Ruby on Rails experts building products, not apps

Ragnarson is a team of experienced developers with 10 years of experience building web applications for clients all over the world.

We specialize in working with startups, from the early stages of building MVPs, supporting them with VC talks, building the product, customer development, up to recruiting and training internal teams.

With unique experience of assisting teams through multiple financing rounds and having launched one ourselves, we're the perfect partner for starting your next venture.

 
$5,000+
 
$50 - $99 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2006
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Lodz, Poland
headquaters
  • Ragnarson
    Targowa 35
    Lodz, LO 90-043
    Poland
other locations
  • Ragnarson
    Alte Jakobstrasse 92
    Berlin 10179
    Germany

Portfolio

Shelly Cloud

Shelly Cloud started in 2010. We built it as Ragnarson to solve the problems we had when deploying apps that we developed for our customers. In 2012 we decided to spin it off into a separate business. It provided high-speed servers, really simple deployment and full control over the cloud layout for developers. After over 6 years, Shelly Cloud was shut down on March 31st, 2016.

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Vehiculum

 

Vehiculum is the first digital solution hassle-free car leasing. The platform empowers customers to compare multiple models and leasing offers in real-time. Beside the price comparison it also offer additional features such as contract management, which mainly supports companies with small fleets to manage their carfleet.

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certace

certace is the leading digital marketplace for data science projects. By connecting ace data experts (Machine Learning Scientists, Data Architects, Data Engineers, Information Strategists etc.) with exciting business projects or permanent jobs, certace helps organizations advance through descriptive, predictive and prescriptive data insights. Whether it is defining a data roadmap or creating a proof of conecpt (POC), certace finds the right expert for their clients without incurring the long-term costs associated with a permanent hire.

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BookingSync

BookingSync is a vacation rental software dedicated for property managers which solves the problem of renting properties. There are multiple channels used by travellers to make reservations, however, rentals management without a centralized application is highly cumbersome. BookingSync solves exactly that problem seamlessly and improves marketing process. Thanks to BookingSync, property owners and agents are able to save time and book more.

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Memorado

Working out the body is a popular daily routine for many people. It helps them to keep in shape, relax and stay healthy. It is possible to do the same for your brain in order to enhance your memory and concentration abilities. Memorado provides you with an on-line training and games specifically designed for this purpose.

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Reviews

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Web Redevelopment for Online Music Company

"Ragnarson’s well-structured, agile workflow is the best I have ever experienced."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jun .2017
Project summary: 

Ragnarson made several alterations to a pre-existing codebase using Ruby on Rails. They also added new features and redesigned website's user experience.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Sydney, Australia
Evan Buist
Director, Neonfuzz
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Ragnarson’s budget and timelines were accurate and their well-structured, agile workflow stood out. Their core values of integrity were reflected in all interactions and in the quality of work delivered. Initial feedback from clients and colleagues on the end result was very positive.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Neon Fuzz is an independent online production music library. We non-exclusively license professional music tracks primarily to television, advertising and other media companies.

Our music is available for use across all media platforms. All licences are valid for worldwide use and in perpetuity. Licences start at just $45.00 for a simple online licence, with a single advertising production licence costing $295.00.

Founder, Evan Buist is an independent media professional with over 15 years experience in advertising, post-production, and broadcast. Evan has a thorough understanding of the media landscape, with a working background as both composer and producer.

Our mission is simple: to become the world’s leading online provider of high-quality music production.

 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ragnarson?

Technology is vital to any online business, but particularly those working with a large database of large digital files, like us. I needed to find a company that understood the importance of speed and UX for this project. We needed an intuitive music search engine, one which made finding the right track easy. Ragnarson understood this and so much more from day one. Working in Ruby on Rails is what they do, and they do it very well.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I came to Ragnarson with an existing codebase from which the team were instructed to make several alterations, add new features and completely re-design the look of the site. Our existing codebase was built in Ruby on Rails. We had two fantastic developers working on this project, Piotr and Kasia, as well as a project manager, Marek.

How did you come to work with Ragnarson?

I’ve only ever heard the best reports about Ruby devs in Poland (and that area of the world), so I contacted several companies in Ukraine, Poland, Germany and Belarus. Ragnarson was a perfect fit for our company so we went with them - and I’m so happy we did.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started development around the beginning of March 2017 and completed the main scope of the project at the end of June 2017. We are now working on the second stage of development with Ragnarson. This relationship is ongoing, I wouldn’t think of using another company right now.

 

How much have you invested with Ragnarson?

$10-50k

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’re currently moments from a private beta launch, but the initial feedback we’ve had from clients and colleagues has been very positive.

 

How did Ragnarson perform from a project management standpoint?

Marek, the project manager, is an absolute professional and a pleasure to work with. He was meticulous at every stage of the job, ensuring that the team was on top of each issue and worked skillfully via Slack, Pivotal Tracker, and our weekly sprint meeting via Google Hangouts. Ragnarson’s well-structured, agile workflow is the best I have ever experienced.

 

What did you find most impressive about Ragnarson?

The philosophy at Ragnarson is unique and one to be greatly respected. Check out their Core Values page for more details. This is absolutely reflected in the interactions I had with all staff members and in the quality of work delivered. Integrity is trait often left behind in the current international business landscape, but Ragnarson possesses real integrity and so much more.

 

Are there any areas Ragnarson could improve?

I honestly don’t think so. Considering the budget and timeframe, they were absolutely spot on. They delivered everything we agreed on and more.

5.0
Overall Score I couldn’t be happier. I’ve worked with several development teams in the past and this was by far the best experience I’ve had. It was stress-free, I received great results, and I had a fantastic time working with a friendly, educated and talented team.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They worked tirelessly to deliver everything on time and within budget. We were communicating daily via Stripe or Google Hangouts and I received updates each day on what had been achieved that day and what would be worked on tomorrow.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I’m very happy.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They went above and beyond both technically and creatively to create a beautiful, functional and easy to use website.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would recommend Ragnarson without hesitation. Like I said, they really are the best.

Web and App Dev for Insurance Firm

"Ragnarson was always keen to follow best-practice processes in terms of software development and project management."

Quality: 
3.0
Schedule: 
3.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2014 - 2016
Project summary: 

Ragnarson was the long-term development partner for web and app dev projects. Their work included mobile apps, an API server, and management platform. They used technologies such as Ruby on Rails on the backend and the Ionic Framework for the mobile apps.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Berlin, Germany
CTO, Insurance Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The app gained 20,000 users during in two years. Though they could focus on being more customer-centric, the small team’s intimate dynamic was a striking asset. They offered valuable insight into optimizing business practices.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We provide an app for the management of insurance contracts. It has been available for the German market during the last two years and it has 20,000 customers. I am the co-founder and CTO of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ragnarson?

We have worked with Ragnarson from the beginning, in order to build our platform.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Ragnarson has helped us build our API server, management platform and mobile apps. Our technology stack was Ruby on Rails on the backend and the Ionic Framework for the mobile apps, which is a hybrid approach based on the Cordova SDK and AngularJS.

We started out using one developer, and increased the size every few months. At peak level, we used seven or eight developers from Ragnarson.

How did you come to work with Ragnarson?

We chose Ruby on Rails as a technology stack, and Ragnarson specialized in it. It would give us the ability to develop a stable and maintainable system in the beginning, with a high speed. That was crucial for a startup in order to ensure speed, quality, and enough performance. Moreover, Ragnarson not only built the platform quickly and with good quality, but also allowed us to scale up the development team well. They’re not a 100-developer agency where the team members don’t know each other. Their familiarity improves their way of working together.

How much have you invested with Ragnarson?

The cost of Ragnarson’s work was between $300,000 and $600,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Ragnarson in 2014. The project duration was a little over two years, ending in the summer of 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We cannot attribute results directly to Ragnarson. They were used only as an engineering team, so KPI improvements are related to our product team. Items like response time didn’t factor in.

How did Ragnarson perform from a project management standpoint?

Ragnarson was always keen to follow best-practice processes in terms of software development and project management. Given that we are a startup and had a small team at the time, we were not always able to follow best-practices, so we were grateful to be reminded of what we could do and where we could improve the development process. Ragnarson coached us in this area, which was great for us, as a small and inexperienced team.

What did you find most impressive about Ragnarson?

Their developers know each other well, which leads to fast ramp-up times, once they are on the project. They go on company retreats and similar things, and all work from the same office. We haven’t had to worry too much about team dynamics, once we scale up.

Are there any areas Ragnarson could improve?

Sometimes, the developers should try to think more from a customer’s perspective when developing products. They are not the most customer-centric developers I know, but they were also not reluctant to work with us.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 3.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We have complained about timelines on a few occasions.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 3.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    At times, they were insufficiently connected to deadlines.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer

Mobile App Dev for Hunger Nonprofit

"Ragnarson met our goals without any hassle."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
2016 - 2017
Project summary: 

Ragnarson created a social-based mobile app (iOS/Android) to coordinate local hunger-relief efforts, assigning 3–4 resources to meet technical and scheduling requirements. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Toronto, Canada
Mashkur Reza
Founder, 1FORhunger
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The recently launched product achieved all envisioned and requested goals, illustrating Ragnarson’s dedication and proactivity. The team’s rapid problem-solving and open-ended workflow contributed to a successful partnership. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

1FORhunger is a social enterprise which helps facilitate meals for those in need by working with restaurants. We have built an app which helps users find participating locations where they can become a part of the process. I am a co-founder of the company and also handle much of our business development, marketing, and product development. We’re a startup and haven’t yet hit critical mass, so my role involves a bit of everything. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ragnarson?

We were looking to build an application which helped users learn about our program and the available restaurants in and around their locations. At the same time, it would help them track their own progress based on the purchases they made at participating restaurants. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Ragnarson developed our iOS and Android app. We used Ionic Creator, which allowed us to stage mockups of the screens in order to experiment and test versions. Ragnarson assigned one frontend and one backend developer, a project manager, and another resource on an as-needed basis who worked mainly on the backend.

How did you come to work with Ragnarson?

My co-founder participated in a networking session at a startup event. There was a contest being held by Ragnarson in which the winner would receive a chance to work with their team pro bono after meeting a number of criteria. We won that contest. The rest took off from there.

How much have you invested with Ragnarson?

Because we won that contest, our costs were minimal. We were able to work with Ragnarson and get top-notch guidance and input for nothing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

At this juncture, there is not much to report in the way of metrics at a market level, but regarding their ability to deliver what we envisioned and asked for, close to 100% of everything was made as we wanted. Ragnarson met our goals without any hassle; whenever there were any challenges, they were good at voicing them and helping identify potential workarounds. While it would be hard to quantify from a Net Promoter Score standpoint, I’d give Ragnarson a 10/10 based on our experience.

How did Ragnarson perform from a project management standpoint?

They used Slack and Trello in order to ensure that we were project-managing at an efficient level. The process was fantastic, with daily 10 minutes to half-hour sessions during which we planned for the next day and talked about the work which had been done so far.

What did you find most impressive about Ragnarson?

We worked with a manager on a daily basis and also had a chance to meet Ragnarson’s senior leaders, including their CEO and some other top members. They flew in from Poland, and we had a breakfast and learned more about where they were coming from. It was a good chance to learn more about Ragnarson as a company. We also had a strong relationship with the developers themselves, with no acrimony involved. I would highly recommend Ragnarson to other businesses and individuals.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’ve been open-ended in terms of meeting our requirements on time and made sure that we deployed according to our timing.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    In terms of what we asked for and what Ragnarson delivered, they’ve continued to excel. Wherever there was a gap, they were quick to provide a workaround.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Our collaboration with Ragnarson was phenomenal, and I think that any other businesses looking to work with them would have the same experience.

App Development for Car Sharing Platform

"Regardless of which developer is assigned to our project, they will always be skillful and well-motivated."

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

Ragnarson built an application for the car sharing platform using a spectrum of technologies including Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, Redis, Heroku, Amazon Web Services S3, as well as other cloud computing services.​

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Berlin, Germany
Founder, Car Leasing Platform
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client was pleased with the results. Ragnarson had excellent front-end and Ruby on Rails developers. They were skillful and well-motivated and participated in the product life-cycle, discussing features and learning business needs, instead of simply coding blindly.​

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a Berlin-based startup working on a car-leasing platform.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ragnarson?

We are building an application using Ruby on Rails.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Ragnarson developed our platform using 4 developers. The spectrum of technology used includes Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, Redis, Heroku, AWS S3, as well as other cloud computing services.

How did you come to work with Ragnarson?

I know Ragnarson from working on previous projects for another company, where I was the CTO. I had a great experience with Ragnarson's team. They have excellent front-end and Ruby on Rails developers.

How much have you invested with Ragnarson?

The cost of our project with Ragnarson was above $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We have an ongoing project with Ragnarson, working on our company's main platform. We started working together in the summer of 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Everyone has been happy, which is why we continue to work with Ragnarson.

How did Ragnarson perform from a project management standpoint?

Our interactions with Ragnarson had me as the project manager. They were involved strictly in the technical implementation.

What did you find most impressive about Ragnarson?

The reason I've kept hiring Ragnarson is that, regardless of which developer is assigned to our project, they will always be skillful and well-motivated. Ragnarson tries to participate in the product life cycle, discussing features and learning what our business needs are, instead of simply coding blindly. I couldn't say the same thing about other providers.

Are there any areas Ragnarson could improve?

No. Ragnarson has done everything to my uttermost satisfaction.

5.0
Overall Score I've been working with Ragnarson for 4 years, on various projects. Each time, I went back to them, even though I've tried other agencies.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Compared to Western standards, Ragnarson is an extremely cost-effective option, but they are more expensive than programmers in India. Ragnarson's team is also more skilled.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Whenever the outcome was within their hands, Ragnarson delivered on time.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Mobile App Dev for Hospitality Company

"They took responsibility, making the project their own and doing everything possible to make it work."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2014 - 2016
Project summary: 

Ragnarson built an app and a robust system using Ruby on Rails in the backend, an SQL database, and jQuery on the client side for this vacation booking company.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
France
CEO, Room Booking Platform
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The API has been well received by its 200 industry partners and can integrate new partners within 34 days. Using their extensive experience, the team implemented a process that used common open-source patterns. Their personal approach and motivation to get things right set them apart.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

BookingSync.com is a vacation rental software offering centralized property management with distribution to platforms like Airbnb, Booking.com, and Trip Advisor. We centralize all marketing efforts, reservations, payments, and so on, and continue with steps like email notifications, generating websites for clients and providing invoicing.

I am the founder and chief executive officer of the company. I also lead the technical side.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ragnarson?

We have a challenging platform with numerous functionalities. One of our biggest challenges was building a central app. Booking itself is done through a co-product and many modular apps using our public API. Similar to a smartphone's architecture, we have a main operating system with apps plugged in on top of it. Some of them are made by us, and some by other developers. Regardless of this, we need a robust system in terms of APIs, authorization, record control, and so on.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Ragnarson developed our system using Ruby on Rails in the backend, an SQL database, and jQuery on the client side. 

The number of developers has varied from 2 initially, to 7 at peak capacity. We have since built an internal team, so we're only using 2 developers from Ragnarson now.

How did you come to work with Ragnarson?

I've tried multiple agencies in parallel but didn't have a good experience. I realized that, because I'm a technology person, I can quickly see inefficiencies in the processes of other groups. Ragnarson's motivation to get things right differentiated them from others. We have established a process which works for me, following common open-source patterns that have been proven to work well on other projects.

How much have you invested with Ragnarson?

We have spent between $400,000 and $500,000 in total.

What is the status of this engagement?

We're currently building an internal team, so we're slowing down the work with Ragnarson, but we're not going to stop anytime soon.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

In my past work, I've had a chance to make contributions to the Ruby on Rails and EmberJS technologies. I can see that the developers from Ragnarson have the same level of capabilities and involvement in the project. I haven't found this while working with other companies.

The API we've released has around 200 partners currently. Some of them have told us that the system is a pleasure to work with and is one of the best they've seen in the industry. We've had fast integrations with partners like Airbnb, for which the process took 34 days. Some of our competitors still have problems after one year, so it was a huge difference. Airbnb has come to value our technical skills, which also speaks to the capabilities of Ragnarson.

How did Ragnarson perform from a project management standpoint?

Most of the project management was done by me. It wasn't something I was trying to get out of this partnership. We used Slack and Skype for communication and GitHub for project management. Our groups have a similar way of working, so the process was very efficient.

What did you find most impressive about Ragnarson?

I found the technical and human quality of Ragnarson's developers to be high. They took responsibility, making the project their own and doing everything possible to make it work. Ragnarson has a group of great team players, with good communication and English skills. It's been a real pleasure working with them.

Are there any areas Ragnarson could improve?

Ragnarson could have improved in terms of business discussions, gaining more clear knowledge about how transitions within an internal team work.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Ragnarson did a perfect job in terms of timing.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We received very good rates, compared to the quality of the team.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Ragnarson is the best company I've worked with, so they'd be the company I'd recommend to someone else.

Software Dev for Ethics Research Organization

"[The] team takes their work seriously and has looked at the larger business context of why I was working on a project."

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

 Ragnarson recoded an app's entire codebase from scratch. They used Ruby on Rails and JavaScript to improve the quality of the software and now provide maintenance and updates.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Toronto, Ontario
Founder, Stewardly.ca
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Ragnarson has been flexible, committed to quality, and strong in terms of communications. The team cares about the work, and they are eager to be involved in purposeful projects.​ They maintain daily communication through a variety of services like Pivotal Tracker, Slack, and Google Drive. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Stewardly is a social-purpose business in the human subjects research administration space. When people perform research on other people, testing drugs and devices within hospitals and universities, there is a series of checks and balances that exist in order to ensure that the research is ethical and that everyone has done their homework before testing potentially risky new health products in humans. When people make a decision as to whether to participate in research, they need to be fully informed of the known risks and what the demands on them will be. Through our work, and our software, we aim to cut 1-2 years out of the up-to-14-year, up-to-5-billion-dollar drug development process by helping the people who oversee research at hospitals and universities to be more efficient at what they do.

I am the founder of the startup, which is a social purpose business.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ragnarson?

Like many startups, we have done a bunch of software development in order to establish an MVP [minimum viable product] from which we could receive feedback. We had what I would call “intern-quality” software at the time, and when we actually needed to deploy it and gain a larger user base, it behooved us to have enterprise-grade software out-of-the-gate. I found out about Ragnarson through an excellent software platform they had developed, and got in touch with them because I was looking for help in making that leap.

Because I work in a fairly specialized field, I didn't have the same worries as someone building solutions for the general population. We will never suddenly gain a billion users, but we are still planning for the future, and are re-architecting our software in order to make it as efficient as possible.

The business goal was to work on the world's first hosted electronic research ethics administration software. In the field, there is something called an IRB [Institutional Review Board], which is a group of people who oversee research that is known by different names in different parts of the world. We wanted to come up with the first free software service for research ethics administrators, allowing them to keep track of the research studies their IRB oversees. One of the problems is that there is a big divide between hospitals and universities in terms of the resources they have available to them. Many places use Excel in order to keep track of studies, but there can sometimes be hundreds of them going on at the same time, which amounts to a lot of manual labor. As part of ‎Stewardly's social purpose model, we wanted to take the least valuable work, namely, Excel “grunt-work”, and level the playing field, allowing any research ethics committee across the world to get away from these types of arduous efforts, and to have good data as a right instead of as a privilege.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Ragnarson was tasked with recoding our entire codebase from scratch. In the process, we took advantage of some opportunities to create elements which we hadn't even thought of for the intern-grade software, in order to better serve our users and take certain tasks off of research administrators' plates. Ragnarson was in charge of everything from authentication to security elements, which were all rolled from scratch. This is not often done nowadays, and it speaks to Ragnarson's abilities. We have a Ruby on Rails- and JavaScript-based software service, which are Ragnarson's specialization.

One senior developer from Ragnarson was assigned to our project. I also interfaced with their chief executive officer and account manager at the front-end of the process, as well as over the course of development, in order to keep things on track.

How did you come to work with Ragnarson?

I spent a significant amount of time and effort looking for a good platform-as-a-service provider. That search eventually led me to a Ragnarson spin-off company. I eventually followed the fruit back to the tree, given that whoever built that solution knew how to build good, intuitive, human-centred software. That solution was a joy to use, compared to every other platform I'd seen.

The larger consideration for me, as a startup business owner, was if we were going to become a software development organization or not. If yes, we needed to provide the environment and resources which developers need in order to grow and thrive. I came to the conclusion that it wouldn't make sense to do this, especially since hospitals and universities often make purchase decisions through long and involved processes, so it wouldn't be reasonable to expect a need for continuous software development. Oftentimes, the product would be built, and only enhanced months or years later, depending on how long it would take for it to gain traction.

The quest then became to look for an organization which invests in its people and provides a good environment for them to thrive. I wasn't looking for the lowest bidder because developing software requires craftspeople. It became readily apparent that Ragnarson makes significant investments in sending its team to conferences, taking on open-source projects, and mentoring junior developers, assigning them different kinds of projects that could provide opportunities to learn.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Ragnarson in February 2016 and worked continuously until April. We took a pause at one point, but have now resumed development for the Stewardly software. We are now in maintenance mode, and make small tweaks to the software as needed. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

A good portion of our budget is dedicated to communication. We meet every day with Ragnarson for one hour in order to review the code written on the previous day and to plan the next day. The collaboration has been quite good in enabling us to ensure that test coverage is proportional to critical aspects of the code. Within research ethics administration, there is a concept of proportionate review: the riskier the research, the more “pairs of eyes” need to review it. There are a few different camps with respect to test-driven development in the software world. On one hand, there are people who drive everything with tests; on the other hand, there are those who find tests to be a waste of time. I don't necessarily believe either of those and have followed a philosophy of proportionate test coverage. It's hard to assign a metric on this, but knowing that we will be actively discussing and making decisions on test coverage at every point, as a trade-off to new features being developed, it has been a good way to gain peace of mind. The sense that I've gotten is that Ragnarson is entirely flexible, based on the philosophy of a business. I've never gotten a one-size-fits-all feeling working with Ragnarson.

How did Ragnarson perform from a project management standpoint?

We use standard tools like Pivotal Tracker for user stories. Ragnarson has its own time-tracking app for developers and we share documents through Google Drive. Slack is used for communicating day-to-day things and scheduling meetings. Ragnarson has a default toolkit of services, but they're also open to using other tools or services which I might want to bring to the table.

I've worked with different groups of technical resources in the past, and communication was not necessarily their strong point. It's been quite the contrary experience with Ragnarson. It's always easy to communicate with them, and nothing is ever lost. If something comes up which needs discussing, the appropriate members of the Ragnarson team will quickly make the time to do so.

What did you find most impressive about Ragnarson?

It all comes down to Ragnarson's team giving the impression that they care about what it is they're working on. One common theme I noticed was their eagerness to be involved in purposeful projects which can improve the world. Ragnarson's team takes their work seriously and has looked at the larger business context of why I was working on a project, and whether the solution would have the ability to be maintained, expanded, and cultivated over time. Ragnarson has an internal selection process in order to ensure that the team is working on meaningful projects with a certain level of impact and longevity, and I am honoured to have “made the cut” so to speak!

Are there any areas Ragnarson could improve?

Ragnarson's project manager asked me this at certain touch-points, but there's nothing that I can think of right now.

 

5.0
Overall Score I've had a great experience with Ragnarson, and don't plan to look for other web-based development help. As long as Ragnarson is willing to work with me, I will do the same.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Because we have regular meetings, we can adjust to real-world elements immediately.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It's hard to quantify value, but Ragnarson has been upfront about their time-and-materials model. Software estimation is notoriously difficult to make in general, so to me, this is the only sensible costing model.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Ragnarson has an obvious commitment to quality, similar to our own. To me, this makes the difference between a craftsperson and someone trading code for money.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have already done so.