We embed Agile developers & product with your team

Stride is NYC's Ageil software development consultancy. We embed seasoned full stack Agile developers & product consultants with your team full time. We believe in non-dogmatic Agile and form one team with you be your best.

95% of Striders have been teachers! Our developers and product consultants are some of the best in NYC. We augment your team and help you improve code quality and process through a unique blend of consulting and software development. We truly believe in leaving teams stronger at the finish than they were in the beginning. 

 
$100,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
2014
Show all +
New York, NY
headquarters
  • 175 Varick Street Suite 423
    New York, NY 10014
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Equinox, The Daily Beast, MLBAM, Plated, Canary, 2U, XO Group, Saks, Knewton.

Reviews

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Agile Web Dev for Journalism Brand

"The functionality and reliability of what Stride delivered is of high quality."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Sept. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Stride has provided ongoing staff augmentation over multiple projects. Their engineers produce code and conduct testing as an integrated force and have also even conducted Agile evaluations.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
New York, New York
Ken Judy
CTO, The Daily Beast
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Stride has strong testing practices and a collaborative approach. Their work blends well with the internal team, delivering within budget and timeframe. The size of their team is also ideal, not being too large nor too small as to compromise quality, although high-level engineers are hard to find.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the chief technology and product officer at The Daily Beast, which is an online news organization.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Stride?

I have a small onshore team and we were engaged in a project that was relatively large for us. It wasn’t large enough to engage a whole team, but it did require more engineering resources than I had. What I wanted to do was extend my team — bring in engineers on site, have them work with my team and share the workload, so that when they ultimately rolled off, my team owned all of the work products that had been created over the course of the project.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

My team strives to work using Agile methodologies and some XP and Scrum practices. Stride comes in pretty strong on pairing and testing; they test first or test after an extreme programming practice. They’re generally collaborative, so they’re able to work with product people and other engineers productively.

We basically bring them in and just have them pull work off our backlog, pair with my team, and help us make sure that our testing discipline is good around the code that we’re writing. They’re basically pulling work and producing code just like any member of my team.

They’re working in conjunction with my team, so I can't actually isolate a subsystem or a technology that they focused on for us. That’s part of the goal of our engagement so that when they leave, there’s no proprietary knowledge that leaves with them.

The project that we’ve been working on is an authoring tool for our articles. It’s a JavaScript-based application that allows people to compose articles and publish them, and then the API that is used to write that into a database will also expose that content so it can be rendered on our website. It’s like a three-tier application all in the same Node React technologies.

How did you come to work with Stride?

I’ve known Debbie, the CEO of Stride, for years. My relationship with Stride started with a previous company, and then I basically followed Debbie and her new organization and worked with them when she founded Stride. I’ve used her at two separate companies over the course of the last 5–6 years, and I knew her even before that.

How much have you invested with Stride?

We’ve had Stride consistently on board for about 16 months.

What is the status of this engagement?

I think we started working with them at The Daily Beast in September 2015.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Because it’s part of a larger project, all of the metrics would be attributable to the entire project, so it’s hard for me to quantify what Stride has done for us. It’s really all about the success of our product roadmap over the last 8 months. We basically completed our project within the budget that I had to complete it with. We were also able to deliver the project within the quarter that we had predicted we would, which is quite good considering it’s not just an application, it’s actually a turnover of the entire system that our business uses to produce articles, which is our main product. That transition also included all of the time to cut over the business to the new system.

The functionality and reliability of what Stride delivered is of high quality. My team is intimately familiar with the work they’re producing so they can maintain it. The main goal when you're trying to extend your team is to actually end up with work products that are maintainable after the fact because that’s where you can end up paying much more to just try to wrangle something that’s left behind from an unsuccessful or less successful engagement with a contractor.

How did Stride perform from a project management standpoint?

I think we had 2 engineers at a time. We’ve actually had them onsite for 1 ½ years now, and over the course of that time, we’ve worked with 5 members of their team. The engagement is just about to end. We haven't engaged with any resources beyond the engineering resources. We had a coaching engagement where we had one of their process people come in and do an Agile evaluation of how our team worked, but we haven't used them for project or product management.

What did you find most impressive about Stride?

I think their size is unusual and just about right. They are large enough to provide resources when I need them on the scale that I need them (a smaller shop has a lot of difficulty doing that), but they’re small enough that I can rely on the quality of the people they’re bringing to me. I also know that they’ll be familiar with the way we work and have a mindset that is collaborative and honors the values of Agile software development, which is important.

Are there any areas Stride could improve?

I think they suffer from the same challenges that any group trying to hire engineering resources in New York faces, which is getting experienced people in particular technologies. It’s hard to find experienced Node React engineers. What we’ve done with them is that we’ve brought in engineers at a more introductory level.

They’re capable, but they’re not very experienced; as we work with them over time, they gain experience. That said, it’s not a heavy criticism because the people we brought in have ramped up very quickly. We haven't felt that we’ve had some kind of training burden or anything like that.

4.0
Overall Score I'm consistently happy. The engagement is small enough that I'm dealing with individual people. So everything really depends on the individual people.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’re transparent and it’s easy to get to an outcome. We’re dealing with individual people, so it’s always about how strong the individual is at communicating or sticking to a timeline. While they’ve been consistently good, they haven't been perfect.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They deliver value for the money. I continue to work with them, but they’re not necessarily the least expensive option I have.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I’ve consistently gotten what I expect for the amount that we negotiated.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Multiple Web App Dev Projects for E-Learning Platforms

"Stride’s engineers definitely are like additional members of the team."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
3.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Mar. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Stride quickly provided staff augmentation for work on a teacher dashboard, UX, and building educational content. They have an on-site consulting model and currently work on refining the payment system.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
New York, New York
Nick Orton
Head of Technology, Knewton
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Stride is capable of delivering a lot of work with high quality while sticking to tight timelines. They provided good feedback, helped establish best practices, and have undertaken process improvements. Their collaborative approach stands out despite having less experienced engineers on the team.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the head of technology at Knewton, which is an education and technology provider. We provide mastery-based, adaptive education to the U.S. higher education sphere.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Stride?

We were pushing really hard to deliver a large amount of product on a tight deadline. We needed to have staff augmentation quickly — much faster than we could augment organically.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We have several different product verticals in our organization to address various user segments. We have people that are focusing on the teacher experience, people that are focusing on user experience, and people that are focusing on the educational content that we’re providing. We had Stride augment all 3 of these teams.

As an organization, we are very collaborative — we have a lot of people onsite sitting around the same monitor working on problems together. I knew that Stride had engineers that were very collaborative and that work as an on-site consulting group instead of augmenting staff with people somewhere else. This was something that would work well with our culture; I also knew their code culture was compatible with ours.

We initially kicked off a conversation with people from their business development group and account managers. We talked about each team that we were augmenting and talked through the problems that that team was facing, the kind of product that they were delivering, and the skills that we would need for people to build those products. They went and found good matches, and then those engineers came in and met the manager and team members. We made sure that they were a good fit for our team and that this was a project they could get excited about.

The ultimate consumer experience was through our web application, but then there’s a platform that powers it under the hood. They were working on both the web experience and the underlying platform.

We’re using them right now to refine our payment system. This is like integration with third-party payment processing. We needed a lot of the UI expertise they were able to bring for refining teacher dashboards. They also worked with some of our UX designers to overhaul the look and feel for the way that students experienced the product.

How did you come to work with Stride?

We knew them through a personal relationship.

We had a few conversations with other companies, but what made us choose Stride was the culture of the engineers that they hire and their approach to collaboration.

How much have you invested with Stride?

We’ve engaged 6 engineers over 4 months.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in March of this year.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

I think the measurable result is just about the quantity and speed in which they were able to deliver our product. We needed to do things that were above our capacity and they helped us in delivering the needs that we had in the required timeframe.

What I can say is that some of the senior engineers that they had made some iterative process improvements to the teams they were with; the engineers on those teams were very happy with that.

How did Stride perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re not really involved in project management at all. They’re augmenting a number of engineers that are already there. We communicate in person; they’re not far away from where we’re located. They have an account manager that I’ll meet with occasionally.

What did you find most impressive about Stride?

What really impresses me the most about them is their consultants’ ability to collaborate with the teams with which they’re working. We’ve had experiences with other consultancies in the past where their engineers were much more comfortable going off on their own. Stride’s engineers definitely are like additional members of the team.

Are there any areas Stride could improve?

We get different levels of skill sets in their engineers. They’ll give us some senior people at one rate and some mid-level people on the other rate. The value proposition of the seniors really outweighs the others. Either they should not have mid-level people, or their mid-level people should be cheaper.

4.0
Overall Score There were some issues with the cost, but I basically got what I expected and I’m very happy with that.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    On every project that they worked on, they were able to meet or exceed the deadline.
  • 3.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    This rating is due to the issues with the less experienced engineers.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’ve given us some really high-quality code and good feedback. They’ve been an active participant in establishing best practices.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’m highly likely to recommend them.

Data Analytics Platform Dev for Entertainment Company

"They make the investment to help us succeed by being transparent and honest."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
May 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Stride augments internal IT staff in creating a research and data analytics tool to revamp the ad inventory system, improving forecast accuracy for targeted sponsorships and reliable sales performance.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
New York, New York
Product Manager, Analytics Technology Group
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The deployed MVP reduced business costs by over $1,000,000, supporting enhanced research estimates and attracting tremendous feedback due to its streamlined UI. Stride’s continuous recommendations, sustainable workflow, and problem-solving mindset continue to impress.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m a product manager in an analytics technology group for an entertainment company. We have a demand management system where work comes down the pipeline either from a mandate to build or replace a tool or from a need to deliver analytics in whatever form we can to support the different business units. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Stride?

We had a Legacy forecasting application that was being used by researchers at cable networks. They’d leverage our ad inventory system when creating a forecast for all of the programs in their schedule for the upcoming season or year, sometimes 2 years ahead. They would give an estimate of viewership forecasts, including how many people are going to be watching certain shows in quarter 3 of next year, and deliver these forecasts at different levels of granularity. Some of the forecasts were specific to each telecast within that season, and the network had weekly rollups and quarterly and yearly averages. They would give these forecasts to sales and finance departments, and we would sell impressions to our sponsors based on those forecasts.

The problem was that the research teams weren’t good at forecasting. They worked for each of the networks and were usually more optimistic due to their in-house bias. If a new program was coming, the in-house team assumed it would be huge and promised 500,000 impressions. Sales would take their word and sell 500,000 impressions to a sponsor. If the sponsor buys the impressions up front, the network basically owes them 500,000 either way. If the show tanks and gets only 200,000 impressions, the network needs to make good on their sale by practically giving them ads in other content that’s performing better.

We needed an accurate forecasting system to solve this ad inventory optimization problem. The solution had to be cost-effective since ad sales is a $3,000,000,000 business. We couldn’t settle for the optimistic forecasts that we were getting.

Ultimately, we wanted to simplify and improve the estimation process in order to give more accurate forecasts for sales. The solution we had for this was 2-fold. We would build a new product that combined statistically relevant viewership forecasts from an unbiased third party. We had a data scientist team and a bunch of forecast modelers who would take historic actuals and manipulate them to create a raw forecast based on the schedule for each network. Then, the tool would let the researchers adjust the forecast up or down, starting with an estimate that was statistically relevant. They didn’t have to change anything, but if they had some domain knowledge that a certain show was going to do really well, they could move the estimate.

The tool gives the research teams a forecast that anchors their projections prior to handing the data over to sales. Specifically, my team and the Stride developers focused on the product aspect of that goal. We brought in specialists to do the forecasting and modeling, but we provided the app development component to bring the data together, expose it in an elegant way, and make it user-friendly. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Stride came alongside us from the initial concept and envisioning to the actual execution and delivery. Stride’s an Agile specialty shop, and we are an Agile group. We really value that lean product mindset. Stride started by doing discovery with us. They could augment our development team, but they also wanted to help with the product vision. We did in-depth user interviews and tried to identify both the business problem and the real opportunity. Then, we asked Stride to build the application because we didn’t want to keep paying for our other tools that weren’t meeting our needs.

Stride focuses on the customer experience and helped us think about user-driven development and design. We wanted to recreate our current tool but also align our vision between what our stakeholders and users wanted. We really emphasized building user empathy and maintaining a user-driven development process. After envisioning, they built our prototypes. We had a designer who helped us test the initial concept and product vision with our stakeholders and our users. Then, we started the actual product development phase, working towards an MVP. Because they were successful with this project, we’ve used them for other projects.

What technologies were used?

We had recommendations from them, but we had to fall into a common tech stack because of the services we provide. We had some reusable components within the realm of products and services for our company. We used Angular and Node for the frontend, and the backend was SQL database and running on the Cloud on PCF. That’s all internal. Stride did have recommendations for us, but we explained which technologies we’d have to use.

How many resources have been assigned to your project?

We had 8 total resources on the development team—6 developers, a UI resource, and a UX resource. I was the project manager. We also had an Agile coach from Stride. She wasn’t fully dedicated to us but acted as our coach and Scrum master.

How did you come to work with Stride?

We looked at 5 different vendors. Stride stood out to us because we focused on delivery over cost. We’re in the business of delivering customer value and didn’t want to be restricted. For us, the goal was to find a partner that shared the mindset we were trying to promote and the way we wanted to work. Stride definitely stood out as the most competent due to their Agile methodologies and practices. We wanted to be in a state of continuous delivery, rapid prototyping, and constant engagement through a user-driven development and design and a continuous feedback process.

How much have you invested with Stride?

We’ve spent around $1,800,000 with them over the course of our relationship.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working them in May of 2015, and the work is ongoing. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or impact of the engagement?

We delivered on time and within the goals that we specified. The finished tool definitely supported cost savings. We saved over $1,000,000 just by being able to dissolve the Legacy tool. On a less quantifiable note, we’ve seen great improvements and enhancements in the research estimation process. A lot of these aren’t necessarily tied to cost savings, but the user experience definitely came through.

We got a lot of great feedback on the improved design and different page views. Things were more visible and simpler than before, the views were elegant. Building a product that people love pays dividends in so many ways.

The project also changed our mindset throughout the organization. Now, we think differently about resources and who should augment the team. Previously, we’d hired resources for their technical competency and specialization in a specific tech stack. But, mid-way through a project, the technology often can change, especially as the business problem evolves. If we choose someone with a specialization in a specific stack and that stack changes, what happens? When Stride hires, they emphasize problem-solving skills, so their full-stack developers can learn and adapt. They may not be specialists in various technologies and may have a learning curve, but the partnership showed us the value of looking for people who solve problems. We’re in a vulnerable industry, and technology’s evolving rapidly, so specialization is a tricky standard. Finding resources with an adaptive mindset is probably the greatest service that they gave us.

How did Stride perform from a project management standpoint?

We’re constantly interacting and communicating. As per Scrum rituals, we have our daily meetings and weekly check-ins. In this case, they augmented our team. They didn’t give us a project manager, but they were supportive in terms of what kind of practices we used and how to make the workflow more efficient.

They’re active partners. They make the investment to help us succeed by being transparent and honest. The communication is always clear, non-threatening, and non-biased but honest. They give continuous recommendations about best practices and becoming more Agile and adaptive.

What did you find most impressive about Stride?

I think they’re fearless. Because they value our partnership and want us to be successful, they’re going tell us if something could be better. They don’t let us fail just to stroke our ego. Their honesty makes them stand out.

Are there any areas Stride could improve?

It’d be helpful for Stride to do some initial discovery and make recommendations based on other solutions they’ve provided. They’ve worked with a wide variety of clients, so they’re poised to do well in this regard.

5.0
Overall Score Stride changed my mindset in a lot of ways. They propelled us forward in such a way that we never want to look back.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They start on time and finish on time. We never had a problem with people being late or not showing up or missing or rescheduling meetings. I appreciate having that predictability.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Stride’s expensive. But, hidden costs come up when using cheap resources. By doing the things the right way, we got what we paid for.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We had very predictable estimates once we established a rhythm and velocity. They really supported a sustainable build.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They’re a great Agile shop.