Find out how we’ve helped the personal finance startup Mogami build a full-fledged financial planning application aimed to eliminate most of the hassle and inconveniences in personal finance management.

Review summary

SPD Group has done a great job of maintaining the lifeblood of their codes. They’re transparent with prices and deliver within budget. Their dedicated team acts as an extension of the partner’s company. Responsibility and a committed long-term partnership are two hallmarks of their work.

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Scope of our service

Partnership details

Project length: October 2010–Ongoing
Project category: Web Development Services, Mobile App Development Services, Quality Assurance
Team size: 7 experts
Project size: $1,200,000+

Partnership results

  • Our team has built an entirely new application from scratch, released it, and improved its performance by optimizing the processing of requests.

Feedback was provided by the Co-Founder & CEO, Life Dreams Inc., Alex Samano. Here are the key takeaways from the review:

Introduce your business and what you do there.

“We’re a B2C financial services software development firm. We have two products we offer directly to consumers and a product we offer through enterprises. These enterprises offer our solutions directly to their employees. The products all relate to financial planning or wellness. I’m the co-owner of the company, and there’s about 12–15 of us.”

What challenge were you trying to address with SPD Group?

“We hired them to handle all of our software development solutions. They’re a figurative arm of our company.”

What was the scope of their involvement?

“SPD Group is responsible for our software, web, and mobile application development. They handle all of our backend work, whether it’s application infrastructure or full-blown backend development. We’ve used multiple technologies over the years. Currently, for frontend we use React, GraphQL, TypeScript, JavaScript, and D3.js for graphs and charts. In the past, we’ve used React Native, Angular.js, and Foundation, which is a VR framework.

For backend development, we currently use the Kotlin and Spring frameworks. However in the past, we’ve used Java running on Spring as well as Node.js. In terms of our database, we’re currently on PostgreSQL and Juke, having used MySQL in the past. Infrastructure-wise, we’re now on Kubernetes, Terraform, and Google Cloud. Previously, we used Docker extensively as well as AWS and Ansible.

SPD Group has completed native development through React Native on both iOS and Android. Our latest app is a progressive web application. It runs on iOS and Android through a web browser and is being built on React, GraphQL, TypeScript, and JavaScript. We also built a full-on web application using React.”

What is the team composition?

“It has varied over the years. We started with a single dedicated developer and now have a team of six people. This includes a full-time technical project manager and QA as well as two full-stack developers and a front- and backend developer.

When there’s a heavy workload on the infrastructure, SPD Group has provided experts on Kubernetes and Terraform. These individuals come in and help with the specific project, but we don’t keep them on our team. Essentially, we just borrow them from other teams. For example, for our AR work, we pulled in experts for the core frameworks. After they completed the development, we did the integration and handed it over to the rest of the team.”

How did you come to work with SPD Group?

“We heard about them through another startup here in Seattle. Also, my CTO worked with SPD Group at an old company. When we started our company, it was easy to select them to help us build our startup.”

How much have you invested with them?

“We’ve invested around $1.2 million so far.”

What is the status of this engagement?

“Our ongoing partnership began in October 2010.”

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

“Our CTO is responsible for the development team and deliverables. We measure quality based on team efficiency and if a solution needs redoing or rebuilding. These benchmarks are critical because we don’t have resources to build solutions multiple times.

Over the course of ten years, SPD Group has built three different iterations of the applications through progressively different stacks. What matters is how long these iterations last. The life of the code has been consistently lasting about 3–4, maybe five, years. Most codes have a lifespan of 2–3 years. Based on that, SPD Group is doing great in terms of maintaining that code and keeping it alive.”

How did SPD Group perform from a project management standpoint?

“They’ve done well, and we use Clubhouse for managing the work. SPD Group provides visibility into their price estimates. I always know where I stand with them. I know how much something will cost and that it’ll get completed for that exact amount.”

What did you find most impressive about them?

“We’ve enjoyed working with them. In the past, our company has used different developers. What’s unique about SPD Group is that they use dedicated teams. They’re an extension of our startup, without being actual employees of ours. We manage and maintain their full team and are responsible for keeping them busy. Then, their project manager is responsible for ensuring we don’t go overboard with requests. This is not a typical outsourcing relationship.”

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