Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
Quantitative metrics would be harder to share, just because we're still in startup mode, so a lot of things have shifted. In terms of deliveries, generally everything was done within the time period allotted. I've never had any issues with things not being on time. Also, on my end, I speak Russian, so I can kind of gauge a lot of things in interpersonal relationships, and sometimes press devs a little more or a little bit less. My experience might be slightly different from some of the other folks.
How did Eastern Peak Software perform from a project management standpoint?
Again, because I speak Russian, I can probably elicit more communication from them than most native English speakers would. They do provide a project manager, so initially I worked with a project manager for maybe a couple of weeks, until I kind of understood that I could take care of all the project management duties. I did that and a couple of more developing and design tasks.
Communication-wise, what we established was pretty much a daily meeting, and most of the communication would be through that or through GitHub, filling out issues and such. Probably for a native English speaker, some of the GitHub communication might be a tiny bit of a challenge, just because you have to hit a certain cadence of not too many words and not too few.
We've had a few English speaking developers completely flood GitHub with various different comments, and Eastern European developers going like, "OK, too much English." Just kind of dial it back to just declarative sentences, describing what's going on. I think that would honestly be a challenge, however all the developers are very proficient. They can and do communicate very well.
Where they lose in native English skills, they probably gain in overall communication abilities. I've never encountered a stereotypical developer with no communication skills and all computer skills. I've never encountered that with any of the subcontractors for Eastern Peak.
What distinguishes Eastern Peak Software from other providers?
For me, it was a price and communication consideration kind of thing. But communication is, again, easier for myself. In terms of what they deliver, I think they're pretty much in keeping with several of their contemporaries from Kiev and similar areas. These guys have a good reputation, and so do another five or six companies there. I just got very lucky to work with them.
Is there anything Eastern Peak Software could have improved or done differently?
I think maybe just consistency, but that's a tough one because their job market is volatile, just like everywhere else. There are a lot of good developers, so it's just a matter of hiring enough people fast and not compromising on quality. Again, I was able to control that. The great thing is that Eastern Peak Software allows you to interview all the developers who they're onboarding. They don't just throw you anyone, and you get to say you're satisfied with their particular skill set or not. In that sense, I think if the customer does their due diligence, I think they're getting an incredible deal and incredible work.