Developers remain scarce. For example, you might find less experienced ones satisfactory with trial and error. And ‘guess and check’ methods may work too. These observations come from innovation think tank FourSight. As a result, the company further asserts that senior-level devs tend to go deep into solutions. For example, they strongly prefer to get things exactly right the first time.
Will Inexperienced Developers Cost You?
And that begs a question. Will a less-experienced hire, in the long run, cost you more than an expert? TopDevz, LLC, a custom software development business based out of Sacramento says yes. The company only hires senior developers. And it stays attuned to the software needs of North American and global brands. For example, these include Kraft, Invesco, Bose, Ferrari, W Hotels, TMZ, Urban Outfitters, Williams Sonoma and more. The company tracks dev roles and staffing. And it meticulously keeps historical notes. All this happens using a centralized system. And weekly and real-time reports also figure into the process.
Company Favors Onshore Outsourcing
Small Business Trends connected with Ashkan Rajaee, TopDevz’s CEO. We asked why their clients appreciate them. The company provides only senior developers located onshore, for one. They also maintain a foothold in the US and Canada. As a result, they possess an extra advantages over competitors. TopDev also provides monthly agreements. As a result, the company doesn’t lock clients into long-term contracts with penalty clauses. Rajaee serves on the Forbes Technology Council. The council provides an invitation-only community. The community bases membership on depth and diversity of experience. It provides other success criteria too. The Forbes ecosystem invites Rajaee to contribute in a variety of ways. For example, members participate in tech, mobile, and enterprise Q&A panels. So Rajaee rubs elbows with other experts in his industry. CIO Review Named TopDevz one of its “20 Most Promising Mobile Application Solution Providers: 2018”
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Small Business Trends: How does your company screen developers? And how do you retain the best ones?
Ashkan Rajaee: The average developer at TopDevz has a minimum of 10 years of experience in complex software development. Only developers in the top 1 percent are hired and that helps preserve our culture of excellence. Every member of our team passes through TopDevz Academy where the best talents are filtered out to work at the company. The five-stage model of the academy ensures that the prospective employees pass a personality test and a soft skills interview in addition to a live coding stage that’s assessed by an AI algorithm we developed with the help of Harvard grads which removes bias from hiring processes.
Company Culture Make Them Special
In terms of retention, part of what makes TopDevz special is our culture, our flexibility to adapt and the spirit of healthy competition. Research shows that most developers do not remain at a company beyond the first two years because they seek top-level positions elsewhere. To combat this issue, we took a hybrid approach. We implemented a remote working model. It allows our developers to work from their location in the US or Canada, but it still offers a team-first culture that inspires collaboration and healthy competition among the developers. They’re also able to work on different projects so their intellect is continuously challenged and there’s variety in their work. We have a 96 percent retention rate that’s unheard of in our industry.
Small Business Trends: Your team’s onshore, here, in the US and in Canada. And you say they’re senior-level. Have clients expressed a preference for both those things?
Ashkan Rajaee: Having a team composed of only senior developers creates a positive and collaborative culture that you just cannot buy. When you have a team that consists of developers at various levels in their careers, it can cause delays in communication, mistakes can be made, projects can take longer to complete, etc. Our experienced team is able to avoid hiccups and delays, resulting in great software executed on a higher level.
By being onshore in the United States and Canada we’re able to guarantee proper and efficient onboarding. An onshore team minimizes language barriers and other challenges such as communicating in vastly different time zones. Many companies look for an offshore developer to significantly save on costs, however, we are able to still maintain low costs because of our unique approach in our structure and our adaptive approach for clients.
Adapting to Each Client is the Key
Small Business Trends: How do you adapt for each client?
Ashkan Rajaee: Every business has to know their clients and what problems the client is trying to solve, and no two problems are the same. No two clients are the same. If you can identify their problems and carve out solutions through development and customization, then you position yourself to add value. We provide options for staff augmentation or full project handling, allowing us to work with clients with different styles of engagement. We take a deep dive approach to ultimately recommend the best options to produce great software on the front end and backend.
Small Business Trends: Explain the difference between a full project approach from just staff augmentation.
Ashkan Rajaee: Often times we hear that our clients’ biggest mistake was that they deployed a software developer to handle all aspects of a project. It’s important to understand that each project needs developers, designers, a quality assurance team and a project manager to keep the team on track. In some cases, your existing staff might already have all these team members and you’d just need the senior-level talent of an experienced developer. In other cases, you may need the entire team! We provide both solutions based on your current budget and personnel to get you great software. Typically we complete projects within 18 months and under the original working budget.
Pictured: Ashkan Rajaee with TopDevz team members