DevsData is a boutique software agency, with
Google-level engineers and a vast
network of senior expert contractors. We’re all about premium quality and
As a junior engineer, our good friend named David worked on a contract for a big financial institution in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Long story short: David told us about a situation wherein he and two experienced engineers were given a task description from a project manager who wanted to ask for a time estimate.
What did David do? The task was not too complicated, so he implemented it within 2 hours and presented a working functionality the same day.
What did the engineers with 10+ years in the industry do? These 2 senior engineers concluded that indeed the assignment was very complicated, multi-dimensional, and it would probably take at least 2 days to implement properly. It is hilarious that David, despite being
a junior engineer, actually built it in 2 hours and not days, isn’t it?
A few years ago, there was a loud affair in Europe.
One of the software consulting companies assigned just 2 engineers to a corporate contract that stated 6 people in the document. The situation was carefully masked for nearly 8 months. Eventually, the client found out what was
going on. Needless to say, the consulting agency was sued and does not operate anymore. Situations like these repeat over and over again. The work process is purposefully obfuscated, masked from the clients on every level,
and especially from business people under an illusion of technical complexity.
DevsData’s priority is to maintain the highest level of transparency
We do not agree with a world like this and are sick and tired of the omnipresent, mischievous BS in the tech industry. That is why we decided to set honesty and transparency as our core business value and we require them from all
of our employees and contracts.
The way we work is fully transparent.
We regularly gather feedback and brainstorm together on the next vital milestones and plans
The client is updated on the progress every day and has access to the project management tool
The client can directly contact the engineers
*In case it is needed, the client also has direct contact with the company founder who can react quickly, and who is also up-to-date (on a high level) with what is going on in every project
Ethics in tech, honesty and no-BS approach
Over the years in tech, we have seen many bad things happen. Clients are
being scammed in ways that the work is anything but transparent. They have
no idea what is going on or if there is any progress. This has been
happening frequently in the tech world and that bothers us. We believe
clients deserve honesty and transparency.
DevsData vs big software vendors
We like to think about ourselves as an alternative to Toptal
Indeed, many of our employees and contractors have renowned companies on their CVs,
be it tech titans (Google, Microsoft, Intel), hedge funds, and banks (Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley,
TradeLink). Some of them are frequent tech meet-up speakers or have founded their own companies. They
have graduated from top computer science and business universities and - more importantly in an
ever-changing tech landscape – they never stop learning.
But apart from all of that, the number
one trait, for our employees, contractors, and even for non-tech personnel is the brainpower ability to
come up with solutions to non-obvious problems. We discover it through a very rigorous, multi-stage
recruitment process that only the best of the best can pass.
Our scope of services is similar to
Toptal and other companies alike. What is more, we are an agile, boutique agency and thus we are able to
offer a personalized and direct approach. As a small vendor, we adapt fast to the dynamic needs of the
Without the overhead of the sales & marketing departments, we can compensate our
engineers well hence maintaining premium quality.
These are 3 common complaints that we hear from clients that cooperated
with large companies:
1. Insufficient communication with the vendor.
Engineers who work in big companies are involved in many projects at the
same time, oftentimes working more than 8h a day, and when they are
really needed for the company – they are not available.
DevsData, on the other hand, offers dedicated engineers to the project, with a
time overlap with eastern or pacific time zones stated in the contract.
2. Lack of business understanding.
Because engineers in big corporations lack business understanding, they
often implement the features in a way that is good for the short-term
(prototype), but not necessarily the long-term . One of our clients, for
instance, said he has been forced to rewrite a big portion of the
codebase as it was not able to handle real-life, production demand.
development process is supervised by business consultants with corporate
experience (including a former partner of BCG) which guarantees our
software is a great market fit.
3. Expensive rates.
The rates of big market players are really expensive. People are smart,
indeed, but the cost of an experienced senior engineer highly exceeds
$100 per hour. And that is a considerable expense not only for startups,
but also for well-established companies.
DevsData we do not have the sales & marketing overhead,
so we are able to provide more experienced specialists for a more
DevsData vs a regular agency or a dev shop
Undoubtedly, there are mediocre engineers on the market. There are agencies that
employ them, too.
Throughout the years, we have spoken to multiple companies and startups who were
unsatisfied with cooperation with foregoing IT vendors. We have noted their complaints and taken the
following measures to prevent them from happening in DevsData.
Common mistakes of software vendors
How DevsData deals with it
We make weekly status & feedback calls with our clients.
The client is updated on the progress every day.
Misunderstanding of priorities and business objectives
Our projects are consulted by business advisors with 10+ years of corporate experience.
We provide a full insight into the timesheets of our team.
We use external time-tracking tools.
Over-engineering the solution
Each project we deliver is closely monitored by a tech lead, which allows us to come up with simple, smooth, and out-of-the-box tech solutions.
Using obsolete tech
As for 2020, 62% of our engineers are tech meet-up speakers or open-source contributors.
Lack of flexibility
DevsData is fully flexible in terms of working hours. On the client’s request, we are also ready to relocate to his headquarters for the project duration.
Wrong kind of experience
We simply do not accept projects in the industries we do not have experience with.
Our engineers and network contractors have 7-13 years of experience and went through a multi-staged recruitment process.
Poor English (if you contract outside of US)
We only employ:
native English speakers,
foreign professionals experienced in working in an international environment,
foreign graduates and students of universities in English-speaking countries.
DevsData vs hiring a freelancer
Using freelancers is often a good idea as it allows your company to meet
dynamic needs. When it comes to software engineering, however, technical skills are only part of the
In order to make sophisticated software projects successful, it requires excellent
organization, priorities well-aligned with the client and his business goals, and a battle-tested
process. Also, even the best software engineers out there are often so focused on the technicalities
that they are blind to the bigger picture, and business objectives, and to what the client really needs.
Having delivered numerous, extensive software projects for international companies over the years, we
are confident about our process and can guarantee a successful outcome, with little engagement from the
Customer satisfaction results in receiving referrals from the existing clients, and, as a
result, triggers new clients who want to start even more exciting projects – that is what our passion
is! In 2018 & 2019 combined, 46% of our clients came from referrals.
In addition, there is a global
shortage of tech talent, especially in the US. Over the years we have interviewed countless people in
the US, Canada, and EU, many of them asked for a rate of $140/h or higher, while not being able to crack
even problem-solving challenges of medium difficulty level.
That is absolutely terrible. So, if you
decide to go that route, thoroughly vet your freelancers; make sure they are really good. Involve other
people in the process as well.
Only A-players Google-level engineers
DevsData engineers and product managers have attended top-tier
universities, worked at tech titans, hedge funds, and are
high-achievers with international experience. We are passionate about
technology and we never stop learning.
We have people that graduated from Oxford, mensa members, ex-Googlers,
ex hedge fund employees, experienced tech leads, and open source
We value transparency and communication
We are characterized by a business-oriented approach, always keeping
an eye on the client’s goal and the progress and avoiding
over-engineering or pointless work.
Many engineers or agencies will jump straight into coding without
taking the time to really understand what the project is about. At
DevsData, we think about the business perspective, hear the client
brainstorm, and plan the initial phase together in a way that
allows for fast iteration, feedback gathering, and rapid
And indeed – every project is different than the previous one.
Rigorous, multi-stage recruitment process
with an approval rate of under 1%
To deliver what we promise, we came up with an extensive, multi-stage, rigorous recruitment process, tailored to a particular tech position, that we continuously improve. As it is our secret of success, we do not want to disclose every detail, but it
involves stages like:
approx, approval rate:
20% of the initial candidate pool
10% of the initial candidate pool
An automated problem-solving algorithmic challenge
5-10% of the initial candidate pool
Quick non-technical conversation
1-2% of the initial candidate pool
15-20 min problem solving challenge with one of our engineers – live coding
1-2% of the initial candidate pool
The followup, longer calls with our engineers and non-tech team for further assessment
The essential thing is to eliminate weak candidates very
early in the process not to waste time on inferior
talent, people without necessary acumen, brainpower,
or CS fundamentals.
Skills and traits that we check:
Non-technical skills/traits *
Communication and organizational skills
Drive and passion
Behaviour during difficult or unusual situation
Ability to think abstractly and finding generalized solutions for
specific class of problems
Intelligence and brainpower
Is the person up-to-date with the very recent tech changes?
Computer Science foundations
Awareness and knowledge of security aspects
Deep understanding of and experience in the programming domain(s)
stated in a CV
Algorithmic problem-solving skills
* Non technical skills are also checked for the engineering roles.
Battle-tested work methodology
Proactive to suggest useful ideas. Low-maintenance team members
with excellent project organization.
Brutal fact – according to a report by The Standish Group, many
software development projects fail. It is not enough to just hire
experienced engineers to build a successful digital product. There
are many other pieces of a puzzle involved including business
perspective, market validation, and most importantly, a proven
work methodology that facilitates transparent & dynamic
communication as well as continuous feedback gathering and data
We read about tech, even after hours
With the world moving that fast and changing the tech
landscape, staying up-to-date with modern tech is
A genuine passion for technology in all team members. They never
stop learning. What is more - many of them are tech speakers at
local conferences and meetups.
Vast network of exceptional tech specialists
Throughout the years in the tech industry, we have built a vast
network of experienced tech specialists - domain experts in
various areas. The founders of DevsData have graduated from one
of the most prestigious Computer Science universities in Europe,
the students and alumni of which attend and achieve high ranks
at national and international programming & algorithmic
We are active in local tech communities - many of our engineers
are speakers on local meetups and conferences. Some of them have
written tech books and are considered tech micro-influencers.
Good also for startups
In contrast to big software companies, we do not have
marketing/sales/management overhead and can offer more
experienced specialists, for a more competitive price.
While charging high US consulting rates on the majority of the
projects, we have a special affinity for startups and small
companies with an innovative idea and are willing to negotiate a
more favorable cost structure. We have experience working with
SV-based startups and have a local representative in San Mateo,
As a small, dynamic software vendor, we are able to adjust quickly
to the client’s needs and to deliver more features before an
important business meeting or a fundraising milestone. Get things
done in weeks, not days (see David’s story). We move quickly,
always with an individualized approach for every client.
Super transparent communication, with a no-BS approach - always
know what the status, and what the plans are.
Over the years in tech, we have seen many bad things happening in
tech. We do not agree with them and want to do things in a way
that puts the client’s interest first and work in a transparent
Serious about security
delivered projects for hedge funds, involving sensitive financial
data and real-time systems with GDPR-restricted information
that integrated with numerous payment processors and banks, genuinely
caring about security and paying attention to details.
For the projects that we are involved in, a human error resulting in
data leakage would be catastrophic - that is why we involve engineers
of the highest caliber to ensure the security of every project.
A highly-selective club of consultants
While it might seem like the path of the least resistance, engaging a
standard software agency or dev shop may ultimately cost more for less
The things to consider are:
Agencies are weakened by the payroll plague.
Ten good software engineers will easily top a total fixed payroll of
$1,500,000 annually in the US, and $1m in Europe. This means that the
shop absolutely must come up with $125,000/month just to meet their
Furthermore, agencies with a fixed, recurring
payroll are encouraged to assign the next available employee to a
client’s project — rather than the best one for the job. It is simply
cheaper for agencies to keep billing you the available B-player instead
of hiring an A-player with the exact skills set that you require.
solution: At DevsData, our main goal is to provide the tech team with
experience relevant to the client's industry and with developers
up-to-date with the technologies they will use.
We start each project
with a thorough analysis of the project and client’s needs - taking both
technical and business factors into account. That determines the line-up
of engineers we employ for a certain project.
Except for our in-house
developers, we also possess a vast network of freelance contractors and
always select those who are the best fit for a project.
Agencies must remain on the "Agency Treadmill".
“They were great at first, but…” is a common refrain we hear from
clients who have been burned by agencies before. The economics of a
fixed bench payroll dictate a priority toward new client acquisition,
and fast payback of the acquisition cost in order to get to a profit
margin. This means that the relationship will always be great at first,
then diminish in importance over time as the best talent gets
re-deployed to wooing new clients.
Our solution: At DevsData, we assign
a project manager to every project we start. Apart from being assigned
to traditional tasks, they are also responsible for customer retention
and receive a monetary commission if a customer decides to extend the
cooperation with us, be it further software maintenance or developing an
existing system or building new software.
; And the fact that we are
currently involved in long-term cooperation with many clients proves our
customer retention system works.
Agencies must say "yes" to new deals even if not a good fit.
Fixed bids worsen the Agency Treadmill problem. Since agencies require a
fresh business to survive, agencies must say “yes” to deals that infuse
their business with cash, even if they may have trouble delivering on
This business model and pricing model combination
encourage agencies to take on more than they can handle and to kick the
can down the road with your money. When it is time to deliver on your
project’s critical final stages, the agency’s leadership is already
courting new business.
Our solution: At DevsData, after we get in touch
with a prospect, we first: 1. Examine whether we have sufficient human
resources (among our inhouse developers and our network of contractors)
to offer a given number of engineers for a full-time engagement. 2.
Examine whether our engineers possess adequate knowledge and experience
relevant to the client’s business needs.
From our point of view, meeting
two mentioned above requirements is an essential condition to start a
is vastly different
We believe in the idea that successful projects are the result of
complimentary, talented people working together. We also know that every
project has its own dynamics, variables, and stages, so we have built
our model around flexibility, finding the right talent for the right
work, at the right time.
We believe in the idea that successful projects are the result of
complimentary, talented people working together. We also know that every
project has its own dynamics, variables, and stages, so we’ve built our
model around flexibility, finding the right talent for the right work,
at the right time.
CEO OF SYNCANO. INC. EVP of
Varner Digital Transformation
Tom runs a unique IT consulting firm, DevsData. I have the
pleasure of working with him as business partners on a big-scale
digital transformation project for Varner Group – a European
fashion group with 14 thousand employees worldwide.
DevsData has assembled the core Machine Learning, Software,
and UX teams for the operation (26 people
can personally guarantee their dedication, ability to
understand the business needs and to track down those
exceptional individuals (we’re very picky) wherever they are located.
I interviewed about a dozen different firms.
DevsData LLC is truly exceptional – their backend developers
are some of the best I’ve ever worked with.
I’ve worked with a lot of very well-qualified developers,
locally in San Francisco, and remotely,
so that is not a compliment I offer lightly.
I appreciate their depth of knowledge and their ability to get
things done quickly.
PARTNER & EXECUTIVE VP OF VERUS FINANCIAL LLC;
INVESTOR & SERIAL ENTERPRENEUR
DevsData demonstrated a strong degree of proactivity, taking time to thoroughly understand the problem, business
perspective and continuously suggesting performance and
Their app exceeded my expectations. I’ve worked with DevsData
on numerous projects over the last 3 years and I’m very
happy. Being both responsive and honest in communication, their team
is a true partner.
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DevsData LLC® | 1820 Avenue M, Suite 481, Brooklyn, NY 11230
Best back-end engineers I've ever worked with.
“I interviewed about a dozen different firms. DevsData LLC is truly exceptional – their backend developers are some of the best I’ve ever worked with. I’ve worked with a lot of very well-qualified developers, locally in San Francisco,
and remotely, so that is not a compliment I offer lightly. Their depth of knowledge and their ability to get things done quickly."