Happy to have Sparkling Apps, Ekipa’s provider and a young enterprise which focusses on mobile app development and social media networking for a small talk.
Please tell us a little bit about your team – who started your company, how many people are on board, and what their expertise is.
Sparkling Apps was started five years ago by Roeland and Martijn van der Spek. We were excited about the possibilities that the mobile devices offered and we wanted to create amazing apps. We are both experienced developers and managers, working abroad or with global teams for the last 20 years. We now have a team of over 30 developers, all specialists in mobile devices.
As an experienced software development team based abroad, what unique abilities do you bring to your clients that developer teams from other countries around the world do not?
First of all, the company is run by us as managers but we are also very much engineers ourselves. Our background is Information Technology at Delft University of Technology, one of the premier Technical Universities in Europe. This allows us to guide our team in a global manner but on the work floor as well. Developing apps is our passion, and with this we will always stand out from the crowd.
What are the key skills of a remote software developer? What about the soft skills?
We started with a small development team focused purely on iOS development. This has since grown to include Android and Windows mobile development as well. For many apps, a strong server database is required, so we included expertise on that field as well. We select our guys on passion and love for development. We don’t need people who see programming as a ‘career’.
Some people in Europe and North America are reluctant to hire on-demand software teams because of communication barriers. Let’s talk about the main cultural differences you come across in your work and how you overcome them.
Our main advantage is that we have an office in The Netherlands and our management is completely European. At the same time, I have worked in India for 15 years now and I am based in India. That gives me a unique perspective on how to work with the team here and how to communicate with our clients. Most of the client communication is done by the management as we speak the same language (literally as well as figuratively) and at the same time we can communicate specific requirements very easily with our developers.
At the sales/project proposal stage, what are some of the key expectations that USA and European clients bring? How are these different than doing business normally within your country, and how do you overcome these differences?
As described already, we have identical backgrounds to most of our clients, and therefore there are very few differences. We usually have clients from Europe and the USA. We face differences when we have to deal with clients from the Middle East or Far East.
What about during project work/completion?
Most of the communication is done directly with the clients, and when required, we meet them face to face, when they are from Europe. There are also always options for clients to come over to our Indian office, which is located in Technopark, the largest IT hub in India, located close to tropical beaches like Kovalam and Varkala.
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What development methodology do you use on your team and why?
We use a SCRUM approach since that results in the most direct feedback. We deliver updates on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, depending on the project, and we have flexible communication lines during development.
Any advice for North American and European clients on choosing the right software development team?
Find a team that understands you and that has the passion and skills to do the work. Choose our team at Sparkling Apps if you are really serious about quality and exceptional products.
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