World-class web & mobile apps development

Django Stars a full-service web and mobile development company. We provide our clients with creative solutions to help them drive the business forward and achieve goals.

Today we are a top agile software development house in Europe with over 40 full-time employees (no freelancers), headquartered in Ukraine (Kiev) with offices in the USA (New Jersey) and Germany (Frankfurt am Main).

 

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We focus on the development of complex solutions, that contribute to our clients’ success by becoming leaders in their markets. Django Stars works with startups, established businesses and the world’s leading brands from the US, Canada, UK, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Ireland in the financial services, travel & hospitality, healthcare & fitness, real estate and transportation sectors.

Our services:

  • Web apps: Python, Django, PostgreSQL, Node.js, Tornado, REST API, AngularJS, Scala
  • Mobile apps dev: Android, iOS, Cordova, Ionic, PhoneGap, React Native
  • Software : E-commerce, Cloud, SaaS, DevOps, Scaling, and Deployment
  • UX/UI Design
  • JS development: Backbone.js, Ember.js, React, KnockoutJS, Marionette, RxJS, Angular2, etc.
  • Big Data and Machine Learning: Hadoop, Databricks, Spark, AWS
  • Devops, QA, Technical Consulting

Business domains:

  • Finance & Banking
  • Taxi & Transportation
  • Health Care and Fitness
  • Travel & Booking Engine
  • Real estate
  • Marketplaces
  • Fantasy Sports
  • E-commerce & Retail
  • Online Social / Social Networking
  • Education and E-learning

Our services:

 
$10,000
 
$25 - $49 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2008
Show all +
Kiev, Ukraine
headquaters
  • Django Stars
    Kozhumiatska St, 10а
    Kiev 04071
    Ukraine
    +38 091 928 1752
other locations
  • Django Stars
    550 Battery St., 415
    San Francisco, CA 94111
    United States
  • Django Stars
    Mainzer Landstraße 384
    Frankfurt am Main 60325
    Germany

Reviews

Sort by

Ongoing Django Dev for Computer Software Firm

"They can handle the full cycle of app development, from the initial steps to testing results."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Apr. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Django Stars developed a custom reporting dashboard for an existing flagship product, which is meant to collect and analyze proprietary business data for security purposes. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Vancouver, Canada
Founder & CEO
 
Verified
Feedback summary: 

Engineers at Django Stars are more than code monkeys. They're adept, enthusiastic technologists capable of solving complex problems and manipulating voluminous data.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We develop security software allowing clients to monitor user activity on company computers and servers. The software protects companies from insider trades, increases employee productivity, and improves overall security. I am the founder and CEO of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Django Stars?

We needed to outsource the development of a web app that provides reporting for the data collected by our software.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Django Stars analyzed our requirements and came up with a design from scratch. A development team was assigned to our project, and we were kept informed during all steps of the work. In the end, Django Stars delivered an updated web application that we could then market and sell to end-customers. The app shows the recorded user activity, including visited websites and time spent on each one, accessed programs and files, sent and received emails, and other activities. This is all shown fluidly, using a modern design.

At peak capacity, we've worked with seven people from Django Stars' team.

How much have you invested with Django Stars?

The cost of Django Stars' work was between $50,000 and $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Django Stars in May 2016, and have an ongoing relationship.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

I was very happy with their expertise level. Django Stars delivered a quality product, provided testing for it, and made suggestions in order to improve our application.

How did Django Stars perform from a project management standpoint?

The project was done in consecutive iterations, and each milestone was delivered on time and within the specified budget. We were given access to Django Stars' JIRA instance, allowing us to track the status of each task. It gave us a clear overview of the project.

What did you find most impressive about Django Stars?

Django Stars can analyze requirements and design a project from scratch, unlike a lot of others who basically just code for you. They can handle the full cycle of app development, from the initial steps to testing results.

Are there any areas Django Stars could improve?

There isn't much to improve. I've been happy with Django Stars, and continue to work with them on future versions of the application.

5.0
Overall Score I'm very satisfied.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Pro Bono Django Development for Nonprofit Charity

"It's fairly impressive that they're willing to go out of their way and lend a hand, even for seemingly minor things."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Sep. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Django Stars performs periodic maintenance and support tasks for an existing website. The scope includes minor customizations, bug fixes, and ad hoc consultations. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
Founder & Director
 
Verified
Feedback summary: 

Communication is a key strength and rivaled only by their accelerated productivity. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the director of a small UK-based charity organization. We focus on type-1 diabetes, specifically advocacy work around access to medicine. I am in charge of changes to our website.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Django Stars?

We have recently redeveloped our website using the Django platform. We're able to make basic edits ourselves, but needed help for more specific backend work. There were some existing issues with the site and some things we needed to be customized. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Django Stars has worked on features and fixes for our site. As an example, Django Stars fixed the scroll bar of one of our pages. They also worked on a new signup form as well as a contact form. Our previous ones weren't functioning correctly and, as a result, we weren't able to capture all the data we needed. That was a pretty big issue for us. We're also exploring having translations for the site. We've interacted with 1 main contact from Django Stars' team, but there are others working on our tasks. 

How did you come to work with Django Stars?

I used to be part of another group that provided Django training. Django Stars was one of the companies providing help for us. I reached out to Django Stars and asked if they provide pro bono work and could help on some issues with our site.

How much have you invested with Django Stars?

Django Stars has worked with us on an ad-hoc, pro bono basis.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Django Stars in September 2016. We have an ongoing relationship with Django Stars for support.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Django Stars has been a real asset to our organization. They've been responsive and have worked quickly. The work has been fairly minor, so it hasn't led to tangible outcomes like gaining new supporters. That being said, we wouldn't be able to accomplish any of the things they've done without their involvement. It is fairly impressive that they are willing to go out of their way and lend a hand, even for seemingly minor things.

How did Django Stars perform from a project management standpoint?

We communicate with Django Stars through Skype and have screen shares when necessary. The communication has been good and clear, with short response times.

What did you find most impressive about Django Stars?

We haven't been working with Django Stars for very long, and the work itself is ad-hoc, comprised of small tasks. It's not in-depth enough to allow me to compare them to much else, but they have done a good job so far.

Are there any areas Django Stars could improve?

None. So far, it's been good.

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
    From my experience so far, I'd be fully willing to recommend Django Stars.

Custom Development for National Educational Agency

"Django Stars is good at listening to what the client wants and understanding those needs."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2005 - 2016
Project summary: 

Django Stars developed the client’s website and online portal to help connect the Ukrainian government with vocational schools worldwide.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
New York City Metro Area
Director
 
Verified
Feedback summary: 

Django Stars has been instrumental in creating a national platform. Throughout development, they provided valuable input and delivered above expectation. They were also understanding of the client’s government restrictions, consistently stayed on budget and schedule, and accommodated personal meetings.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We are a Canadian polytechnic institution with an office in Ukraine. We run a number of educational projects in Ukraine, mostly funded by the Canadian government.

What is your position?

I am the director of the institution.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Django Stars?

One of our projects was centered on vocational education reform. A part of this project was establishing a web presence for the educational sector in Ukraine. We decided to create a web portal which would link the government with around 1,000 vocational schools, creating a space in which they could communicate, exchange ideas, share educational materials and so on. It is a forum for exchanging information as well as providing an internal mechanism for reporting.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement.

Django Stars developed a web portal with two faces: a public face which lists vocational schools and colleges, allowing them to post views, material, legislation and press releases, and a back office face on which regulations and reporting mechanisms are posted in terms of financing and grading. Django Stars created that back office through which institutions could provide education management online, which was a huge step forward. Before this we ran as a paper office.

Django Stars provided a team of five people with whom we communicated on various components of the project. I’m sure they had more resources in the form of developers and designers working on the project that I didn’t know about. 

How did you come to work with Django Stars?

We are a publicly funded institution, so we had to run a request for technical and financial proposals. We selected the proposal that best fit our needs. We had a general idea of what we wanted to do, but we didn’t have clear ideas of how big the project would be. Django Stars provided a variety of options that we hadn’t considered for a fair price.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

The total cost of the development was between $55,000 and $85,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The initial stage of the project ran from 2005 to 2012. It was tested and ran without technical problems. We continue to work with Django Stars in updating the platform. The project is set to conclude in 2016.

We had to computerize around 1,000 educational institutions that were running on paper, giving access to the web portal to every school and making sure that they had their own account.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics, metrics or other feedback from this engagement?

In the beginning, Django Stars came up with a huge number of ideas that we hadn’t even thought of. They were instrumental in making our platform a national one. In the beginning, we were considering a very small-scale project. The end result was well above our expectations.

How did Django Stars perform from a project management standpoint?

Django Stars always delivered on time and were very precise in estimating the costs for each step. As a public agency, we couldn’t go over budget. Django Stars took extra time in delivering the work and always made sure that they were staying within budget.

We didn’t use any specialized project tracking tools. We worked within the same city and met frequently in order to discuss ideas and to make sure that everything was in order. We also communicated through email and Skype.

Being a government agency, we didn’t always know what we wanted, so it was important to have personal meetings. Django Stars was able to translate the requirements put forth by the minister of education and us. Django Stars was great in terms of accommodating personal meetings, which is important when working with the Ukraine government.

What distinguishes Django Stars from other providers?

Django Stars is good at listening to what the client wants and understanding those needs. People who are not very tech-savvy will often tend to be vague about what they want or will simply not know what they want from an IT project. I’ve worked with many IT vendors, and this ability isn’t always there.

Is there anything Django Stars could have improved or done differently?

No. We’ve been 100% satisfied with what Django Stars did.

RATINGS

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We’ve had a great interaction with Django Stars. They offered great services and pricing.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely recommend Django Stars and have already done so.

Custom Django Development for Serial Entrepreneur

“They provide status updates regularly and incorporate our feedback quite fast.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Django Stars was contracted to provide development resources for several of the client’s projects, including their consumer-facing web application.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Ukraine
Founder & CEO, Abone.me & FitFix
 
Verified
Feedback summary: 

The web application created a better user experience and increased conversion rates to 30 percent. The client is highly satisfied with Django Stars’ project management and communication. To ensure client goals are reached, Django provides several metrics every two weeks and makes improvements based on results.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

My business in involved in a few projects. One of them is a marketplace for fitness clubs, yoga studios, and pools, where they can place fitness cards for clients to purchase. We sell the cards cheaper than the clubs, so it's more convenient for clients to buy our service. We also offer one card, which allows you to go to different studios and pools.

What is your position?

I'm the founder.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Django Stars?

I've also worked with Django Stars on a fitness website focused on elderly people interested in sport. It features articles and other media offering training tips, and so on. It's a much bigger project than the app, which is secondary to it. The app is just the platform that allows users to interact with the data and content we have. 

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement.

We've used them for development of our web app. They handled all the processes, from beginning to release, including wire-framing, concepts, business logic, testing, design, and user experience.

The number of designers they used for us has differed by circumstance. For example, when we'd need a designer, we could use one for a few weeks until we were done with them. The team consisted of four people that were permanently working on the project and other specialists who we might use for shorter periods of time.

There's no specific project manager. The team leader is the one we always speak to. He's the one who leads everyone else. If I want to, I can go to their office and speak in detail with their front-end developer, and so on. Both projects were developed with Python and Django technologies.

How did you come to work with Django Stars?

They came through a recommendation from a friend who knew the owner through someone else.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

It was $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in 2013.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

The website is now totally accessible to mobile users. User experience and interface is great. The work they've done has improved our conversion rates to 30 percent.

They provide me different metrics every two weeks, based on Google Analytics and Yandex Metrics, and always make improvements based on them. They have a content manager who is in charge of Google Analytics, and a team that manages our Facebook and other social media pages. We mostly use Yandex Metrics because there I can see the specific behaviors of users on my site. Google Analytics is used for tracking our conversion rates. The main goal was to increase our traffic [followed by] conversion. We've seen improvements on our end, so we're satisfied.

How did Django Stars perform from a project management standpoint?

They always deliver their work on time. They use JIRA and Redmine for tracking progress. I can control the team through those and see what they are doing. They provide status updates regularly and incorporate our feedback quite fast.

What distinguishes Django Stars from other providers?

I haven't worked with other providers, so I don't have a frame of reference. Response time is a good factor. If they had been based in another city or country, it would've been more difficult for me.

Is there anything Django Stars could have improved or done differently?

The cost could be a bit lower, but the value is very high.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I do recommend them.

Website Development for Russian Rock Band

“...Their attention to detail allowed us to achieve great results and build a successful product.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
Project summary: 

Django Stars was contracted to redo the client’s outdated website to reflect modernity and enhance usability and functionality.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Melbourne, Australia
Website Administrator, Media Entertainment Company
 
Verified
Feedback summary: 

The new website received positive feedback and attracted more visitors and the client is very happy with the deliverables. Django Stars’ guided them throughout the development process with a high level of professionalism and transparency, and the client appreciates their accommodation.

BACKGROUND

Our website is the official Internet resource of one of the most successful and popular rock bands in Russia. My role as the website administrator is to look after the promotion and development of the resource, update its rich and fast-changing content, and maintain relationships with website users and visitors. My objective is to ensure the website remains visually attractive, informative, and user-friendly and reflects the band's changing style and creativity vector.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

The band's existing website became outdated, difficult to use and navigate, and did not reflect the new modern "wave" in the band's music. Bi-2 was attracting more of a young audience who preferred using social media, and the website traffic started to decline. It was necessary to revive the website, enrich it with functionality, and gain the attention of younger audience members in order to stay the primary web source of official information about the band. At the same time, the web content was increasing and required more labor to manage. A solution was needed to provide an easy way to publish updates and administer the website.

Our task was to develop a content-based project with rich multimedia content. A great number of visitors were expected in anticipation of events and concerts. Therefore, the project had to be able to handle high peaks of visitors. Also, it had to have cross-platform functionality.

SOLUTION

We began to search for a technology partner capable of developing our custom solution. We were looking for a partner with fresh, transformational ideas and strong technical capabilities to realize those ideas. We initiated a tender for complete website redesign and rebuild and then evaluated proposals.

We met the guys from Django Stars and had a few discussions. Those discussions helped clarify the goals and objectives of the project, the problems and the basic parameters that had to be reached, the technological solutions, tools and, most importantly, the development process. We did not have prior experience in the development and implementation of IT [information technology] projects and did not have much understanding of how it would happen. It was important for us to be able to control the process at every stage, monitor the development, and review all the deliverables.

We chose to partner with Django Stars based on their extensive experience, good expertise in different areas, excellent customer reviews, and good reputation in Django community.

From the very start of the project, we knew what the team was doing, what stage they were at, and what would happen next.

It took Django Stars some time to choose a technology and platform for our project, which would allow to build a fast and reliable solution for our needs. Django Stars team analyzed the successful cases of Disqus, Pinterest, and Instagram and decided to use the same technology.

The Django Stars team took control of the entire scope of activities from planning and development – front-end and back-end – to full support and further improvements. Their Django solutions were smart and agile. We were able to make quick changes on the go without interfering too much with the process and priorities.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

The new website received very positive feedback and acceptance from the users and immediately started attracting more visitors.

We were very happy with the result. Django Stars was very accommodating to our changing requests, guided us throughout the process, and performed the services in a timely and highly professional manner.

The communication as well as the entire process was quite good and transparent. There were some online tools that took more time to sort out, but it was worth it, and the result was good.

As for quality, it is worth noting that the level of service provided was very high. The number of bugs was kept to a minimum, and most of them were not bugs as such, but improvements.

The technical solution was developed on time and with good quality as well as in compliance with all functional and business requirements. The Django Stars team completed their work at 100 percent. They closed all the issues not only from the technical side but also on the business side. Their professional advice, great prioritization skills, their clear focus on the important things, and their attention to detail allowed us to achieve great results and build a successful product.

At the moment, we continue working with Django Stars on further development of the project, and we have plans for many other joint projects.

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

Prototype Development for IT Startup

"Django Stars are good at hiring the right people for the project – that much I know."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Sept. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Django Stars was contracted by Taxofon for mobile and front-end application development.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Ukraine
Project Manager, Taxofon
 
Verified
Feedback summary: 

Though business-side bottlenecks have prevented a full launch, initial user feedback has been positive. The client relies on Django’s skills and considers their project management to be a strong suit. Django handled everything from implementation to quality assurance.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

Our business runs a platform that lets users find taxis and busses for transportation. It's a matching service between transportation services and their customers.

What is your position?

I'm one of the project managers.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Django Stars?

We developed a web service for taxis, and this includes the website front-end, client and mobile apps for the driver, and for the client. We developed the back-end ourselves, but we didn't have the resources for mobile and front-end, so we decided to find external resources that could help us finish our solution.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

The scope of the work has included front-end development, mobile development, and QA [quality assurance]. We delegated the front end to Django Stars. They gave us one Android developer, one front-end developer with basic JavaScript and CSS [cascading sheets styles], and one QA specialist. We walked them through our visual designs and the core features of our solution, and they handled developing everything, implementing it and testing it.

How did you come to work with Django Stars?

One of our partners previously worked with them on another project, and he was very happy with it. He recommended we approach Django Stars for this project, too.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

It is confidential.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working with them for little more than a year, and we'll continue for at least another year, until we'll have resources for hiring a dedicated team that will work for us on a permanent basis. An internal team is always better than an outsourced one, in my opinion.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

We don't have many users right now because we have some business-side bottlenecks, but we are planning to open it to many more users in the near future. Overall, the feedback is good. There were a few bugs, but they were all minor. Our experience with Django Stars has been positive, and we definitely rely on their skills.

How did Django Stars perform from a project management standpoint?

There were some missed deadlines due to the use of an old issue tracking system. In the winter, they hired a new COO [chief operating officer], and he improved the overall experience a lot, and now they're always on schedule. We are currently using JIRA for project management. It's been very helpful.

What distinguishes Django Stars from other providers?

I guess I don't have enough experience with other outsourcing providers to judge this. Django Stars are good at hiring the right people for the project – that much I know.

Is there anything Django Stars could have improved or done differently?

They could maybe motivate some of their staff a little bit more. The Android developer's motivation was great but, on the front-end side, there were moments when I felt that the developer just worked for money and not for the interest of the project itself. You always prefer having someone who actually cares working on your project. You want them invested so they maintain a certain level of work and quality. That's the only thing, and it was specific to only one developer.

4.5
Overall Score There were a few minor problems but, overall, it was great.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Judging by the more recent period with the new COO.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Front-end Implementation for Health Care Technology Startup

“I'd queue up his work for a week, and then I'd find out the next day that he had basically finished it all.”

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
Project summary: 

Django Stars was contracted for front-end mobile development. The application allowed doctors to collaborate and easily locate patient information.

The Reviewer
 
2-11 Employees
 
Edmonton, Canada Area
Director of Product
 
Verified
Feedback summary: 

The client was able to implement 90% of the interface they wanted, and it worked very well with the functional back-end. The client is very impressed with the speed at which Django Stars worked without compromising quality, and their ability to meet all project deadlines and stay within budget.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We are creating mobile apps to help doctors in acute care settings collaborate with one another. Our app helps doctors in an intensive care unit discuss patient notes, assign and delegate tasks, so it's kind of like a to-do list, and basically it does this in a secure, HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act]-compliant environment. In a nutshell, that's kind of what we do.

What is your position and responsibilities?

I am director of product. We're small right now, it's just us three co-founders. I'm doing pretty much all of the technical and the design work, and my other co-founders are doing more of the business development stuff. One of the co-founders is actually a practicing physician, so he's got limited time to spare. I'm mostly doing the product design and technology work.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Django Stars?

The way that we have architected the product is, we have a backend API [application programming interfaces] built in Django, and then we have the front-end mobile app, which is built in a framework called Ionic. I ws the one who designed all the screens that we wanted the app to have, the visual presentation and everything. Originally, I was going to build both the backend and the front-end of the application. However, to speed up the process, we decided that I would build the back-end, the Django API, while Django Stars would focus on implementing the frontend screens in Ionic. This allowed me to really focus on the core functionality and ensuring that the logic we had on the backend would work the way it was supposed to. 

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement.

We had a list of mockups and screens that I gave them. The scope of their work was to build out the front-end screens as quickly as possible. Because we weren't working in perfect tandem, parts of the APIs that they needed for the front-end weren't finished, so they were just kind of subbing in a lot of the functionality, but getting all the screens put in place, getting the layouts correct, and things like that.

They used some third-party libraries as part of building out the front-end, but all the backend stuff was on me. In terms of doing any automated testing, I didn't ask them to. I'm sure if I would have listed that as a requirement, that we wanted an automated testing suite, I think they would have done it. We just figured it would be better to test it ourselves.

How did you come to work with Django Stars?

One of the other co-founders had actually worked with Django Stars previously. They had built an early prototype of the idea before I joined the company. When we were thinking of a way that we could speed up the process, he mentioned Django Stars. We thought the work they did before was quite good, so I thought I'd get in touch with them.

We didn't consider other providers. We pretty much just went with Django Stars because [our chief executive officer] had a good experience with them previously. We knew that they're fast. We also knew that they were familiar with the technology, and they were decently priced. There was not any big incentive for us to shop around.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

I would say it's between $5,000 and $6,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We haven't expanded the scope of their initial involvement. They finished off what we initially set out for them to do, and I've just been kind of taking it from there. We kind of left it open, and I could see us hiring them again for another smallish, discrete type of project.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

I didn't track any specific metrics or anything like that, I didn't quantify their work. However, anecdotally, they're extremely fast. Since most of their work was exclusively front-end development and implementation, we just reviewed the presentation and cross referenced our visual design layouts. For the most part, they were able to implement 90% of the interface we wanted. And it worked well with the functional backend, which was also great. 

How did Django Stars perform from a project management standpoint?

They were able to meet all the project deadlines and stay within the budget that was defined initially. We were using Trello for project management, which was our tool of choice. We asked if they would use Trello and they were fine with that. They were actually very accommodating because I know that they have their own internal ticketing system, Redmine, which they use to track all their tasks, hours, and everything. They were accommodating to have all of the actual work and discussions happen on Trello, and then they continued to do their time tracking in Redmine. They were accommodating for us in that regard.

What distinguishes Django Stars from other providers?

The thing that I was impressed or surprised by was just the speed in which Django Stars finished tasks assigned to them. I would queue up what I thought would be several days or a week's worth of work, and I kind of broke it up into weekly sprints. We worked primarily with one developer named Yurislav. I'd queue up his work for a week, and then I'd find out the next day that he had basically finished it all. It was actually kind of a challenge to queue up enough work for them. They just went through it so much faster than I expected.

Is there anything Django Stars could have improved or done differently?

I think maybe a couple of things. They're fairly minor, and I would consider rehiring them in the future, so these are not deal-breaker sort of things. There's a tradeoff to them working so fast. Sometimes, there would be bugs or just some small details that got overlooked. Sometimes, there were some functional regressions, something that worked previously but now it didn't work for some reason. Because we didn't have automated testing, it would only be through me doing a lot of QA [quality assurance] work that I would find this regression, and I would have to post it back to them.

The language and time zone difference added some time to the project, too. If I found a bug, by the time I documented it, recorded the screencast, and sent it their way because of the time zone difference it would be almost 12 hours until they actually tackled it. It just caused a little bit of a delay. I think if they had done a little more automated testing, or just more thorough QA before sending work back my way, I think it would have reduced that lag.

The other thing isn't so much a criticism, but something where I think they could have added even more value. They're the Ionic experts, so I believe they could have pushed back with me a bit. I would spec out a task, and they would complete that task exactly when, in fact, there was probably a better way to do what I was trying to achieve. That's probably a failing on my part. I should have maybe made it clear to them that this is sort of a broad idea. If there's a better way, or if you have a suggestion, then let me know. I'd design a task, and then I'd wake up the next day and it's been done, rather than have a discussion about it, or suggestions and recommendations.

Part of that was just because there was that time delay, and they were small tasks, so maybe they just wanted to plow through them as best and as fast as they could. Like I said, overall fairly minor things, and it certainly wouldn't stop me from hiring them again in the future. If I were to hire them again in the future, I would address those two points with them. That's how I would work with them differently next time.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I definitely would recommend them.

Multiple Development Projects for Marketing and Advertising Firm

"The tools that Django Stars works with and provided us access to, were actually quite good."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
3.0
Cost: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
Confidential
Project summary: 

Django Stars was initially contracted for front-end development of a web application using CoffeeScript and JavaScript. Later work included Python and Django.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
United States
Vice President of Application Development, Marketing and Advertising Firm
 
Verified
Feedback summary: 

Users have been very happy with the application and its functionality, and the client is equally happy with the quality of code. The client also praises their project management tools and processes, and continues to view them as a valuable development asset.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We have a few different divisions here. One of our largest divisions has relationships with a lot of consumer packaged goods manufacturers. We do photography and profiling or data entry of all the information that you find on CPG [consumer packaged goods] product packaging. Then, we distribute those digital images and data through a variety of methods and to a variety of different companies and retailers, who use those, either in online or print advertising.

What is your position?

I am the VP of application and web development.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Django Stars?

We wanted them to create a standalone application for profiling products, or for data entry of information that appears on products. We were swamped at the time with other project work, so we decided to bring in some external resources to supplement our team. 

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in more detail.

They were responsible for development only, and this is a front-end application. It was all a web browser application. That was everything that they did. We did the back-end, and they developed the front-end in CoffeeScript. We did the design of the application. They also did functional testing of the work that they produced, but we did the significant internal testing ourselves.

We've completed some additional projects with them, but nothing quite as large as that original one. We're also asking them to do maintenance and support. To some degree, we expanded the types of technologies that they were using, because the original application was entirely a browser application, in CoffeeScript and JavaScript. Our other project work that we've asked them to do has been Django-based, so Python and Django, which is one of their core proficiencies.

How did you come to work with Django Stars?

I did Internet searches for contract companies that could build a Django-based application. Then, I picked three or four companies, provided all of the companies with some basic specifications and asked them for proposals. Based on the estimates and our impression of each of the companies, we chose Django Stars as the most qualified. 

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

The original estimate from Django Stars was slightly less than $16,000 but, during the past year and a half or more, we've paid them $80,000 to $120,000. It was a very complex application.

What is the status of this engagement?

We still use them on a regular basis.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

I don't think that I can give you anything measurable, at least I don't have anything that is available. I can tell you that the application works very well, and the users of our application are very pleased with it. Generally speaking, we didn't have any issues with pieces of defective work on the front-end. The work that they've produced when they produced it was fine. I believe that they produce quality work.

I wouldn't say they always remained within budget and scheduled timelines, but I would also qualify that. project specifications can change a lot, and that's just a lot of what we do. Specifications change, and clients' needs change, so I can't say that Django Stars is entirely responsible for the changes.

How did Django Stars perform from a project management standpoint?

The tools that Django Stars works with and provided us access to, were actually quite good. They use Redmine, and we're able to track progress in Redmine. They submit their code and work with us through GitHub. The tools that they provide are good.

Is there anything Django Stars could have improved or done differently?

I think that both of our companies need to do a better job in working through the specifications, and understanding specifications on their side. I believe that any client who is planning on working with them should have their technical requirements fleshed out prior to any engagement with them. I think they would be capable of working with a client that only has a vision of what they want to create, but doesn't really have the expertise to flesh out the functional requirements that would translate that into reality.

There are two kinds of clients. There are people who know what they want, and there are clients to ask you for assistance. I think Django Stars, if they have a client who needs assistance and help with defining their goals, creating the application, they would do a fine job. If you're the type of client, who has very detailed needs, then you need to do a better job of creating the specifications.

3.5
Overall Score
  • 3.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 3.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 4.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Custom Django Development B2B Marketing and Branding Firm

“We were consistently impressed with the level of craftsmanship in their delivered code.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
Project summary: 

Django Stars was contracted to provide development resources for Pennebaker. The main project involved developing a custom portal for a customer with over 20,000 employees worldwide.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Houston Metro Area
Director of Digital Media, Pennebaker
 
Verified
Feedback summary: 

Pennebaker is very satisfied with Django Stars. They produced high quality code that was maintainable and reusable, and delivered creative solutions that demonstrated their dedication to the product. Thorough testing ensured the client never received defective code.

BACKGROUND

Could you briefly describe your organization?

I work for a branding and marketing firm in Houston, Texas. We work primarily with B2B [business-to-business] companies, and help them with their communications and branding efforts.

What is your position?

I’m the director of the digital group.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Could you describe the business challenges that you were attempted to address when you first approached Django Stars?

We had a client that wanted to build a custom portal for millennials at their company, as a pilot project, but then to export it to the entire company, which has about 20,000 or 30,000 different employees worldwide. We didn’t have the resources available to keep up with the complexity and specified timeline, so we needed to find those resources in a qualified vendor.

SOLUTION

Could you describe the scope of their involvement for this project?

It was meant to be a combination of several social media tools. We looked for companies with prior experience working with these tools and digital libraries. It was a little bit vague upfront, as far as what the entire scope was going to be, since it wasn’t entirely clear to us, either. The starting point was a hybrid combination of LinkedIn and Facebook, and a training portal. Other applications were integrated into the portal at a later point, but that was the basis.

The primary technology and service they delivered was custom Python and Django development. We provided all of the visual designs, digital content, and strategy. We worked minimally with them on the front-end build, but they did provide valuable recommendations.

How did you select Django Stars as your solution partner?

I had followed some of their previous work in the open source community, so it wasn’t a tough decision to reach out to them. It was more along the lines of making sure that they were the right fit for this kind of project, and for us as a partner. We originally narrowed it down based on what we thought we wanted for our end-product.

Could you provide a general cost estimate for this project?

We spent about $75,000.

When was this project completed?

We’ve maintained an ongoing relationship with them. We still use them for maintenance, support, and custom development on a case-by-case basis.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback that would demonstrate the quality of their performance?

We actually ended up sharing a GitHub Repo on the project, and they were very collaborative, but they’re also very specific about how everything was coded in a way that was maintainable and reusable. We were consistently impressed with the level of craftsmanship in their delivered code. They didn’t just deliver viable solutions; they were also some of the most creative solutions I’ve seen. It was made evident to me that they put considerable time thinking about the approach before trying to implement something. Their testing must be relentless because rarely if ever had we received defective or inefficient code.

When working with Django Stars, is there anything you’d consider unique about their strategic approach or development methodology that distinguish them from other vendors?

They were really good about not wasting time building something that they didn’t quite understand, or that wouldn’t clearly accomplish the goals at hand. If it was something as simple as understanding how a mini to mini relationship might work between some data, they wanted to make sure that it was modeled the right way, just to make it that much more flexible and simple. They would take the time to write fewer lines of code, rather than slapping it together and hacking their way through it. They’ve really specialized with Python and Django, and it really shows.

In retrospect, are there areas in which you think Django Stars could improve as a service provider?

While their front-end design skills are definitely commendable, they just don’t have the same depth in those areas as compared to their backend development capabilities. Like I said, these guys know Python and Django like the back of their hand. We’ve never come to them and had them be unsure how to solve the problem. Their solutions are always elegant and creative, but the visual design leaves a little something to be desired. But, that’s why we hired them as our primary development partner rather than design partner, so it isn’t a really a criticism because we knew what we wanted going into the engagement.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’ve always gone above and beyond.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Custom Python/Django Development Online Housing Platform

"Their responsiveness and process transparency are the first two things that come to mind.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
Project summary: 

Django Stars salvaged TimeDom’s website after a bad experience with a previous vendor. They continue to perform upgrades and enhancements and work on new projects.

The Reviewer
 
2-11 Employees
 
Ukraine
Founder & CEO at TimeDom
 
Verified
Feedback summary: 

Feedback on the site’s intuitive design and interface has been positive, and the client is very happy with the overall experience. Django was consistently on schedule with milestones and communication was consistent.

BACKGROUND

Could you describe your organization?

The business is an online reservation platform that connects property owners with potential tenants. It's currently running here in the Ukraine, but our goal is to expand globally, if possible. 

You're the founder, correct?

Yes. It's my business. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Could you describe the business challenges that you were attempting to address when you first approached Django Stars?

The whole thing began when we hired a different company to develop our website. I had a terrible experience with this first vendor. In fact, I even got into legal proceedings with them during the work. After that, I knew I needed to find another vendor to salvage my website. I found Django Stars through some online research. Based on their website, I felt like that might be a good choice for my site. I reached out to them with my project description and received a proposal within a few days. I admit that I was impressed with what they had to offer, and it seemed like their process was just much more transparent than that of my previous vendor. 

SOLUTION

Could you describe the scope of work delivered?

It was custom design and development, some testing, and maintenance and support. I basically gave them direction and they'd go ahead and build it out for me. 

When was this completed?

It isn't really complete. The site is live but we have continuous projects with them. They're always performing upgrades and enhancements to the site, both cosmetic and functional. The site is very dynamic. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback you've received that would demonstrate the quality of their work?

I don't have any exact figures in front of me, but I can tell you that the reception has been nothing but positive. We've already received a number of compliments about the site design and how much more fluid the entire thing is. Outside of that, they were always on time with their deliverables, and they remained in constant communication with me. It was an overall very positive experience, especially in the aftermath of the first engagement with my previous vendor.

When working with Django Stars, is there anything you'd consider unique about their approach or development methodology that distinguish them from other vendors?

Their responsiveness and process transparency are the first two things that come to mind. I found myself consistently frustrated with my other vendor because I felt like I didn't always know what was going on and I wasn't receiving timely updates. Django Stars never kept me in the dark, even when things would arise, they'd always update me on their progress. It's all about effective project management, which they have. 

In retrospect, are there areas in which you think Django Stars could improve as a service provider?

Not that I'm aware of, no. They performed very well and consistently exceeded my expectations. 

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
    I've already done so several times in the past.