Speed v/s Development

This is a story of an app called Versusmaker, how it got made from a sudden need to a mobile app on Play store and what I learned.

Me and my friends might be the only ones in the world who don’t play FIFA only via internet because it’s impossible to organize 4 player tournaments locally. We tried to find simple free apps but ended up using Excel instead. Not great. A sudden need for one has grown.

Evening before the next tournament I remembered the struggle we had the last time so I decided to create a simple web app. I wanted to get it done fast and still to be a decent enough app to be taken seriously. I already had a good grasp on AngularJS (1.x, in 2015) and chose Bulma.io as the CSS framework. Choosing your technology stack is critical especially for the future and that’s why I chose AngularJS because it was a proven case for me.

The app was ready in the next morning and it had a round robin tournament system for unlimited rounds and players. Point system was predefined following a normal football league standard. It served our needs well and was used ever since.

The real development begins

I wasn’t totally satisfied so I continued developing it by adding ng-router at first and eventually changing it to the ui-router. But it wasn’t until I got familiar with Ionic Framework that this would be a mobile app. Because Ionic is based on AngularJS it was easy to convert the old app to meet its new requirements.

Other thing that really helped with development was that because it was now a mobile app, it was easier to share and easier for people to try it. The only way you can develop further is to listen to the user feedback but it doesn’t mean that you have to follow it as a rule or throw away all your own ideas. You have to find the middle ground there.

What I learned

What I learned was that you have to move fast and just do things. The key to get things done is to rely on your strengths. Get your app out there as fast as you can so that you have something to build on and you can really move forward. After that you can really make the calculated decisions you were pondering about before.

Your app is not just the tech stack you chose or the code you wrote because anything like that will not matter if it works or doesn’t. As software engineers we often get distracted by all the possible routes we can take with our products or pet projects, so distracted in fact that we get nothing done.