Developing an app is no easy feat. Sleepless nights and countless hours coding are all a part of the territory. Share a Refund founder, Nick Hoffman, recently had the opportunity to swap stories with QuickBooks and share the ins-and-outs of developing an app.
The benefits of app development
Seeing an idea become a tangible reality is the dream of every app developer. Nick sums up the feeling of successfully creating an app. “It’s great to know that our app creates real value for small businesses,” he shared. “As a software entrepreneur, there’s no other feeling like it in the world.” It definitely helped to have the QuickBooks team on his side. “The QuickBooks Developer Relations Team did a terrific job in supporting us throughout the development process,” he said. The benefits of building an app to empower businesses far outweigh the challenges that arise.
The challenges of app development
Still, challenges are unavoidable. Especially when it involves the ever-changing world of technology. For Nick, the most challenging part about developing Share a Refund was keeping up with the growth. “Our workflow was processor heavy and load balancing servers were taking more time as we grew, so we attempted to move toward a serverless architecture,” he explained. “At first, progress was slow, and the days dragged on, but we kept trying and eventually got things working. Only to realize that in order to make the change, we needed to rewrite the entire application from scratch.” Although Nick did not want to perform such a cumbersome undertaking, looking back he sees how it was all worth it. “From a speed perspective, batch jobs that previously took several hours to run now took milliseconds,” he stated. “I’m glad we did it.”
Nick credits teamwork for overcoming the various challenges of architecting and deploying an app. “With ten different ways of doing anything, it’s important to see all options and pick the best path,” he explained. “Working in teams helped us navigate all the tough decisions that went into building Share a Refund.” The power of collective teamwork helped them achieve more than individual work ever could.
Working in teams helped us navigate all the tough decisions that went into building Share a Refund.
The future of Share a Refund
Share a Refund has exciting plans for the future from continued active expansion into global markets to introducing new value-add services for small businesses. “The lost and damage service recently added to Share a Refund is a great tool for any business filing lost or damage claims,” Nick said. “It’s one of the many features added to Share a Refund recently in our continued pursuit of helping small businesses navigate the convoluted world of shipping.” Nick is actively focused on solving more small business challenges around the world.
It was exciting to have QuickBooks peak into the Share a Refund world. We are eagerly anticipating powerful programs at this year’s QuickBooks Connect in San Jose, California.