Smart Solutions for Web & Mobile

Pieoneers is an award-winning mobile & web development studio with roots in Vancouver, BC. The distributed team works with established businesses, world top universities and ambitious startups in the USA and Canada creating high-value web applications, Android & iOS apps with superior UI and UX design.

  • We bring meaningful ideas to life
  • With the best fitting technologies
  • And the best industry practices

Core Expertise

  • iOS Development
  • Android Development
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Python/Django
  • React, JavaScript
  • Docker, Ansible

Product Expertise

  • UI/UX Design
  • Product Strategy
  • Market Analysis

 

 
$50,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2009
Show all +
Vancouver, Canada
Headquarters
  • Pieoneers
    543 Granville Street, 5th floor
    Vancouver, BC V6C 1X8
    Canada
    604.710.2407

Portfolio

Key clients: 

University of British Columbia (UBC), London School of Economics (LSE), Smith College, University of Notre Dame (ND), Bulova, Directv, Google, Hootsuite, Seaspan, TEDx, PocketBook International SA, ProSmart Sports, Gamesheet Inc, Booth, IPS

Reviews

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WordPress Development for News Media Startup

"It's not common to find people in consulting who can tell it to you straight, but that's exactly what they'll do." 

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
Confidential
 
June - Oct. 2016
Project summary: 

Pieoneers used supplied specs to develop and launch a WordPress-based news publication site.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Vancouver, Canada
Founder, Media Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Pieoneers was always willing to go the extra mile. They demonstrated their commitment early on by signing an NDA, which other competitors had refused to do. It's clear that honesty is a driving value for them.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We provide a local news website where people can post their own content on a community and regional basis. We seek to eliminate the middleman as it pertains to the news media and allow people to take their message directly to the community. We're still in startup mode and haven't fully initiated operations. We plan to do so in the next 1–2 weeks. I’m the founder of the website. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Pieoneers?

I have a lot of experience in terms of communications, public relations, and news media, but I'm not a developer. I had a detailed concept of what I wanted to do and how the site should operate, and I needed someone to do the technical coding work. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I put together sketches, and I knew how I wanted the site to be structured. Pieoneers helped me understand what was possible with the budget I had and what my options were, realistically.

Pieoneers customized a WordPress site for me. They could have created a custom website, they told me, but my cost would have gone up significantly. What I was trying to do was a bit more complicated than a basic WordPress site, and I wanted it to look professional, so Pieoneers helped me understand some of the tradeoffs.

I worked with a number of different people from Pieoneers' side, but I couldn't say what the specific size of the team was. I mostly interacted with Olena, their CEO, and with the primary developer to a lesser extent. Much of the work was done over the summer, so a few people went on vacation, but it was a seamless process overall. I was asked relevant questions and gave the team answers.

How did you come to work with Pieoneers?

They were referred to me by another company in Vancouver.

What is the status of this engagement?

I started working with Pieoneers in June 2016. The website has been finished. I took a two-month pause at one point and have recently re-engaged Pieoneers for additional changes to the site. It was launched in October 2016, and it's now only a matter of actively promoting it. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The site is live, there are stories published on it, but it's not strictly open for business yet, so to speak.

The site is very easy to use. The few people who have engaged with it found it to be very straightforward. One of the main goals was to make the process as easy as possible because my target audience is not necessarily the most computer-literate group. They're used to using typical sites like Twitter and Facebook, which make the process easy, so I wasn't looking to target tech-savvy, mid-20s people but rather people in their mid-30s and 40s, who have varying degrees of technological sophistication. Pieoneers has made the process very simple, enabling users to post something with only two clicks.

How did Pieoneers perform from a project management standpoint?

For the most part, Google Docs and email were sufficient for our needs. Pieoneers also used Basecamp, which I'd never used before. I was somewhat surprised at how easy it was to use.

What did you find most impressive about Pieoneers?

Firstly, when I first started going down this road, I had a streak of paranoia, which I subsequently learned is common among inexperienced entrepreneurs; we don't want to tell anyone our ideas because we're scared of it being stolen. When I first met with Pieoneers, instead of looking at me like I was crazy, they agreed to sign an NDA and do whatever was necessary to make me comfortable with having a discussion. When Pieoneers' principal heard my idea, she found it to be a viable business. This wasn't what I was asking, but it was surprising to see how selective she was in terms of the projects being undertaken. They're passionate about what they do and don't want to take on projects that won't turn into anything. It was an initial verification of my idea, and I found it interesting.

I also found Pieoneers' CEO to be straightforward. It's not always common to find people in the consulting world who can tell it to you straight, but Pieoneers did. It may have been tough to hear at times, but I appreciated it. I was asked about what success and failure would look like so that I would not keep pursuing something that wasn’t going to work. For me, it meant gaining 5,000 daily users for a single geographic area over six months.

Olena is also pretty smart. She's well-read and had different discussions with me about what successful entrepreneurs do and how the iPhone had been taken over by engineers more recently. She's a smart, engaging person who knows more than just development. She can consider things from multiple angles and can tell people what they need to hear, not necessarily what they want to hear.

Are there any areas Pieoneers could improve?

I don't know if I have enough [technical] sophistication to identify improvement areas. I had a great experience working with Pieoneers, and nothing's coming to mind.

Pieoneers helped me, a person who knew nothing about programming, navigate this project in a way that made me trust what they were doing. They delivered what I asked for and did a good job. They were persistent in a good way, helping me take the product to the finish line.

At one point, someone from outside Moscow logged into my Facebook account, which made me a bit paranoid. Pieoneers has a team in Russia, and they needed access to my Facebook account. That was just a surprise, not a negative aspect.

I find Pieoneers to be expensive, but I'm not sure how their prices compare to the market. I'm happy with the site, and I would do it again in a heartbeat, but it's challenging to use Pieoneers for small, incremental changes. The price is the price, though. 

5.0
Overall Score I knew nothing about websites at first. I had an idea, and Pieoneers walked me through the process. I think that Pieoneers usually does more advanced work, but I was able to convince them to build a lowly WordPress site. It was a very positive experience.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Pieoneers took the time to understand my project and deadline. They were responsive and straightforward about what could be delivered and when. When the deadline needed to be changed, I was given enough advance notice to reassure me.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They told me what it would cost upfront, how long it would take, and how they came to that budget. It was still a lot of money for me, but I got the site that I wanted.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I have no issues, based on my purposes. I'm not familiar with the code. Pieoneers helped me create a logo, modified my color scheme, and developed an extremely easy-to-use site along the specifications I was seeking.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    If I had to recommend a company to someone, I would definitely mention Pieoneers. I can't guarantee that they'd take on the project, though, since they're quite selective.

iOS & Android App Dev for Internet Startup

"I've appreciated the fact that Pieoneers was looking to improve the customer collaboration process."

Quality: 
3.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
2.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Mar. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Pieoneers was first hired to design and develop a custom iOS app. The success of that launch then led to the development of an Android version, which was also launched successfully.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Canada
Anna Hardy
CEO, Workrize PBC
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Noteworthy strengths include a keen design sensibility and uncompromising responsiveness throughout the process; however, it was recommended that Pieoneers be more transparent about the location of assigned dev resources, especially in cases where it might impact the project.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Our company has built a software platform helping organizations measure employee happiness. I am the chief executive officer of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Pieoneers?

In order to make analyses, we need to collect data. One of the ways of doing this is through a mobile app, which is why we hired Pieoneers, since we did not have the resources to develop the solution ourselves.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Pieoneers has developed our mobile app for iOS. As we started working with customers, an Android version became necessary, so we also contracted Pieoneers for this, after the first one was finalized. Pieoneers also took care of the publication process for Apple's App Store and Google Play.

One of the complexities of our app is on the back-end. We had discussions and made changes along the way. It wasn't a self-contained system, and most of the intelligence exists in the back-end servers.

We worked with one developer for iOS and another for Android from Pieoneers's team. They were both senior developers based in Russia. We had a few direct interactions with them in order to approve changes. I was always copied for discussions but mostly worked with Pieoneers's project manager.

How did you come to work with Pieoneers?

I talked to a few mobile development shops. A friend had been involved in a project developed by Pieoneers and recommended that I talk to them. I contacted Pieoneers and had a very good impression. They seemed to understand our goals, so we chose Pieoneers. 

How much have you invested with Pieoneers?

The total cost of our project with Pieoneers has been around $90,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started our iOS project in March 2016, and the Android version was started in May. We went live with customers at the beginning of August, but our work with Pieoneers was only officially concluded in September.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our app is quite good. A big part of the project was working on the design. Pieoneers's designer was very good, in my opinion. We had many interactions with him. The development itself was a bit more difficult. The developers involved were very opinionated about the design and tried to change what we had agreed upon. The process wasn't very efficient at times. Overall, I'm happy with how the app turned out.

What did you find most impressive about Pieoneers?

I don't have any prior experience in working with a mobile developer, but Pieoneers's team was always available and responded to requests quickly, with the exception of a 2-week vacation time taken by our project manager. The project stagnated during that period.

Also, Pieoneers's designer is very good. I've appreciated the fact that Pieoneers was looking to improve the customer collaboration process. They were open to trying things and hearing feedback about what tools we wanted to use like Basecamp or InVision.

Are there any areas Pieoneers could improve?

It wasn't clear at the beginning of our collaboration with Pieoneers that we'd be working with resources in Russia. The time zone difference was a bit challenging for us, creating a lag in our discussion. Whenever we needed to talk about an issue, it had to be done by email, so we had no brainstorming sessions.

Many corrections were handled as change requests from our side, and we ended up paying more than what we expected, which I didn't find fair. We could have continued to work with Pieoneers for ongoing iterations, but we won't do that. I came to consider the process as being less than transparent.

When we work with a customer, if their requirements aren't made clear from our side, the customer shouldn't be made to pay for additional services. We ended up paying for Pieoneers's mistakes, which isn't fair. Pieoneers is a good company, provided that they make some improvements in the areas that I mentioned. I haven't found a better alternative yet.

4.0
Overall Score I've had a good experience in working with Pieoneers. My developer was preparing to leave the company, which complicated our collaboration.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Pieoneers was very good in this respect. There were some delays, but they weren't exclusively the fault of Pieoneers.
  • 2.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I've talked to a few equivalent shops that had higher prices, but the project was too costly compared to what we received. The app is nice, but it's pretty simple.
  • 3.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They were great in terms of design. We've hired someone to review the software itself and make sure that we can conform to system updates. He's had to make a few changes so far because some of the Android and iOS guidelines were not respected.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I'm willing to recommend Pieoneers and would still choose them over other companies we talked to. Pieoneers's team is experienced, willing to learn, and provided some good points over our project.

Long Term Resource Arrangement for Research Nonprofit

"It has been night-and-day in terms of clarity and efficiency, compared to working with anyone in academia."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Nov. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Pieoneers was hired to help develop a web-based, interactive wiki for research purposes. Their performance led to further involvement. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Vancouver, Canada
Edward Slingerland
Director, Database of Religious History
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Notable aspects include process clarity and transparency but it was recommended that Pieoneers create a more formal chain of command for project escalations. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

The Database of Religious History is an academic project. It’s part of a grand work on the evolution of religion. I'm a director. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Pieoneers?

We're trying to put together an online qualitative and quantitative Wikipedia of religious history. This turned out to be much more challenging than we'd originally envisioned. We got into this almost accidentally after teaming up with another group at Oxford. We thought that they already had a database built, but it turned out that there was nothing but a wiki. We ended up building the database ourselves with the help of a graduate student who worked in his spare time. The project includes the interface and the back-end. At a certain point, it became clear that this wouldn't be sustainable, so we decided to hire a professional firm to help us out.

Our biggest challenge is that we rely on input from history experts. They answer a questionnaire on our site. We've discovered that, if the site hangs up or runs too slowly, they become frustrated and stop. Once this happens, it's impossible to get them back again. Answering such a questionnaire online is already a strange thing for a historian to do. If they run into any difficulties, they quit.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Pieoneers has taken over every aspect of our project's management. They took the lead in refactoring the design and code. It had been spaghetti code up until that point. That’s not surprising given that it had been built by a grad student in his spare time, late at night. He also used people from Elance. The first thing that Pieoneers did was to refactor all of the code, making it look like a normal website. In the future, other people can come in and know what was going on.

Pieoneers has also done a lot of work on user experience, including signing up, creating entries, and adding religious groups. Their work allows people to move through the questionnaire in a way that can bring up sub-questions. Pieoneers has made moving through this logic tree a seamless experience. Users now understand where they are in relation to the other questions through a progress pole. Pieoneers made it look like a real website, compared to what we had before, which drove people crazy.

How did you come to work with Pieoneers?

Pieoneers was recommended by our admin. I put him on the task of doing research and finding some local tech firms. We talked to 3 candidates in total. It seemed that Pieoneers had done the kind of work which would allow them to make sense of our project. That includes who our users were and what it would require to convince them to use the site. It seemed like they understood what we wanted to do.

How much have you invested with Pieoneers?

The total cost of our project has been over $200,000 so far. Pieoneers has been good in terms of working out a non-profit, university rate. We receive budgets for individual projects from Pieoneers, like interface redesigns. Our payment is on a time-and-materials basis. We also have an ongoing budget for immediate tech fixes, which we track through Basecamp.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Pieoneers in November 2015. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

 Our site actually works. We had an unimaginable number of bugs in the early stages. Pieoneers has made it look fantastic. Everything works, people are happy with the site, and we've received great feedback. We haven't annoyed any experts yet. We feel so confident in the site that we're planning to have a major recruitment push at the start of the academic year. Beyond the technical aspects, Pieoneers asked questions that we didn't think of asking. Pieoneers helped us think through who our users were and what steps made sense in getting them to sign up. They helped us figure out what our user experience should be in terms of strategy.

How did Pieoneers perform from a project management standpoint?

We've appreciated Pieoneers not only for their technical skills but also their organizational know-how. Our technical director is the former grad student who initially built the site. He's interacted with Pieoneers through Bitbucket and Asana. We've interacted with at least 6 to 7 people from Pieoneers. We've worked directly with a project manager who relays our requests to designers, developers, and testers. We share a Basecamp conversation, so I can see him communicating with them. For certain design issues, including mockups, we will communicate directly with our designer. I've mainly used Basecamp for working with Pieoneers.

One of the big innovations made by Pieoneers was to streamline all the interactions that our historian team had. We were using email and Google Docs. That meant we had a generally confused line of communication. Pieoneers centralized everything on Basecamp, giving us a clear workflow. We have features which we want to see. These features are ranked in a certain order. We have separate Basecamps for our internal team so that we don’t need to provide every single step of the reasoning process to Pieoneers. We've got to-do lists, a running bug list, as well as an urgent one. The workflow has been great. We're academics, so it was great to have Pieoneers handle this kind of stuff.

What did you find most impressive about Pieoneers?

This is the only tech firm that I've worked with, so I don't have a point of comparison. It has been night-and-day in terms of clarity and efficiency, compared to working with anyone in academia, though. One of the things that attracted us to Pieoneers was that they seemed to understand the nature of our project. For example, the psychological profile of our user base isn't immediately clear. In many cases, we're interacting with older academics who aren't very comfortable with computers. Pieoneers' team have gone out of their way to design our process and make those people comfortable.

Are there any areas Pieoneers could improve?

The only issue we've had was vacation planning. If people become absent, it's not immediately clear what the chain of command is and whom we should contact. This happened over the holiday season when we had some bugs. We've cleared this up with Pieoneers. They've gotten clearer about communicating who the contact person is at any given time. 

5.0
Overall Score It's been very good.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Because the long-term nature of our project wasn't clear at first, we'd sometimes be bumped for people with urgent needs. After establishing a long-term contract, Pieoneers has brought more people on board. There haven't been any bottlenecks recently.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Pieoneers has been good at giving us an academic rate.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Everything works as it should. Any exceptions are fixed right away.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Development for Construction Tech Company

"They were crucial in getting us into the market and showing us what we needed to make the decision."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2013 - 2015
Project summary: 

Pieoneers improved the client's web product to better market and cater to its clientele of construction professionals. They built wireframes and completed all creative and development work, regularly implementing new or updated features.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Vancouver, British Columbia
Doug Gardiner
Founder, BildList Media
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The site has received positive feedback, and Pieoneers provided very personal service. The client would hire them again, and is considering them for a mobile app project.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

I'm the founder of a company called Bildlist Media. We’re a utility for construction professionals to showcase their projects. The projects are then plotted on a map. That way, people can search for the business through the actual projects completed rather than through a pre-made listing or directory.

 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Pieoneers?

In a nutshell, we built the business for construction professionals. We’re not really concerned right now with bringing it to market to scale up. We’re more concerned with marketing to our members. That’s what we’re doing right now. We’re still in the early stages, but we’re much further ahead than where we were three or four years ago.

The way things are evolving with technology and mobile devices, we wanted something that could give quicker access to construction professionals other than a Google search. We wanted something for users to be able to get instant access to the information that we provide through our app. 

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement.

I sat down with Olena, the CEO of Pieoneers, and she basically took me through the whole process. We took it from a really raw idea to a minimum viable product. We started with the wire frames. After our first few meetings, they basically took the information we gave them and did the development work. From my understanding, we needed a Ruby on Rails, full stack team. They also had no problem using HTML, CSS3, Amazon Web Services and JavaScript. Their framework obviously works, so they did something right. As new features evolved they implemented them with no problem.

How did you come to work with Pieoneers?

I looked online for local developers. We short listed a few companies, and it just so happened that Olena, the CEO of Pieoneers lived in my neighborhood. I thought it could be great fit, so we gave her a call and sat down with them.

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

It cost between $50,000 and $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

I think we started in 2013. It lasted about a year to a year and a half. Overall, they delivered on everything on time. From that point of view they were great.

Olena lives in my neighborhood. I see her frequently and consider her a friend. After working with somebody you don’t know to begin with, and then carrying on a friendship after your business engagement ends says something about the relationship. I’d say they were great on that front.

They’ve handed off the whole project to us. We now have a guy in-house that handles all of our tech needs. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

They were crucial in getting us into the market and showing us what we needed to make the decision. I’d say that the feedback for our website is probably more positive than negative. If a technical problem comes along that’s bigger and out of our comfort zone, then I would hire Pieoneers in a second. Right now, we’re thinking we need to build a mobile app. If we do, we’ll probably call them.

How did Pieoneers perform from a project management standpoint?

I’d say they did very well. There are different kinds of management styles. Olena is very open. She’s matter-of-fact. She’ll give you her opinion, which I appreciate because it's always well grounded. 

I think they accommodated what we needed, and accomplished the goal. Being in business as a project manager in construction, I know that things can go sideways with clients. That never happened in our process. Olena delegates very well and they have a competent team of programmers.

What distinguishes Pieoneers from other providers?

They’re extremely personable. I’ve worked with another company in this town and they were total jerks. I’d never work with them again. I’d go back to Pieoneers based on that personal history. I felt they cared more about what they were doing with us. You can’t really put a price on that.

Is there anything Pieoneers could have improved or done differently?

I’m sure there is. In terms of communication, I wasn’t sure how the project was delegated. I wasn’t sure if we were dealing with local programmers or if it was going offshore. It didn’t really matter as long as I was getting what I wanted, but I think being a little bit more up front on where the actual work was getting done would be nice.

4.5
Overall Score We started with nothing. There’s a product at the end, and we’re all happy and still friends. Overall it was a success.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They delivered pretty much as promised. They’re good.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    For what I paid them and what I’ve paid another company that charges the same, the experience dealing with Pieoneers was way better.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They did deliver. I enjoyed the experience and I learned from it. No one gets a five in my book.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Absolutely.

Web Development for Financial Tech Firm

“They can help fulfill any complex technological need, assist on product strategies and user experience.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
Project summary: 

Pieoneers led rebranding efforts and developed a web-based application to help provide users with a fast and simple borrowing experience.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Vancouver, Canada Area
Nathan Slee
Founder, Progressa
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The site was well received and Pieoneers stuck to deadlines and budget. Pieoneers was up-to-date with the latest trends and had a versatile team of highly skilled developers, designers, and product professionals. The project was quickly completed in three months.

BACKGROUND

Progressa is a Vancouver-based financial technology company changing the way credit-constrained consumers can access credit. We are Canada's only "Direct-Pay" lender focused solely on "credit-challenged" consumers. Our online technology platform allows us to provide our customers with a seamless borrowing experience, and our data-driven underwriting approach allows us to work through complex financial situations in a fraction of the time required by traditional institutions.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Our challenge was to launch a new brand that is easy to trust and remember. We were looking for a web design team in Vancouver that could sit with us, brainstorm and help us create this solid new identity. They have developed a web-based application for us. There was a team of three people from Pieoneers involved in our project. We interacted with two of them for the majority of the time. 

SOLUTION

I first found them during a conference. We considered a few other companies, but we chose Pieoneers because they had embraced mobile-first development, as opposed to their competition, which first created desktop versions and focused on mobile responsiveness afterward. It's a subtle difference, but it was important to us. They were also a local company.

We understood that the majority of our customers need to be able to rely on and find financial help quickly. Pieoneers helped us realize that a growing number of them were using mobile devices and, hence, a mobile-first interface would help them access this information and apply for a loan on the go. At the time, our main system was still in transition and some tasks had to be done on a desktop, such as file uploads. Many of our customers find us through friend recommendations and content shared through social networks. With Pieoneers's help, we introduced seamless branding across all device platforms and social networks.

The project duration was three months. We worked on a one-off website design. Maintenance and other issues are handled by our internal team. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

The reception has been good. There hasn't been much feedback concerning the site one way or the other, which we see as a good thing. The site works well, and we're happy with it. 

They were fine in terms of sticking to the project timeline and cost. We used Basecamp for project tracking. It was a mutual decision, and we were both fine with the software. 

They create products for themselves, so they're more than just a development team. We were confident in the fact that Pieoneers was ahead of the curve, keeping up with the latest trends. This isn't always the case. Some developers don't keep up with technology. 

Progressa is a fast-growing business – we were able to tap into a young and busy demographic. We highly recommend Pieoneers as a team of friendly and highly skilled developers, designers, and product professionals. They can help fulfill any complex technological need, assist on product strategies and user experience.

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

Ongoing Development for Sporting Startup

"They've been a very knowledgeable and reliable resource."

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

Pieoneers developed a suite of solutions that included an iPad-based input app, web-based backend interface, and iOS and Android applications.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Ontario, Canada
Richard Berman
Founder & CEO, GameSheet, Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Frontend users appreciate the application features, and the success of the project is attributed to Pieoneers’ project management. The process involved getting feedback on specific features and quickly implementing them. Pieoneers was highly responsive and took the time to understand project needs.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We have developed an electronic game sheet for hockey and lacrosse.

What is your position?

I am the founder of the startup.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Pieoneers?

We needed development work for our system. We didn’t have the technical skills here to do any of the hard coding, so we needed to find a company that could handle that aspect.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement.

They helped us develop our solution from scratch. This includes an iPad-based input app that can be used to input data that is then sent to our cloud server. Pieoneers has also developed a web-based backend interface for us to visualize the data that we receive. There is also a mobile app for Android and iOS devices, which displays core statistics from the actual game.

Our development model has been based on trying out features, getting feedback on them and then making necessary changes. As an example: initially, the system had not been set up to handle entering a goal on a game without attaching the name of the scorer. Clients made us aware of this, we got through to Pieoneers, and they quickly fixed it. Whether it was a mistake of the end-users or not, we needed to make sure that the system didn't falter.

Our interaction is done mostly with Shane McCallum, and only rarely with the actual developers. Pieoneers have an extended work schedule, and we were always able to get quick resolutions to any issue as a result.

How did you come to work with Pieoneers?

We had worked with Shane McCallum during his employment at a previous company. We started working with Pieoneers after he came on board. He has been a driving force in terms of understanding our company's operations and how our app should function.

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

The total development cost is in the range of $50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working with them for over a year. The project was completed in September 2015.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

The majority of people using the app tend to be game attendees, who don't actually use the backend. It is clear though that everyone appreciates the ease of access and the ability to modify teams, games, stats, and so on.

How did Pieoneers perform from a project management standpoint?

The work they've delivered was on time and within budget. Whenever we email them with an issue, they respond very quickly. Issues only tend to occur around new releases, when we make a significant modification to the system.

They offer us project management tools, but we've tended to be non-compliant to them.

What distinguishes Pieoneers from other providers?

We've had limited experience with developers, but have been thoroughly impressed by Pieoneers. They've been a very knowledgeable and reliable resource.

Is there anything Pieoneers could have improved or done differently?

I can't think of anything. They've been great.

4.5
Overall Score Our experience is limited to one project manager, but he's been fantastic.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They're upfront about timing and are able to tell us what they can accomplish within a given time. Pieoneers has delivered their work ahead of schedule many times.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We have recommended them.

iOS Prototype Development for Athletic e-Learning Startup

".... The Pieoneers team remained highly flexible and professional."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

Pieoneers developed an iOS application to help a hockey sports company scale into other sports like soccer and continue solidifying its position in the marketplace.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
British Columbia, Canada
Co-founder and COO, ProSmart Sports Development, Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The application was well-received garnered very high ratings. Pieoneers was flexible and professional during project management. Development was completed in just six months and Pieoneers took charge of all post-launch support. Their success of the project will likely lead to future work.

BACKGROUND

ProSmart is the first education technology company for sports that connects every coach, parent, and player to one central learning experience.

ProSmart's first vertical is the ProSmart Hockey Learning System. This e-learning platform was developed in collaboration with current and former hockey professionals, leading sports scientists, and digital media experts. ProSmart Hockey is full of interactive coaching tools, progressive instructional videos, animated practice plans, team communication features, and more. ProSmart also delivers each user a fully customized experience based on their geographic location, time of year, age of athletes, and role of the individual within a team. I'm the cofounder and chief operating officer of ProSmart Sports.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

In short order, ProSmart has secured a leading position in the world of education technology for sports. When engaging Pieoneers in order to develop our first mobile application – iOS – it further enabled our team to continue solidifying the hockey marketplace and to begin scaling to our second vertical, ProSmart Soccer.

ProSmart's ability to secure partnerships of some of the largest cap companies in Canada during its debut season is a testament to the opportunity we have before us. ProSmart's timing, approach, and their well-rounded team have created a first-entrant opportunity in a financially massive and greatly underserved marketplace. One of our core pillars is accessibility, and moving beyond the web in our first season is certainly a step in the right direction.

SOLUTION

Pieoneers was selected as a vendor because of previous work experience with one of their new technical project managers. Through some basic due diligence, we also confirmed that they held the technical skills and experience required, the timeline was acceptable, and the overall price met our specified budget.

The development of our iOS application spanned six months, and the budget reached slightly more than $100,000. Pieoneers managed the entire prelaunch development – no design – as well as the post-launch support. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

It was great, and the ratings shown indicate that. The project was very fluid, and the Pieoneers team remained highly flexible and professional. It was well done all around. I look forward to future projects of similar scope with Pieoneers in the near future.

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

Custom Print Design Alternative Apparel Retailer

“They really push the boundaries with design, which is great.”

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

Pieoneers was contracted to provide branding support and logo designs for an apparel printing company. The project was intended to support a larger marketing strategy.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Canada
Product Architect, Online Retailer
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Though the project didn’t take off due to external issues, the collaboration and turnaround rate for design work was outstanding. Pieoneers quickly incorporated feedback and employed impressive project management methodologies not typical with offshore IT companies.

BACKGROUND

Could you provide a brief description of your company?

My company is an alternate apparel company for making design prints with political statements, for an alternative culture, that incorporates things that are important online.

You’re the owner and founder, correct?

Yes. I am.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Could you describe the business challenge you were attempting to address when you first approached Pieoneers?

The challenge was to find a market and an audience for our products, and to attract them to our brand. I’ve known them before this endeavor. I knew they had solid design talents, and that’s why I approached them for this project. I knew this was something different from what they’re used to doing for their clients, but I had a very special need. Their typical engagements involve Web design and development, but this was a more traditional design project. 

SOLUTION

Could you describe the scope of work in greater detail?

I approached them to do branding and logo design. It was for print logos and print design on the T-shirts we were crafting. This particular project didn’t require any digital services. It was more strategic and creative.

How did you select Pieoneers as your solution partner?

I had been introduced to them through a mutual friend. They already have a reputation for great work in design and development, and I was told that they could probably do something for my print logos.

When was this project completed?

Project was completed in December of 2013.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Sadly, the project did not go through, so there’s not much traction that’s worth mentioning. I think what was interesting is the time or process in which we collaborated on the project. We collaborated very well together, and I liked their reliance on Basecamp. It was very rapid, and that’s what impressed me the most. The speed with which we iterated on designs, incorporating feedback, was outstanding.

When working with Pieoneers, is there anything you’d consider unique about their approach and/or development methodology?

I’d say their approach to project management is well outside the range of what’s typically encountered in IT [information technology]. I haven’t had any negative experiences, but I know of many people that have initiated IT projects that failed miserably down the road due to poor project management, and nothing more. Outside of that, I’d say that they’re also very creative. They really push the boundaries with design, which is great.

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

I really don’t have criticisms in terms of what can be improved upon. The success of the project wasn’t something that was contingent on their work. I have nothing but good things to say about their work, the process, the iteration of the design, and the quality.

5.0
Overall Score Both the timing and quality of work was great.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The cost was very reasonable.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve recommended them in the past.

Custom iOS Development Photobooth Rental Service

“...We really feel comfortable with their team, their services, and their workflow.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Mar. 2011- Sept. 2011
Project summary: 

Pieoneers developed an iOS application for a photo booth rental company that would pull images from a local server and allow users to promote them on social channels.

The Reviewer
 
1-11 Employees
 
Vancouver, Canada
Jon Thorpe
Founder & CEO, Booth
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

At just 40 events, the application has processed thousands of pieces of social content and helped secure bigger clients like Proctor & Gamble. Pieoneers understood the limitations in the current industry and found viable solutions. Their project management process was very efficient and streamlined for maximum results.

BACKGROUND

Could you provide a brief description of your company?

I have a couple of companies here based in Canada. One of the companies is a photography company based in Toronto, Ontario. We have a number of different services, but one of our main things is a photo booth rental. We're one of the largest companies in Canada for that particular offering. We have six units that we operate, plus a few other units for Proctor & Gamble and whatnot. We do rentals every weekend, and most of it is for small- to medium- and large-businesses. P&G is one of our big clients, [along with] Adidas, Nike, TD Bank, and Scotiabank; basically, all sorts of heavy hitters whenever they have events, if they want to do trade shows and such, more so than the weddings for photo booths and stuff like that.

You're the owner and founder, correct?

Yes. That's correct.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Could you describe the business challenges you were attempting to address when you first approached Pieoneers?

For the photo booth rental service, I put out an RFP [request for proposal] to search for a company to do a fair bit of iOS development for us. We were looking for a native application that we could utilize to tie into our photo booths and pull the images from the photo booth using a local server, and then display them on an apparatus so the users could then choose their photos and have them distributed via social media. But, it's a little bit more complex than that, because we wanted to tailor the application for trade shows. We wanted to have capabilities in data collection and all that sort of stuff. Pieoneers helped us devise, design, and develop that application. It's been a great success; we still use it today with many of our clients. It's been operational for at least three years.

SOLUTION

Could you describe the scope of this project in greater detail?

I had them in on this from the ground floor. We reviewed our conceptual design with them, but they were on board for the entire functional build. So, we already had our preset requirements for the deployment. We first came up with the wireframes and the backend logic. Then, we had them code the application and made the necessary modifications. At that point, we really flushed out the UI/UX [user interface/user experience] work. They helped us implement a really intuitive design. The usability and performance testing was also their responsibility, and they continue to offer support and ad hoc customizations.

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

It ran us about $75,000. It ran a little bit higher than we expected it to be because I added some additional functionality and features to it, such as offline components.

When was this project completed?

It was a six-month project in total. We finished in September of 2011.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback that would demonstrate the effectiveness of the work they've delivered?

We've definitely sent thousands upon thousands of multimedia content through the system. We've utilized it at probably 40 separate events during the past few years. As far as payback for us, it comes more from the leverage that we're able to offer our service to our higher-end clients. It's not so much that we're expecting to make cash off of the development of the application and the rental of it: it's more along the lines of fitting into a marketplace. Proctor & Gamble, when they were looking for a company that can offer a little bit more, we were those guys. That allowed us to book a lot more with those companies, and it's great for our brand reputation. We wanted to be a market leader. We wanted to be the guys that any larger company would go after, and that's exactly what we've accomplished.

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

I've run through a lot of different development companies when considering a vendor for this development project. I did a lot of research into which companies were available in Canada. They were a really competent team. They actually understood the problems we had. They were already thinking of solutions for us, which was fantastic. That's one of the main benefits to their development, how efficient and streamlined it was. From the storyboarding aspect, they really wanted to make sure that everything was flushed out before they started any coding whatsoever. Their budgeting was fairly tight as far as the constraints. That was especially important us. We didn't want any large cost overruns, unless it was something that I explicitly requested. As far as being on the ball and being responsive to our requests, they were great.

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

No. I thought they were very responsive all the way through. That's the reason why I've worked with them again. We've had a great experience. That's probably fairly rare when it comes to development projects. At this point, we really feel comfortable with their team, their services, and their workflow. We seem well aligned.

Another thing is their talent pool. Their team is composed of very senior level developers. We've never posed a challenge or problem that they couldn't solve. They have a deep knowledge base to leverage on behalf of their clients, and it makes a real difference.

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