Not too long ago we celebrated Code Poets’ 7th anniversary. Needless to say, we’ve been a little bit sentimental lately and took loads of long hard looks at our history and the current state of affairs. That, and the inherent need to celebrate ourselves some more gave us the incentive to write this article. So, if you’re thinking about engaging us for your new project, here are seven reasons why you should.
1. Years of experience working with startups
We understand your needs — in fact, we’re not far from a startup ourselves. Seven years have passed and we’ve grown our team to 20+ specialists but we’re still the same scrappy and passionate people. After realizing several projects for the big corporate business world our developers are pretty set on working within the startup culture again.
Startups need a quick response time (sometimes even late at night), free access to the people who can actually help (not trying to break through corporate systems and bounce back-and-forth) and a business orientation (rather than someone who hopes to pray on their lack of market experience). We’ve been there — it’s hard.
That’s why we take it upon ourselves to be there for you now. Our proven track record shows our proactive attitude in helping you solve your problems (even if they sometimes exceed the scope of our agreement). We’ve actually taken an active part in the process of acquiring a promising cheminformatics startup by a big corporation, as well as helped a different client get new investors.
2. Available, agile, a self-organizing team
Work-life balance? We certainly believe in it and try to achieve it whenever that’s possible. However, there are situations where the scales need to be tipped a little. In case of project emergency we make ourselves available no matter the time of day because we realize how important it is for you.
In a similar spirit, our response time is very quick (test it!) and the decision-making process short. Why’s that? Well, we’re a teal (self-organizing) company, meaning there’s no overly complicated structure, management and all that jazz: basically, after years of working together everyone knows what to do and does what they do best. You can speak to them directly to get your issue solved as fast as possible.
There are no unnecessary hold-ups in our work-flow. Vacations? Before someone flies out, they’ve ensured that someone else can take over their responsibilities. Weekends? If you want to stretch our workshops till Saturday, we’ll gladly accommodate you (and maybe take a Monday off). These kinds of events happen rarely enough not to be an inconvenience for us and often enough to assure you that we take our partnership seriously. Also, flexible working hours mean that the team is available during a really long period of the day — early risers will start fixing an issue at 6.30 AM, while the night owls will gladly consult your idea in the evening.
3. Industry focus
If you take a look at our portfolio, you’ll see that we specialize in blockchain and bioinformatics. This focus has enabled us to build our expertise in these areas, get to know their markets and hire selected specialists to our team. We are prepared to take on even the most advanced projects.
Years of work with industry leaders such as Merck (for whom we develop Synthia™ — innovative software for organic retrosynthesis that facilitates the work of chemists) or Ethereum Foundation (where Kamil, our CTO, has joined the team developing Solidity — a smart-contract programming language) have paid off. Now you can take advantage of that experience.
4. Your own dedicated and competent team
Our developers aren’t dispersed among many different projects at the same time. Every time a new Client comes along, we set up a team dedicated just for them. That way the focus, engagement and time-expenditure are always where they’re supposed to be. The Code Poets team is also made up solely of experienced developers — they’ve already practiced on someone else’s project. :)
We have a really good retention rate (which is quite unusual in IT as you probably know), meaning you won’t have to worry about the rotation and all that comes with it. However, if in a rare situation there’s a need to replace a team member during our collaboration, we make sure to carry out an extensive knowledge transfer process.
5. Your cultural circle and time zone
Our geographical position — Poland, Central Europe — couldn’t be a better compromise between access to a highly qualified but still relatively inexpensive labor and a cultural circle and time zone that allows for a seamless collaboration with the western world. We’re just a one hour flight away from Berlin, 1.5 from Zurich, 9 hours from New York and… happy to make the trip or organize a workshop ourselves.
We’re experienced in working with Clients from the US and Europe, speak advanced English, watch the same Netflix series and are a financially stable, crisis-proof company with tons of remote collaboration experience. Don’t worry.
6. Regular 1-on-1s with the CEO
All our (willing) clients take part in regular, 1-on-1 meetings with me (the CEO). That determines a few important things.
First of all, we only take on a handful of projects at one time, meaning our attention isn’t unnecessarily fragmented. Secondly, while I'm not personally invested on a daily basis, I oversee them regularly from the bigger-scope perspective. Finally, our approach to software development stresses the importance of focusing on the end business goal and these 1-on-1s bring the opportunity to discuss and consult the project on this “upper” level.
I always ask for detailed feedback on tech skills, communication and understanding of the business goals. This information helps us take our services to the next level and make sure each client gets the individualized experience they need and deserve.
The 1-on-1s are also a unique opportunity to find out the tiniest issues that otherwise would never be mentioned by a satisfied customer. Once we’ve had a perfectly happy client who after a while shared his feedback about the sprint report — he wanted it to be a bit more detailed. We’ve implemented some changes immediately and subsequently, the workflow has improved.
7. Your best interests at heart
We’re far from convincing you we’re your best choice in all instances. In fact, only recently we’ve published two articles that showcase examples of situations in which startups would be better served going for freelancers or building their own in-house team. Whenever we feel like you should go elsewhere with your idea, we’ll be the first to let you know.
And what if you don’t know where to go? We can help you with that too. As a member of SODA (Software Development Association Poland) we have a big network and keep in touch with a lot of specialized software houses and developers ready to take on your project. It also allows us to be flexible and eg. quickly scale your team up when it’s needed.
If you want to discuss your project with us, try to get some industry-specific insights or… wish us a happy birthday, we’re here for you — just hit us up!