Building a team that streamlined product development, testing, and support processes to create an innovative backup and disaster recovery solution
Testimonial from the Chief Architect of the product:
“When we started the company we had every intention of building an exclusively US-based engineering team. We hired a small team in Ukraine with a very specific task in what we expected to be a short engagement of six months or at most a year. Our goal was never to find cheaper talent; we were focused entirely on finding engineers with the skills and drive to match our ambitious goals and results-oriented company culture. But over time we found that while we struggled to find satisfactory engineering talent locally, we were able to expand our Ukraine team with top-tier senior engineering talent and -more importantly for us – talented and hard-working junior engineers from Ukraine’s top computer science schools.
At the height of our engineering growth, we had over 150 software and test engineers in the Kyiv office. They worked directly with team leads and managers in the US, and in fact more than half of them at one point or another came to our US offices to meet and train with our US leadership. It’s no exaggeration to say that without our Ukraine engineering team we could not have achieved the rapid growth which led to our success in the market, through to the Dell acquisition and beyond.”
The solution used by the client needed an upgrade, specifically, a regular resource-intensive database indexing needed to be replaced by a more flexible mechanism. To be productive under heavy loads, the system was in need of a scalable and more powerful solution. We suggested integrating the system with an open-source search engine Elasticsearch based on Amazon Web Services.
Facts & figures:
A total of 150 Programmers, Testers, and Technical Support Engineers were engaged in Ukraine.
This big team of professionals worked in unison in line with proper customization of product development processes thanks to the rigorous selection and training procedures they have passed.60+ persons from Kyiv office have traveled frequently to Reston, VA office for training and meetings with US leadership. Seven persons obtained H1B visa and joined the US team. The Kyiv team was a valuable strategic asset, acting as a force multiplier for the much smaller US-based engineering team.
13 years of collaboration with the client (continuing to this day). Being the trusted and reliable partner, we keep on evolving and evolve the product to meet the market demands.
The product has consistently (for more than 10 years) ranked among the top BUDR products because of its advanced architecture, clever engineering solutions, extended and evolving functionality that consider an array of approaches and innovative technologies.
The company began as a startup consisting of a small R&D team in a small office above a roadside cafe in a tech town near Washington, D.C. A handful of developers were working remotely on a pilot project in Kyiv.
The idea proved to be successful. The product was successful and disruptive enough to be acquired by one of the world’s largest technology companies after only five years on the market. During the post-acquisition period we continued working on the product and providing product development, testing, and support services (2nd Tier Support).
Our Understanding of the Goal Set: To choose the best resources and to streamline product development, testing, and support processes in close collaboration with our client. To cut the costs of the customer and to shorten the time taken to develop the product. To let the client be focused on the continuous and smooth supply of market-demanding and successful, competitive product.
We have mobilized a strong core-team of Senior Developers that have been thoroughly tested, trained, and interned by Project's Technical Lead on the client's side. These developers participated in the elaboration and implementation of agile-style development processes: code review, code standards, unit testing, continuous integration & delivery.
QA Engineers were involved in the early stages of project iterations to analyze the specifications and to develop the test cases and at the further stages - to do performance testing, load testing, failover testing, system testing, regression, and smoke testing. Test engineers have used on-site test laboratory servers, Amazon, and Microsoft Azure servers to perform real-environment testing. Our QA team has developed a framework for the quick switch between test environments and their configuration. This has also ensured efficient interaction with all virtual test labs and increased the coverage and test rate by 3 times. QA team is responsible for local product versions testing, as well.
We have implemented and supported the DevOps: environments creation and support, releases and patches preparation, release notes creation and update, manuals update, provision of statistical, quantitative, and qualitative information as requested by Marketing Department of the product, Knowledge Base support.We have implemented and supported the DevOps: environments creation and support, releases and patches preparation, release notes creation and update, manuals update, provision of statistical, quantitative, and qualitative information as requested by Marketing Department of the product, Knowledge Base support.
Our Tech Support Engineers worked around the clock to ensure to resolve urgent product-related problems of the customers. By adopting this approach, we have decreased five-fold the number of critical issues, and have fostered our customers' loyalty.
At present, we participate in the product's new release development. This release will include a new web interface and the ability to backup and recover data from cloud services.