pragmatic Node.js and React software house

We are a pragmatic software company. We help fast-growing companies automate their operations from IT perspective. 

We aim to work with startups and ambitious companies which are open for lean product development, disruptive ideas and rapid growth. 

Key services: 
* Startups: Let us be your CTO & tech team. Fasten your seatbelt, we go super fast!

* Software development: Full-stack software ninja teams available for hire. Like now!
* Mobile apps: E-commerce is going mobile. Be sure to get there before anyone else does!

Skills: Node.js, React.js, Angular.js, Java, Salesforce, Zuora, AWS, Cloud, Marketing and e-commerce automation, iOS, Android, React Natvie, Cordova.
 

 
$10,000+
 
$25 - $49 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2013
Show all +
Katowice, Poland
headquarters
  • rspective
    Porcelanowa 23, bud. A4
    Katowice 40-246
    Poland
    +48 791 982 510

Reviews

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Salesforce Dev Assistance for Marketing Application

"I have never been dissatisfied with what they’ve delivered."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

rspective provides direct contact with a developer for handling Salesforce related tasks. The work mostly request-based, for which they provide ideas, suggestions, and handle the implementation.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Berlin, Germany
Salesforce Business Analyst
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

They’re a responsive team that’s especially great at delivering urgent requests within 24 hours. rspective provides frequent updates, discusses every task step-by-step to ensure a seamless process, and shows great transparency in their invoices. They could handle less urgent requests faster, though.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the Salesforce administrator of a marketing app that allows businesses with many offline stores to make sure that their information about every store like opening hours, reviews, and things like that are the same for every search engine. We sell our application to businesses on a license model for them to use.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with rspective?

Our managing directors switched from another CRM tool to Salesforce and in order to do this switch, they needed assistance from Salesforce specialists. rspective was one of the companies that were approached to actually build the Salesforce platform the way we wanted. That was before I started working here, but since July 2017, I took over the complete communication with rspective since we were still at a very early stage and need a lot of development assistance when it came to getting our Salesforce solution to the next level.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I can’t say with 100% accuracy how the process was before I started handling the work. What I do know is that the work has always been on a feature basis as it’s not a big project. We work together via a ticket system; whenever I need them to do something or create a feature, I send them a ticket, they develop it, I test it, and that’s it. Their involvement is very operational, implementation, and development focused.

Sometimes, I have issues and don’t know the solutions myself, so rspective helps me solve them and also gives me creative input as to which kind of solutions are available. I then choose one of their suggestions and ask them to implement it.

Every day, I have a lot of small things that I ask them to do. For example, we wanted to be able to get our own support team into Salesforce as well, which means that we wanted our customers to be able to send an email to our support address which would then create a case in Salesforce straightaway. Our users should be able to answer those emails in Salesforce and everything should be nicely documented in the case. This whole case management and email setup task was one of the bigger projects assigned to them in which they gave suggestions for solutions to make it possible.

What is the team dynamic?

There are 3 people on the team, but my main contact is the developer, who is basically doing all the work for us. Then, there’s his team lead who jumps in whenever we need an extra resource or when something is really urgent. On top of that, there’s either the owner or one of the managers of rspective that handles the commercial part by sending me invoices.

How did you come to work with rspective?

They were hired before I started working with the company.

How much have you invested with them?

We’re paying an hourly rate for every hour of service they do.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in the first half of 2017 and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We are generally happy with them. They usually respond within 24 hours, but most of the time, it’s even quicker. When I really have an urgent issue, I have different communication tools for reaching them and can get a response from them within a few minutes to half an hour. They’re also pretty quick to implement any of our requests. If we have any critical issues, they usually get done within 24 hours, but depending on the complexity, it can take a maximum of 1 week.

I know that there’s only 1 person there working for us, so sometimes I end up assigning a lot of critical things to him, so it piles up and takes longer. That’s when I escalate to the team lead and he makes sure they respond immediately at least with a plan of when to get things done.

Overall, they’re pretty good and I don’t have any negative experiences when it comes to communicating with them.

How did rspective perform from a project management standpoint?

We don’t really expect much from them when it comes to project management. They came over to meet me when I started working here, which was very nice, and we agreed on how we would manage all requests. They keep me updated on the progress and we agree together on the steps for each request. Having the team lead available as well has been very helpful because together with the developer they made up a trustworthy team.

What did you find most impressive about them?

One of the things that I find very impressive is that their invoices are very accurate every month. I’ve had many bad experiences with external suppliers where their invoices are wrong. All their hours have been added up correctly; I never have the feeling that they add hours that they didn’t do just to earn a few more bucks. I always feel that they charge us fairly and that the time they need for each request is also fair and realistic, which is very positive. Also, the work they do is satisfying.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can classify every request I send them as critical, major, or minor. I’m super happy with everything that has been critical, but whenever I classify something as of major or minor importance, it doesn’t get done as fast. I have to remind and ask for answers to those less important requests because it doesn’t seem like they have the resources available to tackle the work.

Maybe the team lead could check on how many requests are actually open from my side and double check with me to see if they are still relevant, what my deadline is, etc. They could then maybe add more resources to get the work done.

4.5
Overall Score I am generally very happy. There are minor things that could be improved but nothing that really hurts.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Whenever it’s really critical, they are always there and delivering on it but sometimes I need to ask a couple of times and remind them that something is really needed.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The value for money is very good.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I have never been dissatisfied with what they’ve delivered.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Mobile App Dev for Freelance Banking Platform

“They were just like my team—I didn’t see any gaps in quality.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Mar. 2016 - Sept. 2017
Project summary: 

rspective built an MVP of a multiplatform mobile app that helps users manage their finances. The app used binary libraries specific to the platform and all versions were fed the same source code.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Berlin, Germany
Sebastian Galonaska
CTO, Kontist
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The app has received positive feedback for high code quality and helped establish the client as a specialist in their field. rspective provided excellent communication despite their remote location and adapted quickly to the status quo to ensure a productive collaboration with in-house staff.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the CTO of Kontist, a Berlin-based company that is passionate about helping freelancers better manage their finances. We offer a bank account for freelancers that has the same basic functionalities such as debit cards, payments, and wire transfers.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with rspective?

We wanted to build a multiplatform mobile app that would enable our customers to manage their financial life and give an overview of their taxes and available money. If you’re a freelancer, it’s a struggle to figure out how much money you owe to the finance department or how much VAT [value-added tax] you have taken in. A lot of people spend everything they earn, then end up surprised because they owe the tax department at the end of the year. That’s why we wanted to increase the visibility of the real costs of doing business.

We had already picked the technology and built the prototype using React Native, which wasn’t common at that time. The challenge was to find someone in the market who could deliver a usable version in a short period. I wanted to find a self-managing software development team for this purpose.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They helped us in the first phase by providing talent in our core technology, which was hard to find. They constantly factored our feedback into their resource planning so we could expand the team as our product grew.

The first deliverable was to launch an MVP [minimum viable product] to our end customers, which took less than a year. It included the release of our app on iOS and Android. One of our preconditions was that they had to be fed by the same source codes—this is difficult if you want to write code once and run it on multiple platforms. It’s a dream everybody has, but the reality looks different. For example, we faced issues about cross-platform compatibilities since the app used binary libraries specific to the platform. Fortunately, we’ve overcome all of those pains together.

When a user launches the application, they see a UI [user interface] that is adapted to the platform it’s running on. The Android design is different from the iOS, but they start sharing the same view layer as it adapts to the appropriate platform.

What is the team dynamic?

We started with 1 resource, and then we had 2 people on the project. Both of them worked remotely. One of our main points of contact was a co-founder of rspective.

How did you come to work with rspective?

I met one of their co-founders at a co-working space. We just talked, and I thought that he seemed to know what he was doing.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from March 2016 until September 2017. The app took 9 months to launch, which was impressive because of the technical explanations we had to do. It was a good outcome.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

All of our deliverables have been achieved. The feedback we got from developers was that the code quality was very high. Thanks to their contribution, we can establish ourselves as a specialist in our field.

How did rspective perform from a project management standpoint?

Since we had the best overview of our product, we decided to do project management ourselves. We managed their people, and we traveled a lot so we could have as much face time as possible. Sometimes, we’d bring them over for a week or 2.

The communication was impressive. The whole collaboration was mostly remote, so we had digital tools like Pivotal Tracker. While we used almost every conferencing system there is, we preferred using Hangouts. I found it hard to work with remote teams in the past because the whole information transfer had to happen online, which was usually an impediment. However, it turned out to be a very good choice, and I was very happy in the end.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They were just like my team—I didn’t see any gaps in quality compared to what we had in-house. I have worked with Eastern European software development companies before, and they caught up pretty fast to the status quo for quality and culture. I never felt like their work was inferior to those from professionals in Germany. They did their best to understand our needs, and we learned a lot of things from their team.

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
    I’ve recommended them before.

iOS & Android Development for Healthcare Startup

"They demonstrated the ability to tackle complex challenges and take initiative."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
July 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Respective built an iOS/Android versions of an app meant to integrate seamlessly with a Bluetooth device and share time-series data to a cloud-based backend. Enhancements are now the main focus. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
CTO
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Rspective quickly overcame any technical issues that arose with third-party connectivity and hardware programming. A variety of project management tools were used to remain organized throughout the process, and the quality of the solutions reflects that. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the CTO of a digital health startup currently in stealth mode.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with rspective?

We needed to put together a high-quality Android and iOS app to interface with a hardware device over Bluetooth Low Energy and to submit time-series-type data to a cloud-based backend for storage and computation of daily stats.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The team assigned to us consisted of two developers—one very senior and the other more mid-range. The same two developers built both versions to our functional app.

How did you come to work with Rspective?

I searched for a number of outsourcing companies in various areas of the world, and they were one of the companies that I contacted. I chose to outsource, as opposed to hiring local, because of cost and time. It takes a while to find people and get them onboard, whereas this was faster to get going. I already had experience using outsourcers before.

Before selecting rspective, we interviewed a number of potential developers at other outsourcing firms and found the quality of their staff lacking. rspective developers were more qualified, especially in their knowledge of JavaScript, and they also spoke better English.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started in July 2016. The product launched in beta, or in a clinical trial type of setup, about two or three months ago. The software's never done, so there's always improvements that can be made.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

There were a number of technical challenges that had to be overcome along the way. The stack that we use is Cordova—a hybrid app technology. You build your app in JavaScript, and then there are various plugins to Cordova that allow you to interface with native functionality. There's always issues with third-party plugins that have to be resolved, which they dealt with. We also have some backend Cassandra issues that had to be dealt with that resulted in some open source contributions from them to the project. There were some issues with the hardware. With any kind of programming, there's always something. They handled all of the integrations and were able to resolve this stuff pretty quickly.

How did Rspective perform from a project management standpoint?

It was definitely more of an Agile approach (Maybe it was a staged Waterfall?). There were no issues with organizing the work. In fact, quite the opposite. We communicated regularly using JIRA, emails, chat, and Skype. They were always on top of tasks and sharing updates.

What did you find most impressive about Rspective?

Their productivity, ease of management, and communication are better, compared to others.They also demonstrated the ability to tackle complex challenges and take initiative.

Are there any areas Rspective could improve?

I don’t have anything off the top of my head. I got what I expected from both the senior and mid-level resources. The mid-level resource is not a senior resource, so you don't expect from a mid-level resource what you'd expect from a senior. I think it's fairly within the accepted range.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Rspective?

It really depends on the size of your project and so forth. There are some outsourcing companies that are very much spec-driven. Their staff is used to having a Waterfall project methodology where there's a pretty detailed spec, they know exactly what to do with the spec, and they just execute against the spec. This can work well if the spec exists and the people deliver it. Oftentimes, these organizations, or rather the people in these organizations, have a really hard time working in a more uncertain day-to-day changing environment. This has nothing to do with this particular project; this is just based on my experience. If you're going to do an Agile project, make sure the company you're picking and specifically the staff that you're selecting has experience with these projects. Otherwise, things are not going to go well.

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

Backend Development for Social Network Startup

"I’ve worked with other suppliers before, and Rspective has been much better at handling unexpected situations."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Oct. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Rspective contributed engineering resources to bolster a backend dev project for a GPS-based social app. Instead of starting from scratch, they gradually improved the existing codebase.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Berlin, Germany
Founder
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The suggestion to work from the existing code was validated, demonstrating their analytical skills almost immediately. Independent but engaged, Rspective seamlessly integrated itself with the in-house dev team.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the founder of a startup in the social space. We started at the end of 2014 with an app that allows you to instantly engage with the community around you, currently focused on university students across Europe. We basically provide a platform where you can discover, follow, and participate in relevant conversations with people around you. We’ve been scaling up for two and a half years.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Rspective?

We had some restructuring internally, and our new tech lead was looking for another strong backend developer to join him. Our backend was essentially breaking all the time, so he was trying to decide how we should continue with the new backend we’d been building. We had a number of things to consider before activating it and having some capable working with us would be vital. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Instead of using the entire new backend system we’d been building for the past six months, my tech lead and the Rspective developer decided to continue with the backend we had and gradually improve the codebase. That was a big decision. Since then, we’ve been developing that backend and adding more people from Rspective as well. We currently have three people from Rspective working with us. I interviewed each of them on the culture side, and my tech lead did the interviews on the tech side. The app is for mobile only. Rspective works on the backend, and we are building the native versions ourselves.

When you open the app, you see picture or text posts for your area. You can download or comment, and you don’t need a username. Wherever you go, you can open the app and see what’s going on. They’ve been building the entire backend for us. It’s huge. We’re building our own social network, so we don’t integrate with others.

How did you come to work with Rspective?

They approached us, and they had a good portfolio of previous work. I contacted one of their prior clients, with whom I was already familiar, and got a good reference. We interviewed a couple of their developers and my tech lead really liked the second one. We invited him to Berlin and started to work on how we can improve the backend.

What is the status of this engagement?

Rspective joined us at the end of 2015, and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The first guy that joined us was a very crucial part of the decision on whether we would continue with the old backend, as our tech lead was very inexperienced at the time. Even though it’s a pain for the developers to continue with that backend, they decided to do it because it’s more secure, it’s a working system, and in the end, it’s a better decision. He was crucial in that decision and very smart about analyzing it. That was great. It was really one of the reasons we continued using Rspective for so long.

How did Rspective perform from a project management standpoint?

They integrated with the rest of our team. They’re in Poland, but it’s one big team. They provide three of the six backend developers. We use Slack in our project management.  

What did you find most impressive about Rspective?

They’re very easygoing and great people. You don’t have to watch over them closely, and they’re not annoying. They’re really good. I’ve worked with other suppliers before, and Rspective has been much better at handling unexpected situations. Integrating the developers from Rspective onto our team went much more smoothly. They’re a solid team. When the first guy left, and got replaced with another developer, it was all smooth. They replaced him with another very strong guy, and made sure we got the right replacement very quickly.

Are there any areas Rspective could improve?

There’s really nothing. They’re great people.

5.0
Overall Score I’ve already done so.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re not cheap, but they deliver good quality. If we got people with the same skills in-house, we’d have to pay the same price.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Software Development for Business Travel Startup

"[They're] problem-solvers; they can take the initiative in order to help the client."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Dec. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

rspective used the Dropwizard stack to develop a booking platform for hotels, airline flights, and ground transport. Future work will involve user account creation and data management. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Leipzig, Germany
Jorg Frohberg
COO, Merolt
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The assigned resources operated and even excelled as part of a fluid, interdisciplinary team of specialists. Collaboration skills have exceeded expectations, which includes bringing new ideas and possible integrations to each project.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Merolt is an online platform which is revolutionizing the market for business travel and out-of-office business.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with rspective?

We were just starting out and we didn't have a platform in place. We started by sketching the architecture, laying some foundations of our session and singular systems, but only 5% of our planned state was existent. We needed help to develop the entire platform. We reached out to several companies, rspective being one of them.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We initially hired a single developer from rspective's group, who joined our internal team for the development of the platform. Later on, we expanded to three developers and a project manager from rspective's side. One of their managing directors took care of getting everything ready, delivering the product and managing the Polish team.

We picked the first developer personally; rspective proposed the remaining resources, and we reviewed each one before making a decision. I trusted our manager's choices, so we didn't go through such an extensive selection process. There was no turnover from rspective's side. Out of the four agencies we've worked with, they were the only one who worked with us from the start, and who are still onboard. We've never had to change a developer.

We are developing on the Dropwizard stack, which is a lightweight Java framework similar to Spring Boot. Our CTO scoped the architecture and tools, and rspective adhered to those plans.

The platform allows users to book hotels, flights, ground transportation, and so on. We are adding more verticals as we speak, but for that to happen, we needed a full ERP/CRM type of solution for user accounts, session management, contact data management, and so on.

The most difficult part was the timeframe. As a startup, we are very agile and need to move fast. That can put a lot of strain on developers and the process as a whole.

Technologically speaking, what we've built is not the most ardent or elaborate system in the world. It's an e-commerce solution with some tweaks and perks, but nothing out of the ordinary.The most complicated part was our credit card encryption system, but rspective didn't work on that.

How did you come to work with rspective?

I found rspective on either Upwork or CrunchBase, I'm not sure. It looked good to me, so I contacted them. I scouted between 20 and 40 companies overall, made introductory calls with the project managers or directors of at least 10 of them, mostly companies from Eastern Europe. I have worked with a number of teams from all over the world in my consulting career, and, based on my experience, I would not be choosing Asian, Indian or Egyptian developers, since there would be communication and time-zone difficulties. There is also a lack of basic project management understanding with those companies, so we concentrated on Eastern Europe, mainly Ukraine, Poland and ex-Yugoslavian countries. In the end, we settled for three Ukrainian agencies and one Polish agency, rspective.

How much have you invested with rspective?

rspective's daily rates are between €270 and €295. [$286 to $313]

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with rspective in November or December 2015.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

rspective's development team was the only one out of all our external agencies to deliver on-time and with exceptional quality, time and time again. We had very few issues around defects, bugs, or problems to be refactored. Components built by rspective are still existent today, and working.

We are working in a full-stack environment in which all developers are frontend, backend sysops and DevOps. We have made it a point for everyone to work on any particular story or epic, so it's sometimes hard to say that a particular module was built by this or that agency. It's more of a mixture of internal and external staff working on the same elements. In general, the three developers from rspective always delivered topmost quality, mostly on-time. Given our strict timeline, that is more than outstanding.

How did rspective perform from a project management standpoint?

rspective exceeded expectations quite often, and mostly delivered on-time, but our timetables and plans were more than strict. They performed better than most of the other agencies we've worked with.

We have eight-hour days and forty-hour weeks on our contract, but we have had user stories that needed to be completed by particular dates. rspective worked alongside our own staff for this purpose, and never counted hours. When there was too much on the plate, we sat down with them and offered extra compensation. In general, the top priority was getting things done on-time, not so much working by the hour. We have had experiences with such agencies, but I tended to cancel those contracts early on, since this is not the way to handle work in a startup.

What did you find most impressive about rspective?

rspective brought creative ideas like integrating Salesforce or Intercom. We had been considering these steps, but they were the ones who made the push. rspective are problem-solvers; they can take the initiative in order to help the client. This is amazing, compared to the standards of other agencies.

Are there any areas rspective could improve?

Leadership in the development team could be improved, not only in making expertise initiatives, but also stepping up in moments when there are decisions to be made, and help along the process. We could have worked better, quicker and with better outcomes at times, had rspective been more leadership-oriented.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We have referred them to several people.

Platform Enhancement for Education Management Startup

"[They] didn't clock out after doing their 8 hours and always worked proactively."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Nov. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

rspective integrated a subscription management system to update an educational publishing solution. They're now refactoring inherited APIs on a custom platform, assigning one dedicated developer.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Berlin, Germany
Max Kimambo
CTO, K.lab educmedia GmbH
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The modernized platform processes 8,000 invoices per month and supports 120,000 accounts. The team continues to overcome complex engineering challenges at a rapid pace, produce high-quality code, and remains accessible around the clock. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Klab is the company behind meinunterricht.de, a platform that delivers digital teaching resources to about 170,000 teachers in Germany and neighboring countries. I am the CTO of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with rspective?

In the beginning of 2016, we had an organizational change within the team and needed extra manpower for the ongoing projects.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We have worked with rspective on a number of projects, the biggest one being an integration with Zuora, which is a subscription-as-a-service payments provider. We have thousands of users on our platform and were using a homegrown system for managing subscriptions. It needed to be replaced since it was highly inefficient and very buggy. rspective integrated with the Zuora API and built a Node.js microservice on our site for connecting to it. The project took eight months to complete, including the bug-fixing process. Everything is working fine at the moment.

Our other project was a refactoring of the old APIs that I inherited when I joined the company. They had been built on our custom platform and had to be translated into much newer technologies. We are still in the process of doing this.

We’ve worked with two developers from rspective on a constant basis over the course of a year. We still keep one of them in our team but cannot afford more because of financial reasons. We interact with our resources directly and will continue the relationship until the end of 2017 or longer. He reports directly to me on the API refactoring project and has been fully integrated into our own Scrum team.

How did you come to work with rspective?

I wasn't a part of the team back then, but I know that rspective was referred to us by other startups. We started working with them immediately since we had lost quite a few members on our team.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with rspective at the end of November 2015. The relationship is ongoing. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

rspective has worked on one of our backend systems, so users don't actually interact with it. They’re not involved in any of the frontend work—not because they couldn't, but because we have a different team for that. rspective is only involved in highly delicate and complicated work. In this sense, it would be hard for me to provide stats, but I can say that we are able to process 8,000 invoices every month through Zuora and have 170,000 accounts on that platform.

How did rspective perform from a project management standpoint?

We use a number of tools, including Slack for informal communication. We have stand-ups through Skype or the appear.in Slack plug-in, depending on which one is working better at the time; they're all buggy. We use JIRA as a tracking tool. Everyone picks a task at the beginning of the sprint and works it through. rspective has full access to our GitHub account, where we manage code via Pull requests and constant code reviews.

On the non-tool side, we also arrange meetings from time to time by either having rspective come to Berlin or sending our team to Poland. We work side-by-side for one-week periods. This has been especially good at the beginning of projects when we needed to communicate heavily before kicking-off major features of the platform.

What did you find most impressive about rspective?

From a satisfaction point of view, I've been most satisfied with rspective's services and quality of code, compared to other freelancers or suppliers we've used in the past. I've had my fair share of outsourced partners in a previous job, and I've been most impressed with rspective's ability to hit the ground running. We presented a completely new platform and framework, but in a matter of days, rspective's team was already productive.

I'm also impressed by their work ethic. rspective jumped in when we had incidents on the platform, even if it was outside of their working hours. We felt that instead of a contractor, we were working with a member of the team. rspective didn't clock out after doing their eight hours and always worked proactively with us. Even the person who left our project has remained available for support whenever we had some questions. If it's time-consuming, we will obviously pay for it, but the simple fact that he is still helping us out in his spare time is a big plus. One doesn't usually get this with other contractors.

Speed, quality, and professionalism are what sets rspective apart from other contractors.

Are there any areas rspective could improve?

This could be more of a general wish on my end, not an improvement for rspective: I will sometimes need extra developers on short notice, after getting additional funds or having a burning project that needs to be dealt with immediately. rspective can be inflexible at times like this, but this also indicates that they won’t abandon another project. It's a minus for me, but a plus for the people employing them on other projects. Increasing the team size and having more people available would have been a big plus.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with rspective?

If you get a chance to work with them, take it quickly; it might not be open for long. The normal thinking when working with an outsourcing agency is that all companies will try to lure clients with the lowest price. In this case, cheaper does not necessarily mean better value for a project. I would consider paying for quality. And this is what you get when you have rspective on board.

Try to make sure that someone from the in-house team is on the project as well, to increase that sharing of knowledge. Though they are available and offer ongoing support, nothing will beat having your own team member knowing the ins and outs of a new system.

Cheap is expensive, from my experience. rspective is not the most expensive but also not the cheapest option. I find their price/value ratio to be good. I'm very satisfied with the code they've written; it has been trouble free in production for over a year. 

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