globalHMA/Workhorse Development Owner
Full-stack development for Workhorse and sister company globalHMA
This case study demonstrates how cooperation with a full-stack developer in Ukraine increased Workhorse and globalHMA profitability, helping them to deliver a great product at a much faster rate.
The story of cooperation with Grid Dynamics
My relationship with Grid Dynamics is actually a funny story. So one day I said to an employee, who was one of the first people that worked at Workhorse, “Let’s go look at some of these companies that help you hire somebody and create a team for you.” Again and again thoughts like, “We really shouldn’t do it, it’s a big commitment, it’s not gonna work, we should just find somebody else,” stopped us. And finally last year I thought “This is crazy, I’m just gonna do it,” and we did it, we hired Tetiana and everything changed. I mean everything changed!”
Benefits of a dedicated team model over freelancers
I have experience with both approaches and they are completely different. I don’t think we had ever met my deadlines on the freelance side, maybe we met the client’s deadline in the end, but we had bad times meeting them in 2 out of 3 cases. Also I had experience of my freelancers going away. In addition, the cost would fluctuate all over the place, because if you have to change something, you need to add more money. On the other hand, having a remote dedicated developer means having a set cost. I know what it is and I know how to budget for it. Though it might take a little bit more time, my budget is set aside and that’s not the point to jump around. It really helps to have somebody on your team, as it allows you deliver a product both on time and on budget and so far I haven’t met a client that doesn’t want their product on budget and on time.
HR management and retention
Regarding Grid Dynamics, I have to mention that from the HR perspective, starting with the interviewing process and all the way through, I was always confident that my employees there would receive good benefits and have a good standard of living. They were also very helpful while my employees were moving. From our side, we wanted to give them a gift card for their new home and Grid Dynamics helped me set expectations in the right amount to show appreciation. Grid Dynamics was especially helpful during the interview process—it was like having your own HR person in-house. We were able to say this is a kind of things we want to look for and this is something we prefer. And they found a perfect person. So I have this higher level HR person than I could afford in my own company who helps me through the interviewing process, through the hiring process, and then through all of the reviews and everything else. I don’t have to worry about it, I just wait until they tell me about it. And it all works really well!
“So I have this higher level HR person than I could afford in my own company who helps me through the interviewing process, through the hiring process, and then through all of the reviews and everything else”
Why choose a Ukrainian Developer?
The technical skills of Ukrainian developers are unbelievable. It’s as if I hired someone young with a lot of experience. In my opinion Tetiana is smarter and more capable than anybody I have worked with so far. I’m sure some of that is because she can concentrate just on the app in front of her and not worry about a whole lot of other difficult work. For me, the technical skills are amazing. I don’t know what you do within schools over there, but there’s something with math and science that we’re not doing and you’re doing right. I hope we‘ll catch up to that, but right now it’s way ahead of us.
Collaboration tools and methods
Maybe it is because we have worked with people globally, but remote cooperation doesn’t make a difficulty for us, it’s actually kind of nice. When we come to the office in the morning, we check what Tetiana has done. We use Trello as our management system. She’s working all day and we can see what she’s completed. Usually, we have 2-3 hours of overlap and sometimes she stays longer when she has additional questions. So she either waits until I can get to her, which is awesome, or goes home and checks my answers from home, as she has all necessary tools available there too. The next day she comes and does the work we’ve discussed and I really think it helps get things done much faster.
During our work day we prepare tasks for Tetiana’s next day. It’s really very efficient because it gives her solid time to work on her own and it also gives us some time to sort through everything that she’s done and see if we have any questions. There’s no interfering in each other’s work or getting in each other’s way. It actually works really well. Every person we hire is able to work independently, so it doesn’t make a big difference. Of course, we’d like to go out and have happy hour with her, but we haven’t mastered it yet—we’re working on it.
The product Tetiana is working on is almost finished. She came into the project when we thought it was done, but we soon discovered it was full of bugs. A freelancer which had worked on it dropped it and said he was done with it. There’s an Android version, an iOS version, and a huge web database. She cleaned it all up and made it work, which has been wonderful! Then, the client needed the data to come out of the app into their own system. All the documentation from the API was a mess and the developer from the client’s side couldn’t understand it. Tetiana went back through it and rewrote it, adding instructions. It was fabulous!
We also have an app that works for our client. People enter their information to get requests when they want to mailout a brochure or want to send themselves technical data sheet or something like this, so they put the information in and send it off. But the interface didn’t look right and I wanted to rebuild it. In her spare time, Tetiana built a whole database with a more beautiful interface. We have about 7 more projects for her on the back burner. The two big ones were two scary projects that were a complete mess that she had undo and redo and I couldn’t be happier with the results. It has made a huge difference.
“At first I was worried because you know a person needs to be in the team environment. But it has been such a different experience, because it’s actually having somebody on your team.”
Impressions from cooperation with Grid Dynamics
At first I was worried because you know a person needs to be in the team environment and she’ll be all alone somewhere in a little cubicle. But it has been such a different experience, because it’s actually having somebody on your team. There’s so much that Grid Dynamics offers and I think she feels both a part of Grid Dynamics family and a part of our family and I think it makes a great work environment for her. For our businesses it has changed everything: now everything grows much faster, we deliver on time, we deliver a great product, so it’s a really good thing for us.
If you’re looking to start cooperation with Grid Dynamics—don’t hesitate, just do it. I think my own company would have been so much further along at this point if I had started cooperating with Grid Dynamics from the beginning. It makes a huge difference: it makes a difference in your profitability, it makes a difference in the quality of your product, and it makes a difference in how fast you can deliver, it’s a win for your client and it’s a win for you. I’d say when you’re looking at it and you’re not sure—call, talk to them, and try it because it makes a huge difference.
Read the full interview with Drew Dorgan.
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