Although fresh-baked startups might think their coding experience will help them have more effect on the product quality, coding skills are not crucial for the overall success. They can be a good option for tech startup founders on initial stages when creating a prototype or explaining the team how they expect the digital solution to function.
Startup life is very intensive so startups can only complete priority tasks at the costs of non-priority activities. Here is why every startup has to ask the question:
How should programming save my time, nerves or money to create a demanded app?
Based on the answer, there are at least three possible approaches.
- Learn coding
There are myriads of opportunities for people to master programming, starting from online courses to offline coding schools.
This approach suits those who want to know how their product actually functions. Also, this helps to get more insight on how the development process looks like.
However, learning will take precious time and money that startups could spend on the marketing and promotion. Also, different parts of the system (design, front end, back end) require specific languages and startups will need to learn them all.
- Invite a developer as a cofounder.
A person who already knows how to code can start after a discussion and focus on the technical part while non-tech cofounder focuses on the market.
However, cofounders must trust each other deeply. Non-tech cofounder depends on the other party’s excitement. When she/he loses his/her interests or decides to quit, it might be hard to replace the missing competencies.
Also, as soon as the codebase grows they will have to hire new developers in order to improve and maintain it.
- Hire an outsourced development team.
This approach helps a non-tech founder to focus on the core and be more flexible while the team focus on the full-cycle development. The problem with the design and QA will be also solved. Also, when comparing with the freelance developer, startups do not have to spend their time on looking for a new professional for each development stage.
Certainly, there are problems with the development teams. It is hard to hire a reliable team – search might take time. Also, it increases the budget and a startup can simply run out of money and get half-baked software (which can be solved by thorough analysis of requirements.)
The weapon of a startup is the vision of its founder and its understanding of what the market really wants. And this is its main focus.
Here is how a startup can avoid hurdles with software development:
- Get onboard of an accelerator program. Here they find the needed help: mentorship and investments.
- Set up minimum requirements. The new product must contain only core features so it can be finished fast and get to the market.
- Discuss the requirements with the mentor and then with the team. Here is how startups determine whether the software is possible within the given budget and timeline and it still is what the market expects.
- Do not be afraid of changes. When someone suggests a better technology or a feature, it is time to discuss it and change when it is for good.