We Know the Ups and Downs of Building Tech Products - Interview with Coding Sans
Techreviewer spoke with Matt Wohlmuth, CEO of web development company Coding Sans. The interview is a part of a series on web development. Learn more about Coding Sans on their Techreviewer profile.
Please, introduce yourself and your company. What does your company specialise in?
Coding Sans is a full-stack web development agency building complex, market-ready products from design to delivery.
Our company works with the latest web development technologies such as Node.js, React, and Angular. We have extensive experience with all cloud providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud) and production experience with Serverless technologies.
Coding Sans emerged from a venture-funded startup in Budapest, so we know the ups and downs of building tech products. The core team has been working together since 2013. I’m Matt Wohlmuth, CEO of Coding Sans.
Who is your ideal client? What industries, regions or types of businesses are you focusing on?
Our ideal clients are fast-growing tech companies and enterprise clients that come from a variety of industries, including: healthcare, SAAS, fintech.
What makes you different from competitors? What are your main competitive advantages?
What sets us apart from competitors is first and foremost our transparent processes that we always share with our client. Further, we have a startup background, so we understand the challenges some of our clients face. We’ve faced them and we know how to overcome them. We provide battle-tested design and development processes, smooth design handover to development.
What is your company’s core business model – outsourcing or outstuffing? Do you work with subcontractors? Why do you think such a model brings additional value to your business and your clients?
Our main focus is full project development, where we’re responsible for the whole product development cycle, from design to code. Besides this, we also provide staffing services for our clients.
We don’t work with subcontractors anymore. We used to have UI/UI subcontractors but our approach has shifted. And now we have an in-house design team. Work has become much more effective since we keep every process internally; and we can flexibly allocate our design resources based on the different projects’ needs.
How has COVID-19 affected your company? How has it changed your processes? What challenges has the pandemic added to you and your team daily work?
The first Covid lockdown started in March 2020. The very first challenge we faced was that potential new clients started to disappear due to the global uncertainty. It was a scary first month but we recovered quite fast and thankfully it did not cause any significant damage to our company.
We adapted in a very short period of time: we went fully remote in just a few days and the transition went smoothly. We realized that we have to document the meetings and the processes more thoroughly. We became more organized and we developed new processes in order to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
How has the pandemic affected your clients?
Since we have clients from a number of industries, it’s difficult to sum it up with one word. Actually, some of them were affected badly but other clients remained unaffected.
Has COVID-19 influenced your marketing strategies? What are the main channels you use to promote your services now?
Most of our clients are coming from recommendations from previous clients and our established networks. However, it’s important to note that we also get about 25-30% of the clients online. Since the Covid 19 pandemic started, our marketing strategy hasn't changed significantly. As before, we heavily rely on content marketing: we get traffic to our website and convert visitors into leads. We are also relying on directory sites such as Techreviewer to get targeted leads that we endeavour to convert into potential clients.
Projects & Clients
What are the key factors that you consider when making a project estimation and proposal for a new client? Please, describe your process when you get contacted by a new potential client.
Some of the key factors that we consider when we put a proposal forward are deadlines, the complexity of the project and the technological requirements thereof.
Our process usually looks like this:
- We jump on a quick call with the client
- We discuss the details and evaluate if it’s a good fit our tech stack
- We receive the specification of the project
- We give a deadline and budget estimate based on the services they require
- Upon reaching an agreement, we proceed to the app design phase
- The development starts
What are the top challenges you and your team face in the software development process most often and how do you deal with them?
One of the challenges we face regularly is getting good and detailed specifications from the client. An accurate specification and clearly defined features make the project less risky. It is also more likely that the project will be delivered in time and within the planned budget if we receive all the necessary information beforehand.
Another issue that has come up from time to time is getting the clients to answer and provide detailed information on a specification template and checklist. It’s hard sometimes to get this accurately filled out by the client.
What are the criteria for the success of a software development project?
First of all, having clearly defined specifications is the most important criteria in order to ensure the successful completion of the software development project. Staying within the specification aspect, the fewer changes, the more likely the success. By clear planning and preparation, we can avoid changing features on the fly.
From your experience, what are the best practices to attain client satisfaction?
The client will be satisfied if he/she achieves the business objectives through the application we deliver. We have little impact on their specific business processes, so what we can do is deliver their application with the desired feature set and quality. This leads to satisfied clients.
How do you assess the role of research agencies like Techreviewer in bridging the gap between clients and service providers?
Techreviewer can be a very effective and helpful tool in connecting potential clients to the service provider. In this day and age, companies like to browse through service providers in order to find the most suitable one for them. Agencies like Techreviewer provide a trustworthy platform for both parties.