zzzOOOmmm CALL

UNPACKING THE

DEV SPACE!

10/03/20 10pm PST

I'M INTERESTED! HOW DO I DO WHAT YOU DO?

WE'RE ALL TRYING TO GET SOMEWHERE, THERE IS NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL.. SO LET'S TALK ABOUT IT.

A lot of friends and strangers have been curious to ask what I do and how they too can get involved in the space I'm in. Let me start off by saying that the space I'm in doesn't just pertain to software development... I wear many hats across E8 Labs and in order for me to successfully do that I need to be well versed with a set of skills that allow me to comprehend, outline and implement accordingly. Today we're a team of 28... (just finished conducing an interview for 2 more developers as I was in the middle of putting this together). I'm involved across many stages as over the last couple of years I've built an assembly line for software development.

 

There are intricate steps across operations from the onboarding stage to the software development life cycle so we as a team can successfully develop the platforms effectively. I'm always looking to optimize and streamline the current workflow. The stages can be broken down in the following: onboarding, ideation phase, design, development, deployment, user acquisition, maintenance and updates. 

Now for many of you, you're simply starting out. You either come from a technical or nontechnical background and want to have a side hustle or want to get your feet wet in developing websites and apps. For others, you've been freelancing, building websites and apps and want to understand how to scale, optimize operations or even improve your marketing to funnel in more qualified leads. So I'm segmenting you guys into two different groups. This way I can cover topics that best relate to where you are and where you're trying to go.

For those that are trying get in the space, we'll cover the following:

1. Web & App Development Tools

2. Programming Languages 

3. Design Thinking

4. Fast and best approach to implementing web solutions

Then we'll dive into Q&A

For those that are developers looking to increase clientele or scale, we'll cover the following: 

1. Current Workflow 

2. Leading methodologies for Web and App Dev

3. Productivity Tools

4. Customer acquisition and marketing

5. Your online presence  

Then we'll dive into Q&A

Let's take it back one time...

 

I remember at 19 I was working on a WordPress website for my first startup. I had the help of a good friend as we were editing the html and css within the theme. I officially started with developing websites then pivoted to building native iOS apps using Objective C as I was intrigued in building a time management app. I remember jumping online looking for resources on how to build an iOS app when I was starting out. I spent countless hours on Youtube, Google, Khan Academy, Udemy and even going to the extent of taking certs online to improve my dev skills. Then fast forward a couple of years and I was building my first funded mobile app (POPii) using phonegap and cordova with Mongo DB (unnecessary at the time. Imagine trying to kill a fly with a cannon). Think of the concept as DoorDash for movie theaters. Long story short, grew the team to about 8, we had two investors, advisors and amazing interns. We betta tested at about 4 theaters across The Bay Area. Theater owners loved us as this was a new revenue stream for their business. 

 

The market was there, however, we lacked execution and resources, we closed the book on this one after Atom won exclusive contracts with major theater chains at which point our investors dropped off.

Although many would see this as failure, I walked away learning so much about app development, user acquisition, monetization and more. This opened doors for me as I not only became a better developer but also a business developer. 

Fast forward to today and I've had a chance to create and deploy all kinds of apps across different verticals from dating, fitness, social networking, marketplaces, real estate, gaming, ride sharing apps all the way to educational and business apps. 

I'm not gonna ramble on here ...if you're interested in learning more about my past ventures though you can hit my personal site or linkedIn.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?

LET'S TALK ABOUT IT.

WHAT WAS COLLEGE LIKE FOR YOU?

WELL... I ALMOST DROPPED OUT FIRST SEMESTER.

That's right... at the end of my first semester I almost dropped out of school. I had too much on my plate (my 4th startup, freelance work, full time job and a full time student). At the end of my first semester I had a 2.4 gpa. I was missing quizzes, barely awake in class and didn't take it seriously as I knew that after college I would be trying to do my own thing... I remember calling my best friend Christian at the end of the first semester and telling him that I was dropping out because school just wasn't for me..

At the end of that call I had a different game plan. I was going give myself  the next semester to increase revenue with my freelancing in order to quit my full-time job so this way I could focus solely on school, my freelancing and startup. I barely had any savings. I had tuition, rent, and everyday bills so I couldn't just simply quit my job. Again long story short, I graduated with honors in MIS. Python project was elected as an elite project which was demoed to the CIO and the Dean of Business at SJSU as a potential platform to implement at the school(built a yelp like platform for the school cafeteria), I was a python TA, Telecom Chair of NSBE, accepted into the Gary J Sbona Honors program with a 2.4 GPA (only 15 selected per year).

The work spoke for itself.. I remember at the start of our official sponsor project for my honors class, the professor walked over and asked that I let the other students work on it and I should take a back seat. 

I coasted through my undergrad as a lot of the technical courses taught were fundamental and theoretical. See the MIS curriculum was a hybrid between software and business. Although you have projects where you're hands on, many of the things I learned were online asking specific questions on stack overflow, youtube, google or simply from my freelancing work. Almost every project i had early on required a lot googling.. looking up apis, libraries, sdks, etc, even today we're constantly looking up to see what new api or sdk exists so that we can implement it in our projects. 

Towards the end of my undergrad, I planned on going straight into my masters program to finish school altogether. I was set on doing the MIDS program at Cal Berkeley  so towards the last semester I was studying for my GRE. Took it twice to meet the above 80th percentile threshold that Cal required for the program. Lined up all my ducks in a row and applied to the program. I waited anxiously as this was everything I wanted. At the same time, it was tax season.. little did I know that my freelancing gig had generated over 6 figures that year. I was shoooook to say the least. College kid making 6 figures saaayy whaattt??

This made me rethink my next moves. Cal finally responded and sent me a letter... your boy was accepted to the program. I was conflicted.. do i give up the momentum I built with my freelancing and finish my dream program or just push school off to the side and focus my energy on freelancing.. After some thought I decided to dedicate the next year towards freelancing to see how much I can accomplish with that.. the rest was history.

 

There were so many lessons learned throughout the years, looking back at the crossroad between the masters program and freelancing, let me just say that I got lucky with the choice to continue freelancing, little did i know then but making that choice to continue freelancing was like winning the golden ticket to the chocolate factory. I have plans go back and finish my masters but in a different concentration.. that's a story for another day.. 

APP DEV CYCLE

01

IDEATION &

DESIGN

APP DEVELOPMENT CYCLE

IDEATION & DESIGN, DEVELOP, MARKET

In a Software Development Life Cycle, the first step

is the ideation phase. Here we conceptualize, breakdown the concept of, the user base, the features and more to define the full scope of the idea.

 

Imagine building a new house. You don't jump into developing the house. You first create the blueprint and define the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen placement. You outline how the doors swing open, the flooring,  the walls, etc. It's risky to build an app without plan, a blueprint, and a timeline.

02

APP DEVELOPMENT CYCLE

IDEATION & DESIGN, DEVELOP, MARKET

The development and quality assurance (testing) of an app is a critical piece in the development life cycle. And as a result, it can require the most amount of resources. At this stage, do not be seduced by "affordable" quotes from unverified and unexperienced developers.

 

We received about 3-5 clients a month that have been cheated or lied to by developers offering low prices. In most cases, we have to start from scratch because the source code is or the tech stack used by the previous developers is unusable.  

App development costs vary widely at this stage. For example, basic apps with standard features can cost as low as $15,000 for development. However, complex e-commerce apps that require Uber-like functionality can reach up to $250,000.

 

Best practices show that developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the best approach to get to market in a cost effective way and user test to determine if what you build is viable. Turnaround time for development can range from 2 months to 5 months depending on functionality. 

DEVELOP &

TEST APP

03

APP DEVELOPMENT CYCLE

IDEATION & DESIGN, DEVELOP, MARKET

We're now ready to go to market with the MVP and prove the concept and user test. Deploying what we've been working on over the past few months! The MOST EXCITING stage!

 

Here we focus on marketing strategies, we identify the userbase and the platforms they live on. We offer a slew of marketing services to target and build a userbase.

 

We identify what success looks like - It can be downloads, subscriptions, revenue, etc. We have a decade of marketing experience in the app realm. We've failed, we've succeeded and learned throughout the years of deploying digital products. We know what works and what doesn't.  

Our bread and butter when it comes to digital marketing is understanding the analytics provided by ad managers on Google, Facebook and the app store analytics. 

DEPLOY &

MARKET

SOME HELPFUL ARTICLES TO GET YOU GOING.

COMMENT IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THE TOPIC.

© 2020 E8 LABS. All Rights Reserved.