Python Powerhouse - Web app development teams

We are Europe’s Python Powerhouse. With over 170 full-stack Python developers ready to supercharge your project with extraordinary code, the Agile way. Based in Poland, we employ a total of over 300 people including Product designers, Manual and Automatic QA testers and communication experts ensuring smooth cooperation with our partners. 

With 13 years of experience under our belt, we can provide full-stack web app solutions to clients across all industries using Python Django, Flask, Twisted, Angular, ReactJS and more. Moreover, we are proud to work with long-term technology partners throughout the US, Canada, South Africa, Australia, The Middle East and Western Europe.

Great software begins long before the first line of code is written. That’s why we start our development process with Discovery workshops, UX/UI, web graphic design and deep analysis of your business needs. 

At STX we can easily translate your ideas into successful digital products. Want to learn more? Contact us.

 
$5,000+
 
$25 - $49 / hr
 
250 - 999
 Founded
2005
Show all +
Poznań, Poland
headquarters
  • STX Next
    12/5 Morawskiego Street
    Poznań 60-239
    Poland
    +48 512 914 236

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Seerene, Verve, Hogarth WW, Pixomondo, Unity Technologies, Blocktrade, IMD Optimad, Wunderman, Vyze, Coras, Realface, BetBright, KNMP, Paze, Decernis, TBSeen, Newable Business Finance, finstreet and more.

Blocktrade

ABOUT

Blocktrade is a state-of-the-art crypto trading platform that prioritizes speed, reliability and safety. It allows retail users, brokers, professional traders as well as institutional money managers to trade with crypto assets and indices in a fully audited and highly secure way.

CHALLENGE

Blocktrade’s challenge was to build a top-of-the-line trading portal in the shortest possible time window and build an internal team of experts who will take over the development of the solution provided by STX Next. Working with Blocktrade, we created a web application that will allow retail users, brokers, professional traders as well as institutional money managers to trade with crypto assets and indices in a fully audited, highly secure way, performing similarly to Nasdaq.

 

 

Verve

ABOUT

Verve (Formerly known as StreetTeam) is the world’s leading peer-to-peer sales and marketing software for live entertainment. Verve enables its customers to turn their most influential fans into ambassadors who promote their events, selling more than 300,000 tickets in 14 countries since 2012.

CHALLENGE

Verve came to us with an original product built in PHP and a long list of reasons why they wanted to switch to Python going forward, referring to it as a more modern solution. Their current development team is well-versed in PHP but not Python, so they were looking for a provider to manage development in the midterm while their own developers got up to speed on using Python.

STX Next Delivered

  • A global platform that enables advocates to experience the products that they love with their friends
  • A unique SaaS application for brands, campaign managers and ambassadors
  • ...

Unity Technologies

ABOUT

Unity Technologies is the creator of a flexible and high-performance end-to-end development platform used to create rich interactive 2D, 3D, VR and AR experiences. Unity's powerful graphics engine and full-featured editor serve as the foundation to develop beautiful games or apps and easily bring them to multiple platforms: mobile devices, home entertainment systems, personal computers, and embedded systems.
 

Seerene

ABOUT

Seerene provides revolutionary insights and analytics into the mission-critical software to help: Enterprises, IT Services Companies and Regulators gain actionable insights into the code, applications, and teams. The company’s headquarters are located in Germany with additional offices in Hong Kong and the US.

CHALLENGE

The biggest challenge for the multiple product teams in this project has been finding the right way to implement deep analytics algorithms that transform low-level code-related metrics into KPIs and insights for C-Level users, Seerene’s primary target group. The team is constantly developing new features and machine learning capabilities into the product to make the raw data more consumable and full of value for decision makers of large corporates.

STX Next Delivered

  • Possibility to visualize the amount of work done over a certain period of time
  • Ability to...

Coras

ABOUT

Connecting the world to tickets. Based out of Dublin, Coras allows customers to purchase tickets for any event or activity, through whatever online channel they choose. 

CHALLENGE

For Coras, the challenge was releasing a working MVP of their product in a short period of time in order to secure another advance of their financing. They were looking to create an app from scratch to serve as a ticket distribution platform for cultural and entertainment events from many content providers. One of the main issues was finding a common solution for all stakeholders of the project and integrating it with one of the major European airlines.

 

STX Next Delivered

  • 2 Full Scrum teams to meet the designated goals of the project.
  • Manage the mark back of tickets from one seller to the other for both general admission and seated events
  • Track ticket sales across all...

Realface (Acquired by Apple in 2017)

ABOUT

RealFace was a company whose mission was to revolutionize the way people are recognized. They were creating A.I software with the aim of bringing back human perception to digital process, delivering to customers the technologies needed to connect with their consumers in the digital era. Acquired by Apple in 2017.

CHALLENGE

RealFace was looking for a tech partner who could integrate their library written in C and take over development from a previous company. Their real challenge, however, was to find developers who could understand the logic of the AI face recognition system and deal with GPUImage and the dlib face detector.

STX Next Delivered

Using the most advanced technologies in A.I, developed in-house, STX Next created a user centered authentication service. Meet the first anti-spoof application tailored for everyday use on your device.

FEATURES

    ...

Pixomondo

Pixomondo is an international visual effects company with a global network of studios in Los Angeles, Toronto, Stuttgart, Beijing, Vancouver, Frankfurt and Shanghai. The company is revolutionizing its industry offering visual effects production and supervision, CG character creation, 3D animation and pre-visualization for the feature film, television, and commercial industries. Among their projects are Game of Thrones, Star Trek Discovery, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., X-Men, Fast and Furious and Wonder Woman.

CHALLENGE:

Pixomondo receives video frames from their clients in different formats with different naming conventions and file structures. Each asset requires specific preprocessing which until now was done semi-automatically with console tools. Their challenge was to create a configurable desktop application with a UI for automating the preprocessing step, allowing Pixomondo to implement further image processing.

SOLUTION:

To achieve this goal, STX...

Newable Business Finance

ABOUT

Newable Business Finance is a joint venture between two leading SME lenders in the UK: Newable Limited and Liberis Limited. Newable Business Finance is focused on enabling growth of UK SMEs through the provision of finance to those who feel they are unable to access finance through mainstream (i.e banks) providers.

CHALLENGES

Newable reached out to us with a complete idea for the product’s MVP and a very short deadline. Up until then Newable Business Finance had done all their work manually using paper printed documents. They were faced with the task of transferring the whole process to the Internet. Meaning that the system had to be easy to understand and use but still needed to include several levels of approval. Another goal was to reduce the loan application time for the end-customers.

STX Next Delivered

  • The entire platform in which users can apply for business loans (with...

TBSeen

ABOUT

TBSeen is a startup run by 12 British female celebrities, including the founder Kate Thornton. TBSeen.com brings together money-saving deals, offers, and rewards from 500 carefully-curated brands, blended with original, entertaining and helpful content.

CHALLENGE

TBSeen is a unique start-up case. Due to celebrities bringing in followers that immediately converted to sales, the site is making money from day one. The problem was scaling up: with a London agency of just a few devs, TBSeen could not keep up with the pace of their business growth. The need to scale rapidly and within budget brought TBseen and STX Next together.

STX Next Delivered

  • Manageable branded content landing pages
  • Ability to create and manage competition forms
  • New deal types (e.g. handling voucher codes)
  • Integration with new affiliates
  • Completely new Retailers space with...

finstreet

ABOUT

finstreet GmbH provides consulting services to banking and financial services organizations in Germany. Their focus is on the conceptual design, as well as the development and distribution of digital products and business models.

CHALLENGE

finstreet’s biggest challenge was the race against time. They needed to create a banking application in less than 4 months. The app required fully responsive web design while providing the highest quality of user experience. At the same time, server-side app security was a top priority for this banking project.

STX Next Delivered

  • 1 Full Scrum team
  • Backend Development
  • Frontend Development
  • UI Design
  • Automated Testing
  • Automation of deployment processes

FusePump

ABOUT

FusePump is a strategic partner for brands, helping them understand and apply technology to succeed in digital commerce. Established in 2009, FusePump started by offering technology that scrapes websites and returns organized, high-quality, real-time data. In 2011, the company launched the first ever BuyNow solution which uses the same data-retrieving expertise to connect customers with live retailer prices.

CHALLENGE

The client came to us with an idea for the product’s MVP. The system needed to be easy to use and flexible enough to build different types of advertisements. The biggest challenge for FusePump was to provide a common solution for all clients who had different needs.

STX Next Delivered

  • One permanent and one temporary Scrum Team available exclusively to the client
  • A set of features and tools extending the basic functionalities of the platform (e.g. providing a...

BetBright

ABOUT

Based in Dublin and founded in 2012, BetBright is an online UK sports betting and gaming operator. BetBright takes an innovative and disruptive technology-based approach to winning on the product, which delivers the very best user experience possible.

CHALLENGE

With three internal teams already working on their project, BetBright found themselves with a need to scale up their development rapidly. In order to do so, they were looking for capable and affordable developers with the ability to make an immediate impact. 

 

STX Next Delivered

  • Casino “Quick Deposit” allows users to continue to deposit money during the game without interruption
  • Mobile page redesign including Blog & Widgetisation allows BetBright customers to stay updated with current events
  • “Recall” adds personalized bet recommendations based on the customers’ bet history. (15+% conversion...

Decernis

ABOUT

Based in Washington DC, Decernis provides regulatory expertise and systems to manage food, consumer, and industrial product safety compliance across more than 180 countries. Decernis gives clients a complete regulatory intelligence on the market through unique, fully integrated, patented technology platforms covering over 80,000 regulations.

CHALLENGE

Decernis’ application was based on a fairly old technological stack. Supporting the technology was a growing challenge, and Decernis saw the need to push the project into a direction where they could switch to newer technologies with better support. Another challenge for Decernis was finding a partner who could work with their multiple offices in various locations around the globe and across multiple time zones.

STX Next Delivered

  • Introduced RESTful web services, increasing overall scalability and modularity of the system
  • ...

The Outplay

ABOUT

Analytics, DMP and DSP solutions based on cookie-less technology. Myntelligence helps companies put their customers first, to transform these customer’s digital model into a user-centric business and manage audience buying independently.

CHALLENGE

TheOutplay was looking for a tech partner to create an MVP of their product. Their goal was to present the MVP to potential clients and investors and secure further rounds of funding. They were looking for a quick and cost-effective solution to have a presentable prototype as soon as possible.

STX Next Delivered

  • User’s data visualization with interactive charts
  • Ability to group unique users into segments

  • Online campaigns management module

  • Campaign efficiency analysis module
  • Admin panel for platform management (creating accounts, managing permissions, etc.)
  • “Demo account” for sales...

T Dispatch

ABOUT

T Dispatch was a progressive software development company which has built a unique dispatch system for passenger transport fleets.

CHALLENGE

Due to T Dispatch’s diverse, global customer base, there was a demand for localized customer features and payment service provider integrations. The development team also had to focus on improving the performance of the overall system in order to handle an increasing number of end-users.

STX Next Delivered

  • New search engine, over 10 times faster than the previous one 
  • Increased performance which eliminated system outages 
  • Security improvements related to booking and payment processes 
  • Integration with payment providers in 7 countries 

Inteligo (PKO Bank Polski)

ABOUT

Inteligo Financial Services S.A. is one of the first online banks in Poland. It is owned and operated by PKO Bank Polski, Poland’s largest bank by market value and listed among Forbes Global 2000 in 2016.

Completed in 2014.

STX Next Delivered

  • A proprietary (open-sourced) module stxnext. staticdeployment enabled generating a static version of the content
  • Existing infrastructure was integrated with a CMS Plone system
  • A reliable ‘storing data in relational database’ architecture was created which enabled the CMS application to operate in a hot standby mode
  • Integration with Google Maps to enable search of ATM locations
  • The portal was linked with tracking systems and forms to open accounts and deposit money was created

Key Ingredient

ABOUT

Founded in 2005, Key Ingredient is based in Austin, Texas, and features more than 2 million recipes that have been shared by cooks over the years. With about 3,000,000 unique visitors per month, their largest demographic segment consists of millennial home cooks.

CHALLENGE

The website, despite its long existence, was poorly optimized for SEO and the design required some refreshment, especially on the mobile site, because the majority of the users access the website from a mobile device. Another issue was that the page loading time was highly insufficient. The code itself contained a lot of legacy code, with outdated libraries and unused features.
 

STX Next Delivered

  • Site speed improvement (4-5x faster)
  • The highest SEO ratings due to front-end, back-end, and sitemaps improvements
  • Streamlined technical stack by moving categories to elastic search (removing...

Key Ingredient Mobile

ABOUT

Key ingredient is a social networking application for cooking enthusiasts. The application contains over 2 million recipes, which users browse, share and collect into personalised cookbooks. Key Ingredient offers text recognition system for digitizing recipes as well as text to speech engine, allowing to list the recipes.

FEATURES

  • iOS and Android platforms
  • Text recognition system
  • Text-to-speech engine
  • Internal currency system (Key NotesTM)
  • Mobile ads platforms: Amazon Ads,
  • MoPub, TapJoy
  • Mobile payments: Google Play, Amazon, iOS In-App Purchases 

Polish State Forests (Lasy Państwowe)

ABOUT

Polish State Forests (Polish: Lasy Państwowe) is a Polish governmental organization that manages state-owned Polish forests on behalf of the Polish State Treasury. The agency is among the top 20 companies in Poland based on revenues from sales. (This project was Completed in 2014)

STX Next Delivered

  • Portal based on a modern CMS that allows intuitive and convenient content management accompanied by a new graphic design.
  • Due to performance requirements, modern caching techniques were employed.
  • We used tools, such as Munin and Nagios, allowing for the monitoring of the server status and alarming the agency in the event of problems.

Paze.me

ABOUT

Paze was founded on the premise of eliminating the dependency on short-term credit and encourage working people to save. It is a next-generation consumer finance company that lets customers get the money they’ve already earned without waiting for payday. Paze does this by paying customers their salary on a daily, weekly, or on-demand basis and collecting from the employer at the end of the month.

CHALLENGE

Paze needed to scale up their development team quickly while ensuring that they bring software engineers with the right skills on board. They were about to launch their service and needed more resources for support and future development.

STX Next Delivered

  • Every day reports about reconciliation
  • Tab for checking statuses of disbursements
  • Using cards for paying installments after opt-out
  • Tab for employers to manage their employees 

cielo24

ABOUT

Cielo24 delivers searchable captions, media data and media intelligence for large media platform partners in the online education, enterprise, news, and entertainment markets. Their clients turn to Cielo24 to meet the growing demands on their multimedia including compliance laws, discoverability, reach and user engagement.

CHALLENGE

Due to limited internal bandwidth, Cielo24 sought a qualified technology partner to support their inhouse development team on a series of complex projects. They were looking for skilled developers who could develop and maintain their product.

STX Next Delivered

  • User requirements validation
  • Project scoping
  • Data preparation and migration
  • Custom functional development
  • User Interface/User Experience
  • Performance testing, maintenance and support

Vyze

ABOUT

Vyze is a leading financial technology company for retailers & manufacturers. By combining a comprehensive lending supply, technology, and support under one roof, Vyze is able to deliver businesses simpler, more satisfying financing experiences for their customers, wherever and whenever they shop. Formerly known as NewComLink, Vyze raised $13 million in series B funding in 2016, bringing the total funding to $35 million.

CHALLENGE

The main challenge for Vyze was scaling up their internal development team, bringing resources onboard with the right skill set, who could hit the ground running and be able to execute on their strategy. They required qualified developers with extensive knowledge and previous experience.

STX Next Delivered

  • On-site financing platform for retailers
  • Fulfilling eCommerce financing experience
  • Advanced and robust API
  • Full...

KNMP

ABOUT

KNMP (The Royal Dutch Pharmacists Association) is a Dutch umbrella organization for both professional pharmacists and the pharmacy in general. It promotes both the interests of its members and the interests of the pharmaceutical sector in the Netherlands.

CHALLENGE

The goal was to create a viable product that would help KNMP manage shortages and inform specialists about supply forecasts. The ambitious goal was to be completed within a fixed price/fixed scope project. Despite very thorough documentation, the final product needed to evolve to fit the needs of the end users.

STX Next Delivered

  • A custom Content Management System that allows the management of medicine shortages
  • An application design that enables the user to easily update content
  • A system that quickly notifies doctors, pharmacists, and patients of the availability of a particular medicine 

STX AR

ABOUT

The STX Next Mobile Team created this application in order to improve skills in new technologies such as Augmented Reality and 3D graphics. The team used the Vuforia to place animated 3D models real life space. The application recognizes the STX Next logo and displays 3D objects chosen by the user. The user can interact with these objects.

FEATURES

iOS and Android

Face detection functionality

Libraries: OpenCV, dlib


Mp4 with av-Foundation

Connections with Amazon S3 

Coras Mobile

ABOUT

Coras automates the most time consuming processes of ticket sellers (promoters and venues). STX Next delivered not only agreed features and functionality but real value for the client and for the end user.

FEATURES

iOS and Android


Push notification

Integration with Coras.io main system

CI - Jenkins


Distribution Fabric.io 

Paze.me Mobile

ABOUT

Paze is a next-generation consumer finance company that lets customers get the money they’ve already earned without waiting for payday. Paze does this by payig customers their salary on a daily, weekly, or on-demand basis and collecting from the employer at the end of the month.

FEATURES

iOS and Android
 platform

List of transactions

Yodlee verification of bank accounts

Changing amount of weekly/daily disbursments and schedules

Push notifications 

Reviews

Sort by

In-House Software Support for Gaming Firm

“[T]hey’re highly qualified technically.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Oct. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

STX Next provided software support for a Python-based stack, working on maintaining the server code as well as some of the machine code while the in-house team develops a new product in parallel. 

The Reviewer
 
1001-10,000 Employees
 
Copenhagen, Denmark
Ricky Kaare & Diego Campos
Developer Services Team Lead & Software Engineer
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The highly skilled team provides excellent software support, particularly in the Python area. They quickly learned about the project and its requirements, increasingly taking on more of the project’s management as it progresses, while always communicating clearly and effectively. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Ricky Kaare: Unity is a global game engine developer.

Diego Campos: We’re a 1,500-developer software company, with most of us based in the U.S. and Copenhagen, Denmark.  

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with STX Next?

RK: We had some internal systems being used for maintaining our development organization. Some of those needed to be modernized or have new versions created. We needed to still keep the old versions running while we were building the new generation of tools. STX Next came into play when we wanted to focus on building our new tools, while outsourcing the maintenance of the old tools.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

DC: Our product is older and open-source, so they came into play for the maintenance of it. It’s still operational and has an active user base. They’ve been working on a continuous integration tool for the past months. The whole stack is based on Python. They’re maintaining the server code and some of the machine code where we run test builds for our software. They also performed code reviews.

Our main development team is working on the new version, while STX Next is exclusively maintaining the older version.

What is the team composition?

DC: We’ve had a few changes of personnel since the beginning. We currently have two Python software developers whom we communicate with every day. We also interact with their boss, who coordinates the team.

How did you come to work with STX Next?

RK: The decision was made before we were onboarded to the project.

What is the status of this engagement?

DC: We started working with them in October 2017, when we had a different team.

RK: We onboarded the current developers in January and February of 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

DC: We’re satisfied with the team we have now. They became productive much faster than I expected, given that there was a lot to catch up on. They quickly knew exactly what they were doing, investigating and learning new items by themselves.

Overall, they’re highly qualified technically. They know what they’re doing in terms of Python and its services. Python is one of their key proficiencies.

How did STX Next perform from a project management standpoint?

DC: I’m happy with their approach to managing the work. The actual project management is still happening on our side. I coordinate the project, helping them figure out which tasks are more important. They’re taking on more responsibility as we go, and after they have enough experience, we want them to take over the management. The engagement is still mostly local for now.

We had them working in the Kanban system, keeping a list of the most important tasks that they finish on their own time. I’m happy with their velocity. It hasn’t taken too long to do one particular thing or another, but I can’t really talk about scheduling or commitments. We communicate with the developers through video chat for standup meetings or through Slack messaging. They also use our task boards. We have catch-up meetings once every two weeks.

What did you find most impressive about them?

DC: We’ve seen an infinite-percent improvement, considering that we didn’t have anything in place before.

I was impressed with how quickly they were able to familiarize themselves with the project and learn how to move around in it. It’s quite a messy, old bit of code. I’m also happy with their way of doing code reviews, and with their Python code in general. It’s clearly being written by people with a level of expertise in that language.

RK: Their work has also helped us focus on important projects.

Are there any areas they could improve?

DC: We’re currently happy with how things are going. They’re well on-track to get to where we want to be and I wouldn’t say that there’s anything we need to change.

We didn’t have a proper QA process defined around our work in the beginning. We had some trouble getting started, but the same would have happened if we were writing the software instead of them. That problem is solved now.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

DC: Clients need to give them as much freedom as they need. Some people have preferred processes and preferred ways to do things but they seem to be covering all our needs.

RK: In general, when working with external teams, it’s important to set aside the necessary time to bring them in-sync with the rest of the team. In our case, we had status calls in the morning and kept a chat channel open for questions and dialogue.

4.5
Overall Score DC: We’ve been happy and see no significant reasons to complain.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    DC: We didn’t keep deadlines for their work.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    DC: I imagine that they are cheaper than hiring developers in Copenhagen. I’m happy with the results delivered.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    DC: We had some trouble getting our QA process start at the start. It wasn’t really their fault.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    DC: For a project similar to ours.

Web Dev. for Online Buddhist Library

“STX was happy to personalize the project according to our needs and plans.”

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

STX supplemented an internal team revamping a site by building the backend and database. They made the site a PWA to make it accessible offline on mobile devices.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Coffs Harbor, Australia
Sujato Bhikkhu
SuttaCentral, Boss Monk
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

STX is friendly and welcoming, adapting their approach based on the proposed goals. They show genuine interest in their work, collaborating to make the best product possible. The site has been well-received, and issues are quickly addressed.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I run an organization called SuttaCentral, a small nonprofit that hosts Buddhist scriptures. We have analytic and translation tools to help present and convey the texts in a straightforward and dignified way that makes them available to everyone.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with STX Next?

We’ve had a website since 2005, and our internal dev team recently began rebuilding it. We created all the templates and details, but we realized we needed more help.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We explained our goals and plans to STX then they did the backend in Python and database in ArangoDB. We keep basic data in JSON files to feed into ArangoDB and use a translation software for the texts.

We built the site in Polymer, which is relatively unknown, but it lets us leverage the web components and build our Progressive Web App (PWA). That was one of our most important criteria because a PWA means we don’t have to build independent apps. It also allows our users, who are mostly in developing countries and use mobile devices, to run the site while offline.

What is the team composition?

STX provided two programmers, a tester, and a project manager.

How did you come to work with STX Next?

We found them on Clutch. STX dealt with the kinds of technologies we use, and they seemed to be a reasonable price, so we got in touch. From the beginning, they were friendly, welcoming, and willing to listen to us. A lot of companies just want to do things their way, but STX was happy to personalize the project according to our needs and plans.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent around $150,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from October 2017–March 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

People like the site—it’s received a lot of positive feedback. As with every large project that uses cutting-edge technology, it has a few bugs, but we’ve worked closely with customers to fix them.

How did STX Next perform from a project management standpoint?

They implemented an agile methodology, which was helpful. They listened to what we wanted and developed a plan accordingly. We modified the process as the project proceeded, which showed that they were paying attention to our progress. We used Jira and Slack to communicate and had daily meetings.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re highly professional and talented. Their process for reviewing code and team management were much better than any other firm we’ve worked with. We learned a lot from STX; we’d never done a project like this, so they taught us useful techniques and methodologies.

We could tell that STX cared about our project and wanted to do their best—it wasn’t like working with a big, faceless corporation. They weren’t afraid to make suggestions to improve the product, so it really felt like we were a team. We got along well and looked forward to our daily meetings.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I can't think of anything.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We didn't meet all of our timelines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They charged a standard industry rate.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I don't have any complains.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I wouldn't hesitate to hire them.

Python Dev for Currency Exchange Platform

"They own projects, show responsibility over the work, and deliver the best possible results."

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

STX Next works as a outsourced IT partner specializing in Python development, DevOps services, frontend design, and quality assurance. They provide project managers and Scrum masters. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Istanbul, Turkey
Founder, Cryptocurrency Exchange Platform
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

STX Next has increased system capacity from 300 to 5,000 users, which has tripled revenue. The agency's responsive communication and sophisticated technical skills allow them to keep progress stable. Their team is clearly invested in the company's growth and success. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the founder of a cryptocurrency exchange platform.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with STX Next?

We were looking to outsource our IT development. We had been using an in-house team for the past four years, but we needed to scale up our efforts.

The cryptocurrency market fluctuates highly, making it hard to guess what will happen next. We saw such a period near the end of 2017, and increased our team size dramatically to keep up with demand.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

STX Next is our company’s outsourced IT department. They specialize exclusively in Python, which is the language we use for our platform. They’ve also provided cloud-infrastructure DevOps services, frontend development services, and quality assurance.

What is the team composition?

They have provided resources for all aspects of the software development lifecycle, including developers, project managers, and QA testers. We started with a team of 5 people, and increased to 15 after three months. We now have 10 developers, two QA testers, a project manager, a Scrum Master, and a DevOps specialist. We also have a key account representative on their side.

How did you come to work with STX Next?

I was overwhelmed by our lack of resources and the amount of work to be done. I found STX Next after looking for software houses on Google. They were close to my location, so I visited their office. I found that their senior- and junior-level developers had good experience in Python. After a few meetings, we started working together.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on their work.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with STX Next in September 2017. The project is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Previously, our system could only serve 300 concurrent users. STX Next did extensive work that increased that number to 5,000. This was immediately reflected in our revenue, increasing it tenfold.

How did STX Next perform from a project management standpoint?

They always responded quickly to our scaling needs, and provided us the correct resources. They’ve managed the project internally using Jira and other tracking tools. They also utilize some state-of-the-art software development tools outside of infrastructural components. We use Telegram for communication, which is my choice. We usually call each other with WhatsApp, but we use Google Hangouts and email as well. We have also visited them in Poland.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We had worked with a local company before, but their quality of service and responsiveness were nowhere near what we’ve gotten from STX Next. It’s been a completely different experience.

They behave as a part of our company. They own projects, show responsibility over the work, and deliver the best possible results. STX Next stands out by acting as an internal IT department.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The cost could be lower.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

Software development is an open-ended task, so the customer needs to focus on maximizing the benefits of a partnership. STX Next also offers this kind of involvement. I didn’t have the time to give them a lot of information about our project in the beginning. I simply gave them the code, and they constantly pushed me for more information after that.

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

Data Integration for Software Product Firm

“Their team contributed a significant amount to critical projects, excellent work..”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Feb. 2017 - Mar. 2018
Project summary: 

STX Next fulfilled needs around team scalability for the development of financial software, writing integrations with data providers and adding features to our main product, working with Django and AngularJS.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
London, England
CTO, Software Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

STX Next provided two initial developers who proved highly effective and dedicated. We managed to scale the team to four developers plus one QA. Overall, their responsiveness, output quality, and augmentation to internal staff were very good.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there

I’m the CTO and co-founder of a software product firm. We make compliance software for the financial industry to handle a number of functions: know your customer, anti-money laundering, and enhanced due diligence.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with STX Next?

We were looking to expand our technical capacity quickly to handle client demands, to avoid the lead time the typical hiring process has. We initially outsourced the integration of several data providers and the build-out of the Python framework used to do so. This lent itself to outsourcing as we could provide clear specifications for the integrations. Later in our engagement, the team worked on the core product, working on features with our on-site development team.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

STX Next worked on various data integration and other projects relating to our software products. We would provide specifications for data integrations, including how these sources were to be queried and how the resulting data should be displayed and then send. When disparity was found between what the external providers produced and what specifications stated they would identify possible alterations and verify it with our PM team. We worked with them to establish the types of data we wanted to use to ensure that we were working towards the same expectations.

Some of the more complicated integrations included writing non-trivial data processing pipelines, data cleansing, full-text indexing for which STX build a framework for handling integrations consistently, which highlighted some good product and architectural understanding from the dev team and some great management from the more senior developers.

After trialling them with the integrations project we included them in development of other aspects of the product including frontend work with AngularJS and ReactJS, adding new functionality or updating existing work.

We have a tech and QA team here, so we tried to include STX as much as possible in meetings when appropriate. It’s difficult to come up with a perfect specification, but what really helped was making communication as easy as possible and including them in our normal communication channels.

What is the team composition?

We worked with around six developers and one QA in total. We started off with two developers (one senior and one junior) to integrate them with our team, who both ended up being really effective. We then increased this to four developers and one QA. We didn’t have any STX Project/Product Managers/Owners but rather kept that in-house.

How did you come to work with STX Next?

We did quite a lot of research searching various outsourcing sites such as Upwork among others eventually we found STX.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent around $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in February 2017 and finished our work this past Wednesday.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I don’t have any specific metrics on hand but the STX developers were integral to the success of projects we have had with two of our biggest clients.

How did STX Next perform from a project management standpoint?

In-house product managers and developers interacted directly with the STX developers on a daily basis, they were included in our internal Slack channel, we communicated with them via Google Hangouts, included them in our GitHub organization from which we were handling task management. This seemed to work well and didn’t require much change to the standard in-house approach.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The quality and experience of some of the developers were invaluable. I was impressed how much they can act as a force multiplier to both the STX and the in-house development teams.

Are there any areas they could improve?

As mentioned above, it was impressive how much team composition in terms of senior and junior developers can change the dynamics and productivity, there is probably some efficiency gains to be made there.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

If you are considering a team consisting of more than 2/3 of developers consider a manager as well. We choose not to which required non-trivial organization on our side which will be exacerbated by for instance timezone differences.

Initially, we got the team over for a week which really helped build the relationship so I’d suggest doing this if you're going to be working with them for any length of time.

4.5
Overall Score

They were very good in terms of responsiveness, with some really great developers to hand

  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES

    Generally, they were very good. They didn’t handle the project management (we kept this in-house) but their developers mostly finished their work in good time.

  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Overall, it was beneficial.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer

Python Support for Information & Communication Technology Firm

“They really maintain the relationship and work professionally.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Aug. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Taking over low-quality source code from a prior developer, STX Next is improving, stabilizing, and rebuilding a website built on Python.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Johannesburg Area, South Africa
Wynand McCabe
Chief Technology Officer, Wunderman Fluid
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Thorough in their approach to maintaining high-quality standards, STX has proven better than previous developers. Fidelity to agile methods has ensured effective communication and project management.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CTO at a small agency called Fluid within the global firm Wunderman. We do all the digital and marketing work for South Africa’s largest telecommunications company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with STX Next?

We needed to rebuild a website that was built by another agency using Python and Django. We don’t offer Python ourselves. Our long-term plan is to redevelop the site in a technology we work in and we needed Python development specialists.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They’re developing the entire website taking over existing sites. They have full control over the source code, developing new features and fixing bugs. They do continuous deployments every second week to release those fixes and new enhancements.

The website is a beast. They’ve dealt with various tricky challenges, including things that go wrong on the live side that they have to debug. They aim to have the new website done by September of this year but I foresee at least another 12 months of work.

What is the team composition?

We work with two account managers, a scrum master, a lead developer, and other developers including a QA.

How did you come to work with STX Next?

Someone else at Wunderman referred me to them. He may have gotten their details from another office of ours because I believe they work for Wunderman in other countries. We work with a few other companies who know technologies that we don’t do. They were likely indexed or listed as the supplier of choice when he referred them to me.

How much have you invested with them?

We're paying roughly $25,000 a month so we’ve spent about $100,000 so far.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in August 2017 and it's ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I’ve heard feedback from the client that these guys are better programmers than the previous company. From my personal perspective, they’re very thorough. This client is high pressure. Everything is urgent. They’ll be on vacation but asking when they can see something. Even with that pressure, STX won’t pass something if they haven't quality assured it and are happy with the output themselves. I really appreciate that.

How did STX Next perform from a project management standpoint?

Communication is good and frequent. We meet with the entire development team every day. We have a daily stand-up using Google Hangouts, Skype, or another video technology. We speak to the scrum master every other day. I also have a weekly call with the account managers to check on the status and health of the relationship. We talk about any issues or improvements he can suggest. We always know where we stand with them.

We use Atlassian tools including Jira, Hipchat, and Bitbucket. All bugs and announcements get assigned a ticket through Jira. We use Hipchat to communicate and that is linked to the tickets. Everything is managed and we all have access to the same systems.

Working and enforcing the agile way has worked really well. We're not working with a project manager per se but, with the scrum master and just the general communication, I think they're very thorough.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The way of working. Everybody tends to be agile, have scrum masters, and those kinds of things. But they're the first company I've worked with to actually enforce the process. They’re working via the proper agile methodology. They insisted that we have a scrum master on the project. We have someone who checks in every week on the relationship and wants to know if there are any problems they need to solve. They really maintain the relationship and work professionally.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The only negative that's come out from a client perspective is that we’d like to see better turnaround time. We tend to spend a lot of time on certain issues. That being said, we also know that this website is very complicated in the way that it was built. When they got the code to begin with, they did a review. The quality of the code that they received was a -13.8 of 10. The website is in really bad shape. As they develop, they continuously try to improve, stabilize, and reflect the code. In their defense, that’s why it takes time. But if they could deliver a little bit faster, that would always be appreciated.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

No real advice. They were very good, easily on-boarded, and really just a pleasure to work with.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    The complexity of the ticket is directly proportional to the time you need to complete it. But we would like faster turnaround time sometimes.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The rates they charge are in line with international standards. When we compared theirs to our rates, they were very close to the mark.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Because of the quality of the service. They're always looking to improve on the project and the process. They really look after us.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Modernized Legacy Tool for Entertainment Business

“We’re getting more worth for our money due to STX Next’s contribution.”

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
July - Aug. 2017
Project summary: 

STX Next used Python to develop a UI with the PySide framework for a proprietary tool. They incorporated specific requirements to accommodate a flexible architecture, and also led extensive user testing.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
Sebastian Kral
Global Head of Pipeline, Pixomondo
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The plug-in system is extensible in terms of functionalities, making for a highly useful and profitable tool. STX Next communicated well despite unclear requirements at times, and they worked efficiently in collaboration through an outsourced model. Overall, they left a favorable impression.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We’re a global network of studios providing visual effects for movies. We have locations in Los Angeles, Toronto, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Vancouver, Beijing, and Shanghai where we produce visual effects for feature films, commercials, and visual effects. I’m the global head of pipeline, which is a specific type of software development department in the visual effects realm.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with STX Next?

We are a small team of 5–10 developers, and sometimes have needs which we can’t provide. We were looking to outsource some development work, and needed experienced Python developers who could help us build a tool. This was our first experience with outsourcing.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

STX Next worked on an in-house, proprietary tool. We provided them with user stories, mockups, and some specific technical requirements in regards to style and the highly-flexible architecture of the underlying framework. They came up with a well-structured plan, made suggestions around our architecture, and provided extensive user testing.

They utilized the PySide framework to build a UI based on our requirements, which were specific to visual effects. The entire tool was written in Python.

The first iteration didn’t take very long to complete, and consisted of recoding existing functionalities as well as adding new ones. This included the UI that STX Next built, which is something we haven’t had before. We’ve discussed undertaking a second phase and extending the functionalities.

What is the team composition?

We had a 5-week project for which we used 3 resources from their team, including a lead developer and a tester.

How did you come to work with STX Next?

I approached the problem looking for reliable groups who could deliver more than just freelance developers. We wanted to build an ongoing relationship with a company so that we could go to them regularly with issues. I asked a couple of ex-colleagues in the industry, but information about outsourcing work is not very open, since the software we build has to be highly-integrated into proprietary tools.

I researched numerous places on the internet and came across Clutch, which proved to be very helpful. We approached 3 companies from that site, got a couple quotes, and had some discussions regarding scope. We took some time figuring out who we wanted to hire, and eventually found STX Next to be the best fit.

How much have you invested with them?

The cost of the project was between €16,000–€25,000 [U.S. $19,000–$30,000].

What is the status of this engagement?

We started in mid-July 2017, and concluded the project in the third week of August.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We previously had a command-line interface, but the new one is nicer to use because the user experience is much better. The important factor for us was that the architecture be flexible, and the plug-in-based system STX Next came up with has helped extend functionalities even further in the future. In our work, we have quite high demand around the application systems used for different shows. We’ve used the platform in very different ways, and have been able to dispose of the old tool.

We’ve used the tool for some high-level shows across different locations, including Los Angeles, Toronto, and Frankfurt. The tool does the job much better than the one we had before, and has saved us a lot of time.

We found the architecture to be so good that we’ve started extracting it into libraries which we can use with other in-house tools. This ultimately means we’re getting more worth for our money due to STX Next’s contribution. We’ve had a couple of technical requirements which called for the tool to be highly flexible, but I hadn’t really thought of reusing the code. It was a pleasant surprise.  

How did STX Next perform from a project management standpoint?

The project length was 5 weeks, and we kept it short because it was our first time working with an outsourced company. We wanted to work through an Agile process in order to come up with something we could hopefully use. Requirements in the visual effects area can be quite specific, and we wanted to make sure we didn’t spend too much money on the first try. We were ultimately happy with STX Next, and plan to do more work with them in the future.

Communication was one of the things they handled specifically well. They were always quick to respond, even when we didn’t communicate everything we wanted very well. They always reached out to ask questions, and then went back to work.

There was a time difference between us of about 6 hours, but it worked out well. We had a 2-hour overlap, and we also have a German office, which made it a bit easier.

We had a main communication tool in order to keep the process formal, but they also reached out to us on Skype for quick questions or decisions.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I was surprised with how well the collaboration worked.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We demanded a couple of things, but not everything we should have, which was a problem on our side.

For example, we should’ve tried to integrate it into our existing in-house environment earlier in the process. The testing was done in week 4, and it should have been done in weeks 2 or 3. We should’ve used STX Next more as an in-house team instead of giving them small bits of work, and then waiting for the results. Again, this has more to do with how I approached the process. Their team asked for information and showed us their progress on a weekly basis, but we should've actually attempted to get the code into our system, given the small issues which came up later.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

Everything depends on the kind of relationship the client is looking for. In our case, it wasn’t a matter of the internal team being completely clueless on the technical end. We actually have developers who know what they’re doing. Generally, we know programming, and only used STX Next as an extended workforce. The model worked quite well, but I’m unsure how it would work for someone with no technical personnel in-house.  

We were able to write down user stories and create a mockup for the UI. Much of the conceptual work was done on our end. If there is an in-house technical department on the client’s end, they should definitely be more involved from the beginning. It helps a lot.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 3.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re not the cheapest option, but we got a lot of value from the work.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer

Outsourced Prototype Dev for Digital Agency

"They weren’t some nameless people developing some software, but rather an extension of the team."

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

Contracted as an outsourced provider, STX Next converted extant specs and mock-ups into an online auction-driven MVP with a Django/Python backend and an Angular 2 frontend.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Wallisellen, Switzerland
Founder, Digital Agency
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

A 5–6-week turnaround proved to be of minimal concern, as the solution delivered performs well, is reliable, and is attracting users. Despite working remotely, STX integrated smoothly with the internal dev team and communicated more effectively than expected.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We’re an agency that mainly converts traffic from retail stores online for purposes of lead generation and branding. I’m the CEO and one of three founders.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with STX?

We have an in-house development team that works exclusively in Python. We wanted to build a  new product—an auction platform where manufacturers or retailers sell products for purposes of market research—and release it quickly. We didn’t have the in-house capacity to make it work in the timeframe we wanted to. We decided to outsource the project fully to get an MVP out.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We provided functional specifications and mockups to our designer. Over the course of 5–6 weeks, STX did the whole frontend and backend development up to the MVP.

It’s a B2C product with an admin panel in the back where we steer and control the whole thing. There’s user registration and sign-up, Stripe integration, and a complex algorithm that chooses the auction winner and calculates the current price in the auction. The backend technology was Django and Python and the frontend is Angular 2.

We continued working with them until one week after launch, at which point we took the project completely in-house for further development and maintenance.

What is the team composition?

We had a stable team of six: two backend, two frontend, one QA, and one proxy product owner.

How did you come to work with STX?

I searched online for Python development houses. I used Clutch to compare agencies and narrowed it down to four companies. In the end, we selected STX to do the project for us.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from October–November 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

It has good traction. In terms of users and stability of the platform, we’re happy with how things are going. The productivity was equal compared to what we do in-house.

How did STX perform from a project management standpoint?

We used JIRA and they shared the source code with us through our systems. We use Bitbucket to host source code that the team directly developed in our repository. We were always able to see what was happening as they progressed.

Some milestones were missed, but it wasn’t clear how realistic those targets were given the quick turnaround time. Everyone involved was aware that the target was definitely moving and it was about getting an MVP ready with as much functionality as possible.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The whole team was interested in getting the product out. They weren’t some nameless people developing some software, but rather an extension of the team. They were very self-contained. They did most of the things themselves and contacted me if there was a need or they were blocked.

I was also pleasantly surprised how proficient they were in English and how easy it was to communicate.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

You don’t just get an extra team member; you buy a whole team. That’s what works best. You need a whole team working remotely as well. There’s a spirit that develops, people work together there, and it’s not just somebody in another country that expands your team. That would be the best format to have the whole team.

Don’t go into it expecting low prices. Costs are going up, but not at the same levels as in the West—especially in Switzerland—but they’re approaching costs here. Nevertheless, you have a lot of capacity available and it’s very good capacity.

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

Platform Dev for Online Retailer

“I massively value their opinion … they really listen to us so they can understand our business.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Jan. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

STX Next used a previous MVP build along with Python, Django, and SQL to build an AWS platform. They developed six complex APIs, a CMS, and a data management system.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
Neal Hendley
Managing Director, TBSeen
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

They bestow a level of transparency that significantly boosts overall confidence. A goal-oriented and relentless QA process ensures consistent and error-free delivery. Product ownership, communication, and effective use of both Agile and Scrum methodologies are also notable qualities.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I was the former operations manager at TBSeen, and currently act as the managing director. We are a retail platform for shoppers that provides curated deals from over 650 U.K. retailers. Our team searches for the best available discounts, vouchers, and cash-back incentives for our users to save money. Kate Thornton directs our outsourced team of two celebrity providers in the U.K. who provide fashion and style content.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with STX Next?

Our initial website development took place in London, which isn’t the cheapest place to build a completely new platform that has many technical requirements. I decided to look at different offshore options after the MVP was developed.

We were looking for development teams that had the right qualifications and experience with both Python and Agile methodologies. Effective product ownership was an area in which previous providers were lacking, so it was important that the new team have this quality as well.

We needed to save money, maintain quality, and increase productivity.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

STX Next used the previous MVP build along with Python, Django, and SQL to build our platform on Amazon Web Services.

They brilliantly worked to understand and take ownership of the platform in order to maintain it. We ended up having a productive 30-day process of exchange and knowledge gathering. They used prior knowledge and support from others to find an effective solution for every issue. 

Once they were running it, we set out to improve the product, gather data, and further understand how users were engaging with the first iteration. We developed a product road map for enhancement, then STX Next used strategic thinking to help push the product into a better proposition for customers.

We’ve also been working on improving the backend technology to make the process smoother and more reliable. We added new features to the site during this development.

We built a series of six fairly complicated APIs on the platform. Each API is plugged into a network that’s running marketing transactions for U.K. brands trying to generate leads. We then pool all this data into one central standardization on our site to present to our customers. We are able to track these purchases all the way to the final sale, which required a fairly complex tracking and interpretation system that works with every affiliate network.

We also have a CMS that allows us to run a magazine and blog on our site. We have a management system that we use to publish our deals, as well as a system to curate and manage deals we think are suitable for customers.

We also have a browser extension that acts as a reminder to pick up a voucher during checkout.

What is the team dynamic?

There were two backend Python developers that also helped with the data side of things. We have one content person, one QA, and a part-time UX specialist who we use to update user experience features. We also have a full-time proxy product owner and a partially full-time scrum master. It’s a comprehensive team.

How did you come to work with STX Next?

An agency recommended them to us, so we flew out to see how they operate. It was refreshing to see an Agile team in separate units working on different projects. Depending on the requirement, they always had a scrum master and either a product owner or a proxy product owner. They had the Python skill sets we needed, as well as the right staff size.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent £300,000 [$392,499].

What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve been working with them since January 2016, and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Data from insights we've tracked with our customers, along with feature performance before and after implementation, are what drives our development. We understand what the engagement levels are of any specific feature before we launch a new one. We’re very user sensitive. We use Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics, and we also have all the sales tracking going on in the background.

Everything we do is to improve business, efficiency, and to increase the number of users on the platform. The team is very goal-oriented and makes sure to track all changes. We run a series of weekly charts that monitor everything to ensure understanding of functionality so we can react appropriately.

We run analysis on our efficiencies, including how many front and backend features we’re working on every week, how many have been released, and what type they are. Sometimes it can be misleading depending on the size of the feature, but for the most part, we have a good grasp of maintained speed, work, and velocity.

We have to be a little obsessed about making sure we’re doing everything from a data perspective so that improvements are accurate. We work to find solutions to failures, but also to make successful areas even better.

How did STX Next perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re done remarkably well, and the development pace has been excellent. We’ve been able to release features basically every week, which is great. We’ve been successful in starting with smaller items then working up to larger ones during very fast one-week sprint cycles.

We started off with a full-time scrum master, but we’ve reduced their time since the team became self-sufficient. The scrum master also runs the backlog to make sure the team is communicating correctly and planning efficiently. Their role is very important, and the team thrives by having someone who rigorously drives their thinking and is constantly looking at ways to improve our workflow.

The project management role is completely intertwined with the product owner. STX Next is the only agency I’ve worked with that actually has any sense of product ownership. We have a full-time proxy product owner that concentrates purely on product and researches how it can be better. They work directly with our team and the scrum master to make sure everything we’re achieving is heading in the right direction.

Knowing that progress is being made without having to constantly supervise it helps us as a business, and also boosts our confidence in their team. It’s very reassuring to know there are people driving the team and making sure they’re as efficient as they can be.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We quickly developed a real sense of partnership instead of a vendor-type relationship. I’m very open about our business goals and transparent about how I want this to perform. We give them all that information and work together to try and reach the same target, which has been really beneficial. They’ve really enjoyed the process of being a part of our team.

I massively value their opinion because of their insight and talent. They really listen to us so they can understand our business.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We knew the handover process was going to be challenging, but they’ve handled it really well. They’re very open minded. It’s vital that both teams communicate as often as possible, but sometimes, we fall short on our side. This ultimately causes us to lose sight of communication. However, we recently started increasing the frequency of our communication, and we also take trips to Poland for face-to-face contact.

5.0
Overall Score I’ve worked with so many different agencies over the past 16 years, and they’ve been incredibly refreshing. It’s made my life easier.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’re very prompt. We’ve always been very pragmatic about deadlines, which makes it easier when shifts occur. They met every urgent deadline.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    That’s one of the reasons we went with them. It was quality work, so the value was excellent.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The quality has been excellent. We’ve always been obsessed with the data, and we’re always been trying to make sure that our work succeeds.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve already recommended them.

Salvaged Dev Project for Innovation Consultancy

"[STX Next] delivered with high quality, dedication, and diligence."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Mar. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

After conducting a code audit of a banking web app developed by previous vendors, STX Next scrapped the code and developed from scratch an improved solution. They assisted in frontend, backend, UX, and testing.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Berlin, Germany
Innovation Manager
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

STX Next proved highly scalable and accommodating, and a top bank using the app is satisfied. Despite being under immense pressure to deliver quickly, their deliverables were high-quality. The team is professional but fun to work with, and they are diligent and dedicated to meeting deadlines.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are an innovative tech solutions company which mainly deals in the area of digitalization in the financial service sector. I am the innovations manager. I’m responsible for dealing with the customer, asking for the requirements, and conforming those requirements into software or into code.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with STX Next?

We needed our application to be rebuilt from start to finish.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We did a whole restart of the project because the code which was written by the former supplier was not usable. STX Next started with a code review and the result was not satisfying; they were forced to write the application from scratch.

In the last 4-5 months, STX did a fantastic job. It’s an application for the corporate banking sector, and we worked very hard to deliver it in August. In Germany, we supply to some of the top banks. Their corporate clients are forced to go to the bank branch and hand in a number of documents in order to ask for an offer for a credit to finance their vehicle, machinery, and so on. Our challenge was to create a way for this process to be fully online, where their corporate clients could upload all necessary documents, type in all necessary data, and the bank could make an offer based on the inquiry. One of the critical parts of the application is the overall processing of the inquiry, because there are several parts involved. It was very important to consider various user roles.

The team with STX Next consisted of 1 automatic tester and 1 manual tester. There were 2-3 backend developers, 2-3 frontend developers, a scrum master, and the product owner. Łukasz Marcinczak [Scrum Master, STX Next] was acting as product owner and scrum master. On our company’s side, I also had the role of product owner and acted as the face to the customer, the resource between STX’s work and our end customers.

How did you come to work with STX Next?

We did some market research and found STX Next. In the past, we’ve worked with some providers offshore. We had collaborated with one based in South America, but we weren’t satisfied, so we were looking for a new supplier.

On the shortlist, there were 5 companies we were looking at. We had some interviews and asked for references. We narrowed it down to 2 suppliers at the end. After the first contact with Matthew Harris [Director of International Partnerships, STX Next] we got some references from them. We called some other clients of theirs and all of them confirmed that they are very satisfied with STX. After visiting and calling STX Next, we got to know them very well and had a good feeling about starting a collaboration. This was the right decision.

How much have you invested with STX Next?

[Confidential]

What is the status of this engagement?

The first meeting took place in February 2017, the start of the development was at the beginning of March 2017, and the work is ongoing. The “go live” already took place; the web application is available on the internet. This is our “friends and family” stage so that we are able to give feedback about the application to the banks before the full rollout. Some features will be added soon, and at the beginning of September, we will start the marketing campaign.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The number of visitors is not that big right now, but I think that is going to change at the beginning of September. I can’t provide any useful numbers to that end.

The app before STX started working on it was very bad quality, and there was no end in sight. STX Next had a lot of pressure on them, because there was a 3-5-month slowdown caused by the previous vendor, and banks were expecting the application at the end of July. We were forced to put as much scope or as many tasks into one sprint as we could, but STX got us where we needed to be.

Overall, STX delivered very high-quality. They were very dedicated in terms of meeting the deadline. They also worked on the weekends and sometimes during the night. I am very satisfied. Our client, which is one of the top 5 banks in Germany, is very satisfied with the application too.

How did STX Next perform from a project management standpoint?

There was no dedicated project manager on the STX Next side, but their team collaborated well, incorporated themselves efficiently into our project, and delivered with high quality, dedication, and diligence.

What did you find most impressive about STX Next?

The team spirit is very good. To work with those guys is a real pleasure for me. On the one hand, they are very professional, and on the other hand, they were fun too. I think the very intense communication between us is one success factor I would like to highlight.

Are there any areas STX Next could improve?

There are no big improvements I would like to mention.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with STX Next?

You could be doing a great job, and the bank, or your client, could be doing a great job too. But if your supplier isn’t at that level, there’s the bottleneck. Selecting a good supplier and making the right decision at the beginning is the success factor which is most important.

4.5
Overall Score It’s close to perfect.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Overall, I’m very satisfied. STX Next always met the deadline. I’m close to saying 5.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The rates for every developer are fair, considering the quality they delivered.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The quality was very high, except for some smaller issues because of the big scope of the sprints.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would recommend STX, definitely.

Developed Micro-blogging Platform for Ed Tech Firm

"They’re on the ball. I would use these guys again, absolutely."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
May 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

STX Next helped internal dev teams by taking over a legacy app rewrite. They used Python/Django to create an education-sector blogging platform, and continue to help with testing and integrations.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Newark, United Kingdom
Darren Ryan
Product Development Manager, PrimarySite
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

STX Next is accommodating, transparent, confident, and they excel at communication. They understand business goals and are proactive at solving problems. 

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

I am the product development manager at PrimarySite, Ltd., which is the leading provider of primary school websites in the U.K. We’ve got over 3,000 customers, heading towards 4,000. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with STX Next?

We’re very busy and we have a legacy application which needs rewriting. We couldn’t find the time to ever do it, so we decided to outsource. Python and Django are the main technologies we use. That’s what we wanted it written in.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement.

It’s a blogging platform aimed at primary school kids. The teacher of a class is ultimately in control of that class’ blog. The children can post their own blogs, but the teachers have the ability to authorize every single blog to make sure it’s appropriate. There’s also a third party avatar-creating tool that we’re integrating with. So, the kids have the fun of creating their own avatar. It’s a child-friendly blogging platform and the reason we’re using this with kids is so that they can build their IT skills, and their reading and writing skills as well. Even though there’s still a couple of weeks’ worth of work, we agreed that it would be a launchable product for us upon delivery. Then we’ll take about a month for our own QA, and have our internal team do some migrations from the old platform. In that time, STX Next will just tidy up code as needed.

What was the team dynamic?

There are about 7 guys. There are 3 backend developers, 2 frontend developers, a product owner, and a QA tester. 

How did you come to work with STX Next?

We looked through several companies along with STX Next; they’re a Python powerhouse. It’s well recognized internally that they were a good match, especially because of how spot-on they were at sensing our needs, even after only a few meetings. They listened what we wanted and were very confident. Their price was very competitive. We knew of them in the industry. We found a couple of others on the internet researching, but we were aware of STX Next. Price and whether they understood our needs and fed it back to us in our conference calls is how we decided. It was also having the confidence that they were going to deliver. Whoever we picked, we would have the final say of code review, and STX Next was very happy with that.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

About $20,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them June 2017 and have been working together since.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

The initial milestone was the launch date, and it was agreed between all of us that it would be about the beginning of July. That slipped by a couple of weeks, but it’s not business critical for us. As long as we’ve got it out for September, we’re happy with that. When it did slip, the guys were straight with us, saying, “Yeah, we’re not going to meet this deadline.” Part of that might have been our fault due to the technology stack that we wanted to use. They’ve even thrown in an extra frontend developer at their own cost just to try and speed the process up.

How did STX Next perform from a project management standpoint?

It’s been a stable team that hasn’t shifted at all throughout the process. There was a bit of miscommunication right at the very start because we weren't explicit enough with how much frontend work was needed. Initially, the backend Python developers were going to do the frontend, but it became quite clear that there’s a lot more frontend expertise needed.

They do their own in-house code reviews, but because we ultimately could end up maintaining ourselves, we wanted to make sure it was to our standards. They were more than happy to comply with that and included us in their daily stand-ups. We have a catch-up every fortnight to make sure we’re on track. We also communicate on a Slack channel. We’ve had many conference calls and we screen share and that sort of thing. Their communication has been extremely reliable throughout the process. They’ve also given us access to their JIRA board so we can monitor that as well.

Things have slipped slightly, but they’ve been happy to provide extra frontend developers when we requested them and they’ve given us a significant discount, which is quite nice. To ensure we make the latest deadline, they’ll even throw in another frontend developer, free of charge. When there’s been any slight slippage, the guys have been very quick to let us know, “We’re not going to be able to do this,” or “Can we change this?”

What distinguishes STX Next from other providers?

The last vendor we used was quite a few years ago. STX Next is definitely quicker than them. They’re on the ball. I would use these guys again, absolutely. Their communication has been really good. 

Is there anything STX Next could have improved or done differently?

The only issue we’ve had is the lack of understanding about our frontend needs, but I think in fairness to them, we probably weren’t clear enough about the technologies we required on this. As for areas of improvement, it’s probably on our shoulders and not theirs. When we had these issues, they were very proactive in trying to come up with solutions. With projects, there’s always slippage, and it was kind of expected.

Do you have any recommendations for others considering working with STX Next?

Just make sure when you’re writing out technical specifications, that you leave nothing for the developers to guess how you want to implement it. You have to be very explicit in every single detail about your requirements so that, when the developers come to work on your story, they have no questions to come back to you with.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They threw in another frontend developer without cost, which is very nice.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Very good.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer