Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
A couple of the apps were featured on Google Play. One of the apps reached a 4.8-star review. They all had good reviews. The most successful of them reached about 500,000 downloads, probably more than that now. The companies who commissioned us were happy and they continued to refer us more work. We got good feedback from the end clients about the code quality and the developers’ depths of knowledge about Android and best practices.
How did Softermii perform from a project management standpoint?
We used JIRA, Trello, and Skype to handle ticketing and communication. I was very impressed by the responsiveness. I don’t even know when he slept; it seemed like he was available during my daytime and his daytime. His responsiveness was really one of the best things for me. When you’re in different time zones it can be a challenge, but he really made sure it wasn’t an issue.
What did you find most impressive about Softermii?
In software development, you don’t always get fully developed APIs and perfect requirements; sometimes you’re missing key information that you need to write your code. Previous developers that I’ve worked with would ignore the problem and then tell me they’d missed a deadline because they didn’t have what they need, but what I really liked about Softermii was that each developer took the initiative to reach out and get the information they needed. They’d tell me if they needed something or if they hit a blockage, rather than just telling me after the fact. They also had this entrepreneurial spirit: they really understand the importance of their work for the client. It’s not just writing some code and pushing it to the repository: this is going to go to real users and what to do matters. I never had to remind them of that.
Are there any areas Softermii could improve?
Like I said, they were very self-starting and would run with things, but sometimes they’d run with things a little too fast and the client would say, “Hold on, we didn’t say to work on this yet.” Softermii was very agile, but there were times when I felt like there was a need to balance that with being more methodical. Certain clients liked it, but others had a more stringent process and didn’t like that there had been unauthorized progress. Softermii thought they were working harder and doing great. I’d have to tell them that the company had asked us to do X, and if we did X and a little bit of Y, it’s going to raise an eyebrow.
What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Softermii?
It’s important to remember that with any company, especially a smaller team, the results are going to depend on the individual developers. It’s a company, but it’s comprised of individual people. I’d encourage you to learn more about specific developers you might work with instead of letting it be more like a black box. Find out about the developers’ skills, but also their history in the company. Here’s the thing: service companies needs to make payroll and it’s stressful to have people relying on you for that. But the work coming in is not consistent. It’s hard for companies to say no to new work, and it’s important for you as the person who’s hiring them to do your due diligence and understand who exactly they’re putting on the project and what that person’s work load looks like. Even if a company has good reviews, developers and processes can change, so do your homework.