What was the scope of their involvement?
While onboarding, StackOverdrive.io was given a very tough task. We had a big and complex legacy system with a vast myriad of technologies. Our previous development team didn’t pick a direction and stick with it; the technologies were all over the place. Our system had been designed long ago for vertical scaling, and there was no horizontal scaling.
StackOverdrive.io had to pick that mess up with zero documentation and reconfigure it. They rebuilt our entire hosting without redoing every line of code and with zero downtime. Before, we were suffering from constant website crashes, and we had very limited online capacity.
Since they took over, they’ve never once had to contact our old developer team. Our previous team said it would take 100 hours to transfer the system, and that we couldn’t switch from them because of their legacy work. They convinced me switching would be the worst disaster, and this kept me stuck with them for too long.
StackOverdrive.io proved them wrong. They did a masterful job of getting this project going and dealing with unexpected problems along the way. There are so many moving parts to our system—I could discover something new every day. They somehow managed to deal with everything while keeping the other ongoing projects going.
Currently, they’re implementing Cloudflare for us. That’s huge—after we’ll have a much better system overall. They put together a plan before we started. We talked it all through and I agreed to everything. It was pretty obvious that we’d have to upgrade to survive, but they didn’t take advantage of us in our distress.
Instead, they were very reasonable and willing to negotiate rates that would allow us to pay them every month without going bankrupt. We don’t have a lot of funding, but even with our constraints, they’re really helping us out.
What is the team composition?
Jason (Founder and CEO, StackOverdrive.io) is my main point of contact. He does the day-to-day work contact work for our website. He has to interact with me all the time. It’s really hard when you have 50 states, and every single state has a different process for absentee ballot requests. He’s becoming an expert in election law.
I believe there are five other people working on our project, doing the longer-term tasks. They have a parallel approach. He’s doing one thing, and the other people are doing other things, and he delegates into the team all the time.
How did you come to work with StackOverdrive.io?
I found StackOverdrive.io through Clutch. I couldn’t find a lot of developer firms that had both the right profile for us and whose fees we could pay. On Clutch, I could look at each developer and see what range of technologies they were familiar with.
We absolutely must have US citizens working in our system because we’re working on American elections. StackOverdrive.io understood that situation and could promise us that.
They were the ones that matched all those criteria:
- They had the range of technologies we needed
- They were the right size (we previously worked with a company that was too small)
- They were based in New York
- They were all American citizens
- They were willing to look at our system
Getting a developer to look at the legacy system and take it over was nearly impossible. I talked to 2–3 other firms, but they got scared, said no, or freaked out because of the range of technologies. StackOverdrive.io was courageous and took us on.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with StackOverdrive.io in September 2019, and the work is ongoing.