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App Accomplished: Strategies for App Development Success

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App Accomplished: Strategies for App Development Success


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  • Covers the entire app development lifecycle, addressing crucial issues ranging from planning to non-disclosure agreements
  • Offers expert guidance on choosing the right developers and working with them effectively
  • Includes extensive coverage of current best practices and tools for iOS development, while presenting principles that will also be valuable in the Android space
  • The indispensable companion to app coding book -- and an indispensable resource for every company or individual who wants to build successful apps


  • Copyright 2015
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-96178-1
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-96178-5

Build Great Apps: End-to-End Processes, Tools, and Management Tips for Doing It Right!
Foreword by Kyle Richter, CEO, MartianCraft

Today, successful apps are complex software projects. You can’t just knock them off in a weekend--and, worse, many common programming habits don’t work well in mobile. You need skills, processes, tools, management techniques, and best practices that are honed for mobile platforms and realities. In App Accomplished, top mobile developer Carl Brown provides all that--so you can run your entire project effectively and get the answers you need right now.

Whether you’re writing your own code or contracting out, you’ll find hard-won guidance for your entire app development life cycle. Brown guides you step-by-step from planning and design through testing and updates. Through case studies drawn from his immense experience, he reveals why so many app projects fail--and how to avoid the mistakes that derailed them.

When it comes to apps, a great idea isn’t enough: You have to execute. This is the first book that shows you how.

  • Understand mobile-specific issues that lead even experienced developers astray
  • Find developers who can do a great job with your unique app at a fair price
  • Define the requirements you need to create accurate schedules and budgets
  • Work with developers to get the best possible results
  • Manage and communicate effectively to avoid cost overruns
  • Solve problems before they get out of control
  • Develop wireframes and prototypes that clarify the user’s core experience
  • Choose app components, from servers to data storage
  • Select tools for source control, testing, project tracking, and more
  • Identify and fill crucial skills gaps
  • Estimate the quality of the app you’re building
  • Efficiently test and debug your app
  • Recover from App Store rejection
  • Leverage user feedback to help plan your next release
  • Determine when an existing project is too far off course to fix


Related Article

Video: iOS Development with iOS Author Carl Brown

Author's Site

Please visit the author's site at appaccomplished.com/.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Strategies for App Development Success: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 1 and Index)

Table of Contents

Foreword     xi
Preface     xiii
Chapter 1: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?      1

App Projects Are Not Small and Easy     1
Apps Are Not Easy to Program     5
Poor Skill Set Fit     8
If You Get a Good Developer, You Still Have to Worry     10
The Idea Is Not More Important Than the Execution     12
Unwillingness to Delegate: Micromanaging     15
Bikeshedding     16
Poorly Defined Requirements     16
Out-of-Date Requirements Documentation     18
Constantly Changing Requirements     20
Leaving the Worst for Last     20
Cost Overruns     24
That Last 10%     26
The Whack-a-Mole Problem     27
Poor Communication     29
Abdication of the Management Process     31
Wrapping Up     31
Chapter 2: The App Development Life Cycle     33
The Design Phase     34
The Development Phase     39
The Testing Phase     45
Repeating the Cycle as Needed     49
Wrapping Up     52
Chapter 3: Prototyping and Wireframing Your App     53
Focus on the Core Experience     54
Wireframe the App     58
Build an Interactive Prototype     76
Prototyping Tips and Tricks     91
Wrapping Up     95
Chapter 4: Determining Your App’s Components     97
Dealing with Devices     97
Native, Web, and Hybrid Apps     104
Dealing with Third-Party Frameworks     111
Dealing with Analytics     119
Dealing with Video and Audio     120
Dealing with Peripherals     121
Dealing with Accessibility     122
Dealing with Custom or Complex Animations     122
Dealing with Conditional Formatting     123
Dealing with Localization     124
Dealing with User Preferences      125
Dealing with Data Storage     125
Dealing with Servers     131
Dealing with Syncing     133
Dealing with Push Notifications     134
Dealing with Background Tasks     134
Wrapping Up     135
Chapter 5: Finding the Right Tools     137
Selecting Tools for Your Project Size     138
Source Control     138
Bug Tracking     144
Project and Schedule Tracking     148
The Development Environment     154
Continuous Integration     157
Beta Testing Distribution     159
Crash Reporting     160
End-User Feedback     161
Wrapping Up     162
Chapter 6: Skill Gap Analysis     163
Programming     163
Testing and Quality Assurance     168
Server Support and Troubleshooting     168
User Experience Design     169
Graphic Design     173
Sound Design and Music     176
Copywriting     178
Marketing     179
About Games     181
Wrapping Up     183
Chapter 7: Finding a Developer     185
Template App Sites     185
App Developer Matchmaker Sites     189
Local Versus Remote Developers     191
Creative Agencies     194
App Development Companies     196
Independent Developers     199
Grow Your Own Developer (Maybe Even You)      203
Wrapping Up     204
Chapter 8: Interviewing and Selecting a Developer     207
Nondisclosure Agreements     208
Setting Up an Interview     208
Previous Work     210
Gap Analysis     212
Contingency Plans     213
Estimating and Planning     214
Working Relationship     217
Wrapping Up     224
Chapter 9: Managing to Milestones     227
Never Agree to “30% Down, and I’ll Talk to You in Three Months”      227
Minimizing Risk with Frequent Milestones     228
How I Learned to Stop Grumbling and Love Milestones     229
Milestones Are Not Sprints     230
Organization, Sequencing, and Focus     232
Let Conway’s Law Be Your Guide     235
Scheduling Software: Strongly Suggested     237
Remember That Estimates Are Only Estimates     239
Renovation Versus New Construction     243
Estimates and Entomology     245
Plan Reevaluation and Project Feedback Loops     246
Wrapping Up     246
Chapter 10: Understanding What You’re Getting     249
Living Within Your Means     250
The Ticking Clock     251
Justifying Effort for Your Project Size     253
Get the Code, Even if There’s Nothing to See in the UI     253
Comments in Source Control     254
Comments in Code     256
Build and Run the App Yourself     258
Third-Party Libraries     260
Source Code Project Organization     261
Automated Test Coverage     262
Detecting Plagiarism     262
Compiler Warnings     264
Duplicated Code     264
Commented Out Code     265
Magic Numbers     265
Huge Combinatorial Complexity     266
Useless, Ambiguous, or Confusing Naming     266
The “UI Thread” or “Main Thread”      267
Wrapping Up     267
Chapter 11: Pulling the Plug Early     269
So You Missed a Milestone     270
Stop the Presses! Figure Out Where You Are     270
Discussing Failure     271
Milestone Hit but Bugs Abound     272
If Your Developer Is Proactive     274
If Your Developer Isn’t Honest     275
If It Might Have Been Your Fault     275
Evaluating the Recovery Plan     277
How Far Gone Are You?      282
Trying to Salvage a Project     283
Fair Compensation     284
Transitioning to a New Developer     284
Wrapping Up     285
Chapter 12: Communicating Using Bugs     287
Vocabulary     287
Bug Trackers as Communication Tools     288
One Bug per Bug Report, Please     290
Anatomy of a Bug Report     291
Feature Request Versus Bug Fix     292
Placeholder Issues     294
Bug Trackers as Business Continuity     295
Bug Trackers Versus Code Comments     295
Writing Useful Bug Reports     296
Attaching Files to Bugs     298
Data-Specific Bugs     299
Reproduction: There’s the Rub     299
Bug States     300
Reopening Bugs Versus Creating New Ones     301
Splitting Bugs     303
Two Bugs, One Cause     303
Saving for Posterity     304
Wrapping Up     304
Chapter 13: Testing     305
Types of Testing     305
Failures of Imagination     306
Your Testing Schedule     308
Approaching Deadlines     311
Your Testing Team     311
Getting and Incorporating Feedback     319
Wrapping Up     327
Chapter 14: Submission and Beyond     329
Getting Your Marketing Material Together     330
Reviewer Instructions     331
Last-Minute Plea for Sanity     333
Pushing the Button     334
Dealing with Rejection     335
Resubmission     340
Launch     340
Getting Feedback     340
The Next Release     342
The Red Queen’s Race     343
Wrapping Up     343
Index     345


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