What was the scope of their involvement?
Our development lead had already started to develop the iOS app and we had completed portions of it when UPTech started working with us. Since we were so pleased with UPTech’s level of service, we recently added an Android engineer from their team to work with our full-time Android lead. The UPTech engineer just joined in the last 3–4 months.
When the UPTech team joined our mobile efforts, we hadn’t launched the iOS app yet, but we did have a prototype that a previous in-house engineer worked on. They really did an amazing job of picking up that code base and understanding it.
We launched the iOS app 2–3 months after they started working on it. We’ve been working closely with them since then to improve and release new versions for our iOS app.
One feature is called AIM: Aspiration Impact Measurement. As a FinTech company that’s focused on socially responsible investing and benefitting the world, we thought it would be really cool to help users understand how their spending influences the people and the planet. We built a proprietary database that rates companies where people use their debit cards. Categories include environmental, social, and governance (ESG). We have a lot of ESG data on these companies and assign each one a people and planet score. If you made a purchase at Walmart, its scores would show you how they treat the people and planet. We give users a score based on where and how they spend their money. This was a feature that we did mobile-first, and despite very tight deadlines, they did a fantastic job on it. They’ve been helping us with iterations on this feature since then.
What is the team dynamic?
UPTech provided the lead engineers on this project. We had project managers, data scientists, mobile engineers, and backend engineers working to launch this novel feature. We currently work with one Android engineer and two iOS engineers. There’s also a project and sales manager and a technical lead.
How did you come to work with UPTech Team?
We have an onsite Android engineer and were in the midst of finding some iOS developers when he recommended the UPTech Team. He had past experience working with them. Through initial phone calls and working with them, we saw that they have a good product sense and care about the product and our customers, despite being a remote team. We discussed the features and shared a spec on how it should work.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with them in July or August of 2016, and the relationship is ongoing. There’s still a lot of work to do. They launch new features and improve the existing app. They fix bugs, help with UI designs and UX enhancements, do code refactoring, and improve analytics within the app.
They are responsible not only for product features but also for engineering quality, performance, etc. They make sure the product is functional, reliable, and scalable.