Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
Although I did keep sprint metrics, I can't tell you exactly what those metrics were because this was years ago. I can tell you for a fact that because of the higher caliber developers TechSparq sourced, their story point, closure rate, and ticket resolution rate, was, generally speaking, much higher than other contractors sourced from other firms on the team.
They were extremely resourceful and scrappy. They roll up their sleeves. If you work with other firms, they have a thousand rules: you can't convert our people, you have to give us notice on this, you have to follow our methodology, or we can't put them on site so they have to work remotely at our office. TechSparq was completely flexible. For staff augmentation, they asked me, "How do you see the world?" and then provided their input. But whatever I decided on, they worked with me.
I worked with 7 vendors for staff augmentation, and TechSparq was the best along with one other. Honestly, I always favored TechSparq. They treat their employees very well, and I could tell the engineers were much happier being on the TechSparq team.
How did TechSparq perform from a project management standpoint?
My goal is to minimize project management because there comes a point where there's just so much communication overhead. Because they were embedded on my team and physically with the agile team in the headquarters office, we didn't have to pay for a project manager. The existing project managers already on our team as full-time employees worked with them, so I don't have any opinion either way as far as their project management ability goes because we used our own.
What did you find most impressive about TechSparq?
The founder, Dedrick, is a remarkably talented engineer. When you talk to a lot of these firms, you often talk to the business managers or the business development people. They really have no idea what you're talking about. They take a few buzzwords you tell them, and then they go and search on LinkedIn and try and match up those words, trying to recruit whoever has the highest match.
Dedrick already has a network. He personally vets every single engineer hired by TechSparq, so he knows how to build high-caliber teams. He knows what goes into a great engineer, and he understands what a culture fit is. I think that's what sets them apart: you are working directly with somebody who understands how to build a high-capacity, high-performing technology organization. I felt like I spoke the same language when I talked to him.
Are there any areas TechSparq could improve?
No. I was very pleased with them. The only issue I might see is that they're headquartered in Atlanta and Portland, which are decent tech cities but they’re not San Francisco, New York, or Seattle. Maybe the available talent pool to them is not as deep, but that just happens to be where they're located.