Nashville Web Design | Programming | IT | Atiba.com

Archive for the ‘Mobile Apps’ Category

Overwhelmed by Software Development

Software Development – Where to Start?

One would not generally associate custom software development and healthcare but stay with me here …

Having previously spent 15 years in healthcare it’s been my observation that many people don’t know what to expect before (or after) they, or a loved one, experience a health event.  They may become overwhelmed, frustrated, and even apathetic when a health professional talks to them regarding a change.  Apprehension and/or decision paralysis seems to set in and they put off taking that next step even though it might really improve their quality of life.

It is easy to be in that same boat when it comes to understanding technology and moving forward with a custom software or website that could significantly improve your business.

It is a goal of the fantastic Half Geek Half Human folks at Atiba to help demystify technology and be customer-centric.  If you are thinking about custom software development or design, but are inundated by the information out there … hopefully this article can offer a new perspective.

An Illustration

Using a general healthcare example, let’s say a person is thinking about getting a knee replacement.  This process is not as simple as walking into the hospital and requesting the surgery, is it?  <Insert Laugh Here>

There is the progression of doctor visits beforehand – likely the general practitioner examines and recommends some exercises and maybe an anti-inflammatory medication.  Then, typically, comes a prescription for physical therapy or a stronger pain medication.  Eventually there is a referral for surgical intervention.  A couple orthopedist visits are likely next to determine candidacy for a knee replacement and what type of procedure needs to be performed, etc.  Consulting with insurance to see what will be covered and which providers are in network is also part of the process.

As the journey continues, the surgery is scheduled (hopefully there has been a case manager involved by this point).  A list of best practice recommendations is often provided for maximum results.  Some of these directions may include a list of exercises, medication instructions, pre-registration information, pre-op bathing instructions, etc.  Decisions such as transportation to and from the surgery, time off work, and aftercare plans for therapy must also be made.  The surgery hasn’t even happened yet and there has been so much “front-end” preparation already.

It’s the day of surgery and the “back-end” work begins…no one can really see what’s going on inside the knee except the surgeon & the team doing the operation.  The possible risks were explained and signed off on beforehand; such as the risk of undergoing anesthesia, risk of infection, risk of defective replacement appliances, etc.  Then the procedure begins and there may or may not be complications along the way.  For example, what may have been planned to take 2 hours, maybe takes 5 hours because of an unforeseen complication.

After the operation, the incision is inspected, ice packs applied, and precautions are put in place to minimize risk of infection.  Immediate and continuous physical therapy must ensue to get adequate range of motion back in the knee.  Perpetual monitoring and modifications to treatment are essential, including: adequate nutrition, constant quality assurance, medication adjustments, reapplying bandages, etc.  All these little tweaks can be time consuming and seem exhausting, yet, are vital to the overall success of the operation.

How again does this tie into software development?

Most custom software development requires a lot of planning and follow-up that many people may not incorporate into the initial cost or time expectations.  As with medical procedures, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the process and frustrated with unexpected complications.  Good communication, like in healthcare, is essential on both sides of the equation.  Expectations need to be made clear, however, maintaining flexibility is also important.

Like a Case Manager in healthcare, a Project Manager can be helpful in navigating the unknown territory.  Project managers can aid in establishing the timeline, being a single point of contact, and keeping the project on target.  However, just like with the above-mentioned surgery, unforeseen complications or “bugs” can surface and delay even the best planned project.

The Process

Think back to the knee replacement example given above…custom software development/web design can loosely be broken down into two parts … front-end and back-end development.

Front-end work usually includes design content and coding skills that affect what the user sees and interacts with on a web application, it also includes developing what is known as UX/UI experience.  It is the work done that makes the interactable part of software development user friendly & efficient.  User interface know how is combined with languages like CSS, HTML, JavaScript, XML based languages, Java, Objective C and iQuery to name a few. Deciding a CMS (Content Management System) platform (examples: WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Squarespace, or Magento to note a few) can be important if the data entered on the website needs to be pulled to a database.  Other programs like Photoshop and Adobe can also be utilized as well for front end work and design.

Back-end development involves making sure the web application can communicate with the server so that changes can be made in the desired database.  This involves making sure the code on the front end is supported and using additional programming languages (like PHP, Ruby, Python, ASP.net, C#, ColdFusion, Haskell, etc) on the back-end so information can be relayed to the servers and Database Management Systems.  Then when someone clicks on the website or is using the custom software program the information can be generated immediately when summoned for the user.

This construction takes time.

Continuous quality assurance and testing must be performed, either by the customer or the provider, but it must happen.  And just as the incision needs constant monitoring & cleaning so no infection sets in… the code will need frequent testing as “bugs” pop up and patching needs to occur for the program to be continually functional.  It will be an ongoing process that needs to occur over the lifespan of the code… (Which is why apps, programs and operating systems need ongoing updates).

Software Development … The Take Away

Yes, there are a lot of moving parts to technology, just as in healthcare.  As patients must trust doctors, hospitals, and healthcare teams, be assured that a project manager/software development team use the best tools to create websites and custom software based on individual situations.

It can seem overwhelming, but just remember how to eat an elephant – one bite at a time.

Fortunately, the great folks here at Atiba can help get you started on the journey and walk you through every step of the way when it comes to custom software development and web applications!

Don’t put off improving and growing your business any longer!  Give us a call (615) 353-1921 or send an email to info@atiba.com

 

 

 

Five Key Attributes To Look For In A Custom Software Development Company

There are a variety of reasons people seek out a custom software solution for their business, and it is sometimes the biggest decision a business might make. The most common reason is that there is no software solution that solves the problem(s) they are trying to solve. It could be that there are software solutions, but they have poor functionality or just don’t fit exactly what they’re trying to do. It could be that there is a solution out there that is prohibitively expensive with many features the company would never use. If you find yourself starting on the journey to find a software development company, here are five thoughts to keep in mind as you get started.

1) Communication Is Key

Rare is a software development project that doesn’t require consultation and advice along the way. Look for a software development company that has been around a while and has the battle scars to prove it. And make sure they are good communicators so that if you request something they have tried in the past and found doesn’t work, they will not hesitate to communicate that experience to you. They should also be able to  recommend ways to solve your specific requirements. If you lay out your vision and come away thinking, “I have no idea what they are talking about, I guess I’ll just have to trust them,” you’re setting yourself up for possible trouble down the road.

2) Experience Counts

hands typing on a laptop keyboardIf you’re looking for a custom software solution, you’ve probably reached your last nerve trying to deal with all the available product that don’t quite solve your problem. That means you need software that will do exactly what it is you want it to do. This is where experience is an advantage for a software development firm. A company with leadership who have solved a variety of problems over the years bring institutional knowledge and wisdom to the table that greatly increase the chances that your new software will be successful. They don’t necessarily have to have already built exactly what you want for someone else, but they may have experience with some of the components and processes you are requesting. Plus, if they’ve been around, it shows that they’ve encountered plenty of problems and been able to come up with solutions.

3) Look For A Strong User Experience Development History

A user-friendly interface is vital to your new software’s success. The backend can function beautifully, but if users can’t figure out how to use it, the software is useless. Make sure the software development company you choose places an emphasis on user experience (UX), which includes rigorous quality assurance (QA) all along the development cycle.

4) They Have A Clear Support Policy

You’re getting a software solution that is being built from scratch, so you need to expect some bugs and quirks upon deployment. Make sure the company you choose gives you a clear picture of what support is included, and how much support that is not included is going to cost.

5) Check Their Work

A good indicator of future success is a rich history of past success. Take time to have them show you custom software development projects they’ve done in the past, explain the process and problems they went through, and, if possible, show you the end result. Not only is this an important step in your due diligence, it will give you peace of mind moving forward that your project is in the right hands.

To selfie or not to selfie? Question sparks spirited family debate

Check out Atiba founder JJ Rosen’s latest column for The Tennessean:

To selfie or not to selfie? Question sparks spirited family debate

“Leveraging a trend, the inventor of the selfie stick saw an opportunity in the convergence of smart-phones and social media to make millions of dollars with a relatively simple idea.   This concept of “trend-based businesses” depends on identifying a need around a social fad and then finding a way to heavily market it — fast.”

Rosen’s column appears twice a month. You can view an archive here.

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Atiba serves as a one-stop shop for strategic web design, web development, CIO consulting services and business intelligence, custom software development, mobile app development, IT support, network services and security. Atiba’s service divisions include Atiba Network, Atiba Software and Wheelhouse Marketing.

New Mobile App Developers

As Nashville’s top full-service technology consulting firm, we are proud to recruit the best and brightest in the industry to lead our network infrastructure, custom software development, web design, digital marketing and mobile app development projects.

JJ Rosen, President and CEO, has kept the team focused on the core philosophy of Atiba, “Our mission is to deliver the most customer-centric technology solutions in the marketplace. To effectively execute our mission and connect with our clients we’ve continued to hire the best programmers, engineers, designers and project managers in the business.”

Mobile App Developer PHP C+

Justin Gregory – Software Developer

Justin Gregory, PhD, is a new addition to our software development team.  Since joining Atiba, Justin has developed and deployed the GoVoteTN mobile app on behalf of the Tennessee Secretary of State – a mobile app for the people, by the people. With years of software development experience using C/C++, OOD, Unix, Erlang, Haskell, Labview, Python and more, Justin exemplifies the intelligence and self-motivated nature of Atiba team members. Justin earned a PhD in Interdisciplinary Materials Science from Vanderbilt University and a B.S. in Physics and minor in Computer Science from Lipscomb University.

Mobile App AGILE Project Manager

Mike Presley – Project Manager

Mike Presley, Atiba’s newest Project Manager, is passionate about mobility, apps, interactive design, and improving the overall look and effectiveness of the web.  Mike is dedicated to creating the next generation of web and mobile apps through better user experiences. Mike currently leads projects for  Dollar General, Worship Together, Patient Focus, Hamilton-Ryker and The Pasta Shoppe, to name a few. Mike received a Bachelor of Science from Vanderbilt University.

Mobile App Develpment PHP C+

Bryan Bodkin – Software Developer

Bryan Bodkin is an innovative computer engineer with a unique blend of software programming, project management, and hardware design skills. He recently completed work on www.WorshipTogether.com and Pan Oston projects.  Bryan holds a Masters in Computer Engineering from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) and a Bachelor of Science Dual Major in Computer Science and Electro Mechanical Engineering Technology from MTSU.

JJ Rosen, Founder and Chairman says, “I am excited for the next decade with our new team members to support the ongoing growth and positioning of Atiba.  We will continue to keep our offerings innovative by hiring team members that are “half geek, half human”, enabling Atiba to demystify technology for clients and help their businesses thrive.”

Introducing: Atiba Version 3.0

Atiba Nashville Technology and Web Design

We are enjoying a new year, new offices, and a fresh, new look for Atiba.  Our inspiration?  The principal of Kaizen.  Kaizen is the philosophy that you must have continuous improvement and break the mold every once in a while to make a transformative improvement.  That is exactly what we have done with the Atiba brand in the past 6 months.  Under that guiding principle, the Atiba Team is proud to introduce Atiba Version 3.0.

This latest ‘revolution’ was inspired by the incredible range of needs and innovative thinking of our clients and their customers.  Just as our hometown, Nashville, has transformed, so too have our client’s needs and service offerings.  We have grown along with them – expanding our services by supporting local tech startups and hiring the best programmers, designers and digital marketers in the area.

This re-brand maintains the essence of Atiba which remains our core “half geek and half human” composition while also showcasing the large range of services we now offer.  We have some team members that are highly technical (the best in the business, in fact) and some that understand business and excel at client communications.  While our developers create best-in-class software and network architecture, our client relations and project management teams understand business challenges and can help demystify the available technology and provide practical and successful solutions.

New features on the Atiba.com website:

1) We present more client sample work and service overviews to allow you to get a feel for our work and the range of businesses we serve.

2) Buzz Atiba – our direct line to the 24/7 Help Desk and Emergency Support – is now just a click away for clients. As an IT Managed Services client or Website client, you can ‘buzz’ us any time to request changes or if you need help.

3) Just click here if you need help with a service or provide us your email (on the bottom of the home page) if you’d like to sign up for our newsletter.

4) Join the team!  There is now a way to contact us about job opportunities and become a part of the Atiba Team.

5) And, if you’re interested in seeing what the Atiba Team can do for you, just click the orange “Request a Proposal” button at the top of the home page and complete the quick form.  Our client services team will get back to you right away.

We hope you enjoy the new site and find it helpful.  We understand all this ‘techie stuff’ can be intimidating, so we are doing our best to show each of our services in both a technical and a human light.

Now Available: GoVoteTN App

Responding to Requests for a Proposal (RFP) is a normal part of the job when you’re on a sales team.   Here at Atiba and Cabedge, we receive a lot of them each month. Sometimes we are one of hundreds of companies spending time explaining the process, doing the research to match up your offerings with the needs of the client and finding examples of past work to showcase. So when the Tennessee Secretary of State sent out their RFP last year about building a mobile application to help with the voting process, we were super excited to learn we were one of three companies who got to come in to pitch our idea.  We were even more thrilled when our team was chosen to complete the project.

Building Loyal Sports Fans

Using mobile device technologies is “the” new performance-enhancing strategy in the sports world.  Many are finding that it’s a great way to drive fan loyalty.  See how the sports industry embraces the latest technology trends while maintaining a sense of old-school tradition. Check out Atiba’s own JJ Rosen’s latest insights in the Tennessean.

Whitney Blessington is a member of the Atiba family, focusing on Marketing. She specializes in translating geek technology into human terminology.   In addition to leading the Atiba Marketing efforts, Whitney helps clients and partners accomplish their goals using digital marketing communications.

The Relevance and Importance of Gamification

Games and gamification-related promotions are no strangers to best-selling and most-downloaded smartphone app lists. Our JJ Rosen takes a deeper look at the relevance and importance of gamification heading into 2014 in his weekly Tennessean guest blog.

New Smartphone Mobile Blogs on Tennessean.com

Our main man JJ Rosen continues to contribute solid blog posts to Tennessean.com, and in the middle of the holiday season, there’s plenty of mobile trends and news to talk about.

How Smartphone Apps Can Help The Healthcare Crisis

Most people think of apps for either entertainment or informational purposes, but not necessarily to help our nation solve a crisis. Atiba’s JJ Rosen takes a look at how smartphone apps may actually be able to help solve the health care crisis in America.