What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We’ve always been on track, and there hasn’t been an issue with missed deadlines. The scope is constantly changing and expanding, and we haven’t come to a stable-enough point to have reliable burndown metrics. This reflects more on me as a general manager than it does on Bacancy. In terms of measurable points, we’ve hit our development velocity precisely.
Feedback is to be determined. We do have users and customers, but not at a scale that would reveal inefficiencies in the code base. There are always trade-offs between solid code and just getting something out there, and we’re in the latter mode. I’m sure that if Bacancy’s team had it their way, they would love to go back and refactor parts, but we don’t have time for it. I give them high marks for reliability, but I can’t provide qualitative feedback until we’ve had thousands of users on the platform and it crashes in the night, but, even then, it would probably reflect more on me than on Bacancy.
How did Bacancy Technology perform from a project management standpoint?
They are extremely responsive. The time difference is probably the biggest issue. Had they been on our side, I’m sure more people would have used Bacancy’s services. It’s challenging, but it wasn’t an unexpected factor. I’m on Central Time, so there is an eleven-and-a-half-hour difference with India Standard Time. For the most part it hasn’t been an issue, which is mainly due to my flexibility. I can be up at the most convenient time for them, because it’s important for me to have consistent feedback. Had I been doing this as a side-project and not as a fulltime job, it would be tough, but this is also the reason that I can pay 25% of what a U.S. developer would cost.
We use Skype, Slack, videoconferencing, phone and every other available technology for communication. We’ve worked within an Agile scrum model, and communication has been primarily between myself and their project manager.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Their design capabilities are far better than mine. I usually want my partners to be very involved creatively, but I don’t think I made it a specific point, given that there were no specs for what we’re doing. Bacancy had freedom to deviate, but they made almost exactly what I gave them. Upon seeing their other work though, I asked them to redesign the platform as they saw fit.
Are there any areas they could improve?
No. They run a tidy operation. You can always nitpick, but I’ve worked with many developers over time, and our collaboration with Bacancy has been great.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
If the client is not at the stage of having designs and specs laid out, they should let Bacancy provide input. They’re very good at it.
Anyone considering using overseas developers, where there would be a language barrier, should be aware of what their expectations truly are. I’m a developer and have technical knowledge, so I can get in there and interact with the team on a level which would not be possible for a non-technical client. The process has been great, but I can see how miscommunication could happen, and how things could not turn out as expected. People can end up spending a lot of money going back and changing things if they’re not really prepared for what the process looks like.
When I read online reviews, for the most part, they seem to come from ordinary people with an idea for an app, who hired someone without fully understanding the hurdles that come with any software development project. Those hurdles can then be exacerbated by time zone differences and language barriers. Adding them all together, it becomes clear that this isn’t for everyone.