Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
We've always accomplished what we set out to do, which I guess is all you want. I don't know if that was a wise thing to do, but what we chose to do was sometimes up to me. It was up to me what should have been programmed in the first place. That said, I’ve never really had an experience with them where they couldn't deliver.
How did SoftFormace perform from a project management standpoint?
Their project management deserves an A+. It's very well managed, otherwise I wouldn't have been working with them for 7 years. It's really almost as if I have to keep up with them in terms of their updates as opposed to the other way around. I don't have to wait for them. It's always the other way around; they have to wait for me to proceed. They provide estimates on all projects before they set out to do them.
I've always led project management from my side. We're mainly using Redmine to communicate. GitHub is another option but we're not using that at the moment. The communication always goes, “if we add this to it, or if we have to solve that issue, then it will push us over our estimate, are you cool with that or not?”
What did you find most impressive about SoftFormace?
What also definitely adds to the value that they bring is they know all our source code, our code base inside and out. Whenever there was a new developer coming on board, they made sure this developer is brought up to speed so I never have to worry about that. That is another reason why I stuck with them.
Are there any areas SoftFormace could improve?
It’s just that there is not much that they don't charge for, unless there were bugs; sometimes that was necessary. I wish I wouldn't have to pay for certain activities that are not directly coding-related. There was an issue at some point that I had to pay for team meetings that they were having, and there was just no way to attribute those costs to any specific codes. We've changed that now, though. They just add in some buffer.
Sometimes, I wish I would have more of an outsourced CTO experience with them, which is not necessarily the case. I still need to have a CTO to take on that role of leading the project forward. It's not that it's totally outsourced. I'm sure they outsource solutions and sometimes they would approach a project task creatively.