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Web Development: ASP.NET or PHP?

Web Development Platform ComparisonWhile web development can be done a variety of coding platforms, it often comes down to two languages: ASP.NET or PHP. Both offer benefits the other doesn’t have and most of the time, it will depend on what type of web development project you have. Some of the major considerations are cost, project size, and performance.

Cost of Web Development

The cost involved in each platform is usually three-fold: price to use, third-party hosting price, and development cost. While both are very low cost, ASP.NET does need some extra budget considerations because it runs on Microsoft’s IIS web server. So take into consideration you will have to pay the standard Microsoft OS cost to use it. PHP is free and can run on the Apache web server on a Linux OS. Both of these are also free saving you big bucks in avoiding the Microsoft products. Third-party hosting price is not high for either but does have some costs involved. Comparatively, PHP is found to be a bit cheaper in that category. Development cost are relatively similar for both coding platforms. ASP.NET is more rapid application development that can take much less time so the overall cost of development is minimized. PHP applications can also be developed using free tools but there is more coding involved that will take extra resources. Time equals money in these scenarios.

Scalability and Project Size

Consider how much your project or application may need to be expanded as your business grows. ASP.NET scales very well and is generally recommended for larger applications that will constantly be in use. PHP is usually recommended for small to medium sized projects that may not have as much stress. It’s important to properly spec out your requirements analysis when creating your product roadmap so you can choose the platform that is most efficient at the beginning. You don’t want to start with PHP and realize half way through the project that the application is going to grow beyond it’s capabilities.

Performance

Obviously you want to choose a platform that will offer great performance for your web development project. There is one distinct difference between ASP.NET and PHP that needs to be considered. ASP.NET is compiled and PHP is interpreted, meaning it is compiled and executed line by line. Thus, you will get faster performance with ASP.NET based on compiling speeds. This is why it’s generally recommended to use ASP.NET for larger applications where compiling happens quickly. PHP is usually faster for smaller program so if you are confident your application will not need to be large, PHP is quite beneficial.

These are just three of the considerations to keep in mind when choosing a platform. There are several others and our development team created a matrix to guide you in choosing the right language for your web app. Feel free to right click the image and save to your computer for easy printing and referral.

Web Development Comparison

For more information on Serpico DEV and how we utilize user stories in Agile development, please contact us.

Posted: March 19th, 2013
Categories: General
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5 Benefits of User Stories

User StoriesUser stories make software requirements easier to communicate between the client and technical team.

In Agile software development, user stories capture the ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘why’ of a requirement in a simple, concise way. User Stories are designed to keep development teams focused on customer needs, and serve as the driving force behind quickly delivering valuable, high quality software.

Anyone that has used the Agile software development process has probably experienced communication issues between the development team and client. The issues become even larger in a remote or virtual team setting.

Creating user stories is a great way of opening discussion and bridging the communication gap between the client and development team. User stories created by the product owner (typically the client) are written in a non-technical format that fulfills a business requirement for the project. The development team then creates the needed tasks to satisfy the client’s business requirements. Creating the tasks of the project this way allows everyone to understand what is needed to achieve the requirements.

If you have worked with user stories before, then you probably understand the keys to writing effective user stories using the INVEST model. A Google search of the term will lead you to hundreds of good articles.

But from a client and business standpoint, you may be wondering what advantages user stories actually provide for a development project.  Here are 5 benefits that user stories provide:

Creating user stories is easy

User stories are easy and fast to write. Clients with no software development experience at all can write them easily to communicate their goals. Not a lot of time or money is invested in writing them; therefore, if they are changed or never used, the team has not lost a lot of time in developing them.

Written by the “user”

User stories are ideally written by the “user” or client in most cases. This allows the development team to spend time with the user and better understand the functionality that they want. If a client is not comfortable writing the user stories for their project, the development team can step in and assist them, enabling a better understanding of what the end product needs to accomplish.

Easy for remote development teams

User stories are simple enough that a freelance or outsourced team would easily be able to understand the end goals. Finding a productive team collaboration platform and a centralized area to communicate user stories will help the client easily communicate the stories to their remote team, no matter where they are located. This will help alleviate those communication challenges that come with trying to pass user stories along via email or on a conference call.

Creativity

The user story allows for the development team to be creative in designing the product. Clients give a basic outline of the needed functionality, letting the designers and developers run with it. This lets the development team create the product in a way that works on all platforms and is easy to integrate.

Faster and cheaper

Client user stories help development teams better estimate the development roadmap needed to complete the project. More accurate estimates and roadmaps lead to quicker development and faster delivery times, hence a cheaper project. Developing quality user stories through the project can help improve the project’s overall ROI by expediting the delivery process.

User stories help keep the client and development team on the same page for the requirements of the project. This leads to more productive collaboration between the parties to make the delivery process more efficient. Does your development team utilize user stories? How has it improved the client/technical team communication process of the project goals?

For more information on Serpico DEV and how we utilize user stories in Agile development, please contact us.

Posted: March 1st, 2013
Categories: General
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8 Ways Entrepreneurship is Like Spartan Race

SerpicoDEV CEO Vincent Serpico took part in the Spartan Obstacle Race this past weekend in cold, wet conditions (yes, even in Phoenix). A lot of preparation and training at the Rock Star Boot Camp helped him master all the obstacles in the race. Rock Star is no regular boot camp as the sense of team camaraderie and encouragement from other members makes the experienced unmatched.

Spartan Race Serpico DEVWhile entrepreneurial software development and the Spartan Race are two completely different things, there are parallels between them. Both are hard, require a lot of preparation, and have a sweet reward.  You will pivot and have to make quick decisions in both. But when it’s all said and done, you can look back and truly appreciate the journey to reach your goal.

So how do the two compare? Let’s take a look at the analogs between the Spartan Race and entrepreneurial software development.

Hire the Right Team

Both require that you have the right team around you for success.

In software development, you must decide whether to hire a team or do it yourself. It’s also important to ensure the right team is hired. Do they align with the vision of your application and business goals?

The Spartan Race is similar. Will you train with another person at the gym, go to a boot camp, or hire a personal trainer? Or will you do it on your own? Often a team approach is better for encouragement and motivation on those days you need something extra, just like in entrepreneurship.

Plan Ahead

Planning is essential for both.

Entrepreneurial software development requires planning at the beginning so your team knows what to develop and when. This keeps the team focused on the goals of the project. Sure, changes will be made to the requirements of the project but the overall goal is planned for at the start.

The approach to the Spartan Race requires planning well ahead of the race date. What kind of training is going to benefit you the most? Having a clear plan of what kind of training you need to focus on and how you are going to do it is key to a successful race day.

Manage Progress

Keeping track of your progress helps you stay on track towards your goals.

Entrepreneurship is a special scenario where you are building a business from the ground up. Making sure you are staying on track and making progress from day to day is important to a successful business. If you don’t know you’re progress, you can’t make the right decisions to be successful in the future.

It’s no different with the Spartan Race. Monitoring your progress to ensure you are becoming properly prepared as race day approaches will make the whole experience that much better. Because you definitely don’t want to start the race and realized you should have trained more.

Spartan Race SerpicoDEV

Obstacles

You will always need to face and overcome obstacles.

Entrepreneurs will face obstacles such as HR issues, cash flow, accounts payable and receives, competition, investors, deliverables and much more. Dealing with obstacles head on and overcoming them is how entrepreneurs rise to the challenge and become successful.

Spartan racers will face obstacles… literally! Like a 25-foot rope climb, an 8’ wall hop, and a mud crawl under razor-sharp barbed wire.

Accountability

Team accountability is key in getting the things accomplished that you set out to do.

In entrepreneurial software development, accountability is key for delivering a successful project. You and your team need to be accountable for what is being developed and the delivery schedule. If anyone slips up, the whole project can be derailed.

Getting up early in the morning to train for the race can get old. This is where your individual accountability comes in. Are you keeping your training regimen in tact? If you belong to a boot camp, are you training mates encouraging you? Not holding yourself accountable and missing a day or two of training can make the race experience quite painful.

Communication

Great communication with your team creates a synergy that can lead to new ideas and motivation.

Software development is a process that requires everyone to stay on the same page. Constant and open communication makes sure of this so everyone is moving in the same direction. Collaborating with your team helps identify solutions to complex problems and resolve issues that pop up quickly.

Communication isn’t only between you and another person. When training for the Spartan Race, you have to listen to what your body is telling you. Overtraining happens quite easily so if your body is telling you to hang it up for the day, then hang it up. If you have a trainer, communicate with them daily on your training, how you are feeling, and concerns. They have the expertise to help you out.

Pivots Happen

Things out of your control will force you to pivot and adjust no matter what.

During development, changing requirements or market conditions can adjust your course. It happens all the time. Being able to properly pivot for these adjustments will keep your project in tact and on the timeline towards delivery. Thinking about this ahead of time and developing software that is scalable will make pivoting easy.

When training for the race, certain parts of your body will respond better than others. This is where you may need to adjust your training routine. You may need to start focusing more on endurance or agility if they aren’t coming quite as easily. Maybe your strength is coming along great, but it’s causing your flexibility to suffer. This is where you may need to pivot.

Spartan Race SerpicoDEV

Reaching Your Goal

That day you reach your goal, whether it’s software delivery day or race day, is rewarding. You can look back at all the hard work and the path it took to get there.

Entrepreneurial software development takes a lot of twists and turns. Some days are stressful and you often have to work long, odd hours. But delivery day, when your project is complete and you can see your developed application, is so sweet. You know how much work was put in and that’s often the reward, not the compensation you get from it.

Training for an event like the Spartan Race requires dedication and a lot of desire to keep you going. You put your body in uncomfortable situations and have to find time to keep training among everything else going on in your life. But like entrepreneurship, when that day comes and you’ve finished the race, the level of gratification is unmatched. You know how much work was put in and the path it took to get there.

Conclusion

When it comes down to it, entrepreneurship can be compared to any difficult event that you have to prepare for and work towards a goal. The road can be long with good days and bad but when you reach that goal, whether it’s your millionth customer or a successful exit, you look back and know that you accomplished something that not a lot of people have a chance to. The experience of starting a business from the ground up and making it a success is the reward. And no money in the world can compensate for that.

For more information on Serpico DEV and our software development services, please contact us.