What is the role of a Scrum Master in software development projects? :)

Being a person, who facilitates team work and makes sure that the implemented project is developing in accordance with the client’s expectations, a Scrum Master becomes an extremely important part of a team. Especially when it comes to projects related to software development.  Still, what exactly do they do?

Who is a Scrum Master in software development projects?

Scrum Master’s role is not always understood by people. Often, this position is wrongly taken for a Project Manager. First of all, let’s explain, who a Scrum Master is and what their responsibilities are.

In reference to the Scrum Guide, the role of a Scrum Master is to maintain the principles of the Scrum methodology in the project. It is a person who helps to understand the other members of a team the rules that work within the group. They work closely with a Product Owner and supervise the course of project work. In general – a Scrum Master is concerned that the course of work takes place in accordance with the Agile terminology.

Read also: Scrum as an Agile management of IT projects

Scrum Master

By specifying the scope of Scrum Master’s competences in more detail, we can distinguish that they:

– define the principles of communication in a team and make sure that they are respected,

– supervise the work of a Product Owner – they make sure that a project is proceeding in accordance with the adopted goals and values,

– work on continuous improvement of the team work,

– popularize and prepare good work practices for team members,

– eliminate threats to the project,

– react in crisis situations.

Read also: How to choose the right company for outsourcing developers?

Why is this role so important?

A Scrum Master is not directly a member of the team. One can say that they oversee everything from the side and supervise that the work is proceeding as planned, which, in turn, ensures stability and efficiency. Projects related to software development tend to be very complicated. A team must be really well organized so that it can work effectively. The aspect of communication with a client is also important.

The lack of Scrum Master’s presence could lead to chaos or even emergence of conflict situations, which may threaten the project. In addition, a Scrum Master is a support for the development team.

Here’s a simple example. There’s a team that creates a problem resulting from a lack of access to technology or equipment (for example to conduct tests). In this case, the role of a Scrum Master is to respond appropriately and quickly eliminate obstacles. Thanks to their presence, the whole team should feel comfortable when working and they will be sure that the project’s development path is right.

Conclusions

If a software development project runs in accordance with the Scrum methodology, based on Agile principles, a Scrum Master’s role will be utterly important – almost invaluable. Thanks to it, you can be sure that the project is going to be implemented efficiently and without any delays or other unforeseen problems.

It should also be remembered that being a Scrum Master is a job for a person, who knows not only Agile and Scrum but also has soft skills – such as communication skills, negotiation or conflict resolution. It is also an inseparable element of work.

Read also: Best Agile tools for IT projects

How to choose the right company for outsourcing developers? :)

A growing importance of outsourcing software development is one of the most anticipated trends in 2019. More and more companies are looking for effective developers, who could support the development of their projects. Choosing the right partner is a very important, but difficult decision at the same time. So, what is the best way to choose an effective company for outsourcing developers?

Challenges associated with software development affect more and more companies. Technological progress means that in many cases software is a prerequisite for the further development of a company. Recently, we have noticed a formidable increase in interest in IT outsourcing. It is a convenient, cost-effective and time-efficient way to develop products. To make a good decision about choosing a company that will be a reliable and effective partner, you should bear in mind 4 most important steps.

Define your goals related to project development

At the beginning you should define what your needs are. When dealing with outsourcing this is the basic question that will help you in the further stage of searching for the right companies. Specify the features and objectives of the project. Of course, you can use consulting services and then refine the nature of your project. However, if you have a clearly defined goal, specify it in such a way that you can explain it to potential partners. In this way you will facilitate the further process.

Why startups fail. 7 most important reasons. Read more!

Do research. Search for a potential partner and verify them

There are many companies on the market that deal with IT outsourcing. Therefore, it is recommended to conduct a research, thanks to which you will select the best offers. The question is how to do it?

First of all, check the company’s credibility and customers’ reviews. If it turns out that the company carried out in the past similar projects to your own, you will be sure that you’ve come across an experienced and proven partner. You can also ask for a case study that will show you some examples of cooperation effects.

5 tips how to choose a proper software house. Read more!

Verify the details of cooperation

In projects related to software development, it is important to establish the details of everyday cooperation. First of all, it is about communication aspects or the way of project management that should not be underestimated. If your partner’s working methods are understandable to you,  you will avoid problems during the project itself. First of all, it will be important to exchange information, feedback and control the course of work.

In turn, the project management method will have an impact on the model of the functionalities of your product. In IT projects, you will most often encounter the SCRUM methodology. You can read more about its characteristics here.

Agile vs. Waterfall. Which methodology is more effective in IT projects? Read more!

Check costs

When establishing cooperation with an external company, of course, you shouldn’t forget about costs. It is important that the price ratio is adequate to the quality of the work performed. Remember also that a high price does not mean that the company provides services at the highest level. On the other hand, if you choose a relatively cheap partner, you may find that you will not be satisfied with the results of your work. You need to ensure cost flexibility in relation to quality and workload. It is a good idea to collect several offers and compare them – both price and quality.

How do Codest developers create a special fun matrix? Meet the Electrodest! :)

Special fun matrix is our latest device created by the… Electrodest group. On hacking coffemaker, we started developing another project. This time again, we decided to use our creativity related to both programming and electrics.

The Electrodest…? It is a real geek group!

At Codest we like challenges. Many of our developers have a really wide range of interests that are more or less connected with technology. Thus we decided to make use of their little passions without any hesitation. We created an informal group and called it the Electrodest. Why that? The answer is very simple. Electrics is the subject, which we are interested in so much.

– Our group name was created from the combination of two words – electric and Codest. It was a spontaneous idea. Often we would stay after hours in the office and together were developing various devices, having fun with electrics and programming. Any examples? A coffee machine that we hacked – says one of the originators, Radosław Bułat – Technology Mentor in Codest.

Our matrix

Matrix is a physical device that allows you to light colored pixels (matrix size 21×15). Using the Sinatra framework, a special application in Ruby has been written for it. The matrix allows us to display any images that fit in the previously specified sizes. In practice, we display funny and cool images in the office.

– The matrix was built using the LED strip and a Raspberry Pi tool. It’s a small computer that allows the matrix to work. The frontend application itself was created in Ruby Sinatra. It allows us to edit online graphic objects that we want to display. For example, when someone accomplishes something or succeeds, they can boast about this using the matrix. On Friday the word ‘weekend’ usually appears (laughs) – adds Radosław Bułat.

The Electrodest group is developing very dynamically. Codest developers not only create interesting devices and software but also support the organizational culture in our team. There are already more projects in plans. One of them is an innovative machine for making drinks.

Read also:

How did we hack coffeemaker and had fun with it?

Why is SaaS industry market growing fast? :)

It is estimated that the value of the SaaS market in 2020 will reach $ 76 billion, which shows both potential and dynamic development of this sector. More and more companies are taking a decision to start their operations in the SaaS model. This step provides a lot of benefits we are going to tell about in this article.

What is SaaS industry?

SaaS (Software as a Service) is an application model based on a computing cloud, which stores and executes specifically on suppliers’ computers and is available to users via the Internet. Due to this solution, there is no need to install software on the client’s devices. Issues related to installation, management and support of software are on the part of the service provider, which means that a customer receives a fully functional product.

For example, as a part of the SaaS model, the customer most of the time cyclically pays for access to the service in form of subscription. From the customer’s perspective, this is a very beneficial solution as it incurs fixed fees without any need for a one-off expense. The client also receives technical support and does not have to worry about software efficiency. In turn, the disadvantage of the SaaS solution is the lack of possibility to introduce any changes in the software by the client themselves.

5 steps how to determine market potential to develop business. Read more!

Why is the SaaS industry market growing fast?

Experts predict that by 2020 more than 70% of companies will base their services on the SaaS model. What’s more, this trend is supposed to constantly grow. In 2022, this statistic will increase to 86%.

So the question is, why is the SaaS market growing so fast? According to research conducted by Finance Online, the greatest advantage of this model is the possibility of simple optimization of software tailored to the customer’s needs. The next most important benefits include both efficient service management and ease of copying services for companies from various industries. Thanks to this, an owner of the SaaS platform can seamlessly establish cooperation with companies from various sectors without incurring additional costs related to, for example, software matching.

Why SaaS is becoming more and more popular?

We have also distinguished a lot of other factors that fully illustrate the reasons of the popularity of the SaaS model growing popularity. They were developed by Finance Online on the basis of a thorough research and customer feedback.

1. Services based on the SaaS model are relatively cheaper in relation to the existing systems.

2. The SaaS model reduces the level of operating costs.

3. Platform management and cooperation between service provider – client is much simpler, faster and more transparent.

4. Implementation of software becomes much faster thanks to the SaaS model.

5. Services in the SaaS model are optimized for mobile devices.

6. The SaaS model provides easier database access.

7. Current market trends show that in the coming years we will note a growing increase in interest and popularity of the SaaS model.

Why startups fail? 7 most important reasons. Read more!

5 steps how to determine market potential to develop business? :)

It is quite a grueling process to choose the right market from the perspective of many companies, those that expand or start a business – for example startups.  It requires both analysis of data, recognition of market conditions and rules that prevail on it.

A good way to determine the potential of a chosen market is to verify it with five basic steps. They allow to determine strengths and weaknesses, develop prospects and possible entry barriers. Let’s take a careful look at them.

Step 1. Verify market size

The basis for determining the market potential is to examine its size, which can be done in two ways – with respect to the volume or overall value of the market. Volume means the total number of potential consumers, who can make transactions on a given market. In turn, the overall value of the market should be interpreted as the total financial value that consumers are able to pay for market products.

This information is the starting point for further analysis. They allow to determine the basic values characterizing a given market. After verification, you can proceed to the next steps.

Step 2. Market growth

The market size does not give full information about its potential. Therefore, the development trends should be carefully analyzed. In this case, factors such as short and long-term forecasts, number of companies, risk of stunted development and current market trends are taken into account.

It is worth tracking the financial analysis from a few years back and then determining its growth dynamics and factors that stimulate the market. In the event of any growth disturbance, situation needs to be assessed and verified whether they may have an impact on your business in the future.

Technology trends in 2019. What’s new? Read more!

Step 3. Competition

When analyzing the possibility of entering a new market you cannot forget about competition. A large number of competing companies does not necessarily mean less potential. Why? Let’s start with the fact that the value of competition needs to be verified. If there are many companies operating on the market, but they are on a moderate stage of development, there is a good chance that their domination will be achievable. First, their weaknesses and strengths should be analyzed, after which possible solutions should be defined. This will allow to effectively compete on the market with the other companies.

Analyzing competition also directly links barriers to entry. In some industries, the position of competitive companies is so strong that it becomes a really difficult barrier for any new companies to overcome. This fact should be also taken into consideration.

Step 4. Consumers

The profile of potential consumers, their preferences and behavior give another piece of important information that should be examined at the stage of assessing market potential. Each industry is characterized by its specificity. It is, among others, about the way of communication with the client or possible ways to reach them. Therefore, the target group, in this exact case – consumers, is another important element of the analysis. Currently, there are many tools available on the web that allow you to automate such research. They can also be made on the basis of generally available statistical data.

Step 5. Profitability

What is most interesting for everyone, who is thinking about starting a business on a given market, is a potential chance of profit from investment. Finding a balance between the size of the financial outlay, the amount of work and the potential profit will also give an answer about its potential. Using the available statistical data, this analysis can be carried out without any problems.

In connection with previous steps, the entire implemented diagram should give the answer to the assessment of the analyzed market potential.

5 common mistakes of tech team leaders. Read more!

Technology trends in 2019. What’s new? :)

In 2019, popularity of technological breakthroughs is not expected to grow. Though, experts predict further intense development of current trends. This includes, among others, IT outsourcing, AI and digital transformation. What else is there? Check on your own.

More IT outsourcing

In 2019, we should expect an upward trend in IT processes outsourcing. Essentially, this trend has been developing for some time, but it should grow even further in the coming time. Why? Outsourcing involves a lot of benefits. First of all, it is a real cost saving. External teams are made up of experienced programmers, who improve the quality of developed products with their work.

Another thing is the increase of comfort. Currently, it is not profitable for companies to create their own in-house teams. As a rule, such process is pretty long and complicated.

Meanwhile, many companies, that offer their outsourcing services, are available on the market. Cooperation can be established very quickly and thanks to this projects – if necessary – can be developed immediately.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

It is estimated that 5 out of 6 Americans currently use artificial intelligence, that is most often used in applications or other intuitive devices. Artificial intelligence helps to automate processes and make decisions. Business can quite a good example. Artificial intelligence will be great in business risk or financial management.

Thanks to artificial intelligence, one accelerates their daily activities, which previously took a lot of time. Development of this field has its cons as well. Experts warn that by 2030 the further progress of artificial intelligence may lead to unemployment of more than 70 million people.

Why startups fail? Read more!

Network security

In recent years the problem of cybercrime in network has become particularly evident. Many large corporations and institutions are trying their best to fight it. Newer solutions are being developed to response effectively to hacker activities.

In 2019, further intensified work on cybercrime can be expected. Experts predict that newly implemented solutions can reduce its negative effects by up to 20%.

Increased role of digitization

Development of the 5G network, decrease in blockchain interest or improvement of the user service process through chatbots. These are just a few examples confirming that digitization will continue to be pretty dynamic.

The popular term “digital transformation” will be still valid. Experts assure that digitization is going to become an inseparable part of people’s lives.

10 most interesting facts about German e-commerce market. Read more!

Cloud computing

Already 8 of 9 companies want to use clouds that create numerous opportunities related to data storage in network. They enable to exclude purchasing any special software and licenses. Now a user only needs to pay for the purchase of a specific service without incurring any additional costs.

It is estimated that companies using cloud computing save up to 10% -20% of IT-related costs in the whole year. What’s more, the development of this field is possible thanks to involvement and support of this field of knowledge by many significant organizations and institutes dealing with development.

Why startups fail? 7 most important reasons :)

Why startups fail? Usually, there are a lot of determining factors. However, barriers related to the development of startups are often repeated. Most startups face similar challenges. In our opinion, there are 7 most important factors affecting startups failures, which we are going to present in this article.

Financing

Gathering adequate financial resources that are necessary for the development of a startup usually appears to be the biggest challenge. Convincing the investor or getting subventions is not easy. Despite the fact that more and more global and local institutions are helping startups to obtain finances, it is still a matter of the greatest difficulty for startups.

Another factor affecting startup collapse is budget security in a short period of time. Usually, when the external investment is not high enough, startups decide to implement a risky strategy. It is all about fast market integration. It is connected with a need for large financial outlays. In a situation like this, risks of losing financial liquidity increase in the event of ineffectiveness of implemented activities or any other unexpected problems.

Technology

The activity of many startups is often associated with the need to use advanced technologies. From the perspective of an evolving organization, this can be a big challenge. In a way, the technology also applies to financing. If it is assured at a high level, then technological challenges or any specific processes can be outsourced. For smaller startups that organize an in-house team, consulting the experienced professionals may be necessary. However, the lack of technological development can be included among the most important factors affecting the satraps’ failure.

Read more: Most interesting startups in Berlin

Human resources

The development of startups is driven by people. Even the best business ideas require an appropriate organization, knowledge and skills to develop it. In this case, the manager becomes an invaluable asset. They are very desirable on the market, so, getting one is often a difficult task.

It is also important to delegate responsibility according to the resources you have. From many available studies, it appears that the majority of strategic decisions in startups are made or accepted by their founders. This is an error that repeats itself over and over again. The ideal management structure includes specialists in various areas related to the development of independent organizations. In this way, balance is maintained and introduces wide knowledge to the startup.

Incorrect market analysis

The selection of a right business model is one of the initial stages related to the creation of a startup. Unfortunately, a boundless faith in the implemented idea may prove to be fatal. Startups often take hasty actions that are not preceded by an in-depth market analysis. Though this should be the starting point. It is necessary to verify the potential of the market, the actions of competitors, determine the opportunities and threats.

In the next stage is to test and verify assumptions. Feedback plays a crucial role. Corrections of a business model cannot be ruled out. Skillful identification of possible problems and product enhancement lead to success.

Read more: Why IT outsourcing is profitable for fintech startups?

Scaling the business too early

The development of a startup should be properly planned. Scaling is valid only if the organization is financially stable has a background, and the risk of failure is assessed as relatively small. Otherwise, scaling attempts turn out to be very risky.

Omission of marketing aspects

Even the best product must be sold properly. Competition in many markets is so big that the role of marketing is increasing. Many startups forget about it. Potential recipients must find out about the products they offer. They should know the benefits they can achieve by choosing a specific offer.

Meanwhile, marketing is usually overlooked or marginalized. This happens due to ignorance of realities and financial constraints. It is a good practice to diversify all needs due to financial possibilities. Marketing cannot be ignored in this process.

No contact network

Have you ever heard of the popular saying – ‘recommendation network’? Business knowledge very often helps startups to get their first customers, and even to acquire investments. Having valuable contacts is worth its weight in gold. It’s worth taking part in conferences, events and meet-ups. You will not regret spending time on these activities.

Read more: Is Berlin becoming a new Europe’s Silicon Valley for tech startups?

10 most interesting facts about German e-commerce market :)

The e-commerce market is one of the most profitable sectors in Germany. It belongs to the group of the most developing markets all over the world. From the business point of view, it has enormous potential. Check out 10 most interesting facts about the German e-commerce market that you probably did not know about before.

10 most interesting facts about German e-commerce market:

1. Germany is the fifth largest country in the world and the second in Europe with the highest revenue from the e-commerce market (USD 76.478 million). China hold the first position (USD 77.422 million), the second – the US (USD 560.747 million), and the third belongs to the United Kingdom (USD 93.082 million).

2. It is estimated that the revenue on the e-commerce market in Germany in 2019 will be 76 478 million USD.

3. Revenues from the e-commerce market in 2017-2023 will increase by approximately 33%.

4. The projected annual growth rate of revenues from the e-commerce market (CAGR 2019-2023) will amount to 5.6%. This will lead to an increase in the market value by USD 95 277 million in 2023.

5. The average revenue per user (ARPU) in 2019 will be 1 189.34 USD.

I have been following the development of the e-commerce market in Germany for many years, technologically supporting our partners. I must say that I am very impressed by the potential of this sector. It is extremely impressive to observe how fast it is growing. I believe that this positive trend will continue to growsaid Greg Polec, Business Consultant and COO at Codest.

6. It is estimated that by 2023 the number of users on the e-commerce market in Germany will amount to 66 million.

7. 26% of e-commerce market users in Germany are people aged 45-54, 19.9% are aged 35-44%, and 21.5% are people between the ages of 25-34.

8. The largest segment of the German e-commerce market is electronics and media. Their total value in 2019 will amount to approximately 23 3380 million USD.

9. 30% of all purchases on the e-commerce market in Germany will be made via bank transfer.

10. The amount of users in 2019 will reach up to 77.8%. It is estimated that in 2023 this number will increase to nearly 80%.

Read more:

Most interesting startups in Berlin,

Is Berlin becoming a new Europe’s Silicon Valley for tech startups?,

Top 10 German events in Q1 2019.

What are the main challenges for e-commerce market? :)

It is estimated that global sales in the e-commerce industry in 2021 will reach $ 4.5 trillion. It will be a record sum, what is showing the potential of this market. This does not mean, however, that the e-commerce market guarantees every case to become a success. It requires face a lot of challenges. Here are some of the most serious ones.

Finding the right product for sale

Good products with a market demand from consumers are the basis for building a profitable e-commerce platform. The best way of verification is to conduct an in-depth market analysis, track competition and, if possible, implement the product on the market and test MVP. In this way, a feedback from recipients can be obtained. It will allow you to find out whether it is worth investing in products or in which direction to pursue their improvement.

Generally, it is not easy to operate on the e-commerce market. Due to the great potential, there is enormous competition, which sometimes can turn out to be a difficult factor to overcome. An interesting alternative is to look for a niche and attempt to enter the market.

Read also: What are the main challenges in global IT project?

Choosing a market with high potential

When giving an example of an e-commerce platform, one of the most important elements to take care of is the traffic on the website. In fact, it’s all about getting the largest audience possible. So let’s evaluate the potential of a given market.

By making a global analysis, we can come to some interesting conclusions. It turns out that the largest e-commerce market is China. Its value is estimated as $ 672 billion. US takes the second place – $ 672 billion, and the third largest market is the United Kingdom- $ 99 billion.

Other countries in Western Europe also look perspective enough. The fifth place in this ranking is for Germany – $ 73 billion.

Getting valuable leads

The sales and marketing aspects of the e-commerce industry are very important. Generating profits will not be possible without introducing constant innovations, reacting to market changes and adjusting to clients’ preferences. Recently, there has been a significant increase in the importance of mobile phones in the purchasing process. An interesting fact is that Social Media channels – in particular Instagram and LinkedIn – largely create user behavior, stimulating them to buy specific goods.

Customer behavior

Considering the preferences of customers, it is worth taking care of the highest quality of e-commerce platforms that enable a simple and intuitive purchasing process. One of the crucial elements may be a seemingly insignificant question of a language. The latest data shows that as many as 75% of consumers want to make purchases in their native language. In turn, 59% of respondents declare that they almost never use e-commerce platforms that are not in their native language.

Static data allows you to further characterize the customer’s profile. What else do they say? Globally, over half of consumers pay for credit card purchases. 42% opt for direct debit, and nearly 40% use debit card.

Read also: Agile vs. Waterfall. Which methodology is more effective in IT projects?

Choosing the right technology

To ensure technical facilities and user-friendly product functionality, you cannot forget about choosing the appropriate technology. Current trends determine usage of innovative solutions, following continuous improvement, which, of course, involves the need to select right technology.

The noticeable trend for e-commerce platforms is Ruby on Rails. The world’s largest brands use it to build their platforms. You can read about the ways technology can stimulate the growth of an e-commerce platform in this article.

5 common mistakes of tech team leaders :)

The role of a tech team leader is crucial for an effective implementation of a project. It requires not only a deep knowledge of technology, but quite often having so-called “soft skills”. They allow to eliminate possible errors in both project management and team of people.

We have chosen 5 common mistakes of tech team leader, which you will read about in this article. If you do everything to avoid it, them you will increase the chance of your project’s success.

1. Poor communication

The way in which the team communicates with the team leader is very important in context of effective implementation of a project. Communication can be carried out in two different ways – directly or electronically. Team leader should always remember to provide understandable and precise information. Not everything that is clear from their perspective is the same for a recipient.

That is why at the first stage of a project it is worth presenting specific communication rules that will be accepted by the team. Team leader can suggest their proven schemes, but cannot impose their will at any cost. It’s all about mutual understanding. In IT projects, tools are often used to improve communication in a team. They can be instant messengers (eg. Slack) or a project management tool (eg. Jira or Trello).

2. Imprecise definition of goals

Each project should have a clearly defined goal which the whole team will strive to. This approach will strengthen all members’ commitment. In this case, so-called ‘small goals’ method could improve your work. It can be specifically applied in complex projects. If your team is working on a specific product functionality, it is worth setting ‘smaller goals’. Several of such ‘smaller goals’ will bring the team closer to achieving their final goal.

To make this possible, the team leader should organize a meeting of the whole team to present the way of work and inform introduce the goals. You also need to make sure that they are understandable and accepted by members.

3. Incorrect feedback

If you are a team leader and manage your team, a skillful feedback is a thing to constantly bear in mind. Verification of team’s work, consulting and, sometimes, helping to solve problems – all of this is the part of your responsibilities. It is important as well that the form of your message is understandable to the recipient. Try to give your feedback in a simple way. Finally, you should verify and make sure that the you mutually understand each other correctly.

The role of feedback cannot be underestimated. Particularly in IT projects, where information and knowledge exchange often occurs. Effective feedback speeds up work and minimizes any risks of later mistakes.

4. Excessive control

Team leader must have confidence in their employees. There is no chance of success without it. Over-controlling the work of others limits their freedom, creativity and flexibility. Trust is the ultimate foundation. Employees must feel that they are being trusted. Thanks to this, they will appreciate their position in the team, which will directly affect motivation.

Of course, sometimes situations occur where control is necessary. Then, however, it is worth carrying it out in a way where your employee doesn’t feel any pressure or suspects you of any disbelief.

5. Hurried recruitment

Sometimes a team leader participates in recruitment processes. The basic mistake is a hasty recruitment. Usually it comes to the moment when a project should start, but there are no employees to implement it. In this situation, it is not difficult to make mistakes and hire the wrong people. Therefore, it is necessary to work on the predictability of the process. If you are to be responsible for a given project, make sure that the subsequent recruitment effects will not be a factor determining its success.

In fact, there is nothing wrong with recruiting for a specific project. It is important not to make the project’s success conditional. A newly recruited person can be a good complement to your team, but not the key. Remember that a new employee usually needs time to adapt to your work style and fill in any missing knowledge.

Read more:

What are the main challenges in global IT projects?

Is that hard to manage developers work?