Reasonable people. Mad skills.

Cast Iron Coding is the smart, reliable web engineering team you’ve always wanted to work with.We are thinkers, coders, and collaborators who stay ahead of rapidly changing technologies while still sweating the details. We love what we do, we stand by our clients, and we’re proud of our work.

 
$10,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2004
Show all +
Portland, OR
headquarters
  • 1300 SE Stark St. Suite 307
    Portland, OR 97214
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

IBM, Carnival, Mentor Graphics, Symantec, Parallels, QSC, Fidelity Investments, Organic Valley, Easton Bell / Giro, Gerding Edlen, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Modern Languages Association, Dana Farber / Harvard Cancer Center, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, Cornell University, University of Minnesota, University of Washington, City University of New York, NY State, WA State

Reviews

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Web App for Sustainability Education Nonprofit

“They’ve really been willing to go the extra mile to understand what our organization truly needs.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Apr. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Cast Iron Coding serves as the long-term app development partner for a nonprofit focused on sustainability. Building the product from scratch, they used Ruby on Rails to complete the initial app.

The Reviewer
 
11 - 50 Employees
 
Portland, Oregon
Former Executive Director, Ecochallenge.org
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Because of their design and development efforts, the team catalyzed dramatic audience engagement growth across all metrics since starting the engagement. Their superior technical expertise and use of project management tools streamlined communication throughout the effort.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We’re a nonprofit that’s now known as Ecochallenge.org. Working with schools, businesses, and municipalities, we focus on community engagement surrounding sustainability education. I’m the former executive director.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cast Iron Coding?

We wanted to completely redevelop our eco-challenge platform. When we contracted Cast Iron Coding, our goal was to expand upon our existing app.  

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Prior to our work with them, we had a very rudimentary digital engagement platform that we used to host one event each year. We used the event to encourage individuals to commit to action involving sustainability. The event involved organizations competing against each other to meet goals. Ideally, we wanted our solution to allow us to host several events each year, both private and public. 

Instead of building on our existing app, they created an entirely new one. The new solution was built using Ruby on Rails and other technologies for the product's architecture. We used their resources for wireframes, design, and development. They provided all the necessary resources for the solution’s creation. 

After the launch of the final product, they stayed on board with us. Since then, we’ve added several new features to accommodate our growing user base. We intend to continue the relationship to support our clients. 

What is the team composition?

For that initial project, we worked with about five of their teammates. We worked both with the project manager and the developers themselves.  

How did you come to work with Cast Iron Coding?

We put out an RFP, and they answered it. Our companies were located in the same neighborhood, and we decided to go with them based on their experience.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent around $240,000 in total. The initial development project alone cost about $75,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started the redevelopment project in April 2016, and the initial launch of the new platform happened in September 2016. However, we’ve continued to work with them and plan on extending our relationship in the future.  

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Because of the work that they’ve done for us, audience engagement has increased across all Google Analytics metrics. In our last year using the old platform, we had about 4,000 people participating. Now, we have over 55,000 users on the app. We’ve seen a lot of growth and expect more to come this year and beyond.  

How did Cast Iron Coding perform from a project management standpoint?

They do a great job with project management, using Basecamp and GitHub to keep us all on the same page. Their team has been patient with us as learned about product strategy and management best practices. I appreciate how they helped us understand how that translates into a workflow throughout the whole process. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their ability to grasp the real essence of our work stood out. Of course, they were able to manage the technical aspect of the project. What was really important to us, though, was their knowledge of our mission and the overall goals of the program. 

The development, design, and technology are top-notch. They’ve really been willing to go the extra mile to understand what our organization truly needs.  

Are there any areas they could improve?

They’re a mid-sized shop, so they don’t have endless resources. After putting them on a monthly retainer plan, we were proactive about defining the amount of work that we could reasonably expect from them. Toward the end of our development, we realized that we were asking too much of them. It was helpful on both ends to put together a structure that managed our expectations.  

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

For any project, it’s important to be clear upfront. Whenever we’re engaging them, we do a lot of work beforehand to ensure that we can communicate our requirements effectively. That’ll set you up for success.

5.0
Overall Score They’ve been supporting a very important part of our organization.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Most often, they met their deadlines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They understood and value our work, making sure we could accomplish our goals on our budget.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Our development need was complicated, so sometimes small regressions were made in the development.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They’ve done wonders for our application, and we enjoy working together.

Platform Dev for University Media Publishing Organization

“They are really good at taking our feedback and directing us productively.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
May 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Cast Iron Coding developed and continues to build out a digital publishing platform for a scholarly book publishing company. Their team works independently from function requirements provided by the client.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Susan Doerr
Associate Director, University of Minnesota Press
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The platform built by Cast Iron Coding successfully provides a flexible platform for publishers and readers of scholarly material at the University of Minnesota and over 30 other locations around the world. The team has been extremely practical and collaborative throughout the development process.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

My organization is the University of Minnesota Press, and I am the associate director. We are an educational book publisher with a digital and print program.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cast Iron Coding?

We had an opportunity to receive some funding to build a digital publishing platform to meet our specific needs for scholarly monograph content. When we wrote our grant proposal, we chose to work with Cast Iron Coding to be our partner on that solution.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They built a web-based platform designed for long-form scholarship, which includes books from 50–100,000 words. We conceived of what we needed it to do and some of the interactions in terms of how you might want to read online, but they helped us decide on everything from software and programming languages to use to some of the implementation decisions.

They built the platform in Ruby on Rails and developed the ability to read online or download to a pdf at the discretion of the publisher. They also built some dynamic social capabilities for groups coming together to discuss the text, as well as interactive aspects like links and datasets that books can’t include.

What is the team composition?

We primarily work with Jack (Owner, Cast Iron Coding), as well as two of his developers that are assigned to our project. They’ve also had other teammates who have moved on and off the project at various times, but this has been the core team.

How did you come to work with Cast Iron Coding?

They worked with one of our authors to build a website for his book so that people could read the content online for free. We liked what they did with him, so we agreed to bring them onto our project to develop our online publishing platform called Manifold Scholarship.

How much have you invested with them?

In total, we have spent just under $800,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We received our first grant in April 2015 and began working with them in May, and that first project with them ended in March 2018. At that point, we had achieved the full release of the first version of our platform. Then we secured a second grant to work with Cast Iron again starting in April 2018 to continue to develop the platform, as well as to install and train other publishers on how to use it, and that work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We have more than 30 installations of the platform in use in North America and Europe and over 250 publications across those 30 installations. I consider that a tremendous success, given that when we started this project, we really didn’t know how many people would find it useful beyond ourselves.

The other metric I use is that as we’ve discovered other publishing needs beyond the books that we originally conceived, we’ve been able to adapt some of the structure to accommodate other types of publications and other kinds of reading groups. That to me demonstrates the flexibility of the solution that we developed, which is important to me as well.

How did Cast Iron Coding perform from a project management standpoint?

We meet with them on a weekly basis online, as well as having occasional meetings at their office in person. It’s a very collegial and collaborative relationship. Our whole project is on GitHub and we communicate over Slack and email.

They are really good at taking our feedback and directing us productively. Sometimes we have ideas that might be great, but not feasible or beyond the scale of our project. If there’s something we can’t solve, but something else we can do to address the need we’ve expressed, they do a great job of synthesizing that and helping us find a practical solution.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We are a primarily humanities and social sciences publisher interacting with a technology development company. One of our biggest concerns was being able to communicate effectively, but throughout the project Cast Iron Coding has been able to speak our language and use our vocabulary to explain everything we needed to know.

When we didn’t understand, they’ve been able to teach us so that we can better understand what we’re developing. I really appreciate that they can talk to us in a way that we understand as well as listen to us in a way that shows us that they’re understanding what we’re saying.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Working with them is such a good experience that I really don’t have any critiques.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Coming from our marketplace where budgets are often quite small, sometimes we need our expectations realigned with what good-quality things really cost. I would just encourage anyone considering working with them to have a really frank conversation about your goals and what it will cost up front to get there. If those two things can align, then the result will be fantastic.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer