What was the scope of their involvement?
We hired Techtonic in August 2018, and when we started working with them we found their model very intriguing. They said that we would be given one senior lead developer that would take the lead on a project and do most of the work, as well as a few of their junior developers who would be doing a lot of the minor work on the project.
They ended up giving our project to people still in their coding school who had only 0-6 months of experience in development. They also brought on a project manager who absolutely zero experience in software development. The ended up hiring two junior level engineers in addition to everyone else, who they fired a few weeks later. We gave them guidelines in how the product was used and how we wanted the product to work, and made it clear that we wanted a relational database structure.
They didn't listen to any of our input, feedback, or guidance. They chose to build it in a NoSQL environment because that's what their CTO at the time had a passion for. Every step of the way, deliverables were missed or nonfunctional. It was an absolute disaster.
The first major deliverable was the client dashboard and it showed social media posts that you could edit, customize, and change the image of, and add to a series of campaigns to publish to social media. Again, it was a disaster. What they showed us did not function and we came close to firing them then and thereafter spending $50,000 with them. Their CTO assured us they would deliver this project on time and on budget and after numerous discussions, we decided to let them continue on the product. They were then able to deliver the dashboard about two weeks later.
From there, they were supposed to have a Beta version compete by early January. we spoke with them numerous times and they assured everything would be on track and on schedule. They completely refused to give us access to things along the way. Finally, in early January 2019, we received a quote-on-quote working version that was supposed to be our Beta; nothing worked whatsoever. Even the most basic things such as connecting your account to Facebook didn't work. At this point, we'd spent $100,000 and had absolutely nothing to show for it. It was the largest professional embarrassment that I'd ever witnessed in my career.
At that point, everyone in their entire company tried to get the Beta to work. There was no quality assurance this entire time, and they made the excuse that their head of QA had left the company as soon as we started to work together. They hired more and more engineers who seemed more competent in what they were delivering. Next, we re-negotiated our contract with them, stating that we wouldn't spend more than $200,000 unless we received what was in the contract.
It took them till early May to deliver a working app to us. The codebase was an absolute disaster, it was clearly written by people who did not know what they were doing. There were functions that were two thousand lines of code long, with "if-then" statements the entire way. We then hired someone internally to take over the project with them once we terminated with Techtonic.
We spent May 2019 – November 2019, ripping apart everything they did and rebuilding it entirely. There was no salvageable code from what they did. It was riddled with bugs, riddled with errors, and impossible to understand how things were functioning.As we dug in more, we found that their integration on key elements was disastrous. Things were stored in logs that should never hit a log.
In April 2019, their CEO got involved and claimed that they needed to stop work because we wouldn't pay our bills. This was not true as we had re-negotiated our contract and would not pay until they delivered on their contractual obligations. Once those obligations were complete, we paid our bills in full. Overall, their work was garbage and this company should not exist.
How did you come to work with Techtonic?
We interviewed a number of firms I found online and we ended up going with Techtonic to develop the software. I spoke to a reference of theirs that had nothing but glowing reviews to say about them. I ended up going with them because money was tight on our end and I figured this wouldn't be that hard of a project to complete.
How much have you invested with them?
We spent $200,000 total.
What is the status of this engagement?
We began working together in August 2018, and terminated in May 2019.