Custom Software Dev for Learning Services CompanyFeatured Review
- Custom Software Development
- $200,000 to $999,999
- Apr. 2020 - Ongoing
- Willing to Refer
"They are young, talented, and extremely smart developers."
- Orlando, Florida
- 11-50 Employees
- Online Review
AVA.codes provides custom software development services for a learning services company. The team needs to build a front-end application with dashboards, tables, charts, data widgets, and more.
AVA.codes has delivered the project within the given timeline. Thanks to the team's efforts, the backlog bugs have been reduced by 80% and previous third-party clients are returning. They have exceptionally exceeded the client's expectations. Overall, they are attentive, diligent, and responsive.
The client submitted this review online.
Please describe your company and your position there.
I'm the Director of Product Engineering & Solutions at SkillDirector, a company that offers competency based learning services and software platform that inspires a culture of lifelong learning, helping individuals and workforces to upskill and reskill at the speed of business.
OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE
For what projects/services did your company hire AVA.codes, and what were your goals?
I hired AVA.codes to help us build and integrate a robust and scalable front end application for our flagship product, of which the backend had recently been redesigned to be driven by an API. The UI was designed to be completely modular with a multitude of reusable components. The challenge was to get the application built under a relatively short time frame in order to meet commitments to customers like Linkedin, PPG, HoneyWell, GE and more.
The project has been on-going with AVA for almost 2 years now, and successfully launched on time. That's greatly thanks to the requirements AVA has been able to meet in a relatively short time frame. They were able to do in a year and a half with a few developers what other larger teams would take 3-4 years complete. AVA developers took ownership of our front end needs, and the quality of the work delivered has been excellent thus far.
Our project started with Front end 2 developers. We had backend issues to sort out during the first 6 months, and we had to freeze front end development twice in the span of 4-5 months to allow the backend team to sort out all API issues. AVA was extremely flexible in allowing us halt development, and did their best to keep our 2 assigned developers as flexible as possible so they could be reassigned to our project when we were ready.
It’s not easy to rotate developers on complex projects, and AVA’s talent pool of front end developers is top notch, in my opinion. 9 months into the project, we fell behind behind in our project timeline due to backend issues. AVA was able to quickly scale our front end team from 2 to 6 Angular developers in less than 2 weeks. This was huge! New developers came on and dove into things rapidly. All guys had the right skills and talent we needed to get things done well and efficiently.
AVA took on the cost to onboard new engineers onto our project with the help of our 2 main developers, and the project was able to get back on track quickly. We stayed with 6 developers for 6 months until the all the grunt work was done, and scaled back down to 2. The attention to detail and proactive nature of AVA developers helped us deliver what might be the most solid functioning and most beautiful / picture perfect Beta build out there.
How did you select this vendor and what were the deciding factors?
I found AVA.codes via https://topdesignfirms.com/. After vetting a few potential partners, I chose AVA because their optimistic and pessimistic estimates to complete the project was closest to our expected launch date. Additionally, we needed a flexible partner, with the ability to scale the front end team with new developers on demand. The ultimate deciding factor was that fact that I was able to interact with the actual developers during the vetting process, where they reviewed our UI designs and APIs, provided feedback on how they would go about building it, and asked great questions in order to fully understand the scope.
Describe the scope of work in detail, including the project steps, key deliverables, and technologies used.
The scope of work was to build a custom and fully customizable front end application with Angular --dashboards, tables, charts and data widgets and grids--, integrate Kendo UI components for interactive elements using material design principles, and also integrate application functionality with our API.
How many people from the vendor's team worked with you, and what were their positions?
We started with 2 developers for the first few months, and scaled up to 6 until the project launched. We did not have a project manager assigned. I elected to work directly with all the developers as their PM to speed up our efforts. The ongoing team currently consists of 2 developers.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
Can you share any measurable outcomes of the project or general feedback about the deliverables?
We were able to launch the project within the projected timeline. The effort turned the tides of our company. We were losing business because of the lack of capabilities (and scalability) of our old platform. We were able to release an Alpha build in record time after scaling to 6 front end developers. Customers loved it, and were very excited for what was coming.
We successfully launched a production Beta 3 months later, and all customers were seamlessly migrated. The effort eliminated 80% of the backlog of bugs form the old platform, making way for a refreshed product roadmap that we can now focus on. The timing couldn't have been more on point, and we knew we had exceeded customer expectations when we started seeing customers who had previously left us returned due to the renewed capabilities and scalability for our application.
Describe their project management style, including communication tools and timeliness.
We did not have a specific project manager. I mostly interacted with Alex (CEO) and Pavlo (COO) to address requests, feedback and concerns. They both were very diligent in every facet of the process. We mostly communicated by Zoom, Email and Trello.
What did you find most impressive or unique about this company?
They are young, talented, and extremely smart developers. I was in urgent need of front end work and landed on them. I wouldn’t have been able to deliver without them. Their developers immersed themselves to deeply understand our platform, and they were very thorough in understanding the many complex workflows of our application in order build it. One of my favorite feats is that they are proactive developers.
They have solid design acumen, and they are not afraid to make suggestions based on what they see in order to build an even better product than required. They continuously studied our API as we progressed, and diligently identified API problems that needed to be resolved by the backend team in order to optimize front end integration. They saved my backend team a great deal of time in identifying API issues that could have taken weeks and months for the backend team to find on their own.
They often make suggestion on models to facilitate the passing of data back and forth, they thoroughly test, and always make it a point to synchronize with the backend team to integrate front end faster, with great attention to detail. Before integrating pieces of functionality, they review designs and test all API end points needed. If they find API problems, they communicate well and fast, and are always available to jump on a call to synchronize with me and my backend team, to review, fix issues or have live coding sessions. They do not waste time, and we really enjoy working with them in live session (another great feat).
Are there any areas for improvement or something they could have done differently?
The one thing I will note is that AVA does not have internal project managers who are actively involved in managing the developers day to day, and holding them accountable. That responsibility falls on the client side. I had to make a suggestion, it would be for AVA to have a few internal technical project managers who can work with developers in order to manage accountability and quality assurance internally.
Service & Deliverables
On time / deadlines
Value / within estimates
Willing to Refer5.0