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Artificial intelligence is predicted to be the hottest topic of 2023. It has been one of the most advertised technologies of the past decade, alongside virtual reality and blockchain.

According to experts and analysts, the golden age of artificial intelligence will occur between 2032 and 2056 in technologically advanced countries such as the United States, Europe, and China. This is when exponential AI becomes more possible due to the explosive growth of new business models, industries, and synergy between different types of companies. The main driver of progress in the field of AI will be the upcoming generation. The younger workforce is the most creative.

The 2020s are mostly a period of the birth of this wave of new technologies. Today’s companies in the pharmaceutical or cloud technology industry may not necessarily be tomorrow’s winners. Today’s entrepreneurs can use the cheaper cost of artificial intelligence to create new companies or simply improve existing ones.

Transport and autonomous networks

Smart logistics with autonomous management

E-commerce execution

Affordable housing

Construction and real estate

Super Apps: Banking

Digital transformation of remote work

Cloud services and AI as a service.


Many industries and other applications of artificial intelligence are yet to be invented, giving almost unlimited potential for AI development.

Thus, the 2020s are an exciting time, especially if you live in areas with huge potential to ride the wave of 21st-century artificial intelligence.

Countries, companies, and even private entrepreneurs who consider the economic engine of artificial intelligence in the long term and prepare a sufficient number of employees will gain a significant advantage.

Those who invest in education in the field of artificial intelligence, including engineers in cloud technologies, cybersecurity, quantum computing, blockchain, and other AI-based technologies, at an early stage will have a significant advantage over those who do not.

AI is already an incredibly popular industry, with the amount of money flowing into AI startups steadily increasing over the last decade. Venture capital analysis firm Dealroom predicts that investors will put more than $100 billion into AI startups this year, compared to roughly $60 billion in 2020.


And according to McKinsey’s research, by 2030, AI will bring $13 trillion in realized value to the global economy. However, little of this has been realized yet as it remains challenging to create various AI models.

How data-oriented is manufacturing becoming? The wider use of AI in manufacturing aligns with the broader corporate sector’s push towards digitization. According to Google Cloud, 76% of manufacturing companies have turned to data processing and analytics, cloud computing, and AI technologies due to the pandemic.

What about digital transformation? As pandemic-related challenges make supply chains, including labour shortages and transportation disruptions, difficult, the adoption of AI is likely to accelerate. Deloitte reports that 93% of companies believe that AI will be a key component in driving growth and innovation in manufacturing.


How exactly can AI help improve your business or production?

  • Implementing computer vision AI can help reduce defective parts in production by checking every millimetre of produced goods for defects, and scratches, and notifying enterprise operators of any issues.
  • AI can monitor the assembly process, from cars to steel beams for construction.
  • AI can become your assistant in the form of a smart chatbot to increase sales speed on Instagram/Facebook.

Modern artificial intelligence can perform an enormous amount of tasks simultaneously, which were previously assigned to people. This significantly speeds up the task execution process, increases their quantity, and improves their quality. Additionally, it allows for significant savings in your business.

These AI-based services are now available in our team’s portfolio! We can now help improve your business, whether it is a logistics company, production or assembly plant, an Instagram shop, or others.


When starting to work with JavaScript, the question of choosing a framework immediately arises, and in fact, this is where the whole essence of the language lies. 

JS – aka JavaScript – is one of the most popular programming languages ​​and there are a lot of options for front-end frameworks for it, but three are especially popular: Vue, Angular and React. There are a lot of materials on this topic on the net, but we’ll try to figure out which is best based on the experience of our developers.

But, before we get into the top three reviews, let’s take a look at the star rating of risingstars.js (2021 JavaScript Rising Stars)

For the first time ever in JavaScript Rising Stars, React is the number one UI framework, but when you consider the fact that Vue.js is split into two repositories (for versions two and three), it’s actually the leader.

The Svelte framework, which ranks third before Angular, made its own adjustments to the rating. More and more tools or components include Svelte as a target framework (e.g. Vite).

Here is what the top front-end frameworks look like:

DISCLAIMER: The choice of a framework is a personal matter for everyone. We do not insist on the absolute universality of our three, they are simply the most common in our team 🙂


Vue.js – A universal soldier guarding the front-end

This framework has become especially popular in recent years. From “one of the hundreds” it went to a leading position and became a favourite in a professional environment. Today, Vue is considered one of the most suitable frameworks for asynchronous rendering on the server side.

Professional Vue.js for developers is a relatively recent framework designed to increase performance and accelerate loading. But these are not the only strengths distinguish Vue.js.

Evan Yu created Vue.js, working at Google as a creative technologist. Thus, in a sense, it is similar to the Google Angular JavaScript frame, for example, in the use of a virtual DOM plus Vuex to control status in the Redux style.

Vue.js allows you to create amazing web and mobile interfaces, as well as one-page applications much more easily than other frameworks. Since Vue is not only one of the most famous JS-frames with open source, it is also one of the largest libraries used to create various components of the site. The versatility and reliability of the frame has been repeatedly proved by large companies. As an example, the Netflix streaming website uses Vue.js on Facebook for marketing news tapes.

Nevertheless, it is designed to solve problems that exist with Angular and React. Of course, Vue.js has both pros and cons. It has an open source code and is supported by donations from sponsors and partners, including Vehikl, Modus Create, Rangle, Laravel, Storekit, Devexpress, and many others.


From the undeniable advantages, you can highlight:

  • Lightness in Training The developers love Vue.js because it is universal and light, but it does not lose anything in its functionality, which competes with heavier frameworks, like Angular for example. The only necessary condition for understanding this is the understanding of the “big three” web development technologies: JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.
  • Progressiveness Vue.js can be added to your HTML code as a simple script tag, and it will gradually expand, adapting to your needs until it can control the entire layer. That is why in some circles it is called “new jQuery.”
  • Community and Support Angular is supported by Google, REACT is supported by Facebook, but Vue.js is fully supported by an open source community, which relies on the contribution of local developers and donating sponsors for advancement. Nevertheless, the latter managed to challenge Angular and React as a preferred structure for web development.


*83,400 questions on StackOverflow by tag #vue.js and more than 187,800 stars on GitHub demonstrate the popularity of Vue.js.


React.js – pull Facebook, also pull the rest 

React.js was created by the Facebook project team back in 2013. However, not only has it not become outdated and has not lost its popularity but, on the contrary, has become even more in demand due to its characteristics. The React.js library was created in order to separate the interface into parts and make the development of the final product easier and faster.

React.js introduces special JavaScript code, a preprocessor step that adds an XML-like syntax to JavaScript. This helps to assemble readable code, and save it into one checked file. Being able to discard HTML in the render function without string concatenation is excellent. Through the use of a specific JSX Transformer, the HTML is converted into functions.

React.js creates an efficient virtual DOM known as the Document Object Model or vDOM. This allows you to create a lightweight DOM tree and store it on the server side.

Programmers have no particular complaints about the React.js framework. For the most part, this is due to the fact that this environment is undergoing a stage of active development and improvement, which makes it stable and accurate in operation. A clear feature of the framework is that it is essentially a library. However, due to its wide functionality, the tool allows you to use it without using other services. React.js does not need to be integrated with other services. The front-end implementation of this tool demonstrates high efficiency.


 Advantages of React.js:

  • Optimization and acceleration of the update process.
  • Implementing block readability with JSX. It shows how components are connected or combined.
  • React Data Binding – sets the conditions for building dynamic applications.
  • Live rendering. Use includes methods to minimize the number of DOM operations to help streamline and speed up the update process.
  • Tested. Native React tools are offered for testing and debugging code.
  • Optimization for SEO. React introduces the first load experience through server-side rendering and hooking up user-side event handlers.
  • Thanks to React + ES6/7, the application becomes high-tech and suitable for high-load systems.


Angular is an eternal competitor who will not be ignored

Angular is the most valuable framework in the technological arena, the most mature and proven. At the same time, it produces updates in accordance with the trends in the industry.

The first advantage is bilateral data binding. Thanks to this, the developers get the opportunity to create templates more quickly. Any changes made in the performance or layer of presentation are automatically and instantly displayed in the model. Simply put, Angular is built on the basis of MVC architecture (Model View Controller), which allows developers to make changes easily. In case of any changes made to the “model,” the “view” instantly changes.

Another advantage is manipulations with DOM – a software interface for HTML and XML, which helps developers determine the logical structure of documents as well as manipulate the document. The developers receive the simplicity of DOM management (object model of a document) thanks to a bilateral data link. Moreover, this is impossible with other JavaScript frameworks. Manipulations with DOM help developers save time because they just need to translate and update DOM elements.


Of the pluses, you can highlight:

  • A mature framework, which has good support from the participants and is a Full Package;
  • It is used with Typescript and has exceptional support for this (checking static types can be very useful for large applications, as well as add performance to developers working on Java and C#);
  • Angular-Language-Service-provides intellectual capabilities and auto-performance of the HTML component template;
  • One-sided data binding, ensuring the exclusive behaviour of the application, minimizing the risk of errors;
  • Structure and architecture are specially designed for large scalability in the project.


In Conclusion

The choice of framework is an essential task at the first step in development. The final choice of the framework depends on the project that needs to be implemented, so it is important that the team has experience working with each and can objectively evaluate the pros and cons of each, and select the most suitable project for specific purposes. The Itera Research team has specialists working with all the key frameworks because each project has its unique tasks. We will find an approach and a solution to any project.


Every year, the importance of digitalization is felt more and more strongly, and primarily it is felt by non-IT companies. When a company decides to digitize their company, a dilemma arises: do you hire your IT staff or use outsourcing? 

Today, we will talk about the benefits and challenges that companies can face by using an example of one customer story.


We will make our own web platform

We deliberately removed the company name, but we will share the specifics of their work. The company was engaged in collecting data on partner violations, doing reviews, and solving the legal problems of their customer. The key problem was the lack of automation in certain areas of work. That is, the operator receiving the call had to fill out a questionnaire and describe the problem to conduct a review and give feedback. All of this took a lot of time and human resources that should be optimized.

This is how the idea of ​​creating a platform arose, where the client could fill out an application and transfer it to specialists in an already prepared form. By Simply adding this platform would significantly reduce the burden on the support department and make it possible to unify the application system.

But an idea remains an idea until it is realized. Once implemented, the company’s management decided to hire one developer per staff, as it initially appeared to be less expensive.


Recruitment difficulties

The client conducted interviews with various specialists but came to the conclusion that they lacked an understanding of how to select the appropriate specialist, how to verify that they would deliver the required work, what technologies they should know, and so on.

This often becomes a significant challenge, as it can be quite difficult for someone unfamiliar with the implementation of a task to evaluate the competencies necessary for its completion.

In addition to hiring difficulties, our clients have voiced concerns regarding retaining specialists who work with different cultures. The specifics of developers’ work are different from those of other employees, making it challenging for developers and IT specialists to work in teams where they are not well understood.


Let’s hire a freelancer

As a next step, the hero in our story decided to seek out a freelancer who could assume responsibility for delivering the final product, enabling the client to avoid becoming embroiled in the intricacies of the code and its implementation.

This approach could have worked. After some time, they were able to find a specialist who was willing to take on the task. The developer asked for technical specifications to understand what needed to be done, as developers typically do.

The development tasks were set by one of the best managers in the company. Unfortunately, he did not have the knowledge or experience in developing software solutions, resulting in tasks being set as he understood them. The freelancer did as requested and as he understood, but delivering the software product was ultimately impossible. The client spent tens of thousands of dollars and a year of time.


How did our story end?

Unfortunately, this is a typical story that we encounter in our experience. Writing good code is only part of the project’s success.

Ultimately, our client turned to an outsourcing company, which conducted a business analysis stage where they mapped out all the platform’s functionality, determined the requirements, created a prototype, and clarified which parts required development by the developer and what type of specialist was required.

Not everything went smoothly this time, and choosing the right outsourcing company is always challenging. We will talk about this in the next article.


The story’s moral is simple: employees, freelancers, and outsourcing companies all have different approaches to implementing business tasks. It is crucial to carefully evaluate one’s strengths and weaknesses and choose tools and approaches that will lead to the result you need to get.

Further information on the business analysis can access through the link.


It is difficult to imagine a modern business without tools to support management decisions. That’s right, we are talking about business analysis (BA). Solutions for business analysis are very popular among companies operating in various fields, including IT. Business analysis is something that is necessarily used by large, medium-sized, and even small businesses today.


Almost any software or system allows you to collect analytical data necessary for building a strategy or making tactical decisions. The task of business analysis is to collect all the necessary data – to conduct interviews, analyse existing documents, processes, and procedures, administer a risk assessment and confirm or refute the correctness of the adopted course. The goal being to create a prototype of a business process or business process automation.


Administering a thorough business analysis helps us to understand the structure, and how current processes are arranged in order to identify weaknesses or vulnerabilities and consider changes to make that would improve the organization’s performance.

You can also conduct a business analysis to get a general idea of ​​the current state of the company or use it to determine the current needs of the business, form growth points to optimize costs, and speed up work.


How can business analysis be useful for IT projects? 

Let’s look at an example:

Mark is an entrepreneur. He wants to develop a cool app. He wrote down his idea, but… got stuck in the development phase

Cross-platform, hybrid, or native? Which programming language to choose, and what to leave in the functionality? And more. Time, like nerves, is wasted, and the process will not budge. Mark decides to contact a specialist and orders a business analysis (BA). The specialist conducts  all phases of research and analysis sequentially, which allowed them to:

  • define priority business goals
  • designate areas of application
  • formulate and prescribe detailed requirements for the project
  • validate Requirements
  • find effective solutions
  • develop a maintenance plan
  • develop a prototype/outline of the application.


As a result, based on the outcomes of the business analysis, Mark received a clearly described idea and defined goals, a technical task for developers, a technical implementation plan, exact deadlines and cost, and the necessary cash flow. Having all this data, he can safely address investors and present his idea without any problems, since the technical solution plan is already in his hands.


Most often, while working on a project, a business analyst takes on the following tasks:

  • Requirements management: their identification, preparation, and specification, separation of requests into requirements and some “not very important Wishlist”, setting of tasks for developers.
  • Strategic analysis: in many companies, the BA works with top management on the development strategy of the company and the project, because he or she knows the product best.
  • Designing solutions: preparing documentation and, at times, prototyping. Presentation of everything they have come up with to convey to the team how solutions will be developed and implemented.
  • Product Management: communication with designers, engineers, stakeholders, and business product owners.


What will we get as an outcome of business analysis?

  1. Wireframes – a schematic representation of the programming interface
  2. A prototype – a dynamic representation of a programming interface for testing UX
  3. A software requirements specification which is a document that describes what the software will do and how it will work. It includes:
  • User stories – short, simple descriptions of features, told from the point of view of a user or client of the system.
  • Acceptance criteria – the conditions that a software product must meet in order to be accepted by a user, client, or another system.
  • Data flow diagrams, entity-relationship diagrams, etc.

       4. Accurate quotation and project plan.


The Itera Research team offers its clients a full BA service, which is able to help at any stage of project development. Why should you use such a service?

  1. BA services are cheaper than making changes to the product code
  2. Providing solutions that can cut costs with unique project-specific tools
  3. Accurate time and budget estimates are made
  4. Reduced time and effort for testing
  5. Optimization of management and distribution of tasks, to decrease time and reduce costs of development. 

As a result, the client receives all the necessary materials for the successful implementation of the project. So think about it, does your idea need business analysis?


The war for me started in Egypt, on vacation, with my family. But pain, fear for loved ones, and what is happening cannot be expressed in words. We spent a week in a hotel and flew to Germany because we could not return home. Like most refugees, they arrived without warm clothes, without money, and only passports from documents.

When leaving on vacation, no one thinks that he will not return home in the nearest future …

Germany welcomes the Ukrainians very warmly and experiences our grief as their own. However, it is still hard to be in a foreign country, knowing that EVERYTHING is left at home: soul, heart, home life, and parents continue to be in Kharkiv under constant shelling and do not want to go anywhere.

Now we are learning to live in a new way with a huge emptiness inside and faith in only one thing, that everyone will be alive and well, and this terrible dream for all of Ukraine will soon end.

– Katia




The first couple of days, after the outbreak of hostilities, life practically did not change. Except for the sounds of shots coming from behind the district and queues in stores. People tried to buy everything they needed to the maximum.

Considering that recently I worked remotely, the work process proceeded in the usual rhythm. Only the noise in the background became different. The neighbor’s drill was replaced by volleys of hail and artillery

It didn’t last very long… Until they began to get closer and closer to residential areas and aviation appeared. When war comes to your house, you don’t know how to act and where to run. You start looking at options…

We spent one day in the basement. Oppressive atmosphere… Someone is trying to captivate children with games and drawing, someone is endlessly scrolling through news feeds, and someone is running in a panic around the space, only adding to the anxiety. Stress affects everyone differently.

I decided for myself that it was easier to equip a couch in the corridor than endlessly run into the basement. On the 4th day, it was no longer possible to work. Too frequent and close shelling, electricity is constantly cut down, mobile communications are intermittent…

The first week felt like an eternity. After several nights under airstrikes, it was decided to leave for a safer place. Because some have already managed to reach the western regions of Ukraine. At that time, there were no big problems with finding housing.

From Kharkiv, we left towards the Dnipro. The traffic jam at the exit from the city took us 4 hours. In total, on the first day of the journey, we managed to get to the city of Alexandria. After the first quiet night in a week, we moved towards Khmelnytskyi.

It took us about 32 hours to get to Khmelnytskyi, of which 2 hours we spent on a short sleep along the road, in a makeshift parking lot near the motel. The rest of the time we drove and stood in endless traffic jams.

I would like to note the drivers who believed that they needed to get to their destination more than others – bypassing columns of standing cars with children, the disabled, and simply exhausted people in the oncoming lane, some of whom have nowhere to return.

Upon arrival in Khmelnytskyi, many of the housing options waiting for us were already occupied. It was decided not to go further west and find accommodation locally. On the first day, we were miraculously able to find a motel room near the road for 2 nights. The first day we slept off, the second we spent in search of housing in the place or somewhere else. At that time, everything in the city was already occupied, or we were unlucky. Of all the proposed options, the best solution was – a return to Alexandria.

So we did it. The road back took us much less time, and by the evening we were already there. But before settling into the housing that was waiting for us, we had to live for several days in a volunteer apartment.

As a result, after all the moves, which took about a week, I was able to start a normal workflow. Not with the best Internet, not in the conditions that we are all used to, but the workflow is going on.

And seeing that a huge number of businesses across the country are closed, many people are left without means of subsistence, and someone even finds himself in a hopeless situation, having lost everything … You understand that at least a small contribution in the form of paying taxes, or helping individual people who find themselves in a difficult situation, you can somehow help.

Yes, we will not save the economy individually… We will not return home or loved ones to people… But if everyone who now has a small opportunity to help does this, then we will be able to overcome all difficulties.

Now is the time when everyone should do the maximum in their place, to the extent possible. Otherwise, why all these sacrifices?

– Sergey




Our friend lived in Tsyrkuny and was at home at the beginning of the war. Tsyrkuny is a village at the entrance to Kharkiv from the Belgorod side (RF). It was occupied immediately – on February 24th.

Our friend and his family lived in a private house. In the neighborhood, they had a new house, still unfurnished. Doctors settled there a month ago.

Doctors were kicked out of the house on the first day and the orcs (Russian soldiers) settled.

Practically from the first day, they began to bomb Kharkiv and nearby territories every day. My friend tried to enter the territory of Ukraine, but the Russian army did not let them in.

At some point, they could not withstand the bombing and together with their family – wife, son, and 92-year-old father-in-law – went to the Russian border together with the invader’s echelon.

“I had to leave the car, house, and dog to the neighbors. The dog is big, it was simply not possible to take it with me.” – he said.

Now the Tsyrkuny is very destroyed. Although our friend, a former military man who fought in Afghanistan, says that two wars for life are too much. In Ukraine, there were parents, an adult daughter with a child. The second child, who was taken with them, is 13 years old.

Nobody wants to go to Russia, but there is no choice.

We got to know that my friend and his family managed to escape. After interrogations in the Russian Federation, they left Russia for Lithuania and returned to Ukraine.

– Unknown


Teams working on a project can use sprints to solve problems and answer essential questions about customer needs. But, the sprint’s quality and success depend on the team’s participation and trust in each other.

Top design sprint facilitators schedule conversations so that participants can come up with their best ideas. In addition, being creative is essential to running a triumphant sprint to build trust and encourage active participation.

If you want to run the best design sprint, here are five best practices to improve your productivity. 

  1. Start with the game. There is nothing like playing a game to warm up your brain. Give an assignment that does not have a clear framework, for example, the task of “drawing a toast”. Someone will draw glasses, and someone will pull bread. Finally, ask one of the participants to tell the story that connects all of these pictures. This approach will turn routine tasks into an exciting game, taking into account the personal interpretations of each participant.
  2. Don’t use hybrid methods. Be clear about whether it will be an office sprint or a remote one. If there are multiple people in the office, they will have the edge over a team that works remotely. So the chances of each group or individual participant will be equal.
  3. Lose the team. Give your team time; let it turn off the camera, think, and present all the ideas. This will help you get more engagement, especially from introverts. Intellectual work is always tedious, so take your time.
  4. Use templates. There is nothing wrong with looking for an idea from someone. Need a foundation to sprint? Please select it from the available libraries. Take an online whiteboard and design it with templates to fit your sprint. This will be a hint and guide for all participants in the process.
  5. Conduct one-to-one meetings before sprints. By talking in advance, you can spur the employee’s creativity. This can be especially helpful if senior leaders cannot participate in the five-day sprint because they have a voice that can then be shared with the rest of the team.

Such systems can be used not only for design sprints. All stages are easily adaptable to any team and allow you to discover the new potential of each employee.

The Story of One Bottle

Once upon a time, there was a bottle. She was sad and lonely because as soon as she was emptied she was thrown under the table where she rolled into a dark corner. The cleaning lady could not find her, so she lay there in the dark. One lonely bottle.

She was very sad there, because she could not fulfill her destiny of being filled once again, but only lay uselessly covered with dust. But, on one of the endless days, someone’s foot accidentally touched her. The bottle was delighted and for good reason. She was found! She was washed, lid removed, and sent to the sorting center. There she saw other bottles, and in the future, she was able to fulfill her destiny by being refilled and becoming a new bottle again.

How the office got into a good habit

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the history of the bottle has taught us a lesson about the importance of recycling by the use of a kind of “sorting station” within the office setting. Originally, our waste removal system could not be called a “sorting station”, as there were only a few containers exclusively for garbage, so this was rather a useful initiative in our office.

The “sorting movement” itself began in our office two years ago. As you know, these things start with some kind of personal pain. One old-timer of sorting Dima, (a team lead of a project not related to ecology), said this: When we go to the forest, to nature, or to the lake, we constantly see garbage, it is depressing and frustrating. Landfills on the outskirts and rubbish left by “outdoor enthusiasts” are destroying the environment and we understand the importance of such initiatives.

The first step was the installation of a plastic collection box, then more were added for tetra packs and glass. In the future a plan to add more containers, but for now these are the solution.

How habits are formed

Understanding the importance of this matter seems obvious, and really, what is so difficult about sorting garbage? But, if we said that it was enough to install the containers and everyone immediately became aware of what to do – we would be lying.

It all started with one of our office colleagues who were concerned about the problem of environmental pollution. Then a couple more people joined, but there were still difficulties in communicating the importance of sorting.

In order to help people understand we implemented a variety of strategies. At first, we made public mailings, made announcements, and pasted stickers. We asked everyone we caught in the kitchen to be conscientious and sort the garbage. Of course, not everyone was immediately convinced by this, but gradually people got used to it and realized that it’s easy and helpful.

What happens to office waste?

Today, more and more companies are trying to implement a sorting system within their offices, because of the realization that environmental problems are becoming more and more real. Furthermore, such initiatives have shown to have a positive effect on teams, work environments and even make an impression on job seekers. Green is good!

Of course, in our reality, sadly more often than not napkins lie in mountains on tables, bottles “hide” under the tables, and the bins are filled with garbage that will never reach the recycling centers. But this does not mean that we are not trying. Before the quarantine, every two weeks our main initiator Dima took out a couple of bags of PET bottles to the sorting base. Now, while we work mainly remotely, there are fewer people in the office, therefore, there is also garbage and Dima still takes care of this issue.

What do we end up with?

While the garbage sorting initiative has taken root, we are still actively encouraging sorting and recycling with every new team member. For people who have unknowingly thrown away garbage most of their lives, it is difficult to rebuild and start washing used containers. Old habits die hard, as they say. But every month the amount of garbage in the bins is shrinking, which means that the initiative has had its intended effect. In general, this can be considered a good sign. In fact, it is especially gratifying when we see someone implement sorting in their daily life and pay attention to this at home.

In general, so far, our efforts are paying off. We will continue to motivate ourselves and others, because if we don’t take care of our planet, who will?

 Imagine: The Development of the World

The world was created in seven days (168 hours), and another thousand years (many hours) for testing and adjustments. 

Developer: Here’s the thing, it was just that the technical task (TT) was unclear, and I had to make a few changes. Yes, according to the plan it was two weeks. Well, they didn’t take several things into account, or they were mistaken, so we had to make some adjustments. We had a difficulty rating of much lower than it actually was (10/10). But it’s not a problem, we can clean it up now, and somewhere in a thousand years it will be ready! 

This story is not uncommon. No, this is not about creating the world as a whole, but about the ability to correctly assess the timing it will take to create it. The same word that exists in almost all modern industries – estimate. If it isn’t already obvious from the word itself – estimating is about calculating the time and man-hours it will take to complete a project.


How to estimate deadlines correctly

According to McKinsey’s research, 66% of projects ultimately require more resources, and 17% are completely different once the project is complete. As a result, the amounts of time required for revisions are two to three times higher than those initially stated. The blame could be placed on the teams working on the project, but in reality, the actual estimate of the deadline is to blame.

The cause for such discrepancies are often caused by vague descriptions of technical tasks (TT) and may include reasons like the abstractness of the final product, or unpredictability of volume. Taking into consideration that each project is something unique, it is not necessarily surprising that mistakes are made in the evaluation process.


What questions should you ask for an accurate deadline estimate?

Prior to starting the estimate, it is imperative for the developers’ team to gather information through conversations with the customer. It is in this conversation that insights are gleaned about each project. While, to the customer, it may seem that the task is quite obvious, and can easily be carried out without fail, it is at this point that the most inconspicuous mistake lurks, primarily due to a lack of information.

Now stop and think: 

What questions would I ask before making an estimate? Have you thought about it? Write your questions down on a piece of paper so we can compare.

Below are some of the questions that should be asked in order to make an accurate estimate:

  • What are the business goals of your project? An obvious question with which to start, but for some reason, everyone immediately rushes to learn about the product, its benefits, and other, little-needed information. In reality, it depends on the business goal for which the product or service is created. The final product will depend on whether it is to triple your company’s income, increase conversion, etc. As an example, if you are an environmental company with a goal to expand your client base, you could talk about ecology for 3 hours, but in the end, the goal will still be to expand the company’s client base, which is where the focus should remain.
  • What is the purpose of the project?  These points look similar, but if we are talking about a company-wide problem, the specific numbers are important here. To ensure success, the customer will need to share specific details. For example: Our goal is to onboard 100 new clients each month.
  • Is there a “killer feature”? Does your product have a killer feature that makes it unique from others like it. Highlighting this feature is essential, then, and needs to be included in the estimate.
  • What is the value of the project? What about the benefits?  When offering a product or service, value is a multidimensional factor where all the conditions need to be met. While the value is important, it is critical to stress the benefits to your audience. The developer will be able to include these factors in the estimate and narrow the focus for development.
  • How will you get started? Here is where you can get stuck for a long time. It can be tricky to make the decision to ask for support from a development team or order a business analysis service, etc. It is worth considering all the options. Perhaps in this particular situation, it would be more beneficial to cut the scope and invest in the best outside option for launching.
  • Is there an end-to-end solution?  That is, is there a plan to go through the entire product from start to finish? A full-cycle contractor can help with this.
  • Are there technical clarifications from checklists for the sale of specific services? Providing these checklists and technical clarifications will streamline development and help clarify the details involved.
  • How and how often will your company deliver the product or service?  Thanks to regular demonstrations, it is much easier to take into account all the needs that arise along the way and immediately adjust for your tasks.

Now you can start the discovery phase, according to the results of which you should have wireframes and at least a high-level specification or prototypes. Now there is everything for an estimate! 

Only with all the information, can you count on an adequate assessment of your outsourcing partner or developer. It is worth mentioning that most likely, at least 90% at one point or another have not conducted a full assessment. 

As an example, if your contractor is especially self-confident and brags that “yes, I will do everything here in a week and it will be fine,” then you should doubt because a specialist or developer can forget to take into account some features which will ultimately result in additional unplanned money and time. It is this reaction that can help you determine how experienced the person is sitting opposite you.  

For the most part, “pessimists” are already experienced workers. They have more experience with these cases, so they know bottlenecks and take into account more scenarios and pitfalls that will appear during implementation. It is these experienced professionals who have compiled a set of tools (templates) for drawing up a project assessment.

In the next article, we want to tell you what estimates of projects you can get, depending on the accuracy of detail.

Along with the already familiar trends such as microlearning and gamification, experts are actively introducing new products from related areas: social networks, user experience (UX) design, and chatbots.

Chatbots – a trend in learning, which is actively gaining popularity. Chatbots have long been used in marketing, sales, social networks, CRM-systems, but recently began to be used in the field of EdTech. Chatbots have a huge potential in e-learning. They can be used not only to simulate interaction with the instructor or the author of the course but also to create role-playing games within e-learning courses. For example, a dialogue with a patient or customer online store. Chatbots can ask any question and do not feel stupid. It is unnatural to study any subject, only listening to the lecture, and the chatbots successfully solve this issue. You can send a message to the tutor or research supervisor. A live person will answer for a long time, and the robots will answer the questions about learning immediately. In such cases, it is more convenient for people to communicate with the machine than with live people. It is clear that chatbots are a supplement to teachers and should not replace them.

Chatbots help create online communities and networking.  Many people are attracted by the opportunity to make professional acquaintances, enter the community of creative developing people, and perhaps find partners for their projects. For example, students communicate in slack channels where they can share their impressions, ask questions, or ask for feedback on a project. But it is worth remembering that: without a moderator, any communication sooner or later subsides or degenerates.

Any modern company is faced with the training and adaptation of new employees, advanced training of existing personnel, to improve the quality of human resources. Why is it helpful to use a chatbot for corporate employee training?

First of all, to automate the acquisition and assimilation of new knowledge in the format of interactive interaction. Just imagine: every employee of the company can have round-the-clock access to a virtual mentor, request the necessary information right at the workplace, be tested, and consolidate the material studied. Simultaneously, the load on the HR department or the company’s training center is minimal. In fact, after the initial setup and integration, the chatbot for offline training of employees will perform the functions assigned to it.

In the future, not only employees’ knowledge and skills will be assessed, but their work results. This approach will allow you to link learning metrics with business metrics, assess the real learning effect, and not just take courses.

Quite often, we hear the information about gaps in communication between the client and the remote developer: the developer does not respond to messages quickly; the developer does not get in touch in time; the client can’t control the order of task completion, and change task priority; the developer didn’t do the task as the client wanted or the client clarified the changes in Skype, and the developer relied on the description in the email; the developer spent more hours than the client expected and the developer did not warn about it.

To minimize communication gaps, we offer a few essential basic clauses of the “agreement” that can form effective interaction with the customer and remote developer.

  • Determine convenient communication channels with your Remote Worker (RW) (mail, instant messengers, Skype, Zoom, etc.) and the exact time of docking.
  • Form a system for recording the time spent on work, decide on a time-tracking model.
  • Make sure RW has access to the task management system (Jira, Trello, Google sheet, etc.) and follows the basic guidelines for using it.
  • Talk it over all the requirements for the development process: style/coding, test coverage, compatibility, performance, deployment, etc.
  • Determine a schedule for fixing and “delivery” of development results, both intermediate and final.
  • Make sure that RW has access to third-party services, add-ons, special equipment required for operation.
  • Consider the need to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and, if necessary, inform the outsourcing company manager.

Discuss each point and make sure that both sides understand it. Please note that if the development environment has been set up by a contractor, you will have to follow company rules and policies.

We hope these simple guidelines will help you find a great professional! Good luck!