A letter from your future colleague, Daria

Dear Future Colleague,

I am Daria, Head of Sales, and for me DAS is a real professional adventure. I’m amongst those few people who witnessed the raise of the company, its first steps, its victories and challenges along the years. I joined the core team of DAS at the moment when its establishment was in the active process of materialization. I remember that November day when I came to see yet an empty, but already OUR first office, ah…the pleasant feeling of having your own place. It was the beginning. I met the initial small team of five developers who built the foundation of the first projects and gained the trust of our initial clients.

In the beginning, I was involved in a pilot project, not related to IT, and at some point, I was offered to try my skills in the sales department. I found it interesting, though, must confess stressful at the beginning. My colleagues trusted that I can grow my competencies in this direction. I closed my first deals and felt extremely happy. This is how I continued with the sales. In the meantime the team was growing, I was meeting great people and establishing friendly relationships.
 
Of course work is not only about friendship. Sales is a hard and responsible work. You need to always remember that it’s on you that your colleagues will be covered with tasks, projects, and of course financial benefits the next day, weeks, months.
Even though it’s not an easy job, I love my team and the way we share information, thoughts, experience, happy and sad moments together.
They are like a part of my family. It can be funny, it can be stressful.
I love to observe the difference between the dialogue you can have via emails, chats, phone calls and the moment when the person see you live. It’s like breaking the ice and entering a new space.
What I would say to new people joining DAS?… Be friendly and don’t use too much perfume, please. 🙂 
If I would be asked to share some advice for a sales person, then I would say that my main mantras are:
1. Don’t give up. Never.
2. Be yourself with your customers, because after all it’s all about human interaction.
3. Be honest in everything you do (first of all with yourself).
4. Take responsibility for your deeds. It makes you stronger and more attentive.
5. To fail is human. Learn from your fails, turn the experience into wisdom (if possible), don’t repeat it and get back to point 1.

I believe that the company is like a living house, a natural organism which can grow and evolve. In this house, every new person is like a new room with a new door which opens a new space, furnished in a distinct way, with its personal design, wallpapers, furniture and atmosphere. And each room of this house has a window with a unique view outside the house.

I wish that every new room would make the house better, stronger, more interesting, distinguished amongst many other houses and may every view from all the windows remain unique, but all as one – beautiful.

As you (maybe) can tell – being in sales doesn’t mean to lack the seed of poetry in your soul.  

Happy journeys!

How to Build a Software Development Project Plan

Few things are more important to a new IT product than a software development project plan. This is the one and only instrument in your toolbox that will not only be your best friend in the strategy layout, but will also save you money in the long haul. Let’s take a look at some key elements that should be taken into account when building a software development project plan.

First, write things down. The What, How, and Who of your project should be written down in order to avoid confusion but also to help you structure your own business layout. Writing things down will ensure that a healthy oversight and follow-up mechanism is being established with your software development company from the very beginning. Phone calls and Skype meetings are an excellent first step, but a good IT company will always encourage that things are spelled out on paper (or rather in 1s and 0s 😉 – they will also help when you’re unsure where to begin). A solid software development project plan has some brainstorming behind it, together with key staff involved in the project.

Secondly, don’t get side-tracked. This is the moment when you think Big Picture. Don’t become obsessed with details other than what the logic of the software should be, who will be the end-user, and what the desired results are. Everything else will work itself out within the more detailed technical architecture of the product, which generally comes after the software development project plan.

Third, and this is what I say to all our potential clients, here is an exercise that you and your team should complete in the process of developing a software project plan: brainstorm together regarding all features that your ideal product should have. Think of ALL the elements and tools that, ideally, you would want present in your project. This includes the main features, but also additional or auxiliary elements that would be nice to have at some point in your product. Once you feel you’ve reached a comfortable list of goodies, CROSS OUT ALL OF THEM EXCEPT FOR TWO OR THREE ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL THINGS that your product would not live without. These are the defining elements of your product. These are also usually the things your clients will pay for, and what your competition is lacking. They will constitute the first version of your new software, and you must focus entirely on them. Once you identify the meat-and-potatoes of your project, the rest of your software development project plan is a breeze. As soon as your core features are done and working flawlessly, you can start adding all the other nice-to-haves (new features and such). Until then, focus on the most critical two to three elements of your project.

As always, reach out to us with your IT project idea. We’ll be happy to assist!

Moving Forward,
DAS Solutions Team.

Communication Is Key to a Trustworthy Relationship

Finding the right partner (business or otherwise) involves establishing a relationship based on trust. Effective, regular, and honest communication is the key element in building trust in any relationship. This is particularly the case in long-distance relationships between outsourcing software development companies and their clients.

We’ve conducted a short survey among potential clients asking what would make them hesitate when choosing a software development partner. One of the biggest reasons quoted was bad communication. This was either out of a general perception that outsourcing companies lack clear communication skills, or it came from previous (mediocre) experience.

Honest Communication Makes Perfect

Here are three tips to ensure that the communication with the company you choose to develop your next software is productive:

  • Set clear expectations for outcomes. This may sound obvious, but setting clear expectations is critical for the success of your project. Meet with your team and write down the problem that needs to be solved. This must be comprehensive and as clear as possible. Note any possible solutions you see, but ask for feedback from the software development guys. They should advise regarding alternative solutions to help cut costs and plan ahead. Software development is no different from construction – if you plan on adding additional floors, you should have a solid foundation. Also, the floors themselves should allow for more floors to be added later (or the design and function of each to be modified). Make sure you know what the purpose of the solution is in the long-term. This will allow for advance planning and minimize surprises down the road.
  • Expect and ask for regular updates and progress reports. Once the project has begun, make sure you keep in touch with the developers. Progress reports, regular meetings and updates are a must when the process has started. This ensures that the project runs smoothly and problems are identified early. Clarifying questions, issues that were not initially planned will always come up. Regular feedback helps keep the project on-track.
  • Expect honesty. As the deadline approaches, having all the information will help you plan accordingly and act fast. If something goes wrong, you should know about it as soon as possible. Overly-optimistic deadlines, capacities, or price estimates can surely turn your project into a disaster. Setting incremental deadlines, milestones, and Skype calls will ensure that the project is moving forward. However, honest feedback cannot be underestimated.

Until that trust is built between you and the developers, you can only plan ahead, ask for regular progress reports and make sure that the incremental deadlines are being met. Honest software development companies will make sure that you have all the information. If you feel something is off, it may be time to make some changes.