What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Sloboda Studio alleviated all the performance issues. Hiring a domestic developer would have cost us 150% more for the same work. They accomplished the objectives we set, and their team worked hand-in-hand with ours.
We’re really pleased we partnered with Sloboda Studio. Our budget was the only reason we couldn’t extend the contract.
The lead developer performed will in a challenging situation. We hadn’t used outsourced developers before and had high expectations for a startup.
How did Sloboda Studio perform from a project management standpoint?
One of the company’s principals attended our initial planning meeting. Alex (Project Lead, Sloboda Studio) wanted to make sure that the engagement met our expectations. Daily kickoff meetings included the lead developer from Sloboda Studio, myself, our company’s co-founder and CTO, and another external project manager. Even though this was a lot of people to manage, they did so very effectively.
We used the time zone difference between us to our advantage. When I’d start my day three hours before business hours began, I’d check Slack for questions from the developer. At that point, he’d have been online for six hours. We conducted code reviews and testing throughout the day. I sent instructions in Google Docs and videos that indicated where to focus. We held check-in meetings toward the end of his day, leaving him about an hour to resolve any issues before logging off.
Rather than us having to adopt their communication practices, they were happy to use ours. We included them in our Slack teams. There wasn’t an excessive language barrier, and we talked through any misunderstandings.
What did you find most impressive about them?
The team is highly organized, accessible, and responsive. They answered all our questions. Sloboda Studio genuinely cared about completing our project at the price they quoted us. There were never hidden charges. I was quite impressed. If I needed to reach the COO, he’d respond on Slack within 20 minutes.
Are there any areas they could improve?
We required outside project management. I don’t recall if they offer those services, but they should consider doing so if they don’t already. They could provide a project manager and increase the rate by 25%.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
If clients are based in the U.S. or Latin America, they should be empathetic about the time zone difference. Having different schedules and locations poses challenges. Be understanding if a provider can’t work the exact same hours as you,
This type of engagement goes hand-in-hand with asynchronous collaboration, which can honestly be more productive. Constant communication can pose distractions. I suggest dedicating 30-60 minutes to answer questions, and putting a process in place for daily check-in meetings.