Agile Software Development done right!

At Def Method, we feel just as comfortable hanging out in the business world as we do coding—and that means you get technical solutions that deliver results. Our experienced team of engineers and senior developers take a seasoned, full-service approach to Rails and mobile application development, creating end-to-end, one-on-one and made-to-order solutions.

 
$5,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2014
Def Method
336 W 37th St. Suite #480
New York, NY 10018
United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

MoMa, Friends of the High Line, XO Group, CNYCN, Corcoran, Casper, Datapipe

Reviews

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Ruby on Rails Dev for Crowd-Sourcing Platform

"Def Method has assembled a team of best-in-class talent. I consider them a co-founder of our company."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Oct. 2015 - Sept. 2016
Project summary: 

Def Method completed full stack development of a crowdsourcing platform tailored to the fashion industry. Retailers can access data analytics generated from consumers' frontend engagement with their products.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New York, New York
David Lamer
CEO, Preeline
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Built for a fraction of the cost of comparable platforms, the innovative site received enthusiastically positive feedback from consumers and major brand executives alike. Responsive communication and synergizing both parties' respective areas of expertise fostered a successful ongoing partnership.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the CEO of Preeline, a crowdsourcing platform for the fashion industry.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Def Method?

The type of platform we wanted to develop really hadn't existed at the time. It collects, organizes, and applies data in a useful way for merchandising and buying teams at both brand and retail companies. Using similar functions as Tinder and Pinterest, users can "love" or "hate" product images.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Def Method executed the entire development stage of our product. I created the outline and architecture with my team. We laid out ideas for the site's UX, functionality, banners, images, engagement levels, and analytics. Since I work in the fashion industry, my background involves design and visuals. I often drew on paper or used keynote presentations to show the development team my concept for the look and feel. We worked collaboratively, synthesizing our design resources and their development expertise. They gave insight into maximizing data analytics tools and offered cutting-edge alternatives to my requests for maps and pie charts. As a Ruby on Rails expert, Def Method was a big proponent of using that technology. They thought it would work well for our platform and we certainly don't disagree.

The platform appealingly packages consumer-generated data, making it easy to comprehend. The site is engaging and accessible for frontend users, who are one set of our stakeholders. Consumers engage with featured products on the frontend of the system. As they browse, they provide feedback about their preferences. Clear backend graphics offer brand and retail management teams useful insight. Executive level clients can instantly access the results attributed to their brand or product profiles.

What is the team composition?

We engage with a variable number of resources depending on the project at hand. Over the years, we've typically worked with 3-5 people at a time. We keep a small, tight team at their suggestion. As a smaller company, that seems to work best for us. More recently, 1-2 resources have been involved since the platform has successfully been built and launched.

How did you come to work with Def Method?

While looking for developers, we initially asked entrepreneurs who'd developed similar sites for their recommendations. We narrowed our original list of 8-10 vendors down to 3 options. Def Method was the clear frontrunner. They were clearly a team that would give this project their best effort. I had no doubt about their dedication, so it was an easy decision. We ruled out the very large development houses based on the expense structure. Those providers offered an extensive design process we didn't need. Joe Leo [President, Def Method] understood we already had the design aspect taken care of. Our complementary design and development skill sets have made for a great partnership.

How much have you invested with them?

We've invested less than half a million dollars total in the platform. For comparison, we've built a far a better product at that price point than a competitive platform with an investment of $23 million.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our ongoing partnership started in October 2015. They began working shortly after we laid out the scope. Our beta site was up and running within 2-3 months, and we completed this project in September 2016. Since the launch, we've made adaptations as needed. New clients join at various times, which creates a fluctuating level of complexity within our platform. We'll continue to engage with Def Methods indefinitely. I consider them our developer of choice.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Def Methods deserves congratulations for producing a highly capable platform that's best in class. They built exactly what we were looking for and I couldn't be happier with the deliverable. Making it highly engaging for users is easier said than done, and they did a great job. Impressively, they built it for a fraction of the price most vendors would have charged. Typical feedback from our consumer frontend users has been along the lines of "wow, this is awesome!" That level of enthusiasm is the exact response I'd aimed to elicit. We just conducted a launch with a five-billion-dollar apparel brand this week. They could not have been more excited about the platform, analytics, and data sets the platform instantly provides. From their standpoint, our product is basically unprecedented. It's been awesome.

How did Def Method perform from a project management standpoint?

I was excited to see how well the programmers work with my staff. They're a talented, productive, and nimble team. This process could have gone extremely poorly, but it was flawless from the very start. There aren't needless layers of hierarchy like project managers. We're in direct contact with the resources who actually perform the work. All the developers are skilled, supportive, and good listeners.

My co-founder primarily works with the engineers. She does a great job communicating our needs. I typically communicate via text and e-mail based on personal preference. My internal team uses other tools, but the dialogue is mostly based on phone calls, meeting in person, and Google Meetups. They're always extremely responsive and are available whenever we need them.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Def Method has assembled a team of best-in-class talent. They've been an excellent partner and I consider them a co-founder of our company. I credit and respect Joe Leo and his fantastic team for helping us be as productive, effective, and efficient as possible. They're highly reactive, involved, and genuinely want to offer us an immense value. I'm sure they do the same for all their clients. They've been quick to indicate the best kind of technology to use and offer helpful ideas to improve our business. I can't say enough good things about them. You can tell they take pride in their work.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I really have no complaints; they work efficiently and have been great partners.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

My best advice is to know exactly what you want when you begin a new development partnership. It's always productive for entrepreneurs (or anyone starting a business) to have a clear idea of what they want to build, even if it's just drawn on a napkin. This will help clarify what all your teams need to accomplish. Most importantly, choose a great development partner like Def Method to collaborate with on your project.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They've never missed a deadline.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The price has been awesome.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

IT Staff Augmentation for Kids Clothing Subscription Service

“Def Method’s engineers get work done in a timely manner, all while maintaining a smile.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Apr. - Aug. 2017
Project summary: 

Def Method built critical user-facing features using Ruby on Rails and React. A service fee mitigates risk and secures the business model, while the delivery rescheduling option offers customers flexibility.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
New York, New York
CTO, Kids Clothing Subscription Service
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Def Method’s engineers provided staff augmentation and instructed the in-house team on full stack development and best practice. Programmers deftly worked with a Solidus framework without prior experience. The team’s fresh perspective, expertise, and knowledge base bolstered security and revenue.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the CTO of a children’s clothing subscription box company. We're vertically integrated, so we design and manufacture all the clothes, then sell them directly to consumers.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Def Method?

Our engagement with Def Method last summer focused on staff augmentation, reinforcing best practices, and bolstering our team's comfortability with full stack programming.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Def Method coded critical user facing features. Our website is built on Ruby on Rails on the backend, and React on the frontend. The team was adept at both technologies. We use a Solidus e-commerce framework, which they quickly understood without prior experience. While they didn’t do design work, per se, they worked closely with our internal designers to understand the UI/UX. Our specific work model doesn’t involve wireframes. We create detailed specs using Zeppelin files that are ready to use by the time development starts.

During development planning, I walked them through our desired additions. I write these features very discretely so we can easily iterate and pivot, and see them early and often. A notable self-service function they built allows customers to reschedule box delivery times at their leisure. Before, they’d had to arrange that process through our customer service.

To improve our business model, we introduced a concept akin to a service fee. We’d incurred significant risk by sending customers boxes worth hundreds of dollars, without knowing if they’d be kept and paid for. When users sign up for our service, they pay an initial cost per box that’s credited towards any products they decide to keep. This mitigates the risk of fraudulent consumers with bad cards coming through the sales funnel.

What is the team composition?

I've actually engaged with Def Method a few times, at both my current and previous employers. I worked with three resources last summer in 2017, and an additional four previously. I've been able to work directly with the developers, rather than going through project managers.

How did you come to work with Def Method?

My previous company used Def Method before they merged with a different company and changed their name. Initially, we worked on a trial basis for a three-month project. We ended up engaging with them for over a year, and kept renewing the statement of work. They used a variety of engineers through that process. Working with them was always very enjoyable, including the handoff. From both our perspectives, it was nice to have fresh eyes and a new stance. High caliber developers enabled them to ramp up quite quickly.

How much have you invested with them?

We've spent over $100,000 on their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started this last project in April 2017, and finished it in August 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Both the introduction of the fee and the ability for users to self-service the shipping windows were game-changing features for our business. Their work critically improved the health of our company, both from a risk and business model perspective. Before these features launched, we were incurring major risk and attracting the wrong type of consumer. Since then, we've acquired customers with a longer lifetime value, who are a better fit for our company.

How did Def Method perform from a project management standpoint?

We didn't really use Def Method for that aspect. Having tangentially seen how they operate internally, I can tell it's a well-oiled machine. They mostly provided staff augmentation, and worked in-house with our team. A major reason I chose them is that they practice pair programming, which benefitted our staff's individual and team growth. The internal team I inherited was a bit siloed in their skill sets. Our developers had usually focused more on either frontend or backend. Bringing in Def Method eased their comfort level with transitioning to full stack development.

What did you find most impressive about them?

It was a pleasure to work with them. They have a great group of engineers at their disposal. Everyone I've come in contact with has been quite knowledgeable and has a great attitude. Other extreme programming-type development shops carry a certain degree of arrogance. Def Method’s engineers get work done in a timely manner, all while maintaining a smile.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I wanted to make sure their engineers stayed happy. Although they're hourly contractors, I was invested in their individual growth, and wanted them to feel engaged. I brought that up with Joe Leo, their president and CEO. He was responsive and consistently checked in with them. I got the sense that he felt similarly.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be upfront about the level of instruction you want from Def Method. They can help your team better themselves, versus just completing the work. They usually limit input to what you explicitly request, especially if they’re hired as staff augmentation. If you ask them to, however, they’ll bolster your team's best practices and bring more opinions to the table.

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

IT Staff Augmentation & Development for Billing Software

"...[O]ur junior developers valued the knowledge passed on by Def Method’s experienced team."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May 2014 - Aug. 2016
Project summary: 

Def Method provided developers for a medical billing company to fill employment gaps. They helped add functionalities to a web-based platform, launch a public API, and install new integrations.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
New York, New York
CTO, Billing Software Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Def Method’s pragmatic approach allows them to seamlessly integrate with any work environment, while their broad skillset makes them suitable for a variety of projects. They played an instrumental role in launching new products. Their experienced team exchanged knowledge with in-house developers.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the CTO of a company that provides medical billing software. Our platform streamlines billing with software specifically built to manage the complex challenges of workers’ compensation.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Def Method?

We had a few technical hires leave suddenly and needed an agency to provide technical leadership and staff augmentation.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They helped find the right developers for our projects and assisted with the onboarding process. From there, Def Method continued to provide technical oversight and product management assistance.

We have a fairly large web-based platform that we continue to develop on a daily basis, adding new functionalities. We also kicked off our public API during our engagement with Def Method and launched new integrations to connect with other medical systems. Their team was instrumental in getting those projects off the ground.

What is the team composition?

We worked closely with Joe (Leo, Founder, Def Method), who spent a few days each week on our project. They typically provided a small team of no more than five individuals.

How did you come to work with Def Method?

They were recommended by a mutual business relationship.

How much have you invested with them?

Between $50,000–$200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together between May 2014–August 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Def Method helped stabilize our business until we could hire additional staff to build our internal team. They were very professional, and our junior developers valued the knowledge passed on by Def Method’s experienced team.

How did Def Method perform from a project management standpoint?

Due to the nature of our engagement, project management was largely handled by members of our team. They were able to provide guidance on how to break down large projects from a technical perspective and then how best arrange the work to be done.

We split the engagement between in-office and remote sessions. When remote, we used a combination of Slack and Google Hangouts to communicate. We also used remote pair programming for screen sharing.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re incredibly pragmatic, which isn’t always the case with consultants. Def Method—and Joe, in particular—maintains a good, practical balance, adapting to our existing methodologies and blending into our preferred work style.

In terms of development, their team has a wide range of expertise. They don’t specialize in only a handful of technologies, giving them the flexibility to find solutions for a variety of projects.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Our engagement went very smoothly, so I can’t think of anything.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Whether you are looking to augment your existing engineering team or build a new product, Def Method has a diverse team ready to help out.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Due to the nature of the engagement, project management was largely handled by our end.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer