UK App Developers: Take Ownership of Your Code

Hi! This is A Minute Of Overpass. My name is Eric, and I make apps. Now this week I wanna talk about “Why You Should Take
Ownership Of Your Code”. Okay, so this week I had to make a few
changes to an app that I outsource. So if you know anything about me, I do
a lot of coding myself but when possible I don’t wanna do the coding. So
I am a very expensive app developer may be expensive developer, so when I get an app done, I’ll try to find the best way to do it. A lot of times, it is having
a really good coding standards, making sure you give it to somebody who do a
really good job with it, and just a sort of handing it off and then also keeping on
top of that, so having like daily GIT repository down check-ins, and stuff like that, just to get stay on top of the project but sometimes you don’t, you can’t stay on
top of the project. I have some apps from the early days that I… that I wasn’t all
that on top of everybody I thought I’d really don’t want to annoy them. They
seem to be getting on really well, and then you get the app, get the code back
and you and everything seems to be working behind the phone but the code
looks like… like vomit. You know what I mean, it’s awful, right?. So it’s kinda cool when you don’t wanna go through and touch because somehow it was working and
you know and you know, it’s just variables are named bad and all this kind of
stuff, which if you’re not a developer you should still get the code back from
your developers, so like if you’re just like somebody who’s not a developer,
right? So you’ve hired some developers and they’re coding the app for you and
then they’ve released it and you’re like may be happy with it or maybe not happy
with it, but you should get the code back from that should be part of your
contract. When you negotiate a contract with an outsourced provider you need to
make sure that you have access to the code. Now, I always say that I like to
have access to the code…to the code throughout, but a lot of times it’s a
fixed price they don’t wanna do that because that takes all their power away.
You could just take the code compile it and do whatever so they…they would rather you know if you’re paying at the end and they will give you the
full code at the end which is fine, but however, you should get at…you should get the code and you should be able to tweak that code yourself. Now, one of the things
and this is what I’ve been doing this week is working on one of those older
projects and adding a few changes to it, and the code is really
bad, and a lot of times it’s just it’s taking ownership of it, and it was so
difficult to do because everything’s kind of all over the place that I yeah I
was tempted to go back to that developer and just say “Hey, can you make these
changes for me?”, because he could probably do it quickly because he knows all the
code because he’s the, you know, he’s the diabolical guy who did it all, right?, so
however, what makes more sense is to actually put in those hours and take
ownership of the code, that way you… when you make small changes you…you’re not beholden to this outsource company or to this developer. I mean there’s so many
things that are just simple changes like I wanna change the background color of
a form, or I wanna change a label on it. I wanna add a new field to a form, or something like that, which is stuff that you should be able to do, but it’s sometimes a code is just
so bad that you can’t do that. So, I mean when you’re…when you’re inspecting out a project, one of the things to make sure is that you have some sort of
instructions on how. If I was going to do X Y and Z, I want some documentation on
how to do that. I wanna make sure that every class has at least a little bit of
documentation saying what it’s for and. Documentation and software is like,
you know, it’s very rare. I mean it’s on big large expensive projects there’s
lots of documentation but on small outsourced project there’s usually not much. So anyway, my message this week is to… if you have one of these projects that you’ve outsourced to somebody else and his comeback is to take ownership of that
code is to not…is to not rely on that third party. Sometimes, it means
going to another developer. Now, I’ve done this before, and every single time, I mean
I’ve taken my…like one of my projects which I think, Oh this is just terrible. I wish you know, I wish I”ve never gone with that first developer. I’m gonna go to a new developer, and
just get them to make a few changes and they always say the same thing. There was this “Oh Eric, we need to rewrite this from scratch!”, right? which like… No, actually you don’t, and so you spend
up…you end up spending a few days just tweaking code in and digging in and
trying to find the places that need to be changed, because every developer will tell you they want
to start from scratch, every right from scratch. Sometimes, it’s necessary but not nearly as often as…as people think. So my message this week is…Take ownership of your code! That’s it. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. I’ll talk to you next week. Okay, goodbye! Hey! I really hope you like that video. Now,
I do this once a week, so if you if you wanna hear more, or you wanna hear more about our experiences with the App Store, either Google Play or iTunes, please go ahead and subscribe to the channel and please like this video and leave a comment. I
love reading the comments. I love hearing what you have to say, even if it’s just
hello, or whatever and like I say before, if you if you’re not sure what to
say in a comment, like I never know what to say no comment. I’ll make it easier
for you, like if you like it just go ahead and say “Gnarley”, which is an
80’s term, or if you didn’t like it just say “Bogus”, and if you don’t think
any of its just say “Eh”. So that would be a big big big help and another thing you
could do, which I’d really appreciate it, if you’re on the App Store and you want
to try one of our apps, look up some of the Overpass Apps. Applications either on
iTunes or Google Play, and leave a review and let us know what you think
about it, either good or bad, but you know we’re all trying to build up in the
market, so that would be a big help. So that’s it. I’ll talk to you next week.

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