Jumping into a new project, in just a day

 

Whenever someone joins our team, they jump right into a project — on their first day. Our clients are surprised by the results and often ask us how we manage it. When did we have time to familiarize ourselves with the scope and requirements? Moreover, how can we switch to a project we’ve never worked on? And still deliver!

Let’s clear these questions up!

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The Vitamin Software team hits the ground running. That’s what we expect from every prospective team member as well. Because, on the client’s side, this tactic increases uptime instantly. And we do it by sticking to the company’s core values, which we enforce on a daily basis:

Startup Friendly

Your business is our business. That’s our approach. Practice has taught us where to cut corners to get things done before that investor meeting. We also know that most fires start in the middle of the night. And we are prepared to put them out.

“Vitamin’s team is like a technology creating machine, who understands what you need, is constantly proactive, and offers 24/7 support in tight spots.”

— Alexandru Dan, Veteran Technology Leader, ROMANIA

 

Partners, not clients

Our goal is to build a long term relationship with your company. We do that by leveraging our world-class tech expertise and constant, transparent communication.

“Vitamin Software is exceptionally adept at not only working with a client, but anticipating their every need. Communication with customers is first class, and their work is always flawless and reliable.”

— Gavin Apter, CEO at Loyalsnap, USA

 

Product focus

We don’t write code, we solve problems. We bring your ideas to reality and help you validate them. We are agile and focused on the end users’ needs. Working with us also means that one of the partners is always directly involved in the project.

“Vitamin Software not only does an exceptional job delivering your projects, they also do an awesome job in helping you build and grow your online business.”

— Jari Kemppinen, CTO at Education Curb, AUSTRALIA

 

Zero tolerance for mediocrity

We only work with senior level professionals that have proven themselves in the industry and that have very high work ethics. Within the team, we cultivate an attitude of mutual trust and respect. There is no secret sauce to our results: we just work hard and deliver excellent results.

“The first few pull requests [Vitamin Software] submitted we were very critical of, but to our surprise they were all excellent. Now we treat them the same as we do internal pull requests, which is a big compliment!”

— Ben Phillips, CTO and CoFounder of YCombinator success story Thread.com, UK

 
 

This is not news though. You don’t first hear about them during the interview or after you’ve signed the contract. Given the proactivity we search for, we assume that applicants have already googled us and went to our website. An expectation that not one of our current team members has fallen short of.

“The Vitamin Software method of operation needs a certain skillset you can’t easily find, but which can be developed: be goal oriented and able to step out of your comfort zone, have the wish to surpass yourself and to understand the inner workings of technologies and everything.”

— Ionuț Paraschiv, Founder & CTO at 3angle.tech & Vitamin Software collaborator

 
 

That method is the reason why each of us (and anyone who joins us) can:

Jump right in

We believe that the most efficient way of getting accustomed with a project or knew tech is by working on or with it. Scratch that: we know it is. It might sound daunting to be thrown into a project on your first day, but you’ll get all the support you need.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Check out the Executive Summary. We set one up for every client we work with. This centralizes most of the context you need to have about a project: Brand identity and vision, people who are currently involved, the project’s purpose, timeline and methodology, and tech stack guidelines.

  • When that’s done, head over to the Project Roadmap. That way you get a handle on where the project stands. What has been done, what’s in the works, what the required deliverables are, what you need to take care of. Everything you need to know to get to work: complete with deadlines and Github issue numbers for tasks (for fast issue tracking).

Roadmaps are one of the most important parts of any project. They make sense of it, by mapping out the steps between A and B. They help you focus on the endpoint.

  • Finally, head over to Slack and quickly skim the discussions on the project channel to get those extra nuggets of info. By now, you should know what pieces you’re still missing. And now you can ask questions with sniper precision.

Discuss & Document

We encourage team members to talk to clients directly once acquainted with the project. This opens up a communication channel for input and feedback. That way you can fill in the gaps and establishing a relationship of trust. Also, should anything go amiss, it’s better to notify clients of changes in the roadmap, estimates or release dates as soon as possible.

Remember to document all of your integrations and interactions (internal or otherwise).

contributor’s guide helps other people understand what you are working on. It can also enable them to quickly jump into a project. This may also be valuable for the client if it’s easy for people outside of our team to contribute.

If short enough, some interactions can just be summarized on Slack for fast review:

 
Example of a short summary on Slack, following one of Marius’ client calls.

Example of a short summary on Slack, following one of Marius’ client calls.

 
 

More important ones that impact the project on a longer term (especially longer meetings) have their designated Google doc.

Example of a long summary inside a Google Document.

 
 

That way we never lose track of the feedback or necessary changes.

However, the tools we use (such as Google Docs or Slack) are only as good as the people who use them.

As one of our dear colleagues put it:

I don’t know if the tools were the most important, but rather the practice of consistently documenting all problems and solutions, the same way for every client. Also the convention that if you receive an onboarding, you are responsible of improving the existent documentation.

— Ionuț Prunache, Software Engineer at Vitamin Software

 

In Sync

Finally, one of the most important tools we use to grow is the Weekly Sync. Since we’re a team distributed over 3 time zones, it’s important to get to know one another and talk about the different things we’re working on.

It was 2 or 3 Weekly Sync meetings that made me feel as a part of the team and empathize with the rest.

— George Voicu, Software Engineer at Vitamin Software; working from the Netherlands

 

The Weekly Sync is not a status report though. It’s the coronation of our wins and the dissection of our failures. Not only does this update everyone on how projects are moving along, but it gives us valuable insights on just about everything that makes up our company.

From tackling specific issues, to interaction with the client and how to run our business, this is where we learn the most. And we update our documentation accordingly. That and frequent feedback sessions with the client and the team are how we learn as we go: while solving the issues at hand.

So, do you think you’ve got what it takes to be a part of the Vitamin Software team?

While you ponder that, we’re off to solve problems and tackle the day’s challenges…

…and of course, to conquer the internet.