Python Powerhouse - Web & Mobile development teams

Gold
VERIFIED

We are Europe’s largest Python software house. We have over 170 Python, JS, React Native and full-stack 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 QA and QA Automation Engineers, DevOps Engineers and business communication experts ensuring smooth cooperation with our partners.

With 14 years of experience under our belt, we can provide full-stack web development and cross-platform mobile app solutions to clients across all industries using Python Django, Flask, Twisted, Angular, ReactJS, React Native and more. Moreover, we are proud to work with long-term technology partners throughout the US, Canada, Western Europe, Scandinavia, South Africa, Australia, and the Middle East.

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.

 
$25,000+
 
$50 - $99 / hr
 
250 - 999
 Founded
2005
Show all +
Poznań, Poland
headquarters
other locations

Portfolio

Key clients: 

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

Lamden

ABOUT

Lamden is a suite of developer tools that speed up the process of creating new and custom blockchains and apps. The Lamden Tau token connects these new projects together to create the first ever blockchain enterprise solution. The Tau token has a more general use as a universal swap token between most existing cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others. This will allow TAU to exchange seamlessly

between endless cryptocurrency pairs.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

Clove, which we are working on, is a decentralized application that makes atomic swaps between chains easy. Most Bitcoin-based and Ethereum-based chains, including ERC20 tokens, are compatible with the protocol. Clove enables decentralized payment channel swaps and facilitates trustless communication between compatible blockchains on the network.

 

Seerene

ABOUT

Seerene is a code+people management platform that sets a new standard for how CIOs manage their most important resources – their codebase and engineering capacity. The company is based 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 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 tackled the challenge by providing 2 full Scrum teams (+ Product Design support) and integrating their work with Seerene’s internal teams.

Zappi

ABOUT

Zappi is a new company on the UK supply teaching market. They come with 20 years of experience in recruitment and education and a strong focus on positive user experience and employee happiness. Their new app effortlessly connects teaching and support staff with local schools for supply work—making the process faster, easier and more transparent. Zappi teachers lead to happy kids!

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CHALLENGE

Zappi approached us with the need to design and build their application almost from scratch. But they knew they wanted Python, as they were well-versed in its advantages. They emphasized developing the application following good practices. We used the design thinking process to shape the solution and agile methodology to implement it. Thanks to our joint efforts, the Zappi idea of creating freedom of choice for schools and supply staff is live.

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.

Signal Kit

Signal Kit is a complete communication suite for the K-12 community. With cloud-based mass communication, internal collaboration, business intelligence and industry leading oversight.

 

STX Next delivered:

- Discovery workshops followed by a UX Audit of the existing web system to understand the potential risks, test usability and accessibility, find friction points, and recommend

improvements.

- A full-featured React Native mobile app.

- Web App Improvements. We took an existing system and improved its design coherency to create or adjust the features that met the requirements of the users and business partners. We also prepared the product for future improvements.

- Product recognition support through various design tasks, from product marketing materials, through motion and interaction designs and vision, to small interface tweaks.

Newable Business Finance

ABOUT

Newable Limited is a leading SME lender 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 providers (such as banks).

 

CHALLENGES

Newable reached out to us with a complete idea for the product’s MVP and a very

short deadline. They were faced with the task of transferring their whole loan application process from paper printed documents to the Internet. The system had to be easy to understand and use and reduce application time for end-customers while still including several levels of approval.

STX Next delivered the entire platform along with automatic payments/payouts, integration with external tools, and additional mentoring services.

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.

 

 

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 provided TBSeen with discovery workshops, a full Scrum team, full-stack development, automated testing, business analysis, continuous integration and product design services.

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
  • A system that builds a strong relationship between events and their fans
  • Advocacy driven model that can work in almost any vertical that has a shared experience at its core

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.
 

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 allocated sellers with a complete audit trail from allocation to sale
  • Create events and allocate tickets to ticketing agents or through user’s ticketing system
  • API that allows any ticketing system to integrate with Coras, helping to adjust the process to meet specific needs 

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

  • iOS and Android
  • Face detection functionality
  • Libraries: OpenCV, dlib

  • Mp4 with av-Foundation
  • Connections with Amazon S3 

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 Next used sophisticated logic combined with regular expressions. It led the team to create a variety of unique processors dedicated to transforming the required files. All of the logic is easily configurable through a dedicated desktop application. This allowed us to retain the flexibility of console tools, but also greatly speed up batch operations and minimize the manual work behind repeatable tasks.

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 data validation tool and
a data mapping tool)
  • Analysis and ideas for improvements to the development process – delivered as a workshop in the spirit of Lean process management

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 presentations purposes
  • Marketplace functionality for trading the segments

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 Oracle), moving pages to site (removing Unbounce)
    • Moved ad code to site for better targeting, and higher revenue (managing ads and vendor in Doubleclick)
    • 4,5 TB of unused stored data cleaned

    • Secure https protocol, instead of previously used http
    • Fully responsive web design (still in progress)
    • Food industry articles available to users
    • Admin Panel, redesigned and upgraded with new tools (such as image management)
    • Automated tests (Selenium, Behave) to increase site quality 

    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 automatic test coverage with Behave and Selenium
    • Secure online credit applications and payments
    • Quick credit assessment
    • Intuitive front-end design 

    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 

    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)
    • “Automated Bonus” feature potentially adds 10% to every new customer LTV
    • Live Casino for Mobile enables users to place bets using mobile devices 

    Reviews

    Sort by

    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.

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

    BACKGROUND

    Introduce your business and what you do there

    I’m the 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.

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

    BACKGROUND

    Introduce your business and what you do there.

    I’m the 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.

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

    BACKGROUND

    Introduce your business and what you do there.

    We’re a 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.

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

    BACKGROUND

    Introduce your business and what you do there.

    We’re 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.

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

    BACKGROUND

    Introduce your business and what you do there.

    I 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.

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

    BACKGROUND

    Introduce your business and what you do there.

    We 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. 

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

    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

    Enterprise Platform Dev for Financial Services Firm

    "They’re immersed in the entire business process and the development."

    Quality: 
    5.0
    Schedule: 
    5.0
    Cost: 
    4.0
    Willing to refer: 
    5.0
    The Project
     
    $50,000 to $199,999
     
    Dec. 2016 - Ongoing
    Project summary: 

    STX Next helped develop a platform to automate back-office lending processes, like applications, disbursement, and repayment. They lead customer-facing integrations and continue developing products.

    The Reviewer
     
    51-200 Employees
     
    London, United Kingdom
    Head of Technology & Operations
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    STX Next never sacrifices quality, and their contributions are always market-ready. They challenge assumptions to ensure the highest quality product is being delivered, in the most efficient way. 

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

    BACKGROUND

    Please describe your organization.

    Our company is a government-owned business that has multiple business units. The one that I belong to employs business lending, and we have multiple types of products. I’m the head of product and technology. 

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

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

    We needed a platform and web application built from scratch.

    SOLUTION

    Please describe the scope of their involvement.

    We started off pretty small with a couple of developers. We developed from scratch a platform and a web application that enabled us to automate a lot of the back office processes for allowing customers to apply, and then manage the application process and the disbursement and repayments of the loans.

    After a few months, we decided to launch a few more products. As a result, we expanded the team by 2 more developers, a QA engineer, and a product owner. We’re developing a couple of products and looking forward to launching a few more.

    The development is almost entirely outsourced to STX Next. Because we’re part of a bigger organization, the homepages and the corporate website are owned by an internal technology team. Up until the point where the application starts and the entire servicing of the customer starts, our corporate-owned website and from that point in, it’s entirely outsourced to STX Next.

    The main complexity of this project was around multiple custom integrations. I would roughly divide the work that they’re doing for us into 2 parts. One will be the customer-facing website where they apply and service themselves, but the back office of everything is just multiple integrations with our lending platform and payment platform: Slack, payment systems, account creation, e-money accounts, and the various other integrations. In other words, the complexity is in how you orchestrate all of that in a seamless way so that we don’t interrupt the customer experience, and won’t fail entirely if one of the services fail. That’s the main complexity behind it. On the frontend side of things, there isn’t a huge challenge there.

    How did you come to work with STX Next?

    I worked with them in my previous company. They stopped working on that project and were available to me right when I needed them at this company. I was very happy with them, and so I hired them again.

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

    Around $130,000–$140,000.

    What is the status of this engagement?

    We started working with them December 2016 and have been working together since.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

    Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

    The primary thing that I could talk about is the fact that we hired the first couple of developers in December 2016 and we were live with the first product before the end of January 2017. That says a lot about how quickly they turn around and how quickly they deliver things that actually work so that we can go live. That’s the best testament to the quality of their work.

    Because it worked very incrementally, there aren’t huge things that we’ve done at once and given praise. We’re just incrementally improving everything. I would say the second thing worth mentioning is that the product we are launching right now is a peer-to-peer product, and as before, from a technology point of view, we are totally ready to go live. What’s stopping us now is mostly admin and legal work. The technology was always ahead of business and other admin stuff with everything we did.

    How did STX Next perform from a project management standpoint?

    I got most of the same team I had previously, in addition to another developer I didn’t know before. One of the things that I love about working with them is that they are very product- and customer-oriented. Unlike any other outsource team I’ve worked with and even some of the general teams I’ve worked with, they are not the type of developers you hand requirements to in isolation. They’re always asking questions. They’re always questioning my assumptions of how things are going to work. They always have brilliant ideas about how to improve the user experience, how to find exceptional cases. That part made my job and my decision to work with them again a lot easier.

    We used Pivotal to track work and now we’re using Kanbanize. We moved from Scrum Sprints toward Workflow. We use Slack for day-to-day chats and messages, and Appear.in for video conferencing and screen sharing.

    What distinguishes STX Next from other providers?

    I’ve experienced working with a lot of outsourced companies. In terms of delivery, STX Next has never fallen from or dropped the ball with any companies I’ve ever worked for, even compared to internal teams, and not only outsourced teams. Whenever I recommend STX to others, my biggest selling point for these guys is that they are developing a product. They are not coding minions that get basic instructions, follow them, and don’t care about what they’re doing. They are always trying to understand what they’re doing, what the product is, what the end goal is, and what the future plans are. They’re immersed in the entire business process and the development, which is what distinguishes them from any other company I’ve ever worked with.

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

    Perhaps the only thing would be more flexibility around working hours, but that’s always an issue with near shore/offshore outsourcing; the time differences. Although in this case, it’s not a huge time difference because a lot of the developers there start working early, which in my time is way too early, which means they finish out very early. There are always a couple of hours at the end of the day where I have no one to talk to. Having more flexibility on that would make things a bit easier, but I can’t think of a case when things were needed after hours. In the couple of instances that I really needed them, they were there for me.

    5.0
    Overall Score
    • 5.0 Scheduling
      ON TIME / DEADLINES
    • 4.0 Cost
      Value / within estimates
      They’re a little pricey.
    • 5.0 Quality
      Service & deliverables
    • 5.0 NPS
      Willing to refer
      6, even.

    Team Augmentation for Digital Product Studio

    "They help us develop the right software in a more efficient way."

    Quality: 
    4.0
    Schedule: 
    4.5
    Cost: 
    4.0
    Willing to refer: 
    5.0
    The Project
     
    Confidential
     
    May 2016 - Ongoing
    Project summary: 

    This review was STX Next supplies full-stack engineers who help develop a secure collaboration suite. Up to 5 resources support an internal group and continuously expedite production. 

    The Reviewer
     
    51-200 Employees
     
    London, United Kingdom
    Head of Development
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    Throughout the engagement, STX Next coded several custom features from scratch, demonstrating excellent technical skills. Their problem-solving abilities and eagerness to incorporate feedback continue to drive project success.

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

    BACKGROUND

    Introduce your business and what you do there.

    I am the head of development for a security software company. Our products allow users to conduct secure correspondence with other individuals by email or our secure collaboration software. Users can go online and collaborate in a secure environment and share files. The company started in 2008 and has grown steadily over that time.

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    What challenge were you trying to address with STX Next?

    We knew we wanted to grow a part of the development team, either internally or through an agency like STX Next who could quickly provide the resources we needed. We needed to get software developed and into production as quick as possible.

    SOLUTION

    What was the scope of their involvement?

    It’s a secure collaboration product, so I can’t tell you much about the tech stack. STX Next was confident and resourceful. The product’s an OpenStack platform, and they do the full development lifecycle for the frontend and backend. They provide development resources to help us with the full suite of software.

    We currently have 3 developers, a tester, and a product owner working on the project. We gave them an idea of the kind of work we wanted, and then STX Next put a team together for us. When we first started working with STX Next, they had an office where the developers were based, but they moved our development resources to another office, so we had to transition to another team. We started with 2 developers and a tester and added a developer; now, we’ve got the product owner as well to manage the software as a whole.

    How did you come to work with STX Next?

    I wasn’t involved on the hiring side, but I think our CTO found them. We were introduced to STX Next, and it really went from there. Before we signed the contract, I talked with them about our products, our strategic vision, and what we wanted in terms of a results profile. We got quotes from them about what they could do, and that went through our chain for approval. I’ve been working with STX Next since the team was initiated.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

    They’ve worked on a number of projects. We’ve seen better results when we’ve been able to isolate specific chunks of functionality from the main product. It’s a secure collaboration, so we have a PDF annotation part of the solution, which STX Next developed from scratch. It was a sub-system, and they took the requirements and worked on them in isolation. From a results point of view, we found that approach turned out much better. We’ve also tried to mix the development resources from STX Next into our team here, but we found that strategy was less productive than giving them bespoke pieces of work.

    They are working on slightly different pieces, so I don’t want to compare them to other suppliers or our own team. I’ve had no issues with the performance of their developers. They seem to develop high-quality code that’s always been tested to a sufficient level. They follow the process to the letter, which helps us integrate them into our team. They’re always bringing ideas to the table as well. They’re not just a resource that delivers exactly what we tell them; instead, they come to us with ideas and alternatives.

    What did you find most impressive about STX Next?

    In my experience with outsourcing, you generally give the outsourcing company a set of requirements, and they deliver the requirements exactly as you specified. If it’s not right, it was your fault because you didn’t specify your needs clearly. But, STX Next is more collaborative. They talk about the problem and suggest ways that could solve it more efficiently. They look at alternatives, particularly when bringing in the product owner. He’s been trying to introduce more processes for developing this solution, whether it’s a customer issue or something we want to do strategically.

    STX Next is unique in that they don’t just deliver what you ask for. They help us develop the right software in a more efficient way.

    Are there any areas STX Next could improve?

    When we tracked the 2 teams, they didn’t always communicate enough with each other. The STX Next team would be tasked with creating some functionality. While they were doing that, they’d refactor some code. It’s great from a development manager’s point of view, as they’re making the code better. However, they didn’t necessarily communicate that to our team here. When we tried to put the software back together, it caused conflicts. At the time, we were unsure why these conflicts were happening, and that caused a few issues. We went back to giving them isolated pieces of work to build from scratch, and that line of separation between the 2 teams certainly works better for us. 

    4.5
    Overall Score It’s been really good. They give feedback and make the software better, rather than just delivering what we ask.
    • 4.5 Scheduling
      ON TIME / DEADLINES
      There are times when we haven’t given all the information they need; however, if they’d gone that extra mile, we probably would have gotten software out a lot quicker.
    • 4.0 Cost
      Value / within estimates
    • 4.0 Quality
      Service & deliverables
      They don’t always get it right, but they do go back and rework any issue.
    • 5.0 NPS
      Willing to refer
      I have no concerns about recommending them to anyone.

    Ongoing Enterprise Dev for Hogarth Worldwide

    “[They have] very energetic and sociable teams, and we get along well.”

    Quality: 
    4.0
    Schedule: 
    4.0
    Cost: 
    4.5
    Willing to refer: 
    4.5
    The Project
     
    Confidential
     
    July 2013 - Ongoing
    Project summary: 

    STX Next engineers help internal groups mitigate project overflow. Contributions to 4 separate products range from bug fixes and code refactoring to writing automated testing scripts and building new features. 

    The Reviewer
     
    10,000+ Employees
     
    London, United Kingdom
    Greg Swimer & Jim Mellor
    CTO / Product Director, Hogarth Worldwide
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    Collaboration with STX Next throughout several challenging engagements ensured both timely conclusions and favorable outcomes. Unexpected turnover is rarely an issue and excessive bureaucracy never undermines critical progress. 

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

    BACKGROUND

    Introduce your business and what you do there.

    Hogarth is an advertising production company. We specialize in the production and adaptation of advertisements for TV broadcasting, print, and digital media. We’re one of the largest advertising production companies in the world, with over 2,500 employees in 20 countries. Our client base is predominantly made up of large, multinational advertisers. 

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    What challenges were you trying to address with STX Next?

    About four years ago, we couldn’t recruit Python developers fast enough and at the scale that we needed in London. That limitation drove the need to find a capable partner. We first engaged STX to provide what development bandwidth was missing, internally. The relationship has grown and evolved from there.

    SOLUTION

    What was the scope of their involvement?

    Hogarth develops a fair amount of IT technology that's exposed to our customer base as several products that they can license. We have an extensive product development relationship with these customers.

    In the last four years, STX has worked on four enterprise web application products. The majority of the work involved Python software development, testing, and QA, fitting them in with our Agile processes.

    Their involvement was similar across all four projects — building new features, bug fixes, refactoring some legacy code, and writing automated tests. We have a hand in defining the composition— the scale, size, and makeup—of the teams, but we don’t have a hand in selecting the individuals. Largely, STX’s interpretation of our requirements governs their recruitment process. The teams have worked out well. It’s fair to say with any relationship like this, it’s a partnership. You have to work with individuals and we do invest a fair amount of time in working with management. STX ensures that we get the most out of our teams, just as we would with our own staff.

    At peak capacity, we worked with probably about 40 engineers from STX — about five teams of eight. That would be going back a few years now. Now, it’s more stable, around 25.

    How did you come to work with STX Next?

    STX Next was competing against was the decision to continue using an increasing number of freelancers in London. Generally, Poland is a very effective offshoring option for companies in the UK. Although the resources are remote, Poland is reasonably close. It’s cost-effective, and the working cultures are similar.

    ​​​​​​What is the status of this engagement?

    We first made contact in July 2013 through email. By August, we were in their office to kick off an extensive project. That fast turnaround and the scale-up period was one of the very impressive things about STX.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

    Our enterprise DAM product, Zonza, is a successful platform in its own right, and it’s used by a large number of customers in over 100 countries. STX is an integral part of our team, so it’s not solely their success story. What we get from STX is solid, high-quality, dependable development augmentation. I’m not just measuring the success of Zonza. Instead, we measure the success of the relationship based on output, value for money, quality, cultural fit, agility, and responsiveness. Generally speaking, we’re very happy with the way the relationship works.

    How did STX Next perform from a project management standpoint?

    STX Next integrates directly into our workflow and is familiar with the tools we chose to use from the very beginning. Other than minor changes, we’ve not had to adapt anything to work with a remote team. Since we can’t meet in person the whole time, we’re usually on Skype. We manage projects in JIRA together and share access to our Confluence wiki for knowledge management. Largely, it’s a seamless process. It’s almost as if we were working with local developers.

    STX has a system that lets us track time and allocation of that time against jobs. We can look down the list of tasks and see which developer is assigned to what specific user story or task we’ve put into JIRA. It’s very granular in that respect. While it’s something we rarely do, it’s there if we need it.

    We haven’t turned over our product management to them at all. We spoke about that once or twice, but it’s quite key to our model that we handle our own product management design and research. We haven’t really turned over our tech or dev ops.

    On the whole, team churn is expected since it’s a fast-paced industry. However, we’ve been working with some people at STX since way back in 2013. As a result, they’ve retained a very deep, technical knowledge of the products.

    What did you find most impressive about STX Next?

    STX Next has very energetic and sociable teams, and we get along well. After working extensively with their teams, we honestly see them as colleagues rather than suppliers. That’s a unique thing, and it has to do with the culture of STX — it’s something they should be proud of.

    STX doesn’t have a lot of unnecessary processes or bureaucracy. In contrast, other third-party development companies tend to overload processes. STX doesn’t and we’ve found working with them to be quick and easy — they just get it done.

    Are there any areas STX Next could improve?

    By and large, we’ve experienced some challenges in the last 4 years, but that’s the case with every organization. For example, acquiring and managing talent, and figuring out the best way to use various methodologies.

    When we started working with STX, they had 80 or 90 people in one city. Now, they have over 200 people in 5 cities. As any growing company will experience, they’re having to go through a phase where things aren’t quite so flexible and easy. That means we’re dealing with a different type of organization, and we need to be prepared to work with the company through those issues. Certain changes are harder than others, and we feel that as customers. It’s not a criticism per se, its natural artifact of success and growth.

    STX Next prides themselves on being a “Python powerhouse.” To us, that means that STX codes in one language, and that suits us down to the ground most of the time. But more and more, we’re seeing that our requirements require a little more skill diversity. For example, they would need to adopt other tools to support things like DevOps, cloud orchestration, and deployment. They’ve been keen on doing that, even though it’s not strictly straight Python. As they’re a growing company they might not see a need to diversify as much as we’d like them to, but as a technology partner of Hogarth, it’s something that we would encourage and embrace they do.   

    5.0
    Overall Score They’re great.
    • 4.0 Scheduling
      ON TIME / DEADLINES
      There’s always room for improvement, but it was mostly good.
    • 4.5 Cost
      Value / within estimates
      They score pretty highly compared with what it would cost us to do things in London.
    • 4.0 Quality
      Service & deliverables
      There may have been better ways of doing some things, but they’re generally good with delivery.
    • 4.5 NPS
      Willing to refer
      Absolutely.
    Verification

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    Verification Level
    Gold
    VERIFIED
    Business Entity
    Status
    Active
    Jurisdiction of Formation
    Poland
    ID
    PL 7781424849
    Date of Formation
    Mar 29, 2005
    Last Updated
    Feb 6, 2019
    Payment & Legal Filings
    International Credit Risk Assessment

    Per our methodology, the International Credit Risk Assessment rating is determined by our analysis of a credit report and third-party data.

    Very Low Risk
    Last Updated
    Jul 29, 2019
    Client Reviews
    VERIFIED CLIENT REVIEWS
    52
    OVERALL REVIEW RATING
    4.8
    Source
    Clutch
    LAST UPDATED
    July 11, 2019