Magic Web Solutions, UK: a Java Development Company
If you are looking to support an existing project or build a new software, you need a Java development company that specialises in the Java platform.
Development of web-based applications using Java has been our core capability and focus since 1999. Our applications deliver high performance, high security and good scalability.
Most of our UK clients rely completely on our web applications for their day-to-day operations and we provide ongoing support and development. “Mission critical” applications are always delivering what is required.
Our development team is experienced in creating an interactive front end using AJAX and HTML5, working in combination with Java components on the back end.
Our bespoke Java applications work well on all devices, including tablets and smartphones.
Understanding the Java Development UK Market and How it Affects Your Choice
Java Development Companies in the UK
The java development market is very diverse and includes:
- Freelancers – who are registered as a “limited company” but, in reality, just have a desk in an open plan, shared working space.
- Small and medium-sized teams – from a handful of employees up to 50 or 100.
- Large software companies – handling multi-million projects with thousands of employees around the globe.
Choosing the right development company, with not only the right skills and resources, but also with enough time, energy and attention span for your project, is absolutely crucial to its success.
Offshore Java Development
Nowadays many UK-based Java development companies outsource at least part of their work abroad.
Why is this?
- Cost benefits – let’s be honest, keeping costs down is a major attraction.
- Skills – there is not sufficient skills in the UK to satisfy IT industry demand, in spite of special immigration programs attracting software developers.
The Magic Web Solutions Approach
We use a combination of UK-based and outsourced talent. Our java development team based in Russia is a showstopper for some companies…but let’s think about this!
When our company started we mainly worked for larger, UK-based, media and design agencies. To the end client we were “invisible” and, as far as they knew, they were getting a 100% UK software development. And for this they probably paid at least a 100% premium for the “privilege”, unaware that their project was outsourced to us.
Of course it’s not realistic to meet every staff member face to face and to know them by name – which is what you would have to do to guarantee 100% UK-based developers.
We are upfront about this. We are UK-based company bound by laws governing England and Wales, with local resources that control and direct the projects and provide a single point of contact for clients. Some of our development resources happen to be in other countries.
Why are Java Development Rates Higher than Others?
The cost of java development services varies widely, but you will find the rates higher than for many other types of software development.
Java is an “enterprise” platform, so developers can be more expensive than, say PHP developers; there is a high demand for their services from well-established organisations, especially in the financial sector.
It is also a sophisticated programming language that takes a long time to learn, which pushes developer rates up, even overseas.
If you research UK-based Java development rates at “IT Jobs Watch UK”, you will see that average daily rates are around £465 for a contractor (as of March 2017).
Even a small company has to charge more than that; while a contractor working on your premises is paid for all hours he spends in the office, whether this time is productive or not, an agency cannot bill for all these hours; billing 75% of all available hours is the industry standard, but sometimes it works out much less in practice.
The company also carries some risk in that jobs they have not done well have to be fixed without any compensation.
This is why a typical rate may start from £70 an hour (or £560 a day). Rates of £150-£200 an hour from high profile consultancies are not unheard of – without any guarantee of a better outcome.
Choosing Your Software Developer
Sometimes you pay for a name or a brand; sometimes it’s for high-level project and client management; but higher rates don’t necessarily mean a higher level of technical expertise.
Larger software companies might be also CMM and ISO certified which, in theory, verifies that they adhere to a process. However, if your project is not extensive, this not necessarily what you should be looking for.
Three questions that need to be asked when searching for developers are:
- Do they have a thorough understanding of your needs?
- Do they have a flexible development process – do they follow an Agile Manifesto?
- How are their actual productivity levels – which do not just depend on team size?
These are qualities that can not be certified. They depend on the particular team you work with, not on the credentials of the organisation.
Bear in mind that productivity can vary up to a factor of TEN for an individual programmer, and TWENTY for teams. This can be the difference between a successful project completed on time and months of frustration for a client.
Generally speaking, qualifications and experience do lead to productivity, but cost is not always the best guideline.
A £120 per hour developer can work out cheaper for you than a £40 per hour developer. Sometimes there is a good correlation between rates and skill level, but other times the higher rates are better explained by having a large sales team.
Be Aware of…
Some technical companies try to manipulate non-technical clients and inflate the cost estimates.
This is normally due to one of two reasons:
- Because the client does not understand the workload involved in implementing a solution
- Because the solution delivers great value and ROI (which is more acceptable)
This can happen when there is an account or project manager between you and the technical team; they “translate” developer’s estimates. Often this helps to compensate the company for lost resources spent on sales, consultancy and “free” support.
You are more likely to receive better value by working directly with technical leads, paying on a time and material basis.
Java Programmers vs Java Developers
The main difference between programmers and developers is in the level of skill and exposure to the entire software development lifecycle.
A programmer is a junior member of a larger project team team, who is given a task to implement some logic, function, or class to a particular part of the project.
He mightn’t have a clue about the whole software project, its end purpose or the needs of the project stakeholders.
At Magic Web we do not have “programmers” or “junior” developers as such. We only take people with a few years of commercial experience; then we train them on internal projects so they get accustomed to our processes and practices. This can take from 3 months to 2 years, depending on the initial level of skill.
Our projects are run in small teams, so we ensure that every developer understands the system architecture, deployment procedures, project directions and needs of the end users.
This system is partly what makes Magic Web an attractive place to work for Java Developers. Larger software houses often have a rigid structure, with several levels of management. Even though they receive a title like “senior software developer” it may not bring more responsibility, or more participation in the actual projects.
Java Versus other Technologies for Custom Web Applicaiton Development
There are two major web platforms that compete with ava: .NET and PHP.
Ruby on Rails and Python with it’s popular Jango framework are less widespread but still quite popular.
Seeing as you are reading this page you might already have reasons to prefer Java – perhaps your existing software is already Java-based?
We can build a bespoke, robust, web-based application using any technology, but Java is considered our core competency as we’ve been developing Java-based applications since 1999.
“Java Database” Development
The words “Java” and “database” are often grouped together in people’s minds.Sometimes less technical people think about their project as a “database system” “database solution” or simply a database. We prefer to call it a “web based application”.
The truth is: any web-based application, including a Java application, makes extensive use of a database to store data. JDBC is the component that simplifies working with the database and it is a big part of the Java technology stack.
You may have heard of MySQL. This is a free and popular alternative to paid database software such as Microsoft’s SQL Server or Oracle. And this database solutions is used on most of our projects.