What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
The difference between their work and the work of our previous outsourced firm is night and day. I don’t have statistics, but anecdotally, we discovered that our previous vendor had hard-coded a user record feature. Softedge wouldn’t do something like that.
How did Softedge Technologies perform from a project management standpoint?
One of the reasons our previous outsourced relationships didn’t work was because of communication. Talking across time zones can be very frustrating, and getting the level of thoroughness and detail we want is difficult. That part of our experience has been much improved with Alejandro’s firm. Being able to communicate with them anytime during the day since there's a one hour time difference is like a godsend.
We use JIRA as a project development tracking tool. Two to three times a week, I’ll have a meeting with the development team, with all three resources together, so we're on the same page. I will also meet with them via a web meeting as required. Sometimes, a week goes by, and I don't have to have any additional meetings with them; other times, it's multiple meetings a day for days on end to try and get stuff right. They're always available and prepared.
What did you find most impressive about them?
There's very little communication barrier there if any. They are professional, pick things up quickly and are eager to develop a long-lasting relationship with us. The enthusiasm has been noticeably different than the groups we used in the past. Additionally, they’ve very detail-oriented. They don't cut corners.
Are there any areas they could improve?
We write very detailed comments in our code because we understand that even if it's me looking at it 10 years from now, you can't spend enough time commenting on what you code. In my time working with SoftEdge, at times I felt that this direction was not being adhered to and have had to bring it up a couple of times in order to get the desired results, which is happening now. I realize that our level of commenting on how our logic works is probably way beyond the normal industry standard, but time has shown us over and over during the last 20 years that it is better to over-comment that under-comment your logic.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
The most important thing in having development done by a third-party vendor is to keep the communication lines open and make sure the expectations and targets and details of the coding tasks are well understood. We’ve learned this the hard way in our other attempts and off-shore development, but with SoftEdge’s ability to be on the same schedule as us, with developers and testers that can communicate effectively with us directly at any time during the day, things have greatly improved.