There is nothing as frustrating as beginning to build an app, getting stuck and having no idea how to proceed. And yet, almost every budding developer has experienced this: you get an idea for an exciting app, begin building it and then become completely overwhelmed to the point you just can’t make any progress. If only you had access to an experienced developer, someone who has been there and done that, to turn to for help. Someone you could bounce ideas off, and get advice on how to develop, launch and market your app. Unfortunately, finding such a developer can be challenging. A new app called Ringside hopes to end that search with just the click and a tap.
Ringside connects aspiring programmers with seasoned, experienced mentors who can help keep them organized and resolve challenges throughout the development process. Although the mentor doesn’t participate in the actual coding, they can provide valuable guidance in organizing the process, dividing it into more manageable pieces, establish schedules, track their progress, launch the app, ship it and market it. Mentors can also offer technical assistance where necessary.
The Ringside process consists of 4 steps: Planning, Building, Shipping, and Iterating. Inspired by the Agile development method, this process takes what would ordinarily be a long journey of creating a web app and breaks it down into short, manageable sprints. After the finished product is launched, the Iteration phase incorporates feedback from customers into new versions with enhanced features and bug fixes.
Currently, the mentors are expert developers who work with Metabahn, a web app development company based in Huntsville, Alabama that also created the Ringside app. It’s not clear whether there are plans to expand the mentor pool to developers outside the company. Its founder and CEO, Bryan Powell, explained the motivation for creating the app in a recent interview with Al.com:
“We realized that we have many years of experience building and shipping web apps, and that experience is useful to others. Ringside bottles this experience and provides it to people who need it.”
The biggest drawback about the service is that it’s currently limited to web-based app development. In other words, if you’re looking to create a native app for platforms like iOS or Android, you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way at least until Ringside expands the scope of its mentor pool. The app is still available as a free beta version, which was released back in March. By the time they get to a full release, they may have already resolved this weak point. To request an invite to the beta, just visit their site and provide your email address.