In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback that would demonstrate the quality of their performance?
I don’t have any metrics or figures that make sense because we had no site prior to their work. We did collect some user feedback through Twitter, but I don’t have the exact numbers. We saw very positive reactions from users on social media, and our management team was very satisfied. The site has been improved several times since its launch, most of which have been done with Lullabot.
When working with Lullabot, is there anything that you would consider unique or special about their approach that distinguishes them from other vendors?
One of the things that we really benefited from was having them instruct some of our newer developers. During the project, we went out and began hiring full-time resources to help maintain the site in the long-term, after the launch. As we began to board new members, Lullabot worked hand-in-hand with them to get them up to speed with the build. During post-launch, they stayed on for several months as we continued adding support staff. We didn’t just get a development project done, we got a whole new development methodology out of it as well. Whether it’s the way the team does peer review, run scrums, the way they assess and prioritize tasks within our ticketing system and assign point values to help you budget your sprints, [using] communication methodology rather than Internet messaging.
We also got great custom software that allows our developers to build pull request environments within the Drupal ecosystem. They helped us build a whole development process in terms of getting code from local to a development server, to a QA [quality assurance] server, to a preproduction server, and then up into production. They also helped us build a server that allows any developer to create a brand new test environment based on a GitHub pull request of some code they’re working on. So, they can actually spin up, in real time, a test environment that verifies their latest code changes, and then shares the results with the rest of the development team. This allows them to do quality assurance independent of any other code changes, and then integrate it back into the main branch.
All of those things were developed under their guidance, so that’s really what separated them from being some regular development shop that ships some code over the fence. They really worked with us as a business, with our development team, to develop a process, methodology, and efficient manner of working. That’s what we’ve gotten out of them in addition to fantastic code.
In retrospect, are there areas in which you think they could improve as a service provider?
Only in the sense that we probably want more dedicated resources. They’re a relatively small shop, by comparison. But, they grow methodically. They want to make sure they pull in the right folks, which is why, everyone you get from them, is vetted for quality. They carefully consider every single person they bring on to a project. They have great developers who are smart, intuitive, and have incredible foresight. They don’t just work on a problem, they anticipate problems down the road. They make sure the solution they’re delivering anticipates your growth and your needs. One might be paying slightly more for these guys, but they’re getting what might be two or three people from some lesser development shop.