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Software Development Process for Startups

When starting a new business, creating or improving an application is usually high on the list of priorities. Software development process (or lack thereof) is often one of the reasons why many startups fail or don’t grow as fast as they could. In this guide I want to cover the most important elements of a software development process for startups.

We’ve received a lot of requests from startups and small companies who asked for this article, either independently or through my group coaching course. Software development process is different in every company. There is no such thing as “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to this subject. That’s why we’ve decided to write down some thoughts on how we approach software development at our company and how we would like it to be in the future.

Big chance for startups

Startup tech companies have seen an increase of trust over the years thanks to the fact that consumers are now more likely to trust personal brands. Oftentimes, big tech companies come off as cold, corporate, with no quality assurance, and stiff thus making people averse towards them. Multinational software agencies are also known to propose run-off-the-mill templated solutions for projects which contributed to the mistrust of clients at software development services.

Clients value good communication and dynamic approach

Clients these days value warm and friendly relationships with their partnered solutions and that is what tech startups are best at. They make clients feel heard and involved in their projects and development services. Tech startups are known for their personalized and new solutions that give clients a sense of inclusivity in the project by delivering a viable product or the so-called MVP (Minimum Viable Product). These small but capable startups understand the importance of creating dynamic solutions and delivering fast results.
In contrast to bigger agencies, smaller teams often handle a limited amount of projects. Having a limited amount of projects would not be a bad thing especially for the clients from the project management perspective. Because thanks to that, the projects are handled with the utmost care and precision.
Another thing you should take note of is how these smaller teams are geared in both tech and business acumen. Unlike bigger counterparts, some of these teams do not have an exclusive person for marketing and sales. They would often need to fill in the shoes of these positions themselves. Making them the best choice for clients who are looking for someone who would truly understand the ins and outs of the business.
Startups are often finding it hard to sustain their businesses as custom software development is not an easy job. It is not uncommon to find a team closing down due to a lack of projects or conflicts. Nevertheless, you should not shy away from them. Talk to multiple vendors and discuss your project with them.

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Meteoric pace of development with the very recent frameworks

Before you start make sure to have a technical person on board

The first step you need to do is to find a person who has the technical knowledge to interview the teams you are considering to bring in as your vendor for development services. Non-tech people might struggle to understand technical jargon. The project itself may pose several questions that are problematic to handle with a simple Google search.
Field experience is the best but if you are lacking in personnel, then someone who is at least tech-savvy will be a good choice. Ensure that you are getting the most out of this venture by appointing someone qualified to do the job of finding the best fit team.

Go for a US-located partner

One factor you should consider when choosing a trusted partner for your development needs is location. While the cheaper option would be to work with a remote team located in Eastern countries, ideally you should be working with a web development company based in the United States. The reason for that is America’s Seed Fund powered by the National Science Foundation better known as NSF.
This program is also known as the NSF Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Program (SBIR/STTR). This federal program supports Research and Development done by startups and small businesses in the United States to develop breakthrough technologies that can be commercialized and produce an impact on the market.
As a result, you will be getting the latest cutting edge solutions that the market can offer. Are you looking for the latest solutions for your custom software product or do you want to try outsourcing to save costs? Weigh your options and pick a dedicated team that would best fit your needs.

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Pick a team with marketing and scaling experience

It would be good to consider the crew that has experience in product development, UI design, architecture design, marketing, social media, and scaling of a business. This aspect is quite advantageous for your company. A lot of inexperienced teams end up over-engineering the product at an early stage of product development, which wastes a lot of resources. Some teams may get over-excited about creating an impactful solution that they end up neglecting its practicality for the business. Check out top software development companies, where DevsData LLC was featured as well!
Your dedicated team should have a clear understanding of how a business works from budgets to business solutions, and know what agile development is. Have someone who can deliver quick results. They might be able to offer you solutions that would boost your project exponentially. Also, you may opt to get external advice from growth hacking consultants on how good development services shall be delivered.

Do not forget about communication

Rapid development services require fast and open communication. A start-up team with closely knitted members usually shines in this aspect. However, for teams who work remotely for you, an obstacle might appear – time zone differences. Thus, a good move to best this challenge is to have a fixed time overlap, and regular catch-ups in order to ensure that everyone is up to date and a part of the discussion. This will ensure seamless MVP development.
A good idea is to set up recurring scheduled video calls with the entire team during which you will go through the past week’s progress and discuss any challenges that have appeared. These calls should also be done as a part of the Agile development process which most Tech startups use. This process would involve planning, review, and retrospective. Make some time in your schedule to participate in these meetings.
As the saying goes, people want to talk to people. Take a good look at your team and check whether they are focused, confident about the results they are delivering to you and if they are excited about the project. Otherwise, find out which parts are they having difficulties with and discuss it thoroughly during the meeting. It also helps to have dedicated team tools such as Slack, Jira, or Asana. Whichever you choose, always check if everyone is up-to-date. Such an approach is typical for agile development style of working (increasingly popular in the United States).
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Ensure that you are getting the most out of this venture by appointing someone qualified to do the job of finding the best fit team.

Do not underestimate the importance of feedback

Let us say that you have found your dream team and you are in the process of pushing your mobile or web app through its stages. What would be needed during these stages? That would be feedback.
Sounds fairly simple but this heavily affects your team and your project. In line with having open communications, feedback should always be a part of your discussions. A feedback loop might sound tiring but this is the key to align your priorities well and to nail down your KPI’s and architecture design.
Tech startups usually apply Agile development in their teams and if that is the case for your vendor, make it a point to be a part of their sprint planning, review, and retrospective. Although the sprint review is the best time to produce feedback, you and your team could also apply this whenever it highly is needed.
A great method to give and receive feedback through team project management tools such as JIRA, Asana, and Slack. These tools help everyone effectively communicate the status of the project and speed up product development. Tools such as JIRA and Asana would provide you with a great project overview and quality assurance. It would be a great advantage for yourself if you are working with a team that is located on the other side of the globe.

I’ve worked with DevsData on numerous projects over the last 3 years and I’m very happy. They demonstrated a strong degree of proactivity, taking time to thoroughly understand the problem and business perspective. The solutions they designed exceeded my expectations.

Jonas Lee

Jonas Lee


Analyze and draw conclusions from the data you have

Always be data-driven. Integrating analytics to your web or mobile software should start at an early stage. The earlier the better. As a result, you will have an extensive database that will be playing a significant role in product development. Always do A/B testing and track how your users interact with your product and adjust according to the data you have collected. This will ensure you deliver a viable product (or MVP = Minimum Viable Product) on time. It is highly recommended to use tools such as Google Analytics, Fullstory, Crashlytics in Firebase, and Mixpanel.

Right approach to software development for startups from the very beginning

It is very important to be prepared for custom software development and product development from the beginning. It will take your business further than ever, and enable your organization to be accessible from anywhere and at any place via smartphones or laptops.
Things you should pay special attention to from the very beginning:

1. Establish clear communication paths

From the first day of software development, make sure everyone understands the roles assigned to them.

2. Define best practices and conventions

If you have experience in custom software development, analyze with your team what went well and what went wrong. Be prepared for any unforeseen problems encountered in the past.

3. Choose an appropriate continuous integration system

Continuous integration is crucial for every project. You want to make sure that you can release the new software development elements with minimal effort.

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4. Choose your tools and applications

Make sure you choose the tools that will be used during the software development phase because one thing that you want to avoid is using too many different tools for achieving the same purpose.

5. Use version control systems

Using a version control system is a great way to protect our product against unforeseen problems during the development process.

6. Development environment

The development environment will be the sandbox of the development team. That is why it will not be stable at all times, and you can expect data inconsistencies.

7. Testing environment

Quality assurance is crucial. You need to provide the right environment for customers to test their software. One way of doing it is by hiring a professional software tester who would thoroughly test the written program, find bugs and areas for improvement.

8. Staging and production environments

The staging and production come hand in hand and they should mirror each other. This will ensure that the operations run on staging will have the same results on production.

9. Create a document for local project setup

When new people join the software development, it is important to provide them with appropriate documentation for the local project setup.
The steps described above are not a recipe for creating the perfect custom software. Many issues that should be noted will arise during the development phase. Each project is significantly different, but these steps are a good reference point for quality assurance and project success.
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Find a person who has the technical knowledge to interview the teams you are considering to bring in as your Vendor.

Appropriate technologies for rapid development

There are multiple technologies used for rapid software development for startups. Below we will discuss only a few of them that we use at our development company DevsData. Once you get acquainted with them, you can tell us which one you think are most important.

Mobile App technologies

1. Google flutter

Flutter is Google’s UI toolkit for building beautiful, natively compiled applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase. Flutter’s hot reload helps you quickly and easily experiment, build UIs, add new features, and fix bugs faster. Experience sub-second reload times, without losing state, on emulators, simulators, and hardware for iOS and Android.
You can easily delight your users with Flutter’s built-in beautiful Material Design and Cupertino (iOS-flavor) widgets, rich motion APIs, smooth natural scrolling, and platform awareness.
Flutter’s widgets incorporate all critical platform differences such as scrolling, navigation, icons, and fonts to provide full native performance on both iOS and Android.



Developing a product as a startup can be challenging as you have limited resources and lack the professional experience team. In order to keep the business afloat, you need to build a product but have no clue how even where to begin from. Therefore, following a development process will help you throughout the software development life cycle for startups.

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