Today we share with you an interview with our CEO, Claudio, to offer an in-depth look at the working methodologies and client relationships here at DevInterface. In this article, we'll explore the core of our company, discovering how we apply innovative methodologies and how we build solid relations with our clients. But without further ado, let's start with the questions!
1) Which development methodologies adopted at DevInterface have proven to be particularly effective in the context of software development?
We draw inspiration from the Agile methodology, which is a flexible and collaborative approach to software development. Agile promotes collaboration among multidisciplinary teams, continuous communication with stakeholders, and the ability to rapidly and efficiently adapt to changes. Two of the most popular methodologies we like to use within the Agile framework are Scrum and Kanban.
Scrum organises work in development cycles called sprints, usually for a period of a couple of weeks. During each sprint, the team is committed to delivering a complete and ready-to-use product improvement. With Scrum, we follow a clear structure divided into regular events like sprint planning, sprint review, and sprint retrospective to ensure transparency and collaboration in the development process.
Kanban, instead, is a work visualisation system divided into columns representing the activities' advancement state, like "to be done," "in progress," and "done." This approach offers a clear visual of the workflow, helping the team identify blocks and continuously optimise the workflow.
Both Scrum and Kanban methodologies have proven to be very efficient in our company, not just for software development but also for planification in web design, UX/UI design and marketing.
2) Can you explain how you have integrated agile methodologies into your development process? What benefits have you experienced?
I can say for sure that at DevInterface we have successfully integrated agile methodologies into our development process, drawing inspiration mainly from Scrum and Kanban. Starting from these approaches, we have created a personalised process that adapts to our specific needs.
First of all, we have structured our work in development sprints of the duration of 2-3 weeks, depending on the specifics of the projects we tackle. At the end of each sprint, besides making internal retrospective meetings to evaluate what has been done during the sprint, we organise frequent meetings with our clients to analyse and define the objectives of the next sprint. This approach allows us to maintain a constant communication flow with clients, guaranteeing that our work is always aligned with their real requirements.
With the sprint approach, we build projects step by step so that we can apply adjustments during the development process. This flexibility has proven to be extremely precious, as it reduces the necessity of change requests because changes can be easily integrated during the analysis and planning of each sprint. Furthermore, by testing a specific group of functionalities in each sprint, we are able to promptly identify and solve eventual anomalies, significantly reducing bugs in final products.
Along with client meetings, we also conduct a daily internal stand-up meeting. This brief meeting allows us to have a clear vision of what each team member is doing, identify any challenges, and timely plan programming changes. It is a solution that helps us maintain a high level of collaboration and communication within our team, improving efficiency and productivity as a whole.
3) How do you manage collaboration and communication between team members during complex software development projects?
In managing collaboration and communication among team members during complex development projects, we trust a structured approach that takes into account our team's distributed nature. We use a centralised project management system in which we define all necessary activities for a project, including tasks related to engineering, development, web design and UX/UI. This allows us to have a clear vision of the ongoing activities and monitor, in real time, the progress of a project.
Furthermore, to guarantee efficient communication, we put at the team's disposal detailed development documents, like functional ones, configuration files for various environments and architectural schemes. These documents provide a clear guide on what has to be done and help keep all team members aligned with the project specifications.
As to communication among team members, we use synchronous and asynchronous communication platforms. For synchronous communication, we make extensive use of Slack, an instant messaging application, which allows us to exchange messages in real time and facilitates quick communication between team members, even if they are spread across different geographical locations. We also organise regular alignment meetings via video calls on Google Meet. These meetings provide an opportunity to discuss project aspects in detail, solve any problems and maintain face-to-face communication even if team members are not physically in the same location.
This way, we efficiently manage collaboration and communication, guaranteeing that all team members are informed, alligned and able to significantly contribute to a project's success, even in the presence of complexities due to the geographical distribution of the team.
4) How is effective communication with customers established to fully understand their needs and expectations?
To ensure effective communication with our clients and fully comprehend their needs and expectations, we adopt a flexible and tailored approach, adapting to the specific complexities of each project.
Initially, during the very first communication, we execute a macroanalysis of the project. This analysis provides us with a general vision and helps us divide the work into different areas of competence. In this phase, we actively engage with the client, asking for relevant information and material that can help us better understand their requirements and expectations.
In the case of particularly complex projects, after macroanalysis, we organise additional calls with the client. During these calls, we examine together the initial specifications document, which has been compiled by the project manager together with the development team and/or the CTO. This document forms a detailed guide for the project and serves as a starting point for our work. The client's active involvement in this phase is crucial because it allows us to clarify eventual doubts and make changes based on their feedback.
After approval of the initial specification document, we start the development sprints as described above. During sprints, we maintain constant communication with the client. We schedule regular calls to discuss the status of the work. During these calls, we discuss what has been developed and after the tests, we receive detailed feedback from the client. These feedbacks are precious, as they allow us to make timely corrections and adapt our work to the customer's expectations.
Also, during these sprint calls, we also analyse future activities and define next development steps. This iterative communication process allows us to maintain an in-depth understanding of the client's needs and continuously adapt our work to meet them.
5) What strategies are adopted at DevInterface to maintain a relationship of trust with your customers throughout the project life cycle?
Our main priority throughout the life cycle of a project is to maintain a relationship of trust with our customers. To reach this goal, we adopt several strategies to build and maintain this trust.
To begin with, we aim for open and transparent communication with our customers. We seek to be clear about project developments, including progress and challenges that may arise. Should unforeseen events or delays occur, we are ready to inform the client immediately, explaining the causes and the corrective measures taken.
Another crucial aspect is the client's active involvement in the decision-making process. As explained above, we organise regular meetings to share project updates, gather detailed feedback and evaluate priorities together. This direct involvement helps the client feel part of the process, helping to build a relationship of mutual trust.
We always fulfil our commitments to customers, meeting agreed deadlines and delivering high-quality results. Our reliability in meeting agreements is essential to building and maintaining trust in our work.
In addition, we provide a clear exposition of the processes we follow. We explain in detail to the client how their project is handled, thus ensuring a complete and transparent understanding of the way we work. This transparency helps to dispel doubts and uncertainties, establishing a solid basis for mutual trust.
We recognise the importance of adaptability and flexibility in projects. We are prepared to deal with changes or unexpected demands with an open and flexible approach. This adaptability demonstrates our dedication to meeting the changing needs of the customer, thus helping to build trust in our team.
Finally, we welcome feedback from customers in a constructive manner. In addition to asking for opinions on the final product, we are also interested in their views on our work process. We use every comment to continuously improve our services, thus demonstrating an ongoing commitment to excellence.
Through these strategies, we aim to create a collaborative environment based on mutual trust, ensuring that our clients feel not only satisfied with the end result, but also confident in our commitment to meeting and exceeding their expectations throughout the project life cycle.
6) In an industry as fast-moving as software development, how do you keep abreast of new technologies and best practices?
Let's start immediately with a fundamental aspect: reading, reading and again, reading. We constantly keep up-to-date with articles, blogs and technical documents published by industry experts. We explore specific websites, discussion forums and industry professionals on platforms such as LinkedIn to remain informed about the latest trends and innovations in the world of software development. These online references offer an in-depth overview of best practices and emerging technologies.
Besides online research, we invest in direct in-house design as a learning method. We create in-house projects like EveryLog that originate from internal company needs. These projects give us the opportunity to apply and experiment with new development technologies and methodologies in a practical context. For instance, EveryLog has been developed using technologies like GO, React and Flutter. Involving our new team members helps them use these languages in a real project environment. Not only does this approach consolidate our knowledge of existing technologies, but it also helps us explore new horizons and master these emerging technologies to a greater and greater extent.
Practical experience makes us well-prepared to implement our knowledge in our clients' projects, guaranteeing a high skill level.
7) What are some of the most common challenges you faced during the projects and how did you overcome them?
Throughout our projects, we faced several challenges, some of which are common to many situations in software development. One of the first and most important challenges relates to the translation of customer requests and needs into defined and detailed specifications. This phase is crucial as it determines the project's direction. The most critical part is to bring out, already during the initial analysis, all possible problems that might arise. For example, we must consider how to manage a payment flux and eventual refunds, define the different types of intended users and decide which permits to assign to each category. Identifying and resolving these aspects during an initial analysis allows us to develop the software more smoothly, thus reducing the number of revisions and modifications needed later on.
Another common challenge relates to a project's graphical aspects, like the definition of themes and layouts that not only satisfy the client's taste but also the user's needs. It is essential to find a balance between design and usability. We follow rigorous guiding lines in terms of usability, but at the same time, we must assure that the design is captivating and intuitive for final users. To overcome this challenge, we conduct in-depth analysis and discussions with the client. Our meetings allow us to fully comprehend their expectations and gather precious feedback from the final users. Thanks to all this information, we create reference documents that act as guides during development. These documents also help us "freeze" the agreed-upon choices we made by providing a stable base on which we build the rest of the project.
Let us also not forget the challenge of managing several projects simultaneously, each with unique technologies and requirements. The need to coordinate them effectively, while maintaining a dedicated space for maintenance and updating activities, is one of the most significant challenges we face on a regular basis. Our ability to balance the demands of ongoing projects with the need to stay up-to-date and aligned with the latest technologies is crucial. To do this, we adopt a rigorous planning and flexible approach that allows us to prioritise activities according to customers' immediate needs while ensuring that all our projects remain up-to-date and performing in the long term.
8) What are your future goals for DevInterface? Are there any new initiatives or projects you are planning?
Looking forward, we have ambitious goals for DevInterface that reflect our constant pursuit of innovation and growth. At the company level, we are exploring new technologies to improve our efficiency and ability to respond to evolving market requirements. We are experimenting with low-code and no-code technologies, like Supabase, for the rapid creation of MVPs (Minimum Viable Products), and prototypes, allowing our clients to test their ideas faster and cheaper. In addition, we are testing further programming languages, like Elixir, which we are already implementing in new projects. The adoption of new languages helps us diversify our skills and offer tailored solutions to our specific project's requirements.
An important goal is to consolidate and evolve EveryLog, our core SaaS product. Our intention is to enrich it with new features that will make it even more innovative and cutting-edge. We strive to make EveryLog a complete and versatile solution that meets our customers' needs, providing them with increasingly powerful tools for real-time data and event management and analysis. In addition, we are actively working on planning and implementing a solid marketing strategy for EveryLog. Our aim is to increase the visibility of our product in the market, reaching a wider audience of potential customers and demonstrating the unique value that EveryLog can offer in the field of data management.