Offerd helps both agency and internal recruiters save vital time at the start of the hiring process by combining digital CVs, testing, video interviews, and interview scheduling in one automated process, completely remote. As a result, work that would have taken 10 hours, now takes five minutes. Offerd is poised to become the ultimate hiring workplace for recruiters.
We’ve talked to Jamie Beaumont, Founder of Offerd, about his experience with remote product development in Ukraine, bumps, and twists in his software development journey and how Evolve helps eliminate them.
Jamie, when and how did you start building Offerd? What was your initial challenge?
Right from the start, I’ve always used outsourcing development agencies. I’ve always been in commercial roles and lacked any kind of technical programming skills, so it’s incredibly difficult to understand anything technical at the start. While I’m learning a lot of tech stuff on the fly, there’s no way I could build a tech product on my own.
So I first approached a business to help build my product’s MVP back in September 2018. However, my experience wasn’t very good at all.
There was no transparency at all, as I had no insights into what my project team was doing. At first, they told me their developers were based in England, but then it suddenly turned out they worked from India. They didn’t think about my product at all, they just looked at my brief and said yes to everything that was in it instead of telling me – “don’t build this, because this is stupid and will cost you more.” They just followed my brief blindly, thinking about how to make more money from me and do as little as possible in return. As I’d already invested a lot of money into that engagement, I couldn’t pay them anymore. However, what they delivered did allow me to get funded.
In July 2019, a year ago, I raised £300,000 from investors. That was enough to pay that agency off and start fixing the product. I also hired several tech consultants to audit that agency’s work. The consultants told me I could throw away that code, as it was the worst code they’ve ever seen. It made no sense and wasn’t reusable at all, as it contained no comments – nothing.
So I drifted away from that company and started with another company. And that new experience didn’t go well either. The new agency did a fantastic job with the design of the product, but again – I didn’t have access to Jira to see what they were doing, nor was I ever involved in stand-ups. And they were incredibly expensive! Every single time they deployed functionality, it broke something. And when they fixed that, it broke five other features.
It got to the point when we had to leave those guys. If we hadn’t, we’d have run out of money to do business.
I spent over £200,000 working with agencies, and although I had a product, it wasn’t stable enough to take to market.
From here I made a decision that I was going to move away from using agencies and will look towards hiring an in-house tech lead. I was looking to hire an individual to work in-house so that I could see them and what they’re doing.
As I started exploring other options, a colleague of mine introduced me to Colette Wyatt [Evolve’s CTO].
And why did you eventually decide to work with Evolve on your product development?
I spoke to Colette, and she also showed me a couple of her conversations with Philippe. I liked the way they “sold it” to me.
Evolve said they weren’t going to build my dream product right away, but were going to make sure I have a product I can make money with, so they wanted to take away all the crap and polish the product first.
That’s literally what I wanted to hear from my tech partner. I didn’t want agencies to just make money off me; I was looking to build a long-term reliable relationship.
That’s how I started working with Evolve. And honestly, it’s been the best experience I’ve ever had with a technology company. I’m excited every morning to be on stand-ups because I can hear what’s going on with my project. Everything that’s done is done carefully. I like how my project team treats my product. For instance, they don’t release new builds before an extended weekend (as a result of a bank holiday), because if something goes wrong during the weekend, there’ll be no one to fix it. That’s great to hear! Everything that Evolve’s team does is well built, they always ask me questions, I see their Jira boards, I know what troubles they have, and I’m fully involved in the process.
We have people using our product and getting value from it now, which is great. This wouldn’t be possible without Evolve. I’m happy to send everyone I speak to over to Evolve!
What’s the size of your current team, and what tech stack are you using on the project?
I have five people on my team with Evolve, including the following roles: a Head of Delivery, a Solution Architect, two .Net developers, and a Nodejs developer. It’s scaled up or down depending on the current project needs. It’s a great team, indeed!
Whenever I meet that former colleague who referred me to Evolve, I start kidding and say that there’s no way he’ll steal my team from Evolve. It’s really that good.
Do you feel comfortable working with Ukrainian software developers?
Well, I haven’t worked with hundreds of them, but based on my experience with the Evolve developers, it’s all about the quality. They have rather high work standards. They’re proactive, they know what action will trigger an error, and they try to avoid it. For me, Ukrainian developers, at least the ones I’m dealing with, are focused on the quality of delivery. They won’t build everything I want, because they want to help save my budget, too. I appreciate that.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m thinking of starting a new project with Evolve. I won’t be using anyone else for the development of my projects anymore!
Are you looking to build an MVP from scratch or improve an existing software solution fast, cost-effectively and with no compromise on quality?