have 7 reasons.

Press button hard choice Meme

1. Access to device hardware – apps developed on the SDKs (software development toolkits) released for Android and iOS have full access to their hardware capabilities. This ensures that any app you create would be able to use the full set of features offered by the device in which your app would run, seamlessly (think GPS, cameras and microphones).

Hybrid apps have the same access to a device’s hardware capabilities, albeit much slowly due to its dependence on a bridge to connect. 

2. Higher security – remember that an apps owner is solely responsible for any data breaches and can be held liable for damages caused to the users. All the more so with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that ensures the data security of all citizens in the European Union and the European Economic Area.

Android and iOS have been around for some time, giving them time to develop many layers of security, making them difficult to be broken into by malicious hackers. Any native apps developed using the SDKs of these platforms, therefore, will be protected by the same, unlike with hybrid apps that depend on third-party frameworks. 

Meme on impact of GDPR on gross profit

3. You can scale faster – an app needs to change with its end users which is why we love the scalability native apps brings us. Such apps as we mentioned previously are created for their very own platform and have the ability to fit the updated needs of its end-users. The developers need not worry about adjusting the development to fit several platforms and can focus on developing the app fast so that it can be released faster.

Shorter update cycles from hybrid web apps, however. puts pressure on an app to update itself every so often to keep up with its competitors, and can be an expensive process.

4. Instant access to native app updates – with giants such as Google and Apple behind them, iOS and Android will continue to be upgraded over time. Any updates on such platforms, therefore, are pushed to the developers via their native SDKs, who then push it to the app to ensure it stays updated. 

This, however, is not the same as hybrid apps as you would need the creator of the framework to push the updates on any new system features. This might take a day or a month (precious time that can be used by your native competitor to push a better, more updated product of their own). 

Waiting skeleton meme on hybrid app updates

5. More developers – native app development as you can imagine has been the norm since the days in which apps were released. A majority of the developers, therefore, has many years of experience with it and will be able to deliver above and beyond on the software requirements you seek of them. This experience they have gathered over the years will be invaluable in troubleshooting issues as and when they appear, shaving off the time you would need to spend on QA. 

The same cannot be said for the number and experience of hybrid app developers. If you intend on developing a hybrid app, make sure the developers know what they are doing and not dabblers in a technology they do not fully understand. 

6. Better UX/UI – mature operating system such as iOS and Android have guidelines for developers who create apps for it, ensuring the new app’s UX will be one that is already familiar. Such enforcement of UX standards increases the app’s acceptance from users as they can navigate intuitively based on their experience from previous apps. This already familiar UX, together with the performance improvements granted by native app development allows the app to run smooth and fast.

Hybrid apps on the hand will not be able to provide the aforementioned intuitive experience with the expected performance.

7. Reduced time spent on fixing bugs hybrid apps on both iOS and Android is maintained in one codebase, and this is as troublesome as it sounds due to the complications involved. Native apps, on the other hand, have individual codebases, is more mature and gives developers plenty of opportunities to code faster with fewer bugs

scroll of truth meme about hybrid apps

To summarize, yes, hybrid app development is much talked about due to its relative recentness, speed and cheaper development costs. Not all that glitters, however, should be mistaken for gold and this is the same for hybrid apps that will cause performance, UX, security and update issues for you in the long run. 

Need to develop a quick app that works on the cheap? Go for hybrid apps.

Looking to develop an app with complicated features, makes use of all the hardware available and will stay relevant? Invest in native app development with us here.

illustration of man thinking

8 questions to ask yourself before developing a mobile app

Reading Time: 7 minutes

 

With 5.28 billion mobile broadband subscriptions as of the end of 2018, it’s safe to assume that developing a mobile app would open a company to a world of opportunities. This, however, is common knowledge which is why the app marketplace today is very saturated, creating a winner takes all environment. Breaking into this requires careful scoping, strategic planning and picking a top-notch software development team

What’s important however is that you have a good idea of the end product you would like to receive as its owner. It is your idea and ultimately your resources that wills the software development house into action.  

Its to aid in this that we ask the questions below from all our clients. 

1. Do you have a project description or other resources?

Most of the clients we work with tend to fall into three categories, which is why the resources we need from them tend to be different. 

  • Brand new project – A project description as can imagine will go along way towards helping us understand what you require and how we can help create it. Such documentation will help narrow the expectations of the end product by yourself, ensuring we have a good starting point to create a list of requirements, scope and an estimate.
  • The takeover of an existing project – such clients usually have the documentation we need to get an understanding of the expected end product. What would be very helpful here, however, is access to the code of the app that’s in development so that we can gauge what’s been done, what remains and where further improvements are needed. Remember, the more we know what we are dealing with, the faster we can take over and get down to the actual work.  
  • Updating legacy apps – keeping your app updated is essential, considering the speed at which operating systems are upgraded, security vulnerabilities that keep popping up and the fast-changing requirements of the end-users. The updating of such apps require us to have all the documentation that was completed during the development of the app and access to the code in order to see the scale of the improvements needed. 

image of papyrus scroll

2. Who is going to be using it?

Developing an app for everyone isn’t very strategic. That’s why we encourage our clients to get a very strong idea of the end-users they are targeting. Such information is important as it helps us create user personas and really narrow what is required. Think on the below for example

  • Will creating an app that requires very fast internet be useful for end-users who live in a nation with low bandwidth speeds?
  • Would integrating NFC payments make sense if the banks in the target country do not support it?
  • Would having a paid app make sense in a market that has low purchasing power? Wouldn’t it be wiser to make the app free and earn income via ads? 

3. Which platform do you want the app to be in?

With two giants such as Android and iOS fighting for each others market share, it might be difficult to make a decision on which platform to host your app. This is where you should really pay attention to the data and user personas of the typical Android and iOS user.

Let’s say that you would like you to be available on both platforms. How would you like it to be developed? There are two options

  • Native app development- refers to the individual frontend development for iOS and Android, the world’s top mobile operating systems. This type of development is the most mature form of frontend development and allows users to benefit from all the device-specific hardware and software available (GPS, camera and microphone). It is also very high performing, provides the users with a very intuitive UX and produces fewer bugs during development. The development of such apps, however, can be rather costly on account of the dual development that needs to be done.
  • Cross-platform app development- refers to the building of one codebase for the app and running it across multiple platforms such as iOS and Android. This concept of sharing code components across the two major operating systems is fast gaining traction amongst developers and clients due to its ability to reduce the development time and costs. Such development, however, is not a perfect solution as cross-platform apps are not able to take advantage of all the native hardware and software features as with those that were developed natively. Lagging performance is also an issue due to inconsistent communication between a device’s native and non-native components. 
  • Hybrid app development- refers to the development of an app using technology reserved for developing websites and hosting it inside a native shell. These apps need to be written only once to be supported across many platforms and can access native device features such as GPS, camera and microphone once permission is granted. Such apps as you can imagine can reduce the time and cost of development, making it suitable for projects that must be deployed fast. One must, however, remember that the native shell creates an extra layer between the source code and the mobile platform, hindering the apps performance and the developer’s ability to debug. Another issue that you should really keep in mind when opting to develop a hybrid app is potential UX problems in your quest to make it look and feel native (focus too much on the iOS UX and it will have repercussions on the Android UX!)

The Scroll Of Truth Meme on cross platform and hybrid apps

4. Who is going to be managing the development?

Every project needs a manager from both ends in order to ensure its completion on time and budget. This is vital as the agile development practices we use in our projects is heavily dependent on feedback from the client

It would be ideal if the project manager is supported by someone with a technical background in order to verify the decisions and suggestions made by the software house. 

If you don’t have someone who fits the above description (especially the technical expert), you might want to consider hiring a consultant to do the same. 

5. How is your budget looking? 

The cost of app development varies based on a multitude of factors. What we see most often however are the costs for the below

  • Research – embarking on developing a project based on an assumption is a recipe for disaster, which is why we insist on conducting thorough research on the end-user before even working on a wireframe. There can be no compromise on this. 
  • Design – what use is a great app that no one can use? Investing in the design of your User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) is pivotal in your quest to make your app be top of mind with your end-users. 
  • Development – this one will weigh the heaviest in the estimate you will be provided. The development of an app is done using monthly sprints in most software houses. Each sprint will usually add a new functionality to the app, letting you monitor the bang you’re getting for your buck. 
  • Quality Assurance – no app should be released without testing it for bugs. That’s why the QA team who handles the testing for bugs and usability very important. Fail to do this and you will have an app that is abandoned by your end-users. 
  • Marketing – no one will download your app if you don’t market it. We can help with the visuals and create some great copy to help you get started with this. 
  • Updates – quite often the most forgotten part of budgeting for the development of an app. App updates are very important if you are to retain your users by stay relevant and useful to your end-users. 

Remember to not get caught up in not showing your hand when it comes to the budget. Software houses are not out to exploit you and can only provide an accurate idea of the product you can develop as per the budget you specify. This isn’t poker. 

Keep the Change ya Filthy Animal Meme 1
We kinda like Home Alone (in case you didn’t guess)

6. When do you want it?

 Yesterday is not the answer many software houses are looking for. Great products require good planning, execution, monitoring and updates that simply aren’t possible with a very tight timeline. What is ideal however is if you would let the software house know of why the app is being built and whether there is a deadline such as a product launch for which the app will be pivotal. The software partner can, therefore, work backwards on the development stages mentioned in  #4 and provide you with an estimated date in which the product will be ready.  

Keep no secrets and inform your software development house of why and when you need the product. That’s what partners do after all, right?

7. Do you have competition? From whom?

Research on your competition is vital and will serve as a good stepping stone to figure out what is working, what is not working and most importantly, what you can do better (do some digging at the complaints and requests for new features on their review section). 

Don’t have direct competitors? Look for indirect rivals. 

This information is vital for your software development partner as it gives an idea of the design standards and features that the end-users of your app might be used to. Being inspired by best practices is not a crime. Outright plagiarism, however, is just sloppy and could cause issues in the long run. 

God father meme on rivals
What will happen if you don’t do your app research

8. How will you measure success?

The development and launch of an app is no easy endeavour which is why encourage our clients to think on hard metrics that they can use to monitor and measure success. These key performance indicators provide all the stakeholders with a goal to strive towards.

This definition of success can be measured by either one or many of the metrics outlined below

  • Income earned- does the rate of income match expectations?
  • Number of users- is the number of users as expected?
  • Session length- how long is a user spending on your app?
  • App rating and reviews- how is your app being received by its end-users?
  • Retention rate-what is the % of users who use your app during a certain period of time?
  • Churn rate- what is the % of users who stopped using the app during a certain period of time?

We hope the above has given you some food for thought, as it’s never a good idea to jump into building an app without a clear idea of its expectations. The next step is for you to select a software development partner who can match or even exceed the commitment to your idea. Need a little help? We have an in-depth analysis of 10 factors you need to consider when picking a software house

illustration of sad looking broken phone

Does your App need an update? Check for these 7 signs

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

With almost everyone scrambling to deploy an app to bring their services closer to the customer’s fingertips, your app must be top of the line, have great functionalities, be smooth and have a great UX if it is to make its mark. Sounds like a tall order? That’s because it is. 

Developing a great app isn’t rocket science, provided you do your research on the end-users. Such apps must be customer-centric (we cannot reiterate this enough) and be developed with your customers (think usability tests). Doing so, as you can imagine can be rather costly as it involves many hours of design, development and testing before you can finally release the app. You must then focus on marketing your app to ensure your app gathers traction with your users. That’s it, right?

Not quite, as the business landscape your app would be operating on is bound to change very fast, requiring the app to stay ahead of the curve. This is why we recommend our clients to set aside a portion of their app development budget for upgrades that can preempt new customer requirements. 

Need further convincing? Take a look at how your peers think and compare your app against these 7 traits of outdated apps.

Graph 2 how often businesses update app pt. 2

1. It lacks the latest functionalities 

One of the simplest reasons you might want to consider updating your app is to add new functionalities to it. Doing so gives your end-users what they want, preventing their migration to other apps, whilst attracting new users who will contribute to boosting your bottom line. Such updates impact the experience your users would have within the app and might open new revenue streams that just might be the break your organisation needs. 

A fantastic example of this is Facebook Owned Instagram, who started replicating the exact features Snapchat offered in its app in a bid to lure young users to it (after a failed bid to buy it in 2013 for $3 billion). The strategy worked as Instagram stories now see 400 million daily users whilst Snapchat who introduced the stories feature and considered it a key differentiator is now at 191 million users. 

Another interesting development you might want to keep an eye on is Instagram’s IGTV which might prove to be a worthy rival to YouTube. 

2. App performance is declining

The success of your app is dependent on its performance, which is why it’s important to go dig into the quantitative data. We encourage all our clients to have a set of metrics through which they will be able to measure the performance of their app, and set benchmarks through which the performance could be measured. A few of our top performance metrics include but are not limited to

  • Active users – the number of users who use the app in a set period of time 
  • Session time – time spent on the app
  • Uninstalls – the number of users who uninstalled the app
  • Crash rate – even a single crash is unacceptable. An increase in this is definitely a push to upgrade your app

The above quantitative metrics will inform you of the decline in performance and therefore the existence of an issue. Finding the exact issue, however, is only possible through qualitative data gathered through your interactions with the customer and observations of user behaviour within the app. 

prisoner meme about app crash rate

3. Your users have trouble navigating 

Most apps have set design standards that provide users with a sense of familiarity and intuitiveness when navigating their way within the app. A break in this can have the user feeling disoriented and at a loss on how to use the app, impacting the overall UX. This will then cause a decline in the app’s performance, driving your hard-earned users to rival apps.

Can you imagine an app that doesn’t stick to Google’s Material Design being a hit? What about one that goes against Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines? 

Remember, the hardest battle is retaining your users and not gathering them

4. Reviews/requests from users

The best judge of an app is its users, which is why we encourage our clients to pay attention to reviews on the App/Play Store. Another way through which you can supplement this feedback is via the gathering of in-app feedback. 

A sizable amount of negative feedback or weak ratings on your app should give you pause and deserve a closer look at what is amiss. Such feedback is essential to establish what is working and what is not so that you know the actual scale of the upgrade that is required.

Similarly, you might find a sizable number of users asking for a feature that deserves consideration. Deploying an upgrade with such a feature will allow you to be seen as an organisation that listens to its users and create a positive impression with your end-users. 

5. Your app doesn’t follow the latest security protocols 

With security breaches divulging user information on an almost constant basis, there is simply no reason for your app to be behind the latest security protocols. Remember that an apps owner is solely responsible for any breaches and can be held liable for any damages caused to the users. 

Such breaches also dampen the trust your users place in you and can cause irreparable damage to your brand’s reputation. Remember Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data scandal? How about Yahoo who had 3 billion accounts hacked?

Meme on impact of GDPR on gross profit

6. Your app doesn’t support many devices

The goal of developing an app is to bring it to the hands of as many users as possible and is one reason you should support multiple devices. Doing so with new hardware devices such as tablets require the development of another version of the app, in order to ensure it matches the new display, graphics and device-specific features. 

Remember, your users should receive a very consistent and cohesive experience whilst using your app, whether it be on a mobile or a tablet. 

7. The codebase is long outdated

The codebase of an app is the complete source code that maintains its functionality. Such codebases usually contain a time interval after which they will cease to function as usual and should be updated over time in order to ensure its compatibility with your app’s operating systems. 

Such information is usually conveyed to a client by the software developers in advance and should be taken very seriously. 

Wrapping it up

App updates with today’s technology and lean development processes do not take much time as they used to. Investing is such updates will ensure your app remains relevant, boosts your bottom line and is a brand asset that will improve your ROI many times over. Doing it wrong, however, can have you experiencing the opposite as negative reviews create bigger waves and lasting impressions than those that are positive.

Are you ready to roll the next update for your app? Let us know how we can help you here.   

software tester pointing at a screen with code

8 Valuable Practices for a Better Code Review

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

Code review is the systematic examination of a software product’s source code in order to discover mistakes that might have been overlooked in the initial development phase. Doing so allows the developers to rectify errors in the code as they are discovered, thereby improving the overall quality of the code. This, as you can imagine, is a rather exhaustive process in which the developer who does the review, reads the code line by line to check for bugs or potential problems in compliance with coding standards and best practices. Issues once discovered are communicated to the developer who did the original coding through email or tools such as GitHub or BitBucket. The image we found whilst reading Beller and Juergens (2014) does a good job explaining this.

code review process

Regular code reviews as we mentioned earlier brings a host of benefits to the project, the developers and the client. Provided below are 5 such benefits of code reviews that we at Mood Up see every day.

1. Help reduce bugs – A single overlooked bug can kill a project that’s been in the works for months for thousands of dollars. That’s why we utilise another developer to help discover bugs that might have been overlooked by the original developer. Such regular discovery of bugs allows the team to fix them and reduce the time the QA has to spend on testing.

2. Improve code readability – Delivering clean code is important in any software development project as the developers who take over a project with no prior exposure to it should be able to understand it speedily and not spend time trying to decipher it. Code reviews assist in this as they help improve the readability of the code by having a developer with fresh eyes go through the code.

Pro tip when hiring software developers– take a look at their previous code. Clean code is a good practice all developers must cultivate and is an indicator of their competencies.

3. Create a shared coding standard – There is no one way to solve the requirements our clients request of us. Some ways, however, are better than others and coding reviews from senior developers help to discover better approaches to solving problems. Such standards help to create shared coding standards, keeps us on our toes and create a culture of continuous development that is reflected in the code we develop.

4. Creates accountability – We perform our best when we are held accountable for our actions, and coding is no different. Code reviews ensure that the developers produce their best work in order to display their competencies to their peers. The developer who does the reviewing then does the same, creating a circle of accountability throughout the organisation.

5. Double-checks to ensure all coding requirements have been filled – Regular reviews of the code ensures that no requirements go amiss and all that’s required is what is developed. This also makes the job of the QA easier as some requirements are difficult to produce during tests and much easier to verify within the code itself.

chuck norris with gun meme about code reviews
He can, you can’t

So, how can you ensure a code review goes as it should?

1. Make your commit message as clear as possible – The commit message from the original developer should highlight what was fixed or added to the code, allowing the reviewer to verify it. It’s for this reason that we follow established guidelines when writing commit messages during code reviews.

2. Make and review only small pull requests – We use another developer to get a fresh pair of eyes on the code. A code review that goes for longer than 60 minutes and/or 300 lines of code, however, is tiring and defeat the purpose of using a fresh pair of eyes.

How do we know this? A study from SmartBear discovered that our brains can only process so much information, before the performance and the ability to find defects drops. This is why we recommend short but frequent code reviews.

3. Comment on the code and not the coder – Empathy goes a long way and is why it’s important to provide feedback on the code and not make it personal with snide comments. Doing so will ensure that the feedback on the code reviewed will be met with a positive response and encourage cleaner code in the future. This drives the collective code ownership that all organisations should strive for.

Butterfly man meme about feeling attacked by code reviewers

4. Describe a problem and give the solution – The code reviewers job is to find mistakes in the code and highlight it with suggestions on how to improve it. Personal preferences/opinions should play no part in this and is one reason why we insist code reviewers to provide feedback based on existing best practices and/or documentation.

5. Learn and share your knowledge – Code reviews as you might have guessed is a fantastic way to exchange knowledge between the committer and the reviewer. Such reviews, therefore, should be approached as an opportunity to learn something about the codebase, languages, frameworks and best practices. Doing so allows for the continuous development of the team, the code it creates and the company.

6. Comment only the code that was in the changelist – Commenting on every problem you see in the code and not just the ones in your scope is a good way to sour the relationship with the committer and reduce the velocity of your project. Commenting on the changes as they are being made is also a big nope as this can create an expanded changelist that includes many unrelated changes.

Dru meme about losing friends by code reviews 2
Don’t be like him

7. Approve code not when it’s perfect but when it’s perfectly acceptable – Being a perfectionist and criticizing every single line of code is not how you keep the developers motivated. Decide on what is really important and worth chasing as your task as the reviewer is to give the go-ahead for a working product. We recommend granting approval when remaining comments are for insignificant issues (like a typo) or are optional recommendations that you made.

8. Have a strong communication standard – A good strong communication strategy between the reviewer and the committer is important to ensuring the cleanliness of the code. We at Mood Up ensure this by asking both parties to confirm the receipt of a message with a 👍 or ✅. The committers are also encouraged to push back against any changes from the reviewers if they disagree with the changes requested. The reviewers should also give praise when the code is clean and congratulate on a job well done. Remember, positive reinforcement goes a long way.

To wrap this up, code reviews can be an exhaustive and sometimes frustrating process. The value it brings to the quality of code, however, is far superior and is why we integrate it into all the projects we work on. Doing so gives both the juniors and seniors of the company an opportunity to exchange knowledge and deliver a project that is bug-free to the client.

Computer with Node.js Django Spring Ruby on Rails logos

Which Backend Framework Is Right for Your Project?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

Any web development project is usually divided into two core phases: frontend and backend development. Frontend development refers to the development of all that a user would see and experience while using the app, whereas the backend handles functions such as data storage, security, scalability and data transformation. A good example is a car, whose body, dashboard and steering is essentially your frontend and define the experience you have with it. This experience, however, will not be complete without the engine, chassis and the fuel tank of the car (backend). 

A backend is vital to the successful function of any web development project, unless the webpage you require is a static one. The easiest way to have such a web page is to create one on WordPress as it allows for basic content and user management. Such a backend, however, is not useful for creating custom web applications with sophisticated requirements our clients require of us.

There are many backend languages used by developers around the world. A few, however, stand out for their ease of learning, use, development time and effort.

Node.js

Node.js is JavaScript runtime built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine, allowing developers to run JavaScript code on the server. What is unique to Node.js, however, is its ability to serve data requests without waiting for the completion of another. This asynchronous nature makes it perfect for developing IoT web apps that send large numbers of requests to the server at the same time. Another advantage of using Node.js for the backend of a project is its ability to easily divide services to microservices, allowing large projects to be divided amongst the team.

What you have to also take into account is Node.js’s unopinionated nature, which gives developers little to no preloaded features when using it. The backend developers, therefore, have to start from scratch and spend more time to complete a project, despite the freedom that comes with it. Node.js is also not advised as a solution for projects that demand high computational power and require developers to keep their apps compatible with the constantly changing framework and libraries. 

The Node.js community however is an active one, with many developers from around the world contributing their projects for open source usage. One must, however, be careful as developers of lower skills have been known to use such projects in their work with clients, who end up with inferior products created from substandard code. Replacing and/or cleaning such code of dubious quality is expensive and is another reason we recommend doing some thorough research before picking a software development partner.  

Who uses it? Netflix, Walmart, Uber, Paypal, LinkedIn, Medium, eBay, NASA

Smart guy meme about stealing open source code

Django

Django is a high-level Python Web framework designed for rapid development and scaling. It’s very versatile and can be used to developing solutions for content management and scientific computing platforms. Django is also very easy to learn, understand, use and places an emphasis on speedy product development, making it ideal for small to medium projects. 

Django, however, is rather monolithic and does not allow for the division of a project into smaller parts as with Node.js. This might prove to be a disadvantage when working on large projects that need to be divided into several parts between developers. It’s also very strongly opinionated and does not allow developers much freedom as with Node.js. 

Who uses it? Disqus, Bitbucket, Instagram, Mozilla Firefox, Pinterest, The Washington Post

Austion powers meme on using Django

Spring

Spring is another successful solution build on Java, the most popular programming language in the world due to its object-oriented robustness. This popular framework for creating enterprise applications comes packed with many features and additions that allow a developer to start an application with a basic website and authorization, almost out of the box. Spring’s modularity gives developers the freedom to pick and ignore classes, helping them focus more on customer-centric development and less on reinvention. 

Spring, however, is very configuration dependent and requires a developer to write a sizable amount of boilerplate code in order to add new features. It also requires developers to undergo a steep learning curve as there isn’t much set standards and best working practices. This is one possible reason why you might encounter Spring when working with more experienced, bigger teams working on enterprise projects.

Who uses it?  Amazon, ESPN, VISA, American Express

For Christmas I want a dragon meme spring framework

Ruby on Rails

Also called “Rails” or RoR, Ruby on Rails is an object-oriented programming language that is fast gaining a name for itself. First extracted from another project due to a requirement of its author, RoR is now favoured amongst the backend development community due to its ability to create fast web solutions. It also allows for speedy development due to its convention over configuration paradigm, which essentially  “assumes” what the developer wants to do and how. 

The downside, however, is its relative recentness, which is why the RoR development community is not as large as those you would find with other backend frameworks. It’s also not very flexible and rather resource intensive when compared to other frameworks. RoR’s age also makes it evolve quite often, requiring developers to update several dependencies to ensure the product they created on RoR stays updated. 

Who uses it? Twitch, Github, Airbnb, Shopify, Bloomerang, Etsy

Dr Evil meme developers after convention over configuration

Which one should you choose?

The backend framework you need should be decided based on what you hope to achieve with your software product. This decision is best made by your software development house in close consultation with you, the project requirements, outcomes and future plans. Doing so is vital as the backend architecture you pick will decide the trajectory of development and have implications on everything from planning, design, development and testing

Need an application that is highly scalable, fast and supporting web, mobile and other devices? We recommend Node.js. Looking for a speedily developed MVP project that treats the web app and your backend as one? Go for Django or RoR. Have a computationally heavy app with a sizable number of features that require long development times and iterative developments with multiple sprints? We recommend opting for Spring as it allows for the division of the job requirements between a team and gives you control over what needs to be developed first.