I guess that before you make a decision to start app development with us, you probably would like to know as much as possible about our company and culture. And here comes to help you - our extended FAQ article.
Well, as a software house, we receive many questions about app development each day.
Usually pretty much the same questions.
It's time to gather all the answers in one place. We spent some time reviewing our old forms, mailboxes, and correspondence with clients over the years (we are on the app market since 2009). So you can be sure that the data is supported by facts and selected questions most often asked.
Hope it will be helpful for you!
Railwaymen FAQ - Table of Content:
Our Company Related:
App Development Process Related:
13. Do you work on project base or rather in “developer for hire” mode (body leasing)? What is the difference? What do you prefer? Are you able to work with my internal team / other remote developers?
Technology & Competencies Related:
01 Why should we work with you? What differentiate you from the other app development companies?
Probably, this is one of the most popular questions during the first contact with our potential clients. And this is pretty obvious and understandable that having a list of several software houses, you want to know what makes a development company stand out on the market. What is so special about them? What does it make that business conversation should start with this company and not another one? What current or former customers can say about their services? What reviews do they have about the services provided?
Actually, we as consumers do it all the time, right? Let's imagine that you are planning to buy a new device such as a laptop. What will be the first thing you do? You will probably start research and then check the number and quality of reviews available on the product pages. The more, the better. The number of product reviews (especially those where buyers give the highest possible rating) positively impacts making a purchase decision.
Customer comments available on the store's website work almost exactly like recommendations from friends - thanks to them we spend our money without too much worry. Even if we check products of comparable quality, it can be safely assumed that consumers will more often choose those that have more opinions. The same situation is when searching for your software development partner.
One of our main values is delivering apps that solve real-time issues.
At the same time, what makes us stand out is the opinions of our clients. We know that probably most app development companies will mention the same things. Instead of listing further arguments, I will describe our main values. So you can decide if they coincide with your vision and business strategy.
Our main values due to mobile and web development:
- Providing outstanding & high-quality products (internal, unique QA procedures, UX/UI design, web and mobile app development)
- Building long-term customer partnerships based on understanding their needs.
- Fostering an atmosphere of friendship while also maintaining a professional environment.
We are the top 10 of the world's top companies, Ruby, on Rails Developers according to the American B2B platform - Clutch.co, based on our client's testimonials.
Railwaymen was also verified and we were qualified to be in the top 7% of Boutique Tech Teams Digital Knights. The Due Diligence process has been defined by CTOs, serial entrepreneurs and tech due diligence experts acting as advisors for Digital Knights.
See how they describe the process on their website:
Our due diligence process has been developed as a "Quality First" proprietarymethodology which takes vetting and assessment to the next level.
We eliminate the lack of transparency and surface the data you need to make confident and educated decisions when engaging with one of our engineering partners.
Our rigorous screening process evaluates 10,000+ data points on each partner we vet, uncovering strengths and weaknesses so you don't have to.
Their verification process was very detailed, took more than 1 year and only 7% of software development companies applying to their network are successful. So you can be sure that these are not our invented advertising slogans, but we passed through audits of external certified companies.
02 How long are you on the market?
Our software development company started to exist in 2009 and was founded by 3 friends who share a passion for Ruby on Rails technology. Since that day, we specialize in building custom mobile and web apps.
In 2019 we celebrated our 10th anniversary. It was a special year for us. Celebrating the birthday was the perfect opportunity to summarize our milestones and achievements, present the Railwaymen's story and thank you, customers and employees, for working together.
Railwaymen - Web and Mobile Development Company
Overall, many things have changed over the years. It was a time of significant transformations and continuous improvements. We didn’t even dream that started as a small company with several people in a small studio, we would end up as a fully mature, award-winning company with more than 50 specialists on board, 5 times bigger office and over 125 successfully delivered web and mobile apps worldwide.
Railwaymen - Web & Mobile App Development Company
Interestingly, we have been cooperating with some clients from the very beginning. As we always focus on building an atmosphere of friendship with our partners and clients. One of the best examples is a web development project for . This web app is an all-in-one play spaces for families with children newborn to five, located in New York City.
We have been working with them for over 10 years now. Starting with a very basic online classes booking system and finishing with a fully manageable custom CRM. Together with the Apple Seeds team, we really grew up and developed. We have also built an online system for a franchising program called "Songs for seeds." It's an interactive music class that educates and encourages children through a live, three-piece band. There are more than 30 locations at the moment.
By the way, this is another proof that we stand out with really long customer relationships. 10 years of cooperation with clients in IT is something rather rare and we are really proud of that relationship that we've built with them!
See what they wish us for our 10 years anniversary:
03 Who are the founders of your app development company?
Once again, we can prove that we focus on friendly contacts, because our software development company was founded in 2009 by 3 friends who share an unabashed love for technology collectively bring more than 15 years of experience to the table. Based on these foundations, loves nothing more than building custom software solutions (web and mobile applications).
Let us introduce their background and experience:
He is responsible for managing the entire team, specifying the company's goals, company growth, its mission and principles and overseeing the functioning of each department. Certified SCRUM & PRINCE2 project manager with technical background education. Ex-Ruby on Rails developer with more solid professional experience in custom software web development using Agile methodology.
Team leader and passionate about new technology solutions. The positive atmosphere in the Railwaymen team and satisfied customers are the most important factors for him while managing our web & mobile app development company. He loves green tea and is the winner of many chess tournaments.
Tech leader, system administrator, Ex-Ruby on Rails developer. DevOps Engineer, responsible for synergy between software development and system management departments. Big enthusiast of Cloud Computing. Experienced in point of sales solutions.
Innovator, tech leader, Ex-Ruby on Rails and Java developer. More than 10 years of experience in the IT and startups environment. Interested in stock market and investments. Bridge player.
They have strong experience with the startup environment. In 2012 they founded their own app product called POSbistro. This software solution allows managing customer service and sales effectively in restaurants of different sizes. It provides a complete set of tools that you can pick and choose depending on the needs and size of your restaurant. POSbistro is a modern solution that stores its data in the cloud, so the person managing the premises can have remote access to real-time sales data. They are constantly developing this mobile app solution and therefore know how it works from two perspectives - startup product owner and development side.
Welcoming words from our CEO:
Railwaymen - web & mobile app development copmany
04 Who is who in your web & mobile app development company? What are the team responsibilities?
Buildinig a web or mobile app is definitely a team effort. That's why in our software house we not only have coders, but also UX/UI Designers, QA Specialists, Project Managers and more. Each person is very needed to ensure your project success. Not every custom software development company can say, that they do EVERYTHING in-house, without any outsourcing, but we can.
Developers are essential to building mobile and web apps. They are the team's core, but they are not enough to create the software from scratch. Mobile and web development is a comprehensive process. We need a team of professionals:
- UX/UI Designer that will ensure pleasant app interface and good user experience
- Back-end and Front-end Developers that will code an app
- Quality Assurance that will test the app scrupulously
- Project Manager that will coordinate the project and workflow
05 What other services do you offer?
For many years, we have been helping to develop our clients' businesses through our custom programming services. We love new challenges that drive us to further work and development. This is the reason that we want offer full services which you can check on a list below:
- Custom software solutions: web and mobile app development
- Product design UX/UI
- Testing & Quality Assurance
- Agile Project Management
- Support & Maintenance
- Business & Marketing Consulting
Our Mobile and Web Development Services
Our approach & methodology is focusing on complexity and we can deliver you a ready-to-use product - in this case - ready to use custom application.
Isn’t it great? You don’t have to worry about some part as we will be responsible for the whole project. We will complete the software development process or join any of its stages.
Cooperation with a good, qualified software house is a wonderful remedy for excess work in the company and the convenience of delegation development tasks. But more importantly, it is a chance to cooperate with professionals and create high-quality web and mobile applications.
We mainly focus on 6 industries, but if you want to develop something else, we're ready for it!
Mobile & Web Development - 6 main industries we focus on
When it comes to our additional offer, we intensely focus on the business consulting part of each project.
We have 2 verified ways of getting to know the business perspective in detail and prepare for mobile and web development:
It is a meeting between the project initiator and the contractor. The teams of both parties actively work on discussing a given topic, going through all the points from the clients' materials and finding a common solution and strategy for both parties. The goal is to understand everyone's perspective.
What can you get after attending Design Thinking Workshops?
- Meeting our team
- Revision of current assumptions
- Identifying risks and challenges
- Discussing project’s history
- Identifying competitors and their solutions
- Generating new ideas
- Creating an initial scope of work
- Being able to prepare an estimation after workshops
Design Thinking Workshops for mobile and web development
This is our second proposition for business consulting. We belive it is the best solution in case you have an idea only for an app and don’t know how to start. Discovery is irreplaceable if you want your application to be successful on the market. We can implement this service for both web and mobile development.
The Discovery Phase aims to create a common understanding of what the product will look like, what is commonly known as the product vision, and the goals of your product, defined through research, discussions and careful analysis of the idea.
Discovery Phase service for mobile and web development
Discovery Phase is a design process that allows you to include your customers and tailor the product to their needs. The process is not limited to the initial part of the project, so keep forward!
Our team is always eager to talk with you and propose the best solution for your business. We gather more information to define goals and make an initial strategy. After this step we’re able to fulfill end users expectations. We provide you with the very first wireframes to verify consistency.
Time and Methodology of Discovery Phase
Usually, it takes about 4-6 weeks depends on clients' feedback and comments. We need to work closely with the client in the form of workshops, going through all the points from the clients' materials and finding a common solution and strategy for both parties.
It's super important for us, for our team (developers, UX/UI, QA, PMs), to be on the same page, having regular meetings/calls with a client during which we will clarify all the tech aspects together. Your goal is our goal.
After finishing Discovery Phase, we can deliver more accurate estimation costs for your mobile or web app.
Next, we can begin the mobile/web app development. We advise going with the MVP version - less features at the beginning, check the market, then add more and more features. The primary advantage of an MVP is that you can collect the most relevant feedback from users with the least amount of effort and use it to constantly improve your product. The average time for MVP development is 3 months.
With this kind of approach, there's enough value in the product so your clients are willing to make an initial purchase, and there's also the potential for future development and benefits that retain users long-term.
06 Would you provide contact/references I could contact with? Ideally from my country/region etc.
Yes, of course. Nothing builds a good image of the software development company as much as satisfied customers. People are much more likely to trust similar people. Opinions of other entrepreneurs are a great source of knowledge about companies from the B2B sector.
We are always willing to send you our clients' references and connect you with our previous or current clients from your region or industry so you can get some feedback about mobile/web development with us.
What distinguishes us above all is transparency. We totally understand that choosing a software development company is not the easiest task you will have on your business path. That’s why we want to make it easier and more understandable. Just let us know if you need some additional information.
Opinions about our services - mobile & web development
08 How do you solve different time zones problems?
How to organize the work for the team in another time zone? Is it possible to manage a remote team and stay productive?
Let's start with some facts. Every year Polish tech companies and startups enjoy an increasingly better reputation around the world. We are really proud of that. Foreign clients appreciate us for our language skills, a high level of education, and for having one of the most talented programmers in the world.
That's why so many companies, even from the farthest corners of the world, decide to start cooperation with software houses from Krakow, Poland.
Poland takes 3rd place when it comes to outsourcing IT services in the near-shoring model (i.e. locations relatively close to Western Europe), and in the global ranking, i.e. in the offshoring category 5th place, after the Philippines, India, the Czech Republic and Hungary, according to the report "Executive Brief Outsourcing 2019", prepared by the global consulting company 7N. Seven of the top 10 service locations for the IT industry are in Europe.
Nowadays, in the age of developed communication and project management tools, it is not a problem to maintain business relationships from the end of the world.
When it comes to conversations with clients at Railwaymen, we mainly use Google Meet, Skype, Slack and Zoom Video Communications. We are flexible and adapt to their preferences. We ask how they would like to communicate and choose the best solution.
Our recommended Project Management tool is Jira:
Jira - tool for web and mobile app development projects management
What's more, within the Scrum framework, we are working in timeboxes called sprints, and we deliver smaller chunks of web and mobile apps iteratively after every Sprint. Usually, it is one week. After each Sprint, our clients can see the work progress because of the whole process transparency. The sprint review meeting is the time when our clients are reviewing all changes. We are always open to suggestions, and we prefer to stay in partnership relations with daily or weekly updates.
To keep the project on track, we propose the following events included in the process of web and mobile app development:
- Planning sessions and defining priorities for the upcoming Sprint.
- Daily standups during the Sprint for tracking the progress.
- Review sessions called a demo for reviewing the progress.
- Retrospective meetings that are crucial for the smooth and effective process flow.
Fruitful and frequent communication is essential when we and our clients are hundreds or even thousands of kilometers apart. Sometimes, the client may feel a little uncomfortable because he/she can not come to our office. And see how mobile or web development on his/her project is going. Therefore, we make sure that you do not have to do it yourself. We are going to regularly inform you about the progress of app development.
We successfully launched over 150 web and mobile projects in 5 continents
Just to better outline our current situation. Let's go with some numbers and statistics, which are always the best to present. For 10 years, about 80% of our clients are from the United States - from the East Coast (e.g. New York - 6 hours difference) and West Coast (e.g. Los Angeles, San Francisco - 8 hours difference). 10% are from the Middle East countries (e.g. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates or Kuwait) and the rest - 10 % are from Western Europe.
So as you can see, we know how to manage clients from different continents and totally different time zones.
We work while you sleep.
This means your software development project has 24-hour coverage. Below you can find our client's testimonial about managing software development project in the different time zone:
"One of the interesting benefits that we experienced was that we effectively a 24-hour team and so didn't realize how much of an advantage that could be because you know generally speaking if you are here in the US you know we happen to be in the central time zone you know we're very aware of the performance of our site during our workday or even some of our work evening but in fact when our work evening ends their workday begins so we sort of developed oddly 24 hour coverage for our website."
Christine Boulware, CEO & Founder of itsashort.com
You can check out the whole interview on our YouTube channel here:
09 What is the likely time to build the application?
In the beginning, clients contacting a software development company to create a dedicated application have 2 key questions:
How much will it cost to create the software? And how long will it take?
Mostly it depends on how many features you'd like to have in the first phase of app development.
Although these issues seem clear, it is not easy to answer. Why? Because they are very complex and depend on many factors. Application planning, including the creation of documentation and mockups, are smooth processes whose duration depends on efficient communication between the client and software development company, the commitment of both parties and precise adaptation to the needs.
We always recommend starting working on an application with MVP (Minimum Viable Product) version first. The primary advantage of an MVP is that you can collect the most relevant feedback from users with the least amount of effort and use it to constantly improve your product. Whether you want to build a custom mobile or web app, this approach will work for your success.
The average time for MVP is 3 months.
Web and mobile development - MVP approach
With this kind of approach, there’s enough value in the product so that clients are willing to make an initial purchase, and there’s also the potential for future development and benefits that retain users long-term.
Put simply, an MVP offers an affordable means of getting proof of concept and instant feedback on your app.
10 How does my technical documentation must look like to start the development process with you?
At first you need to understand, that without technical documentation no good software development company is capable of creating an application for you. But we understand, that as a business owner you might not know, how does the proper software documentation looks like. That's why we've prepared a whole article about it + FREE technical documentation template for you to download.
11 What should I prepare from my side to start web/mobile app development with you?
What we need from you the most is to explain your application idea as detailed as you can! Who will be your target audience? What are your competitors? What kind of monetization strategy are you trying to pursue? You might be surprised that we require that BEFORE programming your app, but that's because we don't want to "just" make an app for you. We want to make for you a software product that fulfills your business needs.
We care a lot about our company reputation and client relations. We don't cooperate with everyone who approaches us. When we see, that some software project looks sketchy or we don't believe, that it makes sense for the business wise - we drop it. But fear not - if we see, that you have a passion and want to make something good, we will gladly help you to shape your idea in the right way.
Actually, we care about our clients' ideas this much that we've prepared an extended checklist of the things that they should prepare to secure their project success as much as they can.
12 What if I have an idea for my app and nothing else?
In that situation - we will strongly advise you to consider our . This one is dedicated exactly to those kinds of clients who feel, that they came up with something great and want to verify if it also makes sense business wise. Our business experts will take your idea and check if there is a real demand on the market for it. They will also propose the functionalities your software should have, the tech stack and more.
With the Discovery Phase document, you are basically set & ready to start the web and mobile development process. It doesn't entitle you to start the actual mobile or web app development work with us. If after this you will feel that maybe your app idea is not as great as you thought, we won't try to convince you that you should pursue it anyway.
Interested about finding Discovery Phase details? Download our extensive, FREE ebook below!
14 Who will be my point of contact? What’s the typical team size and what are the roles? Can I talk directly to the developers?
The team would be dedicated to your project, and we provide a Project Manager (PM) on our end to make sure that the developed software system meets all requirements. The Project Manager is also the main point of contact between you and our programming team. Ideally, there will be one contact person from your side that will act as a Product Owner and be able to discuss the project requirements and expectations on a daily basis.
What is the typical team size? It depends on the complexity of your mobile/web development and the time in which we are to do it. We have projects with 10 team members on board and others with 5 developers. So as you can see, it’s hard to tell now as it is a very individual case.
App Development - The role of Project Manager
Can I talk directly to the developers?
Yes, you can contact app developers directly. But remember that your main point of contact will be PM. She/he knows the best way to communicate your needs to web/mobile developers and “transform into a programming language.”
Railwaymen team can make all necessary steps to make the onboarding process as seamless as possible. Thanks to the Agile approach, the client will have access and could monitor the progress on a weekly/bi-weekly basis.
Therefore, any functional distortion can be easily found and improved very quickly. A Project Manager dedicated to the project may be available to explain the details and plan the official onboarding, with several demos accordingly.
To successfully deliver an application within the Scrum framework, one person on the client’s side should act as a Product Owner during the project. He or she should actively take part in the whole endeavor and be available for the team’s questions on a daily basis. We also suggest scheduling weekly calls to be able to plan and prioritize the work.
15 If hypothetically I will change the development team in the future or start with my own, will you help with onboarding? How would it look?
Of course, we understand that during software development, you might decide to hire app developers in-house. So if you want to change your software service provider, we will help you with onboarding a new app development company and work status implementation. We always prepare detailed documentation of our mobile/web development to make the transition as smooth for you as possible.
16 Do you sign NDA? Do you have a sample one?
Yes, of course. Just let us know that you need to sign NDA first, and we will send you our sample.
17 Is it possible to deal in installments and if there is what is the method and what is the period?
Sure, it all depends on the size of the project. There is prepayment and payment after milestones. We are working with challenging projects, which require broad business and tech know-how and expertise.
All the projects are initially estimated before we start to work on customized software, so the ballpark costs and timeline is provided. Once it’s done, we are working on an hourly basis, and we track the work that is done as well as part of the software that is delivered and accepted by the client.
Price Models for mobile and web development
18 What version of the control system do you use? Which one did you compare it to? Why did you pick the one you picked over the other?
We use state of the art VCS - git. We're used to working on Gitlab and Github as platforms, but most of our projects are on our private Gitlab. We chose to host our own Gitlab instance mostly because of the security and NDAs.
Our Gitlab instance sits behind our firewall, as do our development machines. It prevents leaks. Hosting our own also gives more power to our developers. We support the idea of code ownership and code responsibility so the developer leading the project is also the one responsible for keeping Gitlab repo up and running.
It's not as much about the repository itself, as it is for the Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery(CI/CD) pipelines. CI/CD is our core mechanism which, once set up, allows us to easily push multiple times per day not worrying about software instability - we keep 100% automatic tests coverage from the very beginning of each project.
19 What is the typical tech stack you are using? Why Ruby on Rails?
We have successfully delivered more than 125 custom web and mobile apps. We know everything about web and mobile app development. Our developers code in 16 technologies.
Ruby on Rails web framework is our leading technology. Recently, our RoR developers extended their knowledge, so if your projects require Vue.js, Angular.js, React.js or Golang, it is no problem for us. Furthermore, we use both native (for iOS & Android) and cross-platform technologies to provide the best mobile solutions. At Railwaymen, half of our Ruby on Rails developers are Seniors with years of experience, and every project has at least one of them in the development team.
Our web and mobile app development tech stack:
Ruby is a very mature and robust programming language with a huge and very helpful community. According to its creator Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto, it was created to make programmers happy. Intuitiveness, enormous DSL possibilities, code transparency are just some of the advantages of this technology.
Ruby itself is dynamic, open-source language focused on clean & easily understandable code. "Ruby is one of the most popular programming languages among developers around the world!”
Ruby on Rails framework is one of the most powerful ways to develop web applications, based on the Model-View-Controller pattern. It was created by Danish programmer David Heinemeier Hansson. It began as a side-project and a way to improve the development process in Basecamp startup.
Easy and understandable code thanks to the transparent Ruby syntax. Numerous extensions to facilitate and accelerate implementation of template solutions. Several examples: AirBnB, Twitter, Github, SlideShare, Basecamp, Bloomberg, Kickstarter, Twitch, Soundcloud.
Railwaymen - Web Development
Railwaymen - Mobile App Development
20 What do you think is better: React Native or native iOS and Android apps?
And what about mobile apps? They are practically a must-have today for a company’s growth, especially for B2C companies. So you don’t have to worry about anything cause we also specialize in custom mobile app development. We do both options: native apps and cross-platform native solutions like React Native app development.
Native applications are written individually for a given mobile platform. This means that for each operating system (iOS, Android), the same application must be written in a different programming language. In the case of Android software, they will be: Java and Kotlin, and in the case of the iOS platform: Objective-C and Swift.
21 Please describe the potential team's proficiency with Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails is the main technology that we work with. This framework is a base of architecture in our web applications. This is where the application logic is usually created, which allows us to meet the needs of our customers. This framework has an established position in the IT industry, where we can find many projects created with the use of this technology. Ruby has a simple and transparent syntax. Many ready-made solutions prepared by the committed community gathered around Rails allow you to save time during development, thanks to the use of functional packages with code, the so-called gems.
During the past 11 years we have successfully delivered over 125 projects worldwide for multiple industries (97 from North America), most of which were developed by our experienced specialists using RoR framework.
We hire 25 Ruby developers, 12 of them are senior developers. It would be definitely challenging for you, to hire these many experienced RoR developers on your own.
Our Ruby on Rails Developers regularly share their app development knowledge on different conferences, meetups and our organized in-house Tech Talks. You can see how it looks like below:
22 Please describe the potential team's proficiency in English
English is our main language when communicating with our clients and partners. Since the USA is our main market our whole team can communicate fluently in English.
23 Please describe the potential team's proficiency with Vue.js/React.js
Web and Mobile App Development with Railwaymen. Conclusion:
As you can see above, there are a lot of questions that you will potentially have before or during contacting the web & mobile app development company. Your software house should be not only a contractor but also an advisor and really your business partner. Only with this approach is the chance to create a solid product - web or mobile app. Feel free to use our most frequently asked questions and our answers, and stay tuned for more!
Are you thinking about starting custom software development? We have a free ebook about the 22 most common mistakes that might happen during app development. Download and avoid all of them!