Proactively transforming business with technology

SoftwareMill is a development and consulting company established in 2009.

We specialize in Scala, Kafka, Akka, and Cassandra and help clients scale their business through software, conduct digital transformation, implement event sourcing and create data processing pipelines.

Our areas of expertise include:

  • distributed systems
  • big data
  • blockchain
  • machine learning
  • data analytics

We want to deliver software that matters to our business clients. We build on the traditional engineering work ethics and values, which translate directly to the quality of our systems, helping the client discover their true needs.

WHY SHOULD WE WORK TOGETHER?

Experienced Development Teams

  • senior software developers with a business mindset.
  • self-organization of teams and years of commercial experience.
  • transparent communication and Agile project methodology.
  • DevOps as a Service.
  • Q&A and automated tests.

Battle-tested Technologies

  • modern tools to build fault-tolerant, scalable software.
  • JVM ecosystem offers tools and abstractions to model your business and create systems that scale.

Community Leaders

  • involved in community and development of Scala open-source projects.
  • organizers of Scalar, the largest Scala conference in Central Europe.
  • experts at SoftwareMill Academy.

Estimate your project at [email protected]

 
$25,000+
 
$50 - $99 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
2009
Show all +
Warszawa, Poland
headquarters

Focus

Service lines
  • Custom Software Development
  • BI & Big Data Consulting & SI
  • Blockchain
Client focus
  • Midmarket ($10M - $1B)
  • Small Business (<$10M)
  • Enterprise (>$1B)
Industry focus
  • Financial services
  • Health Care & Medical
  • Arts, entertainment & music
Frameworks and CMS
Programming & scripting
Application platform
BI & big data focus
BI & big data solutions
Artificial Intelligence Focus
Blockchain Focus

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Integrity, versatility, understanding of the business, right soft skills, strong work ethic, rich experience & top notch mastery of technology makes us the perfect choice. When working with clients, we excel in creating a mutual business relationship. We go beyond just executing tasks. Understanding the big picture allows us to give honest feedback, and assist you in improving business processes. Contact us:[email protected]

Jakob Dobrzynski, CTO from Reco.se about cooperating with SoftwareMill.

SoftwareMill - Your Software Task Force

We are SoftwareMill - 100% remote since 2009, bottom-up & transparent custom software agency. This year we're turning 10 - get to know our story!
A reactive platform for real-time asset trading Image

A reactive platform for real-time asset trading

Client needed a new reactive platform, written from scratch with scalability and resilience as primary goals. The new platform needed to be able to take over traffic from the current one with minimum downtime. As a result of a project we've built a performant reactive system allowing fast trading and processing growing traffic with very high resilience in case of failures.

Review Platform - Project Acceleration and New Features Development Image

Review Platform - Project Acceleration and New Features Development

Client had: 

Reco.se is a Swedish tech company behind the largest independent review site in Sweden where customers describe their previous experiences with a variety of companies. 

 

Client needed:

We’ve joined our clients team to quickly scale their efforts and together we have

been  developing the platform on an ongoing basis. The scope of our work includes new features development, but also DevOps tasks and bug fixing. 

 

We did:  

We contributed to a number of infrastructure projects; one of which was moving from self-hosting to GCP cloud. We were also responsible for a major refactoring that included, for example, mailparsing project and search API project with Elastic Search integration. 

  

Outcome: 

The platform is currently the largest independent review site in Sweden. Since March 2019, users who want to leave a review need to get verified with their bank ID, which contributes to the website transparency and credibility. 

 

Technologies 

Scala, Akka, Play, Postgres, Elasticsearch, RabbitMQ, Kubernetes, Microservices

Full case study:
https://softwaremill.com/pdfs/reco_casestudy.pdf

Mobile App that Lets you Predict, Learn and Earn Bitcoin Image

Mobile App that Lets you Predict, Learn and Earn Bitcoin

CLIENT HAD:

Swissborg is a team of fintech experts and engineers that are creating a holistic crypto wealth management ecosystem accessible to everyone. The first part of the system is a mobile game that lets you predict, learn and earn Bitcoin.

 

CLIENT NEEDED:

We’ve joined our client’s team and together developed the mobile game. On the technical side, we were responsible for building the

back-end of the app, mainly in Scala and Akka. 

 

WE DID:

The part of the app that we developed consists of the following elements: 

Forecast module which evaluates bids versus the exchange rates every 24 hours, 

Calculation module that counts each player’s score 

 

OUTCOME:

The app has reached 10 000 users (as of April 2019). It’s a fun, easy to use app that lets you predict the price of Bitcoin and earn it without taking any risks. It’s available on iOS & Android.

 

Technologies 

Scala, Akka Streams, Postgres, Docker, Kubernetes

 

Full case study: https://softwaremill.com/pdfs/swissborg_casestudy.pdf

Debt Resolution System - from an MVP to a first client delivery Image

Debt Resolution System - from an MVP to a first client delivery

Client had: 

Flexys had an MVP of the product that proved the business model is successful. Client needed an experienced team extension that would help not only with the product kick-off but also the team setup. 


Client needed:  

Our main task was to help Flexys

with the technical side of the project while they built the team from the ground-up. 


We did:  

We work in a TEM (Team Extension Model) in which we augment the in-house IT team with developers that support the team with the expertise in a variety of areas including designing project architecture, developing high-quality code and mentoring. 



Outcome: 

We managed to launch the back-office part of the app, as well as brought the customer-facing part of the app to the next level. 


Technologies 

Scala, Akka, Cassandra, Postgres, Slick, Kafka, Docker, Kubernetes, Angular 6


Full case study: https://softwaremill.com/pdfs/flexys_casestudy.pdf



Real-Time Insights into Customers Online Behaviour Image

Real-Time Insights into Customers Online Behaviour

CLIENT HAD:

LPP S.A. collects online customers’ data (mainly: orders stored in databases and customers’ online behaviour) from various sources. The company approached SoftwareMill to help them streamline data pipelines to be able to capture crucial metrics and derive business value in real-time.

CLIENT NEEDED:

Processing data, arriving at high velocity, required battle-proven tools for stream processing

and the preparation of data for a recommendation engine. Due to the nature of the online retail business client needed a system featuring self-healing, as well as load balancing. Plus monitoring of the infrastructure health and performance.

WE DID:

Seven streaming applications have been delivered as well as devops scripts setting up Kubernetes and all necessary tools. As a result, our customer was able to attach custom dashboards to display the sales volume as well as feed their recommendation engine in a cost effective way without latency.

OUTCOME:

A transformation of the existing batch-based process into a data streaming platform built up on mature and popular open source tools. The reports are fed in real-time via stream processing applications build up on Kafka Streams and Apache Beam allowing LPP S.A. to interact with online customers in real-time.

Full case study: https://softwaremill.com/portfolio/#lpp

Cassandra consulting Image

Cassandra consulting

Our certified Cassandra Architects helped clients with:

  • event-sourced trading engine (as an Event Store),
  • user and content rights management system for set-top boxes,
  • storage and processing billions of energy-related readings.

We are a consulting partner of Datastax. We've gained hands-on experience architecting systems with Cassandra, one of the most widely used scalable,

fault-tolerant database, by deploying it in clusters and writing applications querying Cassandra in a number of projects.
Kafka consulting Image

Kafka consulting

Our consultants, certified with Confluent Certified Developer for Apache Kafka, helped clients with:

  • integrating Kafka in an enterprise environment, communicating with PostgreSQL, Oracle, ActiveMQ, RabbitMQ and other technologies, through Kafka Connect and custom Kafka applications.
  • setup and maintenance of Kafka clusters using Kubernetes, choosing an appropriate partitioning strategy and
sizing.
  • leveraging Kafka in a reactive message processing pipeline, gracefully handling traffic bursts and distributing load through websockets to connected clients.
  • We are a consulting partner of Confluent. Our skills have been proven by numerous commercial projects.

    Online wallet for cryptocurrencies Image

    Online wallet for cryptocurrencies

    CLIENT HAD:

    A Custom new cryptocurrency.

    CLIENT NEEDED:

    Online wallet for the custom currency and for Bitcoin, with transactions history and recovery tool in case the online wallet was broken.

    WE DID:

    We built backend system for wallet for both currencies, and analyser of blockchain, for discovery of transactions transferring money to users addresses from outside. Wallet addresses are

    multisig, where 2 keys out of 3 are enough to sign transaction. User has 2 private keys, our customer keeps 1, so user alone can transfer money from their addresses, but our customer needs user’s cooperation to do so.

    OUTCOME:

    Finished and tested product was delivered to customer. The customer has individual users accounts on it, as well as cryptocurrency exchange. Users are able to transfer their money, generate addresses, and see all their transactions history.

     

    CATEGORY: Backend solution, Blockchain

    INDUSTRY: FinTech

    TECHNOLOGIES: Scala, Java

     

    Real Estate Investment System Image

    Real Estate Investment System

    CLIENT HAD:

    Highly coupled, microservice-based MVP with technical debt (classic 3 layer architecture) that was hard to maintain and problematic when adding new features required by customers or business department.

    CLIENT NEEDED:

    To get rid of the technical debt, prepare the system for easy and rapid implementation of new functionalities.

    WE DID:

    Refactored large parts of the system to

    DDD-like architecture which decoupled the components and made implementing new features easy.

    OUTCOME:
    Easily extendable, well tested and lowly coupled components of a scalable real estate investment system.

    TECHNOLOGIES:
    Java 8, Spring Boot, JPA, PostgreSQL, Liquibase, Vavr
    Docker, AWS
    Angular, AngularJS, Protractor

    Ecommerce: Tipser Image

    Ecommerce: Tipser

    CLIENT HAD:

    Legacy system with zero test coverage, tightly coupled with Microsoft infrastructure and difficult to scale/maintain. Web interface was full of bugs and not mobile friendly.

    CLIENT NEEDED:

    High quality, scalable code and architecture that will be easy to extend and maintain. Also test coverage and infrastructure automation were two of the most important goals.

    WE DID:

    New

    responsive web front-end, developed in a "mobile-first" spirit. Highly scalable API bridge that provides consistent and uniform REST API and makes further migration to Scala micro services fully transparent. We built a mobile-aware, WYSIWYG CMS and made static content management great again. We made deployment & infrastructure management declarative and fully automated.

    OUTCOME:

    No vendor lock-in and help with spinning up client's own dev team. Due to high automated tests coverage (> 80%) and zero-downtime Continuous Delivery clutched with advantages of applying git-flow patterns, deployments are just a matter of formality. Project gained more confidence

     

    Technologies: Scala, Akka, Docker, Ansible, AWS, Elasticsearch, Klarna

    Category: Backend solution, Mobile app

    Business / Education: End-to-End workflow management Image

    Business / Education: End-to-End workflow management

    CLIENT HAD:

    Started project with some dev teams.

    CLIENT NEEDED:

    New dev team to work on core back-end features.

    WE DID:

    We helped to build a workflow engine that ensures flexibility and compliance. we implemented new features, code and testing patterns using best practices.

    OUTCOME:

    Pilot release in progress, updating system as needed. Vocado reduced costs (no paperwork,

    no manual calculations) for schools in the US.

     

    Technologies: Java 8, Spring, MySQL, Cucumber, Liquibase, MongdoDB

    Category: Backend solution

    Business/ Media: Big Data Back-end for Mobile App Image

    Business/ Media: Big Data Back-end for Mobile App

    CLIENT HAD:

    An existing application in Ruby, which had severe performance and scalability problems.

    CLIENT NEEDED:

    A scalable API service with rapid development of new features.

    WE DID:

    Migrated the backend to Scala, provide continuous development of new API endpoints used by iOS and Facebook applications.

    Implemented a recommender system which blends a number of preference

    inputs.

    Check out case study on our blog!

    OUTCOME:

    Yap.tv went global (lots of data) with their social TV mobile application (Facebook and Twitter integration).

     

    Technologies: Scala, Mahout, AWS, JavaScript

    Category: Backend solution, Big Data

    Business: REST API for Cloud Management Image

    Business: REST API for Cloud Management

    CLIENT HAD:

    Zerigo provides feature-rich VMware View Hosted VDI and VMware-based Cloud Servers.

    CLIENT NEEDED:

    To improve reliability and quality of the existing software.

    WE DID:

    We've improved and extended a broker which unifies multiple VMware products' APIs into a single REST API with complex asynchronous execution support and informative error handling.

    OUTCOME:

    A

    well-tested backend component with a clean API, built with extensibility and easy troubleshooting in mind.

     

    Technologies: Java 8, Groovy, Spring Boot, Redis, WebSockets

    Category: Backend solution

    HR & Recruitment: HRoBOT Image

    HR & Recruitment: HRoBOT

    YOUR SUPER-USEFUL HR ASSISTANT

    "I'm here to help you automate the most of communication with your candidates. In a human way."

    HRoBOT integrates with Slack to ease the hiring process in your organization. Through automatization of most common communication tasks, it saves you 40% of your time&money.

    FLEXIBLE

    HRoBOT is fully flexible, and tries to

    adapt to your process. Adding a new candidate is as easy as forwarding a single e-mail to HRoBOT.

     

    Technologies: JavaScript, Node.JS, Slack

    Category: Slack app, Web app

    IT: UpdateImpact Image

    IT: UpdateImpact

    HAVE A CRYSTAL-CLEAR VIEW ON WHAT LIBRARIES YOU USE

    Keep the dependencies of Java/Scala/Groovy-based projects under control, by visualising, running static analysis and monitoring build results.

    NO MORE ASCII-PRINTED DEPENDENCY TREES!

     

    Technologies: Scala, Akka HTTP, PostgreSQL, Heroku, Event sourcing

    Category: Web app

    Insurance recommendation service Image

    Insurance recommendation service

    CLIENT HAD:

    Knip provides a mobile application for hassle-free insurance overview and management.

    CLIENT NEEDED:

    Analytical application for data warehouse.

    WE DID:

    Developed the integration module between the data warehouse and the mobile app. Created an algorithm to match customer preferences with the best offers available on the market at a given time. Created a recommendation service

    (REST API and a web frontend).

    OUTCOME:

    A big data system, capable of processing huge amounts of data daily and later analyzing them using both statistical and machine learning methods. Ready to use mobile application. No upgrades/new features required.

     

    Technologies: Scala, Play, Slick, AngularJS, H2

    Category: Backend solution, Mobile app

    Telco: Reporting and analytics platform Image

    Telco: Reporting and analytics platform

    CLIENT HAD:

    IP Integrated works with banks, airlines, and messaging companies providing accurate SMS reporting tools. There was existing legacy system, which didn't scale with increased demand.

    CLIENT NEEDED:

    Our main task was to implement efficient daily imports of SMS delivery reports. Secondly, our client neded an analytical platform, used later in the billing module. Finally, a modern web front-end

    was needed.

    WE DID:

    Developed an effective application that allowed for checking of billing status. We've also built a reporting platform for bulk SMS delivery, live status tracking for customers with analytics, data export and billing. The above was accompanied with a fast and responsive UI.

    OUTCOME:

    An efficient billing platform delivered to our Client.

     

    Technologies: Scala, Akka, MongoDB, AngularJS, Rickshaw, Spark, Ansible

    Category: Backend solution, Mobile App

    Entertainment/ Media: Large Scale Social App Image

    Entertainment/ Media: Large Scale Social App

    CLIENT HAD:

    Emotiful aggregates data from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, providing an app for browsing and tagging images.

    CLIENT NEEDED:

    To scale his contemporary system, migrate the infrastructure to AWS and deliver new features without downtime.

    WE DID:

    We implemented social network integration, mobile Push notifications and scaled the system to handle growing user

    base.

    OUTCOME:

    A feature-complete system with automated infrastructure and modular codebase, exposed as elegant and secure API for mobile applications.

     

     

     

    Technologies: Scala, Akka, Android, iOS, MongoDB, Chef, AWS

    Category: Backend solution, Mobile App

     

    Security: Rule-based monitoring and alarm system Image

    Security: Rule-based monitoring and alarm system

    CLIENT HAD:

    A security startup idea, for a self-managed home security system

    CLIENT NEEDED:

    Attikis brought a new business and technology model to the growing home monitoring market.

    WE DID:

    We've built a VoIP module that connects to the alarm devices and sends alerts (phone, SMS, email) depending on the user-defined rules.

    OUTCOME:

    MVP (Project is temporarily

    closed)

     

    Technologies: Mobicents, Drools, AWS

    Category: Backend solution, Web app

    Communication: DNS Panel and internals Image

    Communication: DNS Panel and internals

    CLIENT HAD:

    Zerigo provides a cloud panel for DNS, an essential part of the Internet.

    CLIENT NEEDED:

    Improvements in the existing DNS system.

    WE DID:

    We've maintained Zerigo DNS as a whole - from the web application to server internals.

    OUTCOME:

    Improved the overall reliability of the application and turned legacy code into a clean

    code.

     

    Technologies: Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, PowerDNS, PostgreSQL, Redis, Chef

    Category: Backend solution, Mobile app

    Business/ Telco: High-performance SMS broker Image

    Business/ Telco: High-performance SMS broker

    CLIENT HAD:

    Previous-generation system which couldn't cope with increasing message loads.

    CLIENT NEEDED:

    There were three main focus areas. First, reliable delivery of hundreds of messages per second. Second, an integrated billing module with a web front-end. Finally, covering new use-cases of the system, for example new interfaces, integrating with other providers.

    WE DID:

    Implemented a

    high-performance, reliable SMS message queue, with nightly stress/performance tests. We also developed a web application that allowed for checking of billing status. Also, on top of the system, we created an SMS-iMessage-like solution.

    You can read a case study about the project our blog!

    OUTCOME:

    Fail-safe and efficient system with high bandwidth.

     

    Technologies: Scala, Akka, Groovy, AngularJS, Java, Drools, MongdoDB

    Category: Back-end solution, Web App

    Legal/ Marketplace:  LegalUp Image

    Legal/ Marketplace: LegalUp

    USE THE BEST LAWYERS AT THE LOWEST PRICES.

    Choose from experienced layers at the top law firms.

    Using our service you can either purchase common law services at a fixed-price or ask for bids from lawyers for more complicated cases.

    PARTNERSHIP

    When building the service, we are cooperating with a young, energetic team of lawyers. They handle the

    legal stuff, while we take care of IT.

    Technologies: Java, Spring, Apache Wicket

    Mobile: Scalar Conference Mobile App Image

    Mobile: Scalar Conference Mobile App

    CONFERENCE AGENDA & LIVE INFO IN YOUR POCKET. IOS + ANDROID.

    Scalar Conference 2017 application for attendees. Scalar is the biggest

    conference on Scala language in central Europe. Organised since 2014 is gathering developers from all over the (functional) world.

    Technologies: React Native, Android, iOS, AWS S3

    Reviews

    Sort by

    Augmentation of Developers for HR Company's New Platform

    "They fit into our processes very nicely and brought new ideas while also being pragmatic with documentation."

    Quality: 
    5.0
    Schedule: 
    5.0
    Cost: 
    5.0
    Willing to refer: 
    5.0
    The Project
     
    $200,000 to $999,999
     
    June 2019 - Apr. 2020
    Project summary: 

    SoftwareMill provided critical development support to the in-house team of an HR SaaS platform. Their team works closely with the client to support backend infrastructure using Java, and React for the frontend.

    The Reviewer
     
    51-200 Employees
     
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Anton Bagchi
    Director of Engineering, Assessio
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    The collaboration has been largely successful, ending early due to Covid-19 but securing the early launch of the product thanks to the quality and speed demonstrated by SoftwareMill. Their team is hardworking and communicative, always asking questions to clarify anything they don't understand.

    A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

    BACKGROUND

    Introduce your business and what you do there.

    I’m the director of engineering at Assessio, which is a SaaS-based assessment provider for the HR industry. We have a SaaS platform that offers psychometric tests for both recruitment and development purposes, to hiring and HR managers, but also for leadership development. We have in-house-developed assessments on the personality side of things.

    We have a lot of history and experience in both developing the assessments on the R&D side of things, as well as in consulting in the organizational space, specifically leadership development and management consulting. For the last five years, we’ve also been developing our own SaaS platform to deliver these assessments.

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    What challenge were you trying to address with SoftwareMill?

    We were starting the process of building a new set of tooling. Right now, we’re in what we call the “potential” space, measuring candidates’ and individuals’ potential, and we want to move more into the development space, with a number of new tooling around leadership training and coaching.

    We had some rapid prototypes made up for some new tools, and the idea was to build a whole new platform to deliver those.

    SOLUTION

    What was the scope of their involvement?

    SoftwareMill was brought in primarily for backend Java development, as well as architecture specialists, to help complement the existing team. It wasn’t an outsourced endeavor where we gave them specs and had them build us something and come back in six months.

    We already had an in-house team building the SaaS platform, and a number of those individuals worked on the MVP platform, together with other consultants.

    We’re leveraging their Java backend microservices experience, as well as AWS, infrastructure, UX design, and React frontend. They came in very much focused on the backend and on architecting that side of things.

    What is the team composition?

    SoftwareMill provided two developers. We had eight developers across the team.

    How did you come to work with SoftwareMill?

    I’d worked with a couple of their founders on an educational startup in the US. We were all working remotely, and I was really impressed with them at that time. They left to build out SoftwareMill, which is a well-regarded company in Poland, especially in the Java and Scala spaces. We kept in touch, and I reached out to them when I was looking for additional consultants.

    How much have you invested with them?

    The cost was around $200,000 over the 10-month collaboration.

    What is the status of this engagement?

    Our collaboration with SoftwareMill lasted from June 2019–April 2020, ending early due to the COVID-19 situation. We’re based in Sweden, and the situation here is probably similar to everywhere else. At the organizational level, there was a decision made to cut all external consultants. I’d love to bring them back as soon as the business situation allows it.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

    What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

    I’m really happy with the work they did. They complemented the existing team, and we obviously have a number of great engineers as well. We managed to soft launch the MVP internally in late-January–early-February 2020, and that was an amazing achievement, considering the scope and objectives for that project.

    Their two members that worked with us were extremely professional and knowledgeable, and they were experienced at working remotely. They joined the team and the daily standups, and stayed involved in the online discussions, using Slack and Jira.

    They were very comfortable working in the CI/CD pipeline we had running, using git flows, pull requests, code reviews, and other standard agile methods. They fit into our processes very nicely and brought new ideas while also being pragmatic with documentation, balancing being software craftsmen delivering perfect code, and addressing the needs of the team and of the business.

    How did SoftwareMill perform from a project management standpoint?

    The communication was generally really good. They joined our agile processes, and they took responsibility in asking questions when they weren’t sure about the requirements.

    They worked together with other members of the team, whether it was a product owner, frontend developers, or designers, to ask clarification questions when needed. We had a fairly lightweight agile process, and they fit nicely into that. Everything was as visible as it needed to be when working remotely.

    What did you find most impressive about them?

    They also came over to Stockholm, and they were good on both a professional and social level. Their members added to the team spirit, which is important when working remotely. I’m really happy with the work they’ve done.

    Are there any areas they could improve?

    There’s always room for improvement in technology since things are moving so quickly. Nothing in particular springs to mind.

    Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

    It’s important to include the individuals as part of the team, at least in the model we had. Clients should keep the communication up and keep expectations and goals clear while giving them space for creativity and innovation.

    SoftwareMill’s developers really wanted to do a good job, and a lot of the onboarding was around understanding the problem we were trying to solve, not just getting code out of the door. They really wanted to understand the user problem we were trying to solve. Spending time upfront communicating that is a great way to get the best from them.

    5.0
    Overall Score
    • 5.0 Scheduling
      ON TIME / DEADLINES
    • 5.0 Cost
      Value / within estimates
      I’m sure there are more affordable options out there, but we were super happy with the cost. Swedish consultants are much more expensive.
    • 5.0 Quality
      Service & deliverables
    • 5.0 NPS
      Willing to refer

    Portal Development & Maintenance for Telecom Company

    “They have good developers and understand what needs to be done.”

    Quality: 
    5.0
    Schedule: 
    4.0
    Cost: 
    4.5
    Willing to refer: 
    5.0
    The Project
     
    $200,000 to $999,999
     
    July 2013 - Ongoing
    Project summary: 

    SoftwareMill handles custom software development and maintenance for a telecommunications company. They built and are now revamping an analytics portal using Angular, Java, and MongoDB.

    The Reviewer
     
    11-50 Employees
     
    United Kingdom
    Technical Director, Telecommunications Company
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    The client is pleased with the portal, highlighting that it worked well with very few issues. The SoftwareMill team manages project management all right but their work has gone over the arranged budget. Excellent support and effective deployment are hallmarks of their high-quality work.

    A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

    BACKGROUND

    Introduce your business and what you do there.

    I’m the technical director of a telecommunications company.

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    What challenge were you trying to address with SoftwareMill?

    We needed to develop a portal for analytics.

    SOLUTION

    What was the scope of their involvement?

    SoftwareMill developed an analytics portal for our customers. It’s an onboarding process that allows users to monitor the quality of their delivery rate and more. Some of the technologies they used included Angular, Java, and MongoDB. They’ve finished building out the portal and now provide support and maintenance.

    The SoftwareMill team recently revamped the portal by modernizing and updating it; this includes its code, frontend, and database. As new services become available, they integrate them into the portal as well. They’re currently working on another phase of the project. We’ll be rolling the revamped portal out next week to our customers; we’re presently doing in-house testing.

    What is the team composition?

    We worked with five people in total, encompassing two frontend engineers and three backend engineers, one of whom specialized in AWS infrastructure.

    How did you come to work with SoftwareMill?

    We found a shortlist of companies online. The reason we chose this team was because of their experience in working with companies similar to ours. Also, we liked the fact that they understood the goals we had for the project.

    How much have you invested with them?

    We’ve invested roughly €440,000 (approximately $402,000 USD). It was about €220,000 (approximately $201,000 USD) for the initial build and then we spent some more on the revamping of the portal.

    What is the status of this engagement?

    We began working together around July 2013, and the work is ongoing.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

    What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

    I’m quite pleased with SoftwareMill’s work. The initial portal worked well with very few issues. Their team provides excellent support and has put the tool into our customers’ hands to analyze their data.

    How did SoftwareMill perform from a project management standpoint?

    They do ok with project management, but it could be better. Regarding the budget, they did go over.

    What did you find most impressive about them?

    They have good developers and understand what needs to be done.

    Do you have any advice for potential customers?

    In working with any remote team, remember that project management is very important.

    4.5
    Overall Score
    • 4.0 Scheduling
      ON TIME / DEADLINES
    • 4.5 Cost
      Value / within estimates
    • 5.0 Quality
      Service & deliverables
    • 5.0 NPS
      Willing to refer

    Scala Dev Team Augmentation for Cybersecurity Startup

    "They know how to work remotely; they can help compensate for the distance and detachment."

    Quality: 
    5.0
    Schedule: 
    3.5
    Cost: 
    4.5
    Willing to refer: 
    5.0
    The Project
     
    $200,000 to $999,999
     
    Apr. 2019 - Ongoing
    Project summary: 

    A cybersecurity startup hired SoftwareMill for development support. The team provides remote Scala engineers to the company.

    The Reviewer
     
    11-50 Employees
     
    Israel
    Yaron Hagai
    VP R&D, Salt Security
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    Internal stakeholders are pleased with SoftwareMill’s skillset. Though they could increase their resources for scalability, the team is dedicated to improving their performance and are an excellent addition to the internal team. Customers can expect a communicative, professional partner.

    A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

    BACKGROUND

    Introduce your business and what you do there.

    I’m the VP of R&D at Salt Security, a cybersecurity startup. We offer an API security product.

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    What challenge were you trying to address with SoftwareMill?

    We were in need of Scala developers.

    SOLUTION

    What was the scope of their involvement?

    SoftwareMill augments our team and helps with Scala development. They contribute to several areas of the project to make our build better. In some cases, they do the entire service themselves, and in others, they add to our existing services.

    What is the team composition?

    There are two full-time software engineers.

    How did you come to work with SoftwareMill?

    The engagement started before I joined the organization. I know the company was looking for an outsourcing company that was known for their expertise in Scala.

    How much have you invested with them?

    We spend between $13,000-$20,000 per month.

    What is the status of this engagement?

    We started working together in April 2019 and the work is ongoing.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

    What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

    In the beginning we had some quality and process issues, but we had regular discussions and mutual feedback sessions. There was a bit of an adjustment process as the two engineers work remotely, but we’ve gotten better together. They meet their deadlines and the quality of their work has consistently improved. We enjoy working with SoftwareMill.

    How did SoftwareMill perform from a project management standpoint?

    We manage the project on our side, but SoftwareMill is an experienced and mature team. They communicate their progress and keep us updated on plans for particularly complicated features. We use both Slack and Monday, and we recently implemented TeamSpeak. 

    What did you find most impressive about them?

    We like working with SoftwareMill. They know how to work remotely; they can help compensate for the distance and detachment. The team does a good job.

    Are there any areas they could improve?

    When we wanted to scale up, we couldn’t. They didn’t have the capacity to add DevOps. Now they have more resources, but they were fully booked when we needed them.b One of the reasons we hired an outsource company is because you can easily scale.

    Do you have any advice for potential customers?

    My advice, with any outsourcing company, is to give SoftwareMill a clearly assigned task to build something from scratch. Then you can measure them on it. It’s better to have an early disappointment than to see it in four months after onboarding them.

    4.5
    Overall Score
    • 3.5 Scheduling
      ON TIME / DEADLINES
      This is due to my own engineers.
    • 4.5 Cost
      Value / within estimates
      You can get cheaper people but they're not that expensive and they do a good job.
    • 5.0 Quality
      Service & deliverables
    • 5.0 NPS
      Willing to refer

    Scala Development for Data-Driven Pharmaceutical Company

    “They're very thorough, and their documentation is excellent.”

    Quality: 
    5.0
    Schedule: 
    4.0
    Cost: 
    5.0
    Willing to refer: 
    5.0
    The Project
     
    $200,000 to $999,999
     
    Jan. 2019 - Ongoing
    Project summary: 

    SoftwareMill leverages Scala expertise for development projects with a biotech company. They manage backend and frontend tasks for a data platform, and they integrate their work into cloud-based systems.

    The Reviewer
     
    51-200 Employees
     
    New York, New York
    Senior Director of Data Science, Pharmaceutical Company
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    SoftwareMill is an invaluable remote asset. Their input drives strategy, and they are well-organized project managers. They accommodate a time difference, and they always make themselves available to answer questions or offer suggestions.

    A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

    BACKGROUND

    Introduce your business and what you do there.

    I work for a biotech company that is active in injectable pharmaceuticals used in imaging, diagnosis, and treatment. We focus mainly on oncology, specifically in prostate cancer. I'm the senior director of data science, and I oversee a team of about 15 people who help analyze diagnostic images.

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    What challenge were you trying to address with SoftwareMill?

    We're working on a new data platform for medical images. We wanted to hire a team with expertise in Scala.

    SOLUTION

    What was the scope of their involvement?

    We collaborate with them, but they do most of the work. They started working in the backend, but we added a frontend developer about nine months into the project. Everything fits within a cloud platform, so we use a lot of cloud services as well.

    What is the team composition?

    At most, we had a core team of three, with six additional members who support the project. I set up all the meetings and communication.

    How did you come to work with SoftwareMill?

    I knew about them through some research I did, so I actively sought them out for this project. I liked the contributions they've made in the field, and they had a lot of credibility.

    How much have you invested with them?

    I believe we've spent a little more than $200,000 at this point.

    What is the status of this engagement?

    We started working together in January 2019, and the collaboration is ongoing.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

    What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

    They're a great resource for us, especially as we didn't have a clear idea of our final outcomes. They provide a lot of input, and we use their ideas.

    How did SoftwareMill perform from a project management standpoint?

    I often come into meetings with an idea of how to solve something, and by the end of the meeting, that idea has changed completely. I like that a lot. They're a fully remote company, and they're well-versed in teleconferencing, email, and Slack. They self-organize within the core team, and one main point of contact is available for most of our communication. We use the Atlassian suite, so we work in Jira and Confluence.

    What did you find most impressive about them?

    We're very impressed by their workflow, and I’m so pleased with our partnership. They're very thorough, and their documentation is excellent. They're always available, and they work long hours to accommodate our time difference.

    Are there any areas they could improve?

    They are very technical, so it took a little while to learn their mode of communication. That is fine for us, but their technicality could be challenging for other clients.

    Do you have any advice for potential customers?

    Our Slack channel is always open, and it helps to have a feature like that to chat or ask questions.

    5.0
    Overall Score They're good communicators, and they’re friendly and respectful.
    • 4.0 Scheduling
      ON TIME / DEADLINES
      They're generally good with timelines, and we're happy with the overall pace of the project.
    • 5.0 Cost
      Value / within estimates
      Their costs are half that of U.S. consultants, and they get twice as much done.
    • 5.0 Quality
      Service & deliverables
      The quality of their code and documentation are excellent.
    • 5.0 NPS
      Willing to refer
      I'm very likely to recommend them.

    Infrastructure Dev for Fashion Company

    "…thanks to the infrastructure, we’re able to compete with market leaders."

    Quality: 
    5.0
    Schedule: 
    5.0
    Cost: 
    4.5
    Willing to refer: 
    5.0
    The Project
     
    $10,000 to $49,999
     
    Feb. - May 2019
    Project summary: 

    SoftwareMill built an infrastructure using Apache Kafka technologies for a fashion company. The platform processes data and transfers it to the Google Cloud, using different databases and analytics tools.

    The Reviewer
     
    10,001+ Employees
     
    Poland
    Szymon Chojnacki
    Big Data Architect, LPP
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    SoftwareMill completed the project within the three-month timeline, delivering an efficient and competitive solution. They’re flexible, taking scope changes in stride. Their responsive team is dedicated to learning new information to satisfy their client.

    A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

    BACKGROUND

    Introduce your business and what you do there.

    I’m a big data architect for LPP, a fashion company and market leader in Eastern Europe.

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    What challenge were you trying to address with SoftwareMill?

    We tried to implement a Kafka Cluster as well as Apache Kafka streaming technologies on our own. But we failed and needed to outsource those competencies.

    SOLUTION

    What was the scope of their involvement?

    During the three-month project, our goal was to build a streaming infrastructure to process data in real time for our big data analytics. Kafka Cluster was constructed on a Kafka on Kubernetes platform, and we also used Kafka String API. We had different databases, such as Redis and MySQL. For analytics, we used BigQuery. SoftwareMill built the infrastructure that is connected to our sources on premises and transfer the data in real time to the Google Cloud.

    What is the team composition?

    We worked directly with two people from their team. In this project, we had a DevOps engineer and a Java programmer.

    How did you come to work with SoftwareMill?

    SoftwareMill is a certified partner of Confluence, which is the company behind Kafka technology.

    How much have you invested in them?

    We spent between $25,000–$50,000.

    What is the status of this engagement?

    We worked with SoftwareMill on this project from February–May 2019.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

    What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

    We just started to deploy machine learning algorithms, but thanks to the infrastructure, we’re able to compete with market leaders.

    How did SoftwareMill perform from a project management standpoint?

    Sometimes it’s challenging because we worked most of the time remotely, but we’ve had three onsite visits when they came to our headquarters for two days each time. Overall, I feel that our engagement was positive. SoftwareMill was responsive, providing us with internal files for every product and piece of software. When the project was finished, we were able to use them right away.

    What did you find most impressive about them?

    In terms of technology, their team was flexible. While we started with the Kafka String API, we had to switch to another API for a different set of reasons. Along with the transition being smooth, the developer and DevOps engineer were positive about learning new things. They stuck to the three-month timeline, doing everything to deliver a ready solution.

    Are there any areas they could improve?

    While the project was completed as scheduled, we didn’t have a channel to communicate small issues that we found as there was no place for small support afterward. Internally, they only hire experts and seniors, so they were unable to provide low-cost support after the project was finished.

    5.0
    Overall Score
    • 5.0 Scheduling
      ON TIME / DEADLINES
    • 4.5 Cost
      Value / within estimates
    • 5.0 Quality
      Service & deliverables
    • 5.0 NPS
      Willing to refer

    Web Development Staff Augmentation for Reviews Platform

    "I’ve been impressed by how easily they acclimated to our in-house technology and practices."

    Quality: 
    5.0
    Schedule: 
    5.0
    Cost: 
    4.5
    Willing to refer: 
    5.0
    The Project
     
    $10,000 to $49,999
     
    Jun. 2018 - Ongoing
    Project summary: 

    SoftwareMill dedicates a remote full-stack web developer to assist an in-house team with frontend and backend tasks, fixing code, and building new features using the Scala stack, Postgres, and Elasticsearch.

    The Reviewer
     
    11-50 Employees
     
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Jakob Dobrzynski
    Software Developer, Reco.se
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    SoftwareMill’s developer quickly adopted internal technology and strategies, making for a successful partnership. They communicate well and offer meaningful recommendations and improvements, making them feel like an integrated staff member.

    A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

    BACKGROUND

    Introduce your business and what you do there.

    I am a software developer for a Swedish online reviews company that offers information about restaurants, service providers, and the like.

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    What challenge were you trying to address with SoftwareMill?

    I was looking to scale our efforts quickly, but I had difficulty finding suitable talent in Sweden. I hired SoftwareMill to provide remote staff augmentation for website development.

    SOLUTION

    What was the scope of their involvement?

    SoftwareMill works with the Scala stack along with Postgres and Elasticsearch. We rely on them to fix the existing code and build new features while working with our frontend and backend.

    What is the team composition?

    We work with one remote full-stack senior developer. 

    How did you come to work with SoftwareMill?

    I learned of SoftwareMill through a friend. Once I contacted them, I spoke with a sales and technical lead who confirmed that they could match me with a developer that met our requirements.

    How much have you invested with them?

    We’ve spent between $25,000–$50,000.

    What is the status of this engagement?

    Our collaboration began in June 2018 and remains ongoing.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

    What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

    Our entire team worked better and faster with the addition of an outside developer. Our SoftwareMill teammate has brought many practical recommendations and enhancements.

    How did SoftwareMill perform from a project management standpoint?

    We communicate very well with our developer. We hold morning stand-ups, and we feel as though he is completely integrated with our team.

    What did you find most impressive about them?

    This experience has been my first time working with an outsourced development team. I’ve been impressed by how easily they acclimated to our in-house technology and practices.  

    Are there any areas they could improve?

    No, I can’t identify anything needing improvement at this time.

    Do you have any advice for potential customers?

    I would advise future customers to specify what their developer will be doing on a day-to-day basis so that they have a better idea of what to expect from the engagement.

    5.0
    Overall Score
    • 5.0 Scheduling
      ON TIME / DEADLINES
    • 4.5 Cost
      Value / within estimates
    • 5.0 Quality
      Service & deliverables
    • 5.0 NPS
      Willing to refer

    Scala and Angular Development for Financial Software Solution Company

    "They have an excellent ability to work remotely without it being a barrier. They fit seamlessly into our team."

    Quality: 
    5.0
    Schedule: 
    5.0
    Cost: 
    5.0
    Willing to refer: 
    5.0
    The Project
     
    $1,000,000 - $9,999,999
     
    Jan. 2018 - Ongoing
    Project summary: 

    SoftwareMill full-stack engineers augment a team, specializing in Scala and Angular programming. They fulfill all development needs on an ongoing basis and help plan and deliver new software solutions.

    The Reviewer
     
    11-50 Employees
     
    Bristol, UK
    Brian Smith
    CTO, Flexys Solutions
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    The team's contributions made it possible to deliver new solutions. Despite being remote, their communication, involvement, and work ethic is on par with the local team.

    The client submitted this review online.

    BACKGROUND

    Please describe your company and your position there.

    We develop software solutions to help with debt recovery, enabling organizations to collect from their customers in a fair, efficient, and intelligent manner. I'm the CTO.

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    For what projects/services did your company hire SoftwareMill?

    We hired SoftwareMill to help us while we built our team from the ground-up. They function as part of our team and provide us with deep expertise in some of the technologies we use, primarily Scala programming.

    What were your goals for this project?

    This is an ongoing development effort to build new features and functionality for the market.

    SOLUTION

    How did you select this vendor?

    We were looking for deep Scala expertise. We noticed SoftwareMill from some of their open-source contributions that we were using.

    Describe the project and the services they provided in detail.

    SoftwareMill has provided two full-stack engineers who work remotely as part of our team to develop features using Scala and Angular.

    What was the team composition?

    Two full-stack engineers from SoftwareMill augment our team.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

    Can you share any information that demonstrates the impact that this project has had on your business?

    Without SoftwareMill's help, it's unlikely we'd have been able to deliver to our first client. They've been fantastic.

    How was project management arranged and how effective was it?

    We use Scrum to manage daily work, facilitated by Slack, Google Hangouts, GitHub, and JIRA. Our colleagues from SoftwareMill visit every six months or so for a summit. Communication is good, and the team is fully engaged and productive.

    What did you find most impressive about this company?

    They have an excellent ability to work remotely without it being a barrier. They fit seamlessly into our team.

    Are there any areas for improvement?

    Nothing comes to mind.

    5.0
    Overall Score
    • 5.0 Scheduling
      ON TIME / DEADLINES
    • 5.0 Cost
      Value / within estimates
    • 5.0 Quality
      Service & deliverables
    • 5.0 NPS
      Willing to refer

    IoT Development for Smart Building Technology Company

    "They were invested and interested in the project and were passionate about their company." 

    Quality: 
    5.0
    Schedule: 
    5.0
    Cost: 
    4.0
    Willing to refer: 
    5.0
    The Project
     
    $200,000 to $999,999
     
    Dec. 2018 - Ongoing
    Project summary: 

    SoftwareMill developed a cloud-based, real-time data transaction system from scratch. They worked in Scala and delivered both the system’s UI and backend. Currently, they implement new features.

    The Reviewer
     
    1-10 Employees
     
    Dublin, Ireland
    Elliott Murphy-Kerry
    COO, Ersules
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    Delivering rich technical quality at an affordable rate, SoftwareMill is a valuable ongoing partner. Their informal team structure empowers them to provide attentive customer service without sacrificing timeliness. Customers can expect an enjoyable engagement with an agency committed to success.

    A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

    BACKGROUND

    Introduce your business and what you do there.

    I’m the COO of Ersules. We’re a web development firm that provides hardware and software for building automation solutions.

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    What challenge were you trying to address with SoftwareMill?

    We were looking to outsource development of a new part of our cloud-based software: a high-volume, real-time data transaction system.

    SOLUTION

    What was the scope of their involvement?

    The tool is focused on building automation, analytics, and insights. SoftwareMill developed the entire solution, with most of their work utilizing Scala. They delivered the UI and backend infrastructure and now implement any new requirements we receive.

    What is the team composition?

    Our team size varied as the project progressed. We worked with 6–10 developers and several DevOps resources and UX designers. These resources transitioned on and off depending on what stage we were in.  

    How did you come to work with SoftwareMill?

    They possessed experience with the appropriate technologies and had strong references we were able to communicate with. Our timeline lined up with their capabilities as well.

    How much have you invested in them?

    We’ve spent around €500,000 Euro ($564,000 USD) so far.

    What is the status of this engagement?

    We’ve been working together since December 2016.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

    What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

    SoftwareMill’s quality surpassed our technical team’s metrics. They represent strong value for the money, which hasn’t been the case with several other companies I’ve worked with. My relationship with SoftwareMill is one of the highlights of my career. They’ve been a pleasure to work with since day one.

    How did SoftwareMill perform from a project management standpoint?

    We had stand-ups with them every morning, and we appointed our own scrum lead as opposed to having a project manager from SoftwareMill. They’re a very flat organization, which was unusual for us because we traditionally operate with more formally structured businesses. This didn’t hamper the relationship at all, however. They always met our deadlines, and we appreciated the enhanced flexibility they provided us. If we had a call with our client, one of their developers was always free to hop on and provide support. Their individual autonomy worked to our advantage.  

    What did you find most impressive about them?

    On a personal level, working with each of their developers was a pleasure. They were invested and interested in the project and were passionate about their company. Their deliverables are second to none.

    Are there any areas they could improve?

    Their project management style might be an issue, depending on the size of the project they're undertaking. It worked well for our scale and scope though.

    5.0
    Overall Score
    • 5.0 Scheduling
      ON TIME / DEADLINES
    • 4.0 Cost
      Value / within estimates
      We can always achieve greater value.
    • 5.0 Quality
      Service & deliverables
    • 5.0 NPS
      Willing to refer

    SMB Proxy Dev for Majoir Telecom Company

    "...[T]hey carefully explained the technical steps they took to accomplish their goals."

    Quality: 
    4.0
    Schedule: 
    5.0
    Cost: 
    4.0
    Willing to refer: 
    5.0
    The Project
     
    $50,000 to $199,999
     
    Nov. 2017 - Jan. 2018
    Project summary: 

    SoftwareMill augmented internal staff for a development project. They used Java to add an SMPP Proxy layer to an existing product.

    The Reviewer
     
    201-500 Employees
     
    Philippines
    Michelle Lagare
    Quality Engineering Manager, Telecom Firm
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    Their expertise was crucial to project success, and SoftwareMill took proactive steps to ensure completion ahead of schedule. Their quality engineers took time to explain their methodologies and provided weekly updates.

    A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

    BACKGROUND

    Introduce your business and what you do there.

    I’m the quality engineering manager for a telecom firm in the Philippines. I’m in charge of both manual and automated testing.

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    What challenge were you trying to address with SoftwareMill?

    We had a project with a strict timeline and lacked the necessary in-house resources. We needed a firm with expertise in SMPP Proxy.

    SOLUTION

    What was the scope of their involvement?

    I served as the point person for the project, relaying our requirements to SoftwareMill’s team. We needed to add an SMPP Proxy layer to an existing product to connect with our postpaid subscribers. Most of the tech stack was built using Java.

    What is the team composition?

    We were assigned two developers, in addition to a part-time project manager.

    How did you come to work with SoftwareMill?

    We searched for a vendor with the necessary expertise that could complete the project within our timeline and on budget. It was clear from the interview process that SoftwareMill could provide technologies that would expedite delivery of the product.

    How much have you invested in them?

    We spent around $50,000.

    What is the status of this engagement?

    We worked with them between November 2017–January 2018.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

    What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

    SoftwareMill helped us finalize the contract so that we were both clear about our respective roles. They also began work while we were still finalizing the contract, allowing us to complete the project ahead of time.

    How did SoftwareMill perform from a project management standpoint?

    They provided weekly updates and managed the project through Trello. We could monitor their progress and easily add any repair requests, which they addressed quickly.

    What did you find most impressive about them?

    I was very impressed by their proactive decision to start the project before finalizing the contract. Communication was also easy, as they carefully explained the technical steps they took to accomplish their goals.

    Are there any areas they could improve?

    They provided quality engineers, but these individuals also handled testing. It would be helpful if they supplied separate testers to eliminate bias.

    Do you have any advice for potential customers?

    We experienced a slight delay because we failed to articulate our requirements in the beginning. Be sure to clearly explain your goals.

    4.5
    Overall Score
    • 5.0 Scheduling
      ON TIME / DEADLINES
    • 4.0 Cost
      Value / within estimates
      Costs were above average.
    • 4.0 Quality
      Service & deliverables
    • 5.0 NPS
      Willing to refer

    Proof of Concept for E-Commerce Start-up

    "They are truly not only passionate about their work but prideful in seeing the success of their customers."

    Quality: 
    5.0
    Schedule: 
    5.0
    Cost: 
    5.0
    Willing to refer: 
    5.0
    The Project
     
    $10,000 to $49,999
     
    Nov. 2016 - Feb. 2017
    Project summary: 

    SoftwareMill developed a solution for data cleaning and curation pipelines for the food retail industry. Their work used the Scala stack, and the end result provides rich data searchable by any parameter.

    The Reviewer
     
    1-10 Employees
     
    San Francisco, California
    Andy Zelinski
    Founder, Welio
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    SoftwareMill was recommended by world-class developers, and the team still managed to surpass all expectations. Their code was high-quality and very clean. The team was flexible and worked quickly, and they established a trusting relationship for the duration of the project. 

    A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

    BACKGROUND

    Introduce your business and what you do there

    We’re a small food e-commerce startup in San Francisco, and I am the founder. Our company was seed-funded in early 2016. We pivoted into a more general e-commerce platform for food retailers after an initial attempt at a nutrition-focused app in the consumer’s space.

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    What challenge were you trying to address with Software Mill?

    Welio was building a proof-of-concept for data cleaning and curation pipeline for a richer e-commerce solution. Smaller food retailers have been slow to adopt e-commerce solutions and larger food retail platforms have been stagnant in innovation. However, both see the need to develop better experiences to compete with online services like Amazon.

    I had some proofs-of-concept that we hacked together with a couple guys. The POC was by no means what skilled software developers consider production-ready. We were so early in the process that we used a suite of niche programming languages. We needed some talented software developers to take this proof-of-concept in its early phases, review it and make some edits. Then totally rewrite it and make it a more ‘production-ready’, into an actual prototype. In summary, we basically had them take it from proof-of-concept to build a prototype.

    We developed using the Lightbend (Scala) stack. Software Mill was strongly recommended to me by the folks at Lightbend. I delivered them a first prototype and a loose set of requirements as guidance and then gave them the freedom to develop as they saw fit. I only had 6 weeks before I had to show the proof-of-concept to potential customers. The challenge was the transfer of knowledge and the theory behind the concept. With only hours to meet and explain the product, they needed to start developing with little time. SoftwareMill did an immediate free two week, no-risk trial and has some world-class developers in the organization. It was hard to not explore this.

    SOLUTION

    What was the scope of their involvement?

    They worked on a risk data ingestion and cleaning integration pipeline. We stuffed out some data inputs. It could come from some API feed or actual UI form uploader where you can just imagine people that are part of the ecosystem are somehow uploading raw data.

    This pipeline basically needed to, first, save it to the back end and then start this pipeline work, ingest and curate and clean and tag throughout different stages and deposit it into another data store.

    We would ingest inventory from a food retailer and then apply it to this food ontology graph. Then it would pull up in that graph and everything that's connected one or two degrees from that data product. It's really hard to put this succinctly. But maybe a nutrition content or recipe that's included in that data product, and then it moves to the next phase.

    Then we would do some cleaning of the text that's associated with it. The next phase is maybe just calculations on cost and cost per weight. Next, it goes through this sequencing to go from raw data that you can't really use to build applications in really rich e-commerce platforms. It's just kind of sloppy data. The end result is very rich data that you can search from any type of parameter you might have imagined. So, if the data pipeline had nutrition calculations, now the end result is that you can search for e-commerce products based on protein content.

    How did you come to work with Software Mill?

    I met with the lead of the group that was to collaborate on the project, and in about an hour I knew I had the right team. Admittedly, the personal repertoire I developed with him had a lot to do with the selection, but I think the way the company is structured played a large part. The person I met with was genuinely interested in the success of the project, almost obsessively. This trust is key; every startup knows "never hire a consultant" in the early stages, because the incentives are just not fundamentally aligned. So much mutual trust was established early that I ended up not even worrying too much about an NDA, which also seems absurd, but that’s just how SoftwareMill rolls. Contractual issues fell to the wayside in favor of focusing on turning out the best possible product.

    How much have you invested with Software Mill?

    In total, we spent around $28,000.

    What is the status of this engagement?

    There was some legwork done but it was kind of a mess. They turned it into this beautiful thing that's easily extendable. Any developer can walk into the code base and see it's very cleanly done and know what direction to take from there. They did a two-week trial back in November 2016, and then we took off the rest of the four weeks.

    Obviously, I had intended originally what to be a little bit of a slightly longer project, a few months, but we ended up being pressed for time because I needed to get the prototype to a conference to show some potential customers. We had to contract the length of time slightly. I think the project was four weeks-- after the two-week trial, it was four more weeks starting around January 14th and into the first or second week of February.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

    What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

    The results were beyond my expectations. The provided high-quality design and code. It's too early to provide metrics, but the project started as a proof-of-concept that had a few working programs, and SoftwareMill turned it into this beautiful thing. It's very well done. 

    The suite of technologies we're using is open source, so there's a corporate backing, but it's based on the best developers in the ecosystem. They were the ones that recommended SoftwareMill. World-class developers backed the team, so it didn't surprise me at all that they developed very clean code. I was very happy with it. 

    How did SoftwareMill perform from a project management standpoint?

    Because it was so early and we're just seed-funded, there's a lot of flexibility that other companies might not have. I flew out to Poland for both the kickoff of the trial in November and then for the full four weeks in January. 

    It's against general wisdom to bring in consultants so early in a startup because the incentives of the consultants are misaligned with the company. Working with SoftwareMill was a risky choice, but they did very well. SoftwrareMill was a joy to work with, and the product was a major success. They are truly not only passionate about their work but prideful in seeing the success of their customers. The amount of work they accomplished in weeks was impressive.

    What did you find most impressive about SoftwareMill?

    The number one thing I would say about SoftwareMill is their ability to put startup anxiety at ease. The way they operate and their organizational structure helps in that. It's a flat structure, and everyone is involved with the project and wants to see the success of their company. Now, being a part of Clutch shows they take pride in word-of-mouth.  

    The interaction I had with the lead developer when I met him was like I was dealing with a friend by the end of the second day. We established such great rapport. There was so much trust established, and that alone, whether or not they had the best code or they even knew exactly how to go about the problem at hand, was the big hurdle for a startup. These guys really are passionate, almost obsessively passionate, about seeing my success. So much so that we didn't even discuss the details of the contract until we were well into it.

    Are there any areas Software Mill could improve?

    It's hard to say. It was a short project, and I was happy with the product. Maybe if we worked together for longer, I could pin-point things. Some companies might prefer SoftwareMill working in a different style. They have team members working all over the world, and we would have a meeting once a week for half of the day or a full day, and then they would go back to their hometowns. I had no problem with that, but some companies might rather have them located somewhere specific. 

    Also, they charge per day. I was a little reluctant also at first because the commitment in terms of hours could be subject. However, it seemed pretty apparent that that policy was to protect their sanity, and they probably ended up working more than a typical eight-hour day on an average work day. 

    5.0
    Overall Score Cannot say enough about this company. They are very high class developers
    • 5.0 Scheduling
      ON TIME / DEADLINES
      I worried my expectations may not have been realistic, but they met them anyway.
    • 5.0 Cost
      Value / within estimates
      Everything went as agreed upon, they were only slightly higher price than average.
    • 5.0 Quality
      Service & deliverables
      Clean code accomplished its basic goals and was easy to extend and build upon
    • 5.0 NPS
      Willing to refer
      A great alternative to the astronomical costs of developers in the Bay Area.