What was the scope of their involvement?
I started the discussion with Abhishek, one of the co-founders, however, we now work with Abhijeet, his brother and other co-founder, who has been running the project for the last four or five months.
We used the Ionic 1 framework for the web and mobile apps, which allows us to push the same code to Android and iOS, along with HTML, CSS, and AngularJS. The web application code is slightly different, but it takes almost everything from the mobile code. The backend storage is done through Amazon Web Services S3 and EC2 containers, which ensures that photos are delivered.
Abhishek worked on the backend development first, using Node.js for the Ionic framework. He got the databases set up, did some frontend work, and once all that was in a solid place, Abhijeet was brought on board. They both worked on the frontend and backend for a month and a half, after which Abhijeet took over with feature implementation and touching up the UI/UX [user interface/user experience] of both the mobile app and website.
We wanted to implement a sort of reward and points system for users uploading photos or performing some sort of task. On the backend, after a certain amount of points are accumulated (which we call bones), the user can redeem them for product discounts on our Shopify store.
What is the team dynamic?
I provided the majority of the frontend design, and Youstart made suggestions on how we could improve things and making them more intuitive. I could go to Abhijeet with an issue or an idea for a certain page, and have him either approve it or circle back and provide a recommendation. He has a lot of experience with UI/UX, so he’s been a big help in making sure everything looks good and works well.
There’s been another person working on our project off-and-on for testing, but I’ve primarily worked with the two founders. I talk to Abhijeet on WhatsApp, but we also have Skype calls once a week and exchange emails if I need to send over any scripts.
How did you come to work with Youstart Technologies?
I found them on Upwork through a tedious process of selecting developers that fit the criteria I was looking for. I interviewed a dozen development companies, looking at affordability, experience developing similar projects, and the trustworthiness and reliability of the team. There was a slew of candidates from different companies, but Youstart was significantly above the rest with their expertise, cost, and ability to understand the problem.
How much have you invested with them?
We have invested between $8,000–$10,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working together in October 2016. The collaboration is ongoing and we’re planning to stick with them for the foreseeable future. I also plan to use Youstart on a new Ionic 2 project that’s completely separate from Dogspotting.