Teambuilding and controlled growth with Team4Code support

Building up an internet startup company often comes with growing pains. Take Activitree, for example: this social media app for city dwellers is momentarily running through a series of growth spurts. It challenges the founders to balance out their time and resources between optimizing their app, complying to user requests, negotiating with new investors, and strategically scaling up their software development capacity.

Fred Manders, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Activitree: ‘Every season comes with its own opportunities to attract new users. With the support of Team4Code, we are able to quickly and effectively expand our development team, and downsize it as well, while also building a strong and sustainable working relationship with our remote team members’.

Internet Startup Activitree

Activitree is a social media platform that allows its users to find and connect with like-minded people within their own city. The local activities on the platform range from visiting a concert or a museum to playing a board game, and even setting up a social benefit town project.

Fred: ‘I’ve always enjoyed travelling and meeting other travellers wherever I go. I wondered why in ‘normal life’ it was difficult to find people that were up for undertaking fun activities in my own hometown. Activitree offers just that: an opportunity to meet new people within your own city to do fun activities together, and to enjoy what your own town has to offer’.

Develop more, grow your team, stay lean

Building a successful online community platform requires careful planning, a smart growth strategy, a continuous optimization of the user experience, and a wise use of financial resources. For Activitree, most growth opportunities are season-bound, like the yearly introduction week, which marks the start of a new student year in the Netherlands. It is customary for new students to take part in a wide range of activities during this week. It allows them to become familiar with their fellow students and student life in their city.

Fred: ‘Since this was an important opportunity for us to grow our community, we planned to introduce a major platform update just before the start of introduction week. We first hired two Team4Code developers and were pleasantly surprised by their high-quality coding, professionality, and good communication skills. Thanks to their work, we managed to meet the deadline in time without breaking the bank. We then downscaled to just one developer, Ivan Pimenov, who became a valued member of our development team’.

Ivan Pimenov: ‘I really enjoy working for Activitree. The requests and suggestions of the engaged community members help me to develop tailor made functionality improvements. Developing code for a social media app like Activitree is such a dynamic process. It offers me new programming challenges every day. I feel that, even though I work remotely, I am really part of the Activitree team’.

Fred: ‘Team4Code is focused on building teams with their clients. Ivan is so much more than a good remote developer. His English is excellent, and he picks up information very quickly. By including him in our online team meetings, his added value for Activity increases tremendously’.

Why Team4Code

Before partnering up with Team4Code, it was CTO Fred Manders himself who did most of the software development work for the Activitree app. But since the app had started growing, with new users, as well as investors lining up to participate in its success, Fred needed to divide his time between programming and negotiating with private investors. To find a good developer and upscale his development capacity, he initially approached two well-known outstaffing agencies. A former colleague pointed him to a third option that turned out to be just what he was looking for.

Fred: ‘The transparent Team4Code approach instantly appealed to me, because of the high level of flexibility to scale up or down at any moment, while also offering a truly dedicated form of development support. The quality of coding is high, while the hourly rates are more than reasonable, especially considering the high developer rates here in the Netherlands. We get a full new team member on board while still staying lean in this phase of our business development’.

Team4Code developer Ivan Pimenov

Ivan Pimenov joined Team4Code right after he graduated from Kiev National University of Technology and Design in 2018. When asked why he chose to start his career at Team4Code, he explains: ‘Team4Code offers me great opportunities to grow and become a proficient developer. During the past years, I worked on various projects for Team4Code clients, from home as well as from the Team4Code office, where I can ask my fellow Team4Code developers to reflect upon my work. A dedicated Team4Code HR-manager takes care of the planning and the meetings preparations, so that I can focus completely on delivering the best quality code for my clients’.

3 Questions for Fred & Ivan

How has Team4Code contributed to your success?

Fred: ‘Team4Code offers a consistent, high-level performance for an extremely fair price. With Ivan, we get a skilled developer who is fully dedicated to support our ongoing projects, while he himself is backed up by well-experienced Team4Code colleagues and HR support. That ensures us of a high level of continuity. The consistent quality of work and support that Team4Code offers is really on par with high priced agencies’.

What did you have to change in your workflow to make this work?

Fred: ‘We barely had to adapt our workflow. The service-oriented and engaged way that the Team4Code professionals support us is refreshing. Establishing a real partnership with Team4Code adds so much more value than incidentally outsourcing bits and pieces of development tasks. And when we need more capacity, Team4Code can scale up their support quickly, so we never have to worry about the continuity of our projects’.

How do you know what to do?

Ivan: ‘We regularly have online meetings, and even chat about our private lives and our hobbies. If a work instruction is not clear to me, I can always pose a follow up question, but that’s rarely necessary these days. I am happy that I can contribute to an optimal user experience’.

Fred: ‘Ivan is now able to translate user requests into new functionalities by himself, and then come up with great code. This makes him so much more valuable than a hired hand. He became a valued new member of our team, while we can still control the growth or our company. So all of you out there who need extra development capacity and don’t know what to do, I have two words for you: highly recommended’’.