We have been working in the web development field since 2005
During this period we have successfully completed over 400 projects of different complexities: from simple company websites to complex social network websites and SaaS solutions, as well as business logic for rich ERP/CRM/MLM systems. We have experience in building web based systems for different fields of businesses: cosmetology, online courses, oil and gas trade, touristic business, restaurant business, dentistry, landing pages, coupon and discount sites, browser extensions and countless data parsers and scrapers, SaaS, StartUp, e-Commerce, CRM/ERP, education, show jumping, hotel, MLM and many others.
Last year, despite Covid-19, we made a big leap forward in many areas. This year we need to iron out all the small issues and optimize new practices and approaches that have been adopted. We can say that our task this year is to strengthen our current positions, build more “bridges” with clients and make the next leap forward.
Continue to grow and develop the sales department. Personal development of each employee including acquisition of new qualifications is key to customer satisfaction from the first days of working with us. This gives potential clients the opportunity to experience our systematic, optimized and transparent approach to workflow and communication.
We continue to upgrade hardware including buying more Intel based MacBook Pros 2016-2020 and trying out new models with ARM-based M1 chips on board. Adopt Figma for high-fidelity wireframe, mockup and style guide development. Expand the number of books in the office library (both digital and physical) on the development of software and hard skills of our employees even further. Expand, optimize and maintain our internal regulations, both organizational and technical.
Our initial plans were disrupted a bit by Covid-19, but overall the year went well for us
From March till July, 4 company employees had to sit on fully paid benches (due to lack of workload caused by the global lockdown). During that downtime, they were working on self-development and acquiring new skills and competencies. But due to the wide-scale and active work with our clients, all the other guys in the company maintained a full workload.
In July, we fully recovered our previous workload and by the end of the year we were maintaining our standard workload of all the guys at 90-120%.
Automatic germicidal lamps were installed in all of our offices in every room. The lamps are turned on twice a day for 15 minutes at noon and for 30 minutes and in the evening. Quarantine measures and precautions were taken all across the company.
Despite all of our efforts, in October in one office and in November in another one several employees were tested positive for Covid-19. In both cases, the company covered the tests for all employees in the corresponding office and took all recommended measures: fully disinfecting all the premises, working from home for 2 weeks, etc. Unfortunately, not all of our clients accepted the delays associated with Covid-19 testing, quarantine, and setting up full scale remote work.
We have expanded our sales team up to 6 employees so that more customers have the opportunity to experience our systematic, streamlined and transparent approach to communication and software development.
Implemented KPIs for sales staff.
Implemented CRM and SIP telephony into our sales department workflow. Developed detailed work regulations for the sales department which helps us guarantee quality and consistency of client experience on all the stages of our communication.
Improvements in personal development processes
We created a set of internal regulations for development, QA and project management activities and every quarter all the employees take an assessment on the knowledge of all the relevant regulations.
We significantly extended regulations and best practices on QA. We introduced new types of testing: UX testing, Critical Path testing, Integration testing in addition to ones that were previously used including: E2E tests, Smoke tests, Regression tests, Positive and Negative functional testing.
The company has completely moved to using Docker for local development and partially on dev/prod servers. CI/CD has been implemented on most projects using Bitbucket pipelines.
Employee Personal Development
Implemented an IDP (Individual Development Plan) for each employee. Guys should spend at least 5-7 hours a week to acquire new knowledge and competencies. Each employee of the company should now read 8-12 books on the development of soft and hard skills each year which comes out to one book every month on average. The guys read a little bit of a book every day and send text reports with analysis of what they had read with recommendations on how to implement this information in their work, including updates to the corresponding internal regulations to make our work even more efficient.
The company already had a large library of electronic and audio books. This year we also expanded buying hard copies for all of the offices, so we have a physical library in each office.
Updating the hardware
We replaced most of the monitors with native 4K resolution. We have partially renewed our equipment fleet by purchasing MacBooks Pro 2013 and a MacBooks Pro 2016.
Company keeps focusing on the development of custom and complex web applications, web designs, websites and browser extensions.
Two years ago, we introduced a mandatory 2-month internship for new front-end and back-end developers. During 2019, we were actively updating assignments, increasing the effectiveness of the internships. This provides an unprecedented opportunity to introduce the work environment to the new employees. Internship assignments involve working with project manager, QA specialist and getting code reviews. New employee quickly learns the company's way of working and regulations and how to collaborate within a cross-functional team. Another major goal of the internship period is to learn our key technologies, libraries, frameworks, etc. that allow him/her to be efficient and productive on any of our projects from day one.
This year a 2-month internship course for QA specialists was developed. This makes it possible to quickly introduce new employees to working with checklist templates, test cases and company regulations for QA process used on all our projects.
In addition, the so-called homework assignments were introduced for the current employees as an opportunity to grow. These assignments are updated with new best practices and technologies throughout the year.
In addition to on-boarding process improvements for new employees during this year we have adopted new technologies such as AWS EKS, AWS SQS, AWS SES, VNC, Puppeteer, Next.js/Nuxt.js/Nest.js, prerender.cloud, etc.
A lot of work was done to reorganize processes inside the company. We assessed how every team works on their projects: estimates, time tracking, collaboration between developers and QA, workflow for ad‑hoc changes and critical bugs, etc. We tried to understand what approach is currently used in typical situations by different teams and selected the best one. As a result we have now a process framework – set of rules and best practices for project managers and lead developers. Of course we didn’t invent everything from scratch – a lot of best practices in our framework are based on scrum and lean development methodologies.
Since we started applying this framework in every team overall team performance has significantly improved and we achieved accurate estimates and timely quality delivery on multiple projects.
While analyzing our development processes we also reviewed and optimized QA workflow and tools used on different project. We introduced common standards and testing workflow for different types of tasks. After reviewing our QA tools we have reconsidered our templates for checklists, test cases and smoke/regression test plans. We also started working on automating QA routines and as a first step monkey test were introduced on multiple projects and a couple of our small projects (browser extensions) were covered with Selenium acceptance tests.
In addition to processes and tools review during this year we have adopted new technologies such as Adobe XD for wireframing, Docker, Kubernetes, Cloudflare workers, Vue.js framework, a bunch of AWS services like Lambda or API Gateway, etc. A couple of our projects are now deployed using CI/CD.
We successfully implemented the "bench" model for all our employees. Our team has grown to 24 people in total. In addition to expanding our IT team we hired a full-time English teacher and created a sales department. We continued updating our equipment (new 2017 Macbook Pros, Dell 2K monitors, accessories, etc.).
During this year we started using new technologies such as React.js, Angular.js 4&5, etc. In addition, we began using new communication channels, such as Zeplin, Jira, Slack, Trello.
We released our first Android app, built our first browser extensions, adopted Laravel 5.3 and new technologies like Avocode, Heroku, Digital Ocean, Prerender.io, etc. We finished our rebranding and re‑opened our office in Donetsk in March, which allowed us to grow to 15 people by the end of the year. We invested a lot in the professional development of our team: organised English classes twice a week, while providing our staff with annual subscriptions on a couple of websites that provided online courses like Coursera,and made sure they attended a couple of IT conferences.
We also established a mentorship culture inside the company. Our lead backend developer was providing mentorship to frontend developers who wanted to learn NodeJS. Last but not least, we re-launched our website with a fresh and modern design and upgraded our technical equipments.
We launched our own SaaS project mozaus.com. It’s a service which allows users to create a mosaic photo collage from their photos, either by uploading them from a local PC or from any of 10 supported social networks. Due to operations and customer support complexities, in December 2015 we sold this service. However, we’re still in charge of its maintenance and new feature development.
Also in the course of this year, we adopted modern technologies like Laravel 5.1 and Symfony 2.7 PHP frameworks, Angular Material Design technology, CloudFront CDN, while switching to frontend deployment pipeline with Gulp, etc.
We launched our own SaaS project maquetter.com, which was a call to simplify collaboration between clients and designers during work on the design of mockups. This SaaS solution allowed designers to organise mockups in the proper order with automatic numbering and just share a link to a specific design mockup with their clients. Clients could use any type of devices to view the shared link: desktop, tablet or mobile. Design mockups viewer was optimised for each type of device.
Also, this year we started using google documents and mockflow in our daily work. We signed our first contracts with clients from different states: Germany, Israel, the UK and the USA.
We introduced an emerging type of service for our clients called SEO/SEM optimisation. Our clients’ websites moved to the top 1-5 positions for the target keywords which increased their user base and improved sales numbers.
We invented and patented our own adaptive website development technology called 4size.info. It allowed us to develop a more user friendly UI for our client’s websites.
We won a tender for the development of the brand, the website and the loyalty program for an oil refinery company and a new gas station chain.
From 2010 till 2013
9 international show jumping tournaments were held with our support, and with the software developed in 2009 and improved upon later. Equestrians from 37 countries took part in this tournament.
We gained the exclusive rights to develop a management system for horse show jumping tournaments. This led to a long term partnership which resulted in two websites, a tournament management system, a PC video-game, a photo selling module, a webcam operation system and much more.
We began operations in 2005, with quite a complex project
We developed a management system for a multi-level-marketing (MLM) business, which included an accounting system, a financial reporting system, a unique module for MLM and a whole lot more. By 2009, we had implemented 13 MLM management systems for different companies from CIS countries. During this period we also designed and developed numerous smaller websites for different fields of businesses.