Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Diary of an app development---The start
For those of you who have been following my blogs, you know that I have been critical of a good number of apps that have been developed specifically for speech and language therapy. Well, I have decided to put my money where my mouth is and develop an app that utilizes the animation and interactivity abilities of the iPad. I would like to take you on this journey with me in the hopes that you too may decide to develop your own great apps.
My journey began a few weeks ago. I contacted a number of companies to get an idea of the cost of developing a speech/language app. I found companies by googling "app development," "app developers," and "app development companies."
Pricing was all over the map.
The most reasonable was about $5000 and the costliest $40,000. The contact people tended to be in sales. This does not suggest that they were not knowledgeable. They were, but to a point. Some issues were beyond their expertise and they needed to consult with their tech department. Some expressed interest but did not reply after a few back and forth emails. Then, out of the blue I got a cold call from a local company that does web design and management. I may have sounded a little irritated with the woman because I do not like marketers calling. But she called in the midst of my search and used the words "web design." I told her I was interested in developing an app. A few days later, I was sitting in the conference room with one of the owners, Earl. The minute he started talking it was clear that Earl was a knowledgeable software guy. He immediately understood where I was headed and offered his own ideas based on his expertise. He was also enthusiastic about my ideas. His expertise talked to my comfort level. Earl did a great job translating tech know-how into terms I could understand.
I decided to go with Earl's company. His price was not the best. But my thinking is that, since this is my very first app, working with a company close by will offer me greater insight into the process. By sitting down with the people who will do the work, rather than conducting all interactions via computer or telephone, I am hoping to get better picture of what it takes to bring my idea to fruition.
Earl and I went back and forth a few times about the terms of the agreement until we found the sweet spot to satisfy us both. Two of the sticking points were cost and payment terms. Yesterday I signed the contract. I was assigned a project manager, Allison. She will be the link between me and those people working on my app.
My next blog will give more details about the project.