Web Dev for Independent Digital Producer
- Web Development
- Dec. 2017 - Ongoing
- Willing to Refer
“They habitually overdeliver, and they do a really good job of thinking outside the box.”
- Information technology
- New York, United States
- 1-10 Employees
- Phone Interview
WhaleSoft redeveloped a website using Ruby on Rails, and also augmented development for WordPress.
Despite being in opposite time zones, this relationship flourishes due to WhaleSoft’s excellent communication and ability to deliver high quality software. They are proactive in finding solutions, and their intuitiveness allows them to fearlessly make implementations with success.
A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.
Introduce your business and what you do there.
I’m an independent digital producer, and my business model is unique. I model myself on Hollywood rather than my own industry, and my clients range from startups, to local businesses, to Fortune 500 companies. When I get a client to work with me, I study their business expectations and assemble a team of people best suited for the long or short-term project. The team member’s commitment to the project varies depending on the length of the project and my need for them.
OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE
What challenge were you trying to address with WhaleSoft?
I needed somebody quite affordable who could update a website quickly, and I’d been searching for quite some time.
What was the scope of their involvement?
WordPress is the most regular platform I deal with. I gave WhaleSoft a test involving the platform, and they were also working on a project based on Ruby on Rails, which has a lot of flexibility to work with Shopify. Even though they didn’t claim to be Ruby on Rails experts, they’ve actually been successful in taking over the project. They spent a few days learning the platform, and then did so well that they ended up delivering better work than my previous resource.
What is the team dynamic?
They have about 6-10 team members working with me. My usual POC was George [Chief Technology Officer, WhaleSoft]. They’ve been training the team over the course of a few months to communicate with me more effectively, and now I’m working with a couple of the developers directly. I also work with the new project manager, Margarita [WhaleSoft], who is pretty awesome as well.
How did you come to work with WhaleSoft?
I work with a number of freelancers and companies in my line of work and building websites, but I’d searched for a long time for a company to do this project affordably. WhaleSoft reached out to me initially, which usually makes me question the company, but their salesperson put my fears to rest. I decided to try them out and gave them a small project, and to my huge surprise, they were extremely fast, as well as affordable, and also had an outstanding work ethic.
From that point on, they became my main provider for website development. They’ve thoroughly impressed me by being on point and by being communicative. They’ve thought of things I never have, and George [Chief Technology Officer, WhaleSoft] talks me through things and makes suggestions. All of their suggestions are spot on, and we actually had a client ask us to scale it back a bit because the software was too advanced for the kind of work they already had. We were able to integrate a couple features, and it was all under budget, which saved me a little money as well.
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
WhaleSoft actually saved me a very important client account. One of my previous resources was unreliable, and he delayed a very urgent project by about 3 weeks. WhaleSoft brought a different attitude to this relationship, and they immediately understood the user end as well as the expectations for functionality. Even though another developer had created the website, they completely took it over and examined it. They realized there were too many issues with the website, so they took it upon themselves to redevelop it from scratch, and ended up doing a much better job.
The project was a couple weeks behind, and ultimately was not a success with my client, but it helped me rehabilitate myself in their eyes. I’ve received a couple dozen web projects from them so far as a result of that interaction.
By remaining affordable and delivering high quality work, we’ve built a good relationship. They still keep me at a relatively low cost, and they’ve doubled my bottom line revenue over the course of the last year, which is great.
How did WhaleSoft perform from a project management standpoint?
WhaleSoft is always available to communicate. I was able to reach out to the person in charge of a specific project and receive a response in under 30 minutes. There was practically no delay in communicating with their chief personnel or project managers. This makes my job much easier, because if I have an important question that needs answered quickly, I don’t have to wait around for them to get back to me even though we are in opposite time zones. Their team members would even wake up to respond to me.
We mainly communicate through Skype. We also use JIRA for project management and time tracking, which I like because it allows me to absorb the communication between developers, project managers, and the CTO in real time.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They habitually overdeliver, and they do a really good job thinking outside the box. They make suggestions, and they’re proactive with making implementations if they’re confident it doesn’t violate the overall approach. When we have problems, they don’t hesitate to explain why they’ve made certain choices. Rather than having to explain new details and expectations to the developers, they think intuitively regarding the client and will pose solutions where they see fit.
Are there any areas they could improve?
They’re currently looking to build a design department, and I plan on utilizing those resources as well. They have a few skilled designers, and bringing them on board would lower my cost here, which is a welcome improvement.
WhaleSoft can definitely be trusted by potential customers. Their initial impression was modest, but they ended up delivering high quality, professional work. They’re much better than how they present themselves.
Service & Deliverables
"Their work is high quality and they’re very professional. They’re detailed, and they find appropriate solutions for technical problems."
On time / deadlines
"Instant turnaround, instant availability. They manage their time very well. And if for some reason they’re not available, they explain why politely."
Value / within estimates
"They are the most affordable people I’ve worked with over the past 5 years, and they came at the right time. Their pricing was suspiciously low, but their work was top-notch. Their value is great for their price."
Willing to Refer5.0
"Absolutely. I’ve recommended them to two companies, and I always insist other people pay them more than I am, because their work is definitely worth it.