Lean delivery of high quality software

GuideSmiths was founded on the vision that to deliver high-quality software in a timely and effective way you need a highly skilled team working directly with the customer.

From this vision we have grown into a company specialising in the technical transformation of our clients architectures utilising microservices and modern agile practices. Transformation is achieved by the tools, techniques and technologies we bring to clients.

We know great team dynamics and strong communication is absolutely vital to the success of any project. Our teams are pragmatic, productive and made up of highly skilled and hard-working individuals who are passionate about delivery and enjoy transforming your business.

However, many of our clients demand flexibility and cost savings. In response, GuideSmiths has pioneered remote working practices, successfully establishing teams in Hungary and Spain. We deliver cost savings by ensuring the team is lean and dynamic with our management team overseeing quality and productivity at all times.

Clients benefit from GuideSmiths expertise in continuous integration and our library of tools, supporting rapid and robust build and deployment processes. Everything we do is transparent to the client and our dashboards track our efficiency and progress to give clients peace of mind.

 

Our software experts have a truly remarkable range of technical knowledge and experience.

Node.js, .Net, Go, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MongoDB, SQL Server, Redis, RabbitMQ, Kafka, MSMQ, Hive, Spark, Hadoop, GraphQL, React, React Native, Angular, AWS & AWS Lambdas, Docker (Swarm), Ansible, Kubernetes, Linux & Windows are some of the tools we have recently embraced.

 
$10,000+
 
Undisclosed
 
50 - 249
 Founded
2014
Show all +
London, United Kingdom
headquarters
other locations

Portfolio

Key clients: 

We have successfully partnered with some of the biggest brands in the UK, such as the MailOnline (publishing), TES Global (EdTech), GSK (Pharma), Marsh McLennan (Insurance), BBFC (Media), MQ: Transforming Mental Health (Charity), Utility Warehouse & Hive/British Gas (Utilities), Fine + Rare Wine (Wine/Investment), PrivateFly (Private Aviation) and a large number of small to large start-ups/disruptors. 

Reviews

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App Dev Support for Connected Home Tech Company

"The team also takes ownership of their work, which I really appreciate."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Jan. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

GuideSmiths updated two old-fashion internal apps to accommodate for future growth. After migrating both tools to a more modern framework, they stayed on to provide maintenance and assist with other projects.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
Business Analysis Manager, Technology Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The updated versions of the app increase productivity and save time allocated to internal processes. The GuideSmiths team is communicative and dedicated, taking responsibility for their role in the overall project. Adaptive and knowledgeable, they established themselves as a valuable partner.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the business analysis manager of a technology firm in the IoT, connected homes market. We offer a collection of smart wireless devices that connect with each other from different areas in a home. In my role, manage a couple of applications used to display information about our devices.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with GuideSmiths?

We were looking to modernize outdated apps. These two legacy apps were holding back our business’ efforts to scale up. We were looking for one or two teams to help us complete this initiative quickly.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

GuideSmiths first worked on one of our internal support tools that is used widely across our business. They migrated the system to a more modern platform, updating both its code and API. They’ve also helped with another internal solution. It was a native iOS app, and they migrated it to the React Native framework to accommodate both iOS and Android devices.

Currently, the GuideSmiths team is managing those applications while also assisting with other new products and features that we’ve launched elsewhere in the business.

What is the team composition?

For the first app, they provided two developers and a delivery and QA manager. The second team consisted of a technical architect and three developers.

How did you come to work with GuideSmiths?

I wasn’t involved in the selection process. We have a few different vendors we usually partner with, but this was the first time we chose to go with GuideSmiths, and we’re still working with them.

How much have you invested with them?

The total cost is close to $1 million.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in January 2017, and the partnership is ongoing. Usually, we work with outsourced teams on a short-term basis; then we look for another team to maintain it or handle it internally. This was our intention with GuideSmiths, but they’re still adding value to our projects.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Because both of the apps are internal tools, it’s a bit tricky to quantify their success. Anecdotally, we’re much more productive. We used to lose a lot of time because of the apps’ old-fashioned and outdated architecture. Usage numbers haven’t changed much, but the new versions actually fill the need they were designed for, saving us time and making our processes more efficient.

How did GuideSmiths perform from a project management standpoint?

Each app project was managed differently. For the first initiative, we met with our team once a week to discuss the requirements and design elements. They were very easy to work with, compared to other teams I’ve collaborated with in the past. For the second project, we started by discussing out end requirements for the product then worked backward to determine a timeline.

In both cases, we shared tasks on Jira and used Slack for day-to-day communication. There were additional meetings and standups scheduled throughout.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They can adapt quickly to change, and they learn just as fast. GuideSmiths is very knowledgeable in their field, so we can have high-level conversations with them before making any decisions.

The team also takes ownership of their work, which I really appreciate. I can share a set of broad requirements, and they come back with something that completely aligns with my vision. At this point, they have a good grasp of who we are as a business, so they know what we need and what questions to ask.

Are there any areas they could improve?

GuideSmiths’ teams are based in Madrid and Budapest, and English isn’t their first language. In some cases, details and information have gotten lost in translation, and the work has taken longer than we’d planned. With that said, it’s not a significant drawback.

Any advice for potential customers?

Clients should be open with GuideSmiths in every part of the engagement. Even if they are only responsible for half of the work, explain the bigger picture.

In our case, they really only needed to understand about 10% of our business requirements. A lot of our processes revolved around these tools, but GuideSmiths could have done their work without this knowledge. Instead, they made an effort to learn about our business to understand the effects that their work would have, what customers would see, and so on. With that information, they understood their role in the overall project and delivered better results.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Frontend App Dev for Product Pitching

"The product launched on time and worked well."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
July – Sept. 2018
Project summary: 

GuideSmiths did frontend development for an advertising product based on existing APIs, documentation, and design. The solution has launched.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The highly functional product launched on deadline. Customers can expect a responsive team that works quickly but should specify architecture requirements from the outset to avoid maintenance issues.

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I lead product development for an investment firm that invests in early-stage founders.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire GuideSmiths?

We needed an outside vendor to develop a product for founders to craft their pitch.

What were your goals for this project?

We needed to launch the product by our deadline, write code that our in-house engineers could develop at a later date, and ensure the product behaved according to our designs.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

I worked with them indirectly at a previous company and they were recommended by previous colleagues.

Describe the project and the services they provided in detail.

We provided the APIs, documentation, and design, and they built the project.

What was the team composition?

We worked with a project manager and two engineers. They wrote frontend code and our engineer wrote backend code and APIs.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any information that demonstrates the impact that this project has had on your business?

The product launched on time and worked well. We discovered that maintenance would be more difficult than expected due to some technical decisions that GuideSmiths made, but we take shared responsibility because we didn’t look at the code early enough.

How was project management arranged and how effective was it?

We had an active daily Slack channel where we would communicate and file bugs and assign priorities in Github. They were very responsive through both channels.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

Speed. They were able to start the project quickly and finished on time despite numerous design updates.

Are there any areas for improvement?

We’d appreciate more communication with regard to their architecture decisions. They were focused on speed to hit our deadline, but ideally, we would have preferred more emphasis on long-term maintenance of the finished product.

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