Developers: far more than just code

Developers: far more than just code

Introduction

In a previous post I looked at 'How to find success with your eCommerce store' which looked at your entire eCommerce team, but today I'm focussing on the additional benefits that come from using an experienced developer for your store.

Ongoing development of your store allows you to stay ahead of the competition and exceed customer expectations by keeping what you offer relevant and up to date with new functionality, rapid bug fixes, and regular security updates.

A high quality developer is the primary component in your eCommerce team that lets you achieve this.  Other team members can effectively plan things like new features and design changes, but your developer is the only one who can actually implement these.  An experienced developer will also bring other highly desirable skills to the table which will help you make the best decisions on the direction your store should progress.

What they bring to the table

An experienced developer has many years of coding under their belt, and with that also comes high levels of understanding and expertise in a number of key areas which relate to, and affect the outcome of a development project.  They'll be able to understand and visualise what you're trying to achieve with your store and give you hugely valuable levels of insight which will prove to be instrumental in helping you make the best business decisions.

Today I'm going to talk about some of these key areas, and how you can leverage your developer's expertise in a consultancy as well as coding capacity to get the best out of them, and in turn the best end result for your store.

Guidance on ideas

You've probably got pretty grand ideas for where you want your store to be in say 5 years time, and I'm sure that vision includes lot's of additions and improvements to the functionality you're currently offering.  We all know that constantly improving on your store by introducing new features is a key element to maintaining your position in the market compared to the competition.

But sometimes it can be hard to gauge the best feature to work on next.  Doing this effectively requires you to have a good understanding of the technical requirements along with a good estimate of the time and cost involved.  With this knowledge you can weigh up the pros and cons of each element you're thinking about, and decide on an order and timeframe for development to happen.

Your developer can offer a huge amount in this area.  They'll have been involved in lots of different projects before yours, over the course of many years, and during that time will have implemented countless new features on many different types of stores.  In doing this they'll have gained significant experience in being able to determine realistic timeframes for implementing new functionality across all areas of your store.

So they can offer you a great deal of insight into both functionality and design proposals you've decided on, to help guide you towards the best decision for your business.

Suggest sensible alternatives

Good forward planning is an important aspect of making sure you get the absolute most out of your eCommerce framework.  When you're thinking about making a feature, functionality or design change to your store, it's helpful to gather as much information as possible to help give your developer a clear understanding of what you need to achieve.

Any experienced developer will have seen a great deal of what's on offer for your eCommerce framework, and they'll have a very wide knowledge of what's possible, plus what's often the best way to achieve any particular goal.  Giving them a solid spec will make sure everyone's on the same page, and it will also show them your vision of how you'd like to achieve those changes.

Your developer will be able to feed into your spec to help revise and improve on it.  They might recommend some changes if they feel like there's a better way to achieve certain things to give a more efficient and effective end result.

Tailored working

An experienced developer will understand your end goal and how to get there, and they'll also understand that there are potentially many different ways in which you can achieve the same end result.  Perhaps it doesn't make business sense to implement the entirety of a new feature right away.  Maybe it's a better proposition to build some of the functionality, get it tested by customers and then tailor further changes according to any feedback.  Or maybe you're looking to launch a new store with an initial target of MVP (minimum viable product) with development continuing after launch.

Whether you're looking for all the bells and whistles right away, or you want gradual changes and improvement over time, an experienced developer will be able to tailor the way they work to cater for that, making sure every deployment that pushes out new functionality, gives the best customer experience it can.

Cut to the chase

No-one wants to see their store have any down time.  It directly affects sales, and doesn't do any favours for your brand image either.  In the case of an emergency like this, your developer will usually be the first person you contact to help get the site back online.  It's definitely the right move, and even if it ends up that the down time is out of your control completely, an experienced developer can still quickly and efficiently help you track down the cause.

While they won't call themselves a sysadmin (systems administrator), they'll still have good server knowledge, and be well aware of the types of scenarios that can result in down time for a site.  Having knowledge of the server along with the requirements of your eCommerce framework means that an experienced developer is very well placed to quickly pinpoint the cause of the issue and get your store live again.

There's a good chance that whatever the issue, they'll have seen a similar, or even identical problem in the past and will know whether it's something they can resolve, or if it needs to be passed to a third party like support for your hosting package.

Conclusion

All of these additional benefits come from experience, so by using a less experienced developer you lose out on virtually all of this.  They just won't have such complete, authoritative experience in the framework they specialise in and while they'll certainly advise to the best of their ability, they just won't have that wealth of knowledge an experienced developer does.

An experienced developers is always going to give you the best end results, and thats why we only list experienced developers here at Developer Connection.  Find your's today.