What was the scope of their involvement?
In our quote request, we also asked SemiDot to make some modifications to our legacy code and update some elements. The code base is massive and robust, and the original developer didn’t want to continue to work on it.
My partner and I ran the site for a few years ourselves and but couldn’t make the changes that we wanted. We needed a way to allow a photographer to log in through Facebook or track how many times and when somebody logged in to view their images. That was all successful but not as successful as the HTML.
Once SemiDot understood what we wanted with the HTML, everything went well. We had a minor communication barrier with the backend as well as dealing with the legacy code. It’s challenging to dig into someone else’s code that may or may not be documented well and figure out what needs to be changed. I wish they had insisted on more handholding and documenting of what we wanted up front. Sometimes, they understood our wishes right away, but at other times they claimed they understood but actually didn’t. I have been told this is normal for any type of programmer, but it was exacerbated by their limited English skills.
What is the team dynamic?
Harish [Manager of Business Development, SemiDot Infotech] was our point person and contact with the greatest knowledge of the English language. Rohan [Director, SemiDot Infotech] has a fair amount of technical skills and acted as the lead project manager. We also interacted with one of the programmers, but he didn’t always have a good grasp of English, so Harish often translated for us.
How did you come to work with SemiDot Infotech?
We found them through a local contact who connects American companies with Indian programmers. He acts as an intermediary and stays involved in the process throughout the project. I found this contact through an ex-girlfriend of mine that started working for him.
We did some research on SemiDot and a few other companies. We liked their quick and direct response. Before they gave us a quote, they took enough time to understand some of our issues. We got quotes back from firms that hadn’t even researched our project. SemiDot’s proposal showed they took the time to explore our needs, which gave us confidence in their abilities.
We initially met with our local contact, who passed our proposal to SemiDot. Having someone to funnel stuff through who speaks my language was really helpful. I don’t know if I would have hired SemiDot without that contact.
How much have you invested with them?
We’ve spent just under $60,000. We added a few things to the project that they’ll complete later.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with them in February 2017, and phase one was completed a week or two ago. We will be doing more work with them, for sure.