What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
It’s been an extremely positive experience. The relationship started two months ago, and we already have a working product on the market that lets tenants post maintenance requests for their units. Property managers can then route those requests to the proper engineers on the field and get that entire workflow started. We also have backend integration with a property management system called Yardi. I value Spark Equation’s focus on delivering software to the market, no matter what, and with high quality.
How did Spark Equation perform from a project management standpoint?
Vlad plays a key role. He comes on-site to our office multiple times a week, sometimes just to be there in case we need him, and works on other things while he’s in the office. He participates in product management and planning with us. In addition to that, there’s also a project management liaison in Russia. I’m more familiar with the developers themselves, though, whom we interact with from a coding standpoint.
Their communication is very solid. Vlad is an outstanding gentleman, and all the engineers we’re working with are great communicators in English. They have their own channel within our Slack and vice versa. Our company uses Zoom for remote conferencing. The developers are always available when we need them, and we make ourselves available for their questions. They’re very responsive in making development processes as high-quality as possible. We have pull request reviews on our side. I don’t think I’ve ever met with anyone from Spark Equation without video, which is important to me.
What did you find most impressive about them?
I’ve done a lot of outsourcing on both sides of the equation. What’s impressed me the most about Spark Equation is the technical expertise of the engineers assigned to our project. They have senior, high-performing engineers who write high-quality code and produce top-notch architectures.
Second, it’s the amount of effort that goes into delivering quality code. To me, it feels like the customer is very important to them, and I see that value delivered. They care a lot about what they’re doing.
Are there any areas they could improve?
As a customer, I’d love it if Spark Equation had mobile software development resources and were open to a staff augmentation model in addition to project outsourcing. These are strategic features that I’d like to see, but that may not align with Vlad’s vision.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
Communication is paramount in any engagement, but even more so when the people aren’t working from the same office. It’s critical to make ourselves available, on the project setup and management side of things, to establish as seamless communication as possible.
It’s also important to either throw the ball across on the engineering side and let them deliver what they want to deliver. If there’s a software development process that you want them to adhere to—which generally implies pull requests and code reviews—make sure that your engineers are available and responsive to Spark Equation’s engineers.