There is always a story about the previous developers when you come to us with an existing app. Sometimes it’s a simple story about a single developer who moved away, or a small team that you outgrew. But the story we hear the most is a bad experience; it’s a tale of a relationship that didn’t work out, of poor communication and a failure to understand core concepts, of lacking attention to detail and overall low quality of work. We have helped a lot of people in this situation. Please tell us the tale of your previous developers; let us know what has happened, and how we may serve you better.
After the tale, we need to talk about the product itself. This is usually the fun part of the meeting! It is wonderful to see excitement animate people as they talk about their app ideas, and we love making apps, so the shared passion is uplifting. If you’re making an app then you’re solving a problem, making something better, or providing a tool that the world has never seen before – and that is something worth being excited about! So please, tell us about your idea.
The previous paragraphs describe how these meetings often go; but if you’re reading here then a tip is to start the conversation with some information about the language, framework and platform(s) used by your existing app. We do like to hear people’s tales, our passion is in making great apps and helping people in situations like yours, but there are thousands of programming languages used around the world, and we can’t support them all. So please talk to us about the technical needs of your project as early as possible in the conversation so we may confirm that we can indeed help, or guide you to someone who can. We discuss this more in the topic can you help me.
Depending on your situation, we may also talk to you about validating your app idea. This won’t apply to everyone, for example if you have an app that is already being used, but anyone who is making something new should seriously consider validation before spending more money on app development. We talk about this more in the article Do I have a good idea; there we talk primarily about new app development, but the same concepts apply when you have a sunk cost already in previous development, and it is worthwhile asking the same questions when planning to go forward.
You may already have an opinion of your current code base, but the next step for us is often to conduct a code review. If you require us to quote for work on your app then we need to understand how it is written. In some extreme circumstances there is no time for the niceties, and clients engage us to wade in and make fixes or add new features without any real idea of what we’re stepping into; we can of course do this and will, it just means we cannot provide a fixed cost for development in advance (without a premium margin for error).
Out of a code review, we may offer advice to resurrect or rebuild, before going on to discuss new development work.