Determined to avoid hiring too many internal developers and getting drowned in management complexity, First Resonance used GitStart’s on-demand development platform to quickly scale their engineering capacity and build out new front end capabilities to their core product, ION.
First Resonance is an early stage VC backed company that’s building a factory operating system, empowering the next generation of hardware builders to break through the barriers set by old manufacturing systems and processes using a combination of AI, IOT, Automation and cutting edge software. Together, their products will make present day manufacturing faster, cleaner and smarter than ever before and provide real-time production visibility.
Founded by former SpaceX and Nasa engineers, the company believes that the future is API driven manufacturing with great interfaces and modular systems that will enable engineers from traditional fields such as mechanical, electrical and industrial engineering to have a stronger, more visible impact on shaping a smarter future of manufacturing.
Ease of Use and Seamless Onboarding
Onboarding and doing accurate knowledge transfer are often the major hurdles to working with an external development team. GitStart’s on-boarding process is extremely customer centric and designed to be friction free. Without the need to sign a lot of legal documents or do extensive back and forth communications, the trial allows teams to test out the platform’s quality over a period of 2 weeks and test for performance on small, micro tasks, whose scope is well defined and duration short.
Helping reduce management complexity
“Before GitStart, we were already looking at other full stack development agencies and contractors to handle some of the engineering load coming in, as we had started ramping up on customer facing deliverables,” says CEO Karan Talati. “After going through the trial, which was a no-brainer, we were really impressed by the code quality and immediately saw a potential partnership where we could leverage GitStart’s expertise to ship faster and improve our own engineering standards, too” says Karan.
As the relationship has evolved and First Resonance has become more confident in GitStart’s delivery and capability, their engineering lead Alan together with Karan have tasked the platform with harder and more complex problems. This has helped lighten the management load for the core founding team at First Resonance and allowed them to buy back time, which would have been otherwise lost. They’ve been able to keep building new features, especially frontend and extend the in-house dev team seamlessly to scale up engineering. This has kept development lightweight and effective and allowed the core team to focus on the underlying data architecture and the larger, more critical issues at hand.
Maintaining accountability and feedback while working remotely
The pace of successive iterations is governed by the how well the feedback processes are implemented and adopted by all stakeholders. The web based platform has allowed the team at First Resonance to receive automated standups from all the developers working on the code on a daily basis and hold the developers accountable, at a granular level. “As the world adjusts to remote, it’s still important to keep a close eye on productivity and accountability and so, the automated standup reports and updates over slack shared channels have definitely boosted confidence and maintained the overall momentum. We are happy that we don’t ourselves have to deal with managing developers and different time zones. When we wake up, the code is there, ready to be reviewed and merged!” says Karan.
Customers receive a tech plan upfront (typically written by a very senior developer) that outlines the execution approach and the cost of the development task under consideration. The tech plan has always been highly valued by customers and the team at First Resonance found the feature extremely useful as well. It means that tasks are scoped more clearly before they go into the execution phase and the in-house engineering lead can understand the cost implications of putting a task into development, even before actual execution beings. This leads to more agile, dynamic development and faster time to releases as unknown’s don’t creep up at the time of writing the code.
Going the extra mile
Not only is GitStart great at scaling up engineering at affordable prices and with good quality, the senior leads also go the extra mile to take customer codebases to the next level. In the case of First Resonance, after consultation with the GitStart delivery lead, it was decided to refactor parts of the frontend codebase to TypeScript. The development team at GitStart spent extensive time in documentation and writing down shared standards which became a reference for future development.
Says Karan, “We have learned a lot ourselves when it comes to best practices around engineering and have borrowed heavily from GitStart’s meticulous approach to documentation and maintaining good standards. They have helped us push out 3 big deliverables in very quick time without sacrificing quality and these have have been quite meaningful from a product functionality perspective.”
Improvements and Innovation
GitStart is steadily making sure that more and more of the First Resonance codebase has End to End testing in place. Over a period of 2 months, First Resonance saw an uptick in their Unit Testing Coverage up from about 40% to 70% and which is expected to continue trending upwards. GitStart’s web based platform which allows customers to pay invoices, see standups, and do issue tracking will also see several improvements based on new requirements put forth by dynamic entrepreneurs like Karan and his team.
“We’ve been happy with the code quality and the time we’ve saved in shipping out new releases. We plan to scale up the relationship even more and look forward to more integrations and capabilities coming in the web app.”