Application Development: Learning New Languages and Skills

By Alison Diana  |  Print this article Print

Many solution providers are making the leap to add application development to the portfolio of services they offer to customers. Here's a look at potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.


Speaking the Lingo

In addition to knowing their clients’ businesses, software development staff must also be current on the latest software languages and skills.

When ETNA Software decided to add mobile app development services to its arsenal, the solution provider added quickly. After all, it wanted to offer these apps to its roster of financial technology firms, retail brokers, market makers, exchanges, and individual traders, and its first consideration was whether to train existing staff or hire new, said Arseniy Korobchenko, vice president of marketing, in an interview.

"We had to train our existing staff—97 percent of staff in the company are software developers—and everything the guys needed was training. They were eager to learn new technologies themselves and therefore it was a smooth transition. In the beginning we considered either hiring new people or outsourcing the app development altogether," Korobchenko said. "It was a smooth transition, but in about three months from start we were able to complete the first project for the client and it included an app. It was not a long process – the decision was made in two days, the routines and processes were adjusted in some five days more."

To address coding languages, ETNA Software provided training to its developers.

"The guys needed Objective C for iOS development – it was somewhat of a challenge. Java guys took over Android development no problem and C# and Silverlight guys started doing WP7 phones apps," he said.

In the case of Transputec, software developers at the British solution provider learned several different languages to address the company’s new mobile app offerings, said Jose Castro, marketing executive, in an interview with Channel Insider.

"To create iPhone apps, our developers had to learn xcode and the Cocoa Cocoa Touch Framework and for Android they had learn to use the Android Development Kit," he said. "The programming skills they already possessed were enough to get them started and they did not go to any training for this but instead used the vast amount of resources available online."