Django Stars developed a custom web application to extend Diviac’s platform usability to smaller devices. They also performed monthly support and maintenance.
Investors and users gave the app very positive feedback for its clean code, fluid and intuitive usability, and contemporary design. Diviac appreciated Django Stars' flexible development approach and customer-focused atittude toward project management.
"They've been very flexible in accommodating our needs, our desires."
Could you briefly describe your organization?
Diviac is an online cloud-based platform for scuba divers that allow them to log and track their diving. We're in the process of developing a web application with Django Stars to extend our platform's usability to smaller devices. We'll be offering mobile native apps sometime in the near future. It also functions like a trip advisor for scuba divers. For instance, it offers some detailed information about certain diving sites and locations. It's a place where divers can consolidate all of the relevant and value data they need to have convenient access to.
What is your position?
I'm one of the two co-founders and currently the CEO of the company.
Could you describe the business challenges you were attempting to address when you began the relationship with Django Stars?
It wasn't really a business challenge, per se. It was more of a need. I've been working with Django Stars since December 2012. When we first considered hiring a technology partner, we were preparing to devise and develop our solution for the first time, which meant the very core functionalities. We had our conceptual design and business strategy arranged, but we needed the engineers to build the solution for us.
Could you describe the scope of the work they've delivered over the course of the relationship?
I originally hired them to develop the whole functional platform from scratch. This has been a full-service project, from initial conception to eventual deployment. We've worked together on the visual design of the site, and they've handled the technical implementation. They cleaned, prepared, and migrated all of our data before configuring the entire system and organizing the business logic. They've also been dealing with incremental upgrades and some custom functional enhancements on the backend. We retain them for monthly support and maintenance.
How did you select Django Stars as your solution partner for this endeavor?
It wasn't a very scientific extensive process, to be entirely honest. It began with the technology. We were advised by a trust business associate to build our solution with Python using the Django framework. Once that was decided upon, we began to conduct some research into the leading Python and Django firms. We investigated a number of past conferences and identified the sponsors, and keynote speakers, and then reviewed their sites. We also received a recommendation from another Swiss startup, informing us that Django Stars had a great reputation. We submitted our statement of work and received a very compelling proposal. We invited them to demonstrate some of their capabilities and then proceeded to commission them.
This is some ongoing relationship, correct?
Yes. That's correct. At this point, we've clocked several thousands of development hours with them. We use them exclusively as our development arm and they operate as an extension of our team.
In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback you've received that might demonstrate the effectiveness of their work?
We've received some very positive feedback both from our investors and from our users who see and use the platform on a daily basis: Clean code, fluid and intuitive usability, [and] very contemporary. It's a combination of both factors outside of Django Stars' circle of influence such as design decisions, but also in terms of the custom development on their end.
When working with Django Stars, is there anything you'd consider unique about their approach or development methodology that distinguishes them from other vendors?
First of all, they're very flexible with their contractual arrangements. We've gone back and forth between the pure agile mode of simple per hour, and also fixed project prices. They've been very flexible in accommodating our needs, our desires. They've also been very responsive. Overall, I'm very positive about Django Stars, and I can recommend them without any problem.
In retrospect, are there areas in which you think they could improve as a service provider?
Areas we often allude to are the time estimations for various pieces of work. Like many companies and many individuals, they tend to be on the optimistic side and, sometimes, underestimate the amount of time required for certain pieces of work, which is fine so long as there aren't other external dependencies involved.