Parse Migration Services

Facebook recently announced the shutdown of Parse to the shock of many.  Companies on Parse have 12 months to transition to an alternative solution and will need to start developing a migration plan immediately. There are migration paths to deploy your own "Parse Server" however this will require engineering expertise and additional ongoing monitoring and maintenance. This will come as a a big change for many companies that have developed mobile apps without an in-house development team to build and maintain a backend.

Today we are announcing Quad Parse Migration Services available immediately.

  • Define a customized migration path without interrupting existing service
  • Migrate to MongoLab (including writing any custom scripts to)
  • Update existing Android, iOS, and hybrid apps for support with custom parse installation
  • Migrate to Heroku with Scaling and Security Strategies
  • Train and transition to an internal team (if needed)
  • Implement continuous monitoring solutions
  • Maintenance contracts available
  • Fixed Bid Pricing

Please contact us today to discuss your needs.


Set Goals for Yourself

I recently spoke with a talented developer friend of mine. She works for one of the top tech companies in the world and is quite skilled at her job. But she feels very challenged by the pressure of succeeding in a highly competitive environment. There is a constant push from her boss and the company to do what's right for the company. 

Her focus and energy is spent, but she wants to have a family one day. She wants to make sure she doesn't completely lose her self in her work.  Her words: "Ryan, work is important, but it can't be the only thing that defines me. I have a deep need to be successful, but at what cost?"

My reply: "You can be both successful and have a life, but you need to declare your goals." Otherwise, you'll end up helping other people achieve their dreams. That doesn't mean that there isn't a compromise to make your goals a reality (we all need to get paid), but you can't allow it to be a one way street.

Write It Down

Just as companies set vision statements and clear objectives, you too must be focused on what you want to accomplish and declare your intentions to the world. If you want a family or want to spend more time traveling and less time in front of a computer, make that known to the world. Whatever your objective, make sure you define it.

Here are some ideas on how to declare your intentions to the world:

  1. Write it down in a diary
  2. Create a vision board
  3. Share your goals with your boss (be careful)





Pricing Custom Projects

Pricing a custom software development project can be challenging. There are many unknowns which make the cost difficult to estimate. We created a process to help solve this challenge.

"The goal of the estimation process is to put constraints on the project."


Quad's "5 Step" Estimation Process

  1. Listen to the customer. The client may have an idea of WHAT to do, but using the experience of good developers, what they actually need may be different.
  2. Break up work into User Stories. Defining the work in terms of need will constrain the work and define how long it'll take to create this stuff.
  3. Assign Story Points. Define the level of effort for each story.
  4. Convert to hours. Eventually, the work comes down to time. At this stage, we need to define a "factor" or point-to-hour conversion number. We typically use a range of x-y hours per story point. Multiply by the hourly cost and you'll get the budget.
  5. PRIORITIZE. It's critical that the client and dev team work together to prioritize the work. There is unlimited need, but limited budget. Make sure that the stuff that is critical gets completed first. The items towards the end of the list are nice-to-haves and may not be necessary for the success of the project.

We typically create a spreadsheet with user stories. We may even create a few wireframes to help sell the deal. Sometimes we even do a quick video of a click-through demo of the wireframes. The goal of the estimation process is to put constraints on the project. This will help the business understand what is required.

We typically charge for the discovery and estimation phase and allow the customer to own the deliverables.



The MVP Blueprint: Constraints for Building Digital Products

Sorry my brilliant business friends, but product ideas are worth $0.

It's the execution of a good idea that counts, and that takes planning. This blog post describes an MVP Blueprint which can act as constraints to help make your ideas turn into a real product. This blog post is written for the non-technical "idea person" that needs to scope a product development effort. Ideas are cheap and easy to come by. Without a plan, a team, and the ability to execute, there is no value. 

Ideas are very cheap and easy to come by. Without a plan, a team and the ability to execute, there is no value.

The art of convincing other people to work towards a common goal is what we call Creating Religion. This religion gives people a direction and a purpose. There are rules and guidelines. There is a plan. As an innovator with the idea and the strategy to build a scalable business, you must be able to convince creative and analytical types to do work. PowerPoint is useless here. Abstract ideas must have constraints to become reality. 

If you want to turn your marketing strategy and business ideas into a product, you should create what we call an MVP Blueprint. 

Learn How To Create an MVP  

The Analytical vs the Creative Software Developer

There are two types of technologists: the analytical type and the creative type. There are distinct differences between these individuals.

The "Analytical Type" is typically "by the book" and avoids moving to far away from structure. She seeks hierarchical order and likes to fit into a predefined structure. The person is reliable and predictable, and she follows a set pattern that has worked in the past. Often, the person works in larger, more established organizations or service firms. 

The "Creative Type" thrives on innovation. He enjoys new challenges and takes risks on new ideas. The developer can be less disciplined and likes to change things up. Creative developers can work for big companies, but will change jobs more often and seeks out startup environments. 

Analytical types excel at being "Architects" and defining process. The Creative types are much better at product design and UX. 

It's critical that these types find an environment that supports their strengths. Having the wrong type in the wrong role can spell disaster for a team.


Building Minimal Viable Products

Here is the Wikipedia definition.

In April, David Cummings discussed “Front-End Only MVPs” and described them as a “simpler” approach to building technology that would limit risk and allow an entrepreneur to iterate with customers quickly.

I could not disagree more with this notion of a non-working MVP. That is by definition NOT a product. It’s a prototype

In software, a prototype is something that big companies like to do to waste time and money. It serves very little purpose other than to sell investors (or fool investors for the cynics). 

An MVP must work and provide business value to the end user. To do that, data must always persist. The combined output must be more valuable than the combined input. That cannot be accomplished with a “Front-End Only MVP”.