Getting an ROI from Your UI Redesign – How Can It Impact Your Bottom Line?

Your app needs an overhaul. The user interface is outdated and clunky and needs to be redesigned. And doing it right will take time, talent, and other resources that all add up to money. This is why a lot of companies are reluctant to update their designs. They see what it will cost them to do so and immediately run for the hills. But like anything else your company spends money on, UI redesign is an investment. And UI, in particular, is one of the most important and potentially profitable ones. It’s estimated that every dollar spent on UI redesign can yield between ten and a hundred dollars in revenue. Let’s take a look at the importance of UI to your profits and how you can maximize your ROI. Why UI Redesign Is a Good Investment UI is all about how users interface with your app, or your website, or […]

Build Don’t Buy – Why You Should Choose Custom-Built Software Over Buying Packaged

In the Digital Age, just about every aspect of your company runs on software. A new software application or platform is often just what you need to help increase efficiency, streamline operations, and improve your bottom line. But you have a choice: do you want to buy pre-existing, packaged software, or do you want to build a custom software solution? There are pros and cons to each, but at Surge, we heartily recommend a “Build, Don’t Buy” approach to software. Here’s why. Problems with Packaged Software The main reasons why you buy packaged software because it’s cheap and easy. For a simple flat rate, you get a pre-made software package, designed to meet the needs of companies sort of like yours. It’s easy to install and implement, and after a quick tutorial for your employees, you’re ready to go. Unfortunately, when you buy cheap software, you get what you pay […]

Where Have All the Coders Gone?

It seems like coding bootcamps, coding programs in schools, and other development initiatives are popping up left and right these days. After all, learning how to code, even just a little, is helpful for more careers than software engineering. In fact, some none-coding jobs are starting to require a basic level of coding ability. With all of these programs pushing coding these days, you may start to think the industry is flooded with would-be-developers as well as senior engineers, right? Wrong. In fact, there’s a significant shortage of qualified people in this country to fill the available programming positions. The Job Disparity In 2015, just under 60,000 people in the U.S. graduated with degrees in computer science, whereas the number of open jobs in the computing field was over 500,000. Of course, graduates aren’t the only that can fill open positions. Many of those jobs are likely to require at […]

Do People Enjoy Being Software Engineers?

With an annual salary ranging from $50,000 to $120,000, software engineering can be a very lucrative career. But is it a fulfilling one? What’s the rate of job satisfaction among programmers and software engineers? And how does it compare with the rest of the country’s jobs? Job Satisfaction Statistics A survey last year by weekly magazine The Economist found that, overall, 58% of workers in the U.S. are at least reasonably happy in their jobs. Only 12% are actually unhappy with their jobs, while around 31% are ambivalent. According to another study by the University of Chicago, the career with the highest rate of job satisfaction in 2017 was the clergy, at 87.2%, followed by firefighters at 80.1% and physical therapists at 78.1%. On the other end of the scale are roofers, waiters, and non-construction laborers, all with job satisfaction rates under 30%. Software Engineering Job Satisfaction So where do […]

Combining Lean Manufacturing with Agile Development

Lean Manufacturing reduces failure rates, focuses on continual improvement, and brings long term value to business owners. Sounds like Agile software development. Many companies like leankit are capitalizing on this fact and are building products that bring those two worlds together. For the past 10 years, Surge has built an entire company combining both lean and agile principles. The Agile Manifesto Agile development springs from what’s known as the Agile Manifesto: a collection of values and principles for software development that allow solutions to evolve through collaborative effort. The manifesto was created in 2001 by a group of software engineers, who dedicated themselves to finding lightweight, more efficient methods of meeting requirements and solving problems. In the years since, agile practices have continued to grow and expand, with input from developers all over the world. Still, the core of agile remains based in those original principles and values; many of […]

Improve your work-life balance by working from home

Working from home can be something of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it affords you the freedom and flexibility to work at your own pace, on your own terms, which may allow you to get more done. On the other hand, without a strict structure to your day, or continual monitoring from those that hold you accountable, it can be easy to get distracted, ultimately losing productivity instead of gaining it. So, which is the case? Are you more or less productive when you work from home? The debate has gone on for years. But now, it may finally have been resolved. A two year study from Stanford University has determined that employees who work from home accomplish significantly more than those who come into the office each day. Two Groups In an experiment conducted by Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom, a selection of employees from the Chinese travel […]

Terrible Reasons to Hire Offshore

The modern world runs on code. From the embedded controllers in our appliances to the servers that run the Internet, code is integrated into virtually every area of life. However, programming great software is difficult, time-consuming and expensive. Offshoring your software development because labor is less expensive seems like an easy solution to manage costs, however, the hidden costs make the decision a bad one. Here are some terrible reasons to offshore that are still discussed in boardrooms today: The hourly rate is a fraction of US based employees This argument comes up first when you are being sold on an offshore strategy. The counter argument is lack of productivity. Well then someone tries to take down any productivity concerns by simply saying to yourself that you can hire three developers for less than one american worker. Adding more programmers that don’t know what they are doing to a complicated […]

The Critical Lean Tactics That Most Agile Teams Forget

Agility in an individual represents strength, speed, and flexibility. Whether you’re thinking of software development, product research, or project management, these attributes are crucial for teams that want to create the highest-quality output possible with limited available resources in short time frames. As you know, the philosophy of Agile Development is to produce working software as quickly as possible. Agile begins to fall apart as an individual developer or team starts to redefine and cheapen the definition of “working software.” You can always ask the question “does this software make any part of our business work more efficiently and effectively in this iteration?” If it does, then you have working software. Here are four critical lean tactics for agile teams to keep in mind as they work to create software that works for their business: 1. Focus on value Your product should be providing well understood values to your business. […]

Scrum Evolution and Training

Scrum can be a great framework for collaboration in writing code and solving complex problems. As a development tool, it’s constantly evolving and growing. This means that, if you want to use Scrum effectively, you need to be able to evolve and grow with it. That means learning what you can about what Scrum has to offer and staying up to date with the latest developments and trends. So here’s the latest news on Scrum, to help keep you in the loop. Scrum with Kanban Kanban is an organizational method designed to improve quality and efficiency in a system. By balancing demand with the capacity to fulfill it, Kanban is able to reduce or even eliminate system bottlenecks. When it comes to coding and software development, it uses a visual system of process management to improve decision making. Because of this, Kanban is often combined with Scrum. As a framework, […]

Programming Language Popularity in 2018

Programming languages come and go over time, and it always seems there is some new, “hot” language that is all the rage. With things changing all of the time, if you were to start a new project, how would you decide what language your software should be written in? What’s Popular First, how do we even know what is popular at the moment? There are a few different methods one can use to determine what is being used in the real world; you can search job boards and see what companies are hiring for; you can follow news sources and get a feel for what is in the news; or you can get statistics from popular code-related sites such as a code repository host like Github. For example, in the fourth quarter of 2017, Github reports the following for the top 5 JavaScript Python Java Ruby PHP   Javascript holds the […]