Shockoe Featured as a Top App Developer on Clutch!

Shockoe Featured as a Top App Developer on Clutch!

At Shockoe, our experienced team of engineers and designers are committed to delivering high-quality, impressive mobile solutions to our clients. With over seven years of experience in the field, we know how to create an app that is beautifully designed, easy to use, and that meets each user’s needs.

Recently, our hard work was noticed by Clutch, ratings and review firm based out of Washington, D.C. Clutch published the results of their annual report on the Top Mobile App Development Companies in DC, and we made the list! Clutch’s methodology evaluates thousands of companies around the globe based on verified client reviews, services offered, work quality, and market presence.

So far, we have received several positive reviews on Clutch. We are glad that our hard work is paying off and that our clients are impressed by our mobile solutions. We are able to meet each unique need of our diverse set of clients, and our solutions are flawlessly designed. We’re happy to see that our Clutch reviews reflect our efforts.

Excerpts from our Most Recent Clutch Reviews

“They say they’re mobile only and they stick to that. Because of that, they’re very strategically focused, which allows them to do more and stay on the cutting edge. They stay on top of the latest trends.”

“We’ve had nothing but great success working with them. They’re professionals. They’re good at what they do. They’re nimble and responsive.”

“Shockoe’s developers and their Chief Executive Officer care about the work. When the team is making suggestions based on their personal experience, they become more than a contractor.”

We are excited to be featured as a top app developer on Clutch, and we look forward to being included in their ongoing research!

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Begin With the End in Mind

Begin With the End in Mind

“Begin with the end in mind” is the 2nd habit of Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The driving rationale behind this habit is that if you envision what you want in the future, you can work and plan towards it. Utilizing this approach when managing Mobile App development projects is a central tenet to Shockoe’s project success.

We begin vision casting with our clients early and often. Project initiation is where the nature and scope of a project is determined. Although we become well versed in what you DO and what kind of systems and information you HAVE, what we really like to focus on is where do you want to GO and where do you want to BE. We help our clients learn to dream again.

Planning a project involves determining the time, cost, and resources needed to deliver a project successfully.  If you are clear on where you want to be, you can plan the project efficiently. Clarified purpose and common goals can then be communicated to the people involved. Clear goals, along with well planned tasks to align with those goals, help provide the proper motivation to tackle the project.

As project execution occurs, the coordination of the resources and deliverables against the planned activities will be closely monitored. A clear destination will allow you to accurately measure the steps you are undertaking. It will also allow the team to course correct quickly if they are not headed in the right direction.

It has been known to happen that (on occasion) the client’s vision of the future will change. Change is a normal and an expected part. Consistent, continuous communications will allow the team to understand the adjusted goals and assess any impacts. It will clarify the new version of the future and expectations can be set with regard to what will be required to now accomplish this revised vision.

With the end — the client vision and dream — in mind, Shockoe helps our clients plan and navigate into a future clearly driven by these goals. We always begin (and continue) with the end in mind.

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Points for Style

Points for Style

It’s been years, but I can still remember my lab partner’s frustrated exclamation clearly. “It’s not a rule. It doesn’t matter!”, let out in response to seeing the results of our automatically graded submission of a program in a mid-level Computer Science course. Our work was functionally perfect, but the grading tool had subtracted several points over incorrect indentation size and other various style errors. He was right, technically, as we had adhered to the implementation requirements and using our program would produce indistinguishable results from our classmates’, but the faculty had chosen to take a stand. They chose to force us to care about style, or at least notice it. They chose to enforce a few basic style guidelines at a time when it seemed irrelevant, a time when we did the vast majority of our programming as a single developer in a vacuum. I’m not going to say I saw the light immediately, and I don’t remember a single student arguing in the system’s favor early on. I did, however, adopt good habits that I would later come to be thankful for when I learned what is a shocking truth for many young devs:

Style is not extra credit. Style matters.

Now the vacuum is gone and there is no auto-grader, just a group of incredibly smart fellow developers whose time is valuable and sanity should be protected. I’ve been a strong advocate of vigilant style practices for quite a while, but Shockoe turned out to be a place where justification for that is omnipresent. Due to the nature of our business, every developer makes contributions to a wide array of codebases, and has a hand in reviewing even more. We’ll wrap up a project and deliver it to the client, who then shows it off to the rest of the company and stakeholders. Soon we get feedback… management loved it! And guess what, they want a bigger, better phase 2! This is fantastic news, but it’s time to start planning, and “bigger and better” usually means additional resources. That means bringing new developers onto the project. Getting up to speed on a project quickly is a crucial skill for us, and we want to make that transition as smooth as possible. A little extra time considering style and writing cleaner code up front could make the difference between the next developer brought on grasping it instantly or spending an entire afternoon pulling their hair out.

Every new developer at Shockoe, usually on their very first day, is invited to a repository where an internal fork of the Idiomatic.js style guide lives and asked to study it. We have eyes on each others code constantly. Every user story is a pull request that gets reviewed, critiqued, and signed off on by a coworker.

I’ve known a lot of developers to be hesitant to request stylistic changes to another’s code, and I shared those feelings once too. It can feel like you are pointing out insubstantial issues, or that style is a personal choice and you might offend them. What we need to remember is that we are all trying to improve. If another developer reviews my work and thinks “I would write this differently” then I want to hear how. Several times, seemingly minor comments or questions have sparked a discussion that roped in multiple colleagues and left us all writing better code.

So don’t be satisfied with code that gets the job done. Strive for code that actively helps the next dev down the line, that they will thank you for, because when that time comes, you could be on another project, thanking someone else in kind.

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From Hardhats to Enterprise Apps

From Hardhats to Enterprise Apps

If you would have asked me this time last year if I was going to be working for a growing application design and development firm serving fortune 500 companies – I would have said, ‘In my dreams!’

Now, I can proudly say that is a reality, and I’m still pinching myself.

A year ago today, I was inspecting residential properties, skyscrapers, factories, construction sites and pipe trenches for asbestos, lead, and mold. Believe it or not, there was a lot of downtime for this type of work in between the hustle and bustle. I’m sure you’ve seen 10 construction workers on the side of the road while two guys are doing all the hard labor. That’s called safety folks!

I was not one to sit idle in my downtime on the job site. I’m the type of person that likes to stay busy, learn and contribute to the world. Through family and friends, I learned about the ever-growing world of UX and UI design. It wasn’t long before I realized that my passion for design worked equally well in the digital world as it did in the real one – and with a couple of art degrees from my past college years, I was determined to find my next venture.

I began studying this new digital world through websites like Udemy and YouTube, which offer great lectures and tutorials. I was also turned onto Mediumspecifically the UX collection, which is full of insightful blog posts that provide a glimpse into the tech world, and some of the pros and cons of the mobile app development industry.

I spent almost a year learning from lectures, tutorials, blog posts, testing mobile apps, studying design and visiting tech fairs. By putting myself out there – I found Shockoe. I was able to get my foot in the door to prove to a fast-growing company that I had something to offer, something to contribute to be successful. 

What I’ve found most valuable working with an up and coming tech company is that they’re looking to give you a shot at succeeding. If you have the right attitude and perseverance to prove that you can contribute to the larger picture, are willing to learn and adapt and believe in high quality apps that are well thought out and intuitive, then you can find great opportunities. This is the core belief in creating enterprise apps at Shockoe. I can tell you one thing, sitting idle and watching time go by will likely keep you out of the tech world and farther from your fuller future. Instead, pull out your phone and enjoy critiquing what you love most about your favorite Android and iOS apps. 

Since I’ve been working at Shockoe, I’ve learned a lot about working as a team and how important transparency is among our peers so our ideas and our skills can be utilized appropriately or improved upon. We are creating positive user experiences by listening to our clients, thorough testing and well thought out designs with the user and their tasks in mind. If you’re ready to be apart of a team of hard workers looking to improve the world, look no further. Shockoe needs great minds like you to bring your vision to the world of mobile enterprise app development.

Start watching videos on YouTube and reading to learn what makes a great UI or exceptional UX (or even what those acronyms mean). Ask yourself, what works well and what might you do to improve them? You could be the one to join our team and create the next best idea.

Energetic designer seeking long-term teammates

Energetic designer seeking long-term teammates

Me: Designer at a fast growing, Richmond-based mobile startup seeking long term relationship with boundary pushing, continuously learning designers.

You: Talented, eager individual looking for an opportunity to design alongside a team that has your back, for a company that thrives on their employees creating innovative solutions to everyday problems without it feeling like the daily grind.

I know you’re out there. I’ve seen your work. Whether it was a pixel perfect website, an awe-inspiring app screen or a sweet icon animation, I recognized your talent and want to work with you. Let me break that down:

 

Daily designer life at Shockoe:

As you enjoy your stroll through Sketch and gaze upon the user interface you have created, relax by nudging an object a few pixels in order to align your content. Let the curves of lorem ipsum fill your thoughts and focus on the best way to apply your layout skills to perfect every aspect of a user’s experience. You may be tapped on the shoulder by a fellow designer and asked for your (sometimes brutally) honest opinion, or pulled into a white board / or sticky note session. All of these moments will culminate in a project that you can be proud of when it goes into development. You get to own every aspect of your projects, from icons to colors, interactions to transitions, from client kick-off meeting to app store launch. You will work with the team at Shockoe to deliver an innovative, amazing product that keeps the user experience at the forefront.

Sounds like a dream, right. While some days may be tougher than others, in all I’ve found Shockoe to be a rare breed of startup that not only has core values but actually encourages their employees to live by them.

While the title UI /UX designer may be intimidating, don’t let that keep you from applying. Our designers have all started as pencil-pushing, layout changing, CSS editing designers. As long as you are willing to expand your knowledge by diving deep into iOS and Android Guidelines, I believe your talents and our projects will be a match made in heaven.

The Hour of Code Virginia featuring Shockoe.com

The Hour of Code Virginia featuring Shockoe.com

The ‘Hour of Code’ is a nationwide initiative by CSEdWeek and Code.org to introduce computer programming to 10 million students and encourage them to learn programming. This one-hour introduction to computer science is designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.

CodeVA has partnered with Code.org to host this year’s ‘Hour of Code’ in Richmond, VA. CodeVA is committed to expanding public school computer science offerings all across Virginia. They are grateful for the partnership they have developed with Code.org and look forward to making computer science education a reality for all Virginia children and for all Virginia communities.

Shockoe.com is excited to be joining CodeVA this year at the Science Museum of Virginia on December 9th at 10am. Shockoe is a cross-platform mobile app development company specializing in native and mobile web apps. We focus exclusively on the design, engineering, and development of mobile apps and their integration with backend administrative systems. Please stop by our information table between 10:00am and 12:00pm. We’d love to meet you and answer any questions you might have.

For more information about the event, visit Code Virginia