The Silicon Review
“We strictly avoid scope creep and keep in constant contact with our clients to understand expectations and the potential budgetary or safety risks that can come along with moving out of our workflow and affecting our optimization protocols.”
Softermii, a custom software and app development company, provides a full cycle of software development services, focusing on Microsoft stack, Python, and Mobile technologies. It serves a diverse range of clients across many sectors.
The company was incorporated in 2014 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA.
Slava Vaniukov, Softermii Co-Founder and CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.
Q. How Softermii came to be?
Like most startups, Softermii began as a need for something I couldn’t find in the marketplace. In 2013, I worked as a Lead Mobile Engineer for a company while also moonlighting as a freelance consultant, mostly to help friends complete projects for clients. The more experience I had working on different projects, the more aware I became that both management and processes were consistent weak points in project management chains regardless of the company. What seemed so odd to me at the time was that no one else seemed to notice or care! There had to be a better way.
In 2014, I decided to take the leap and dedicate myself full-time to creating that project management solution that I couldn’t find. While I had spent a lot of time absorbing information and filling in experience gaps, I knew I would have to help make this project realized. I reunited with an old friend from my university named Andrii. He worked as a Lead Backend Engineer while also doing lectures about Computer Science for Beginners. After catching up, we decided to combine our knowledge and ambition for change to establish a software company, which became Softermii. Going into our seventh year, I am proud to say that we have helped hundreds of companies by providing research and development solutions that drive their businesses forward.
Q. Explain your services in brief.
I like to say that Softermii is “a Connector.” We work with companies looking for custom development services, whether it’s web or mobile apps, or who need someone to guide them on the latest on-demand IT. We then create unique products that utilize multi-field technologies to give our clients a full-scale, customized solution that’s highly-sophisticated and precisely meets their business goals.
Q. What are the different factors affecting software and app development?
There are a number of mitigating factors that can affect completing the launch of a new app or piece of software, but I would say the most prescient is ineffective communication.
It comes in various ways, whether it’s understanding the breadth of the scope, team mismanagement, overlooking developer inquiries, inadequate documentation and knowledge transfer, or a bandwidth issue of staff resources. Not understanding how critical it is to keep an open communication channel has a ripple effect that can affect timelines, budgets, quality of code, and sometimes licensing or third-party software costs.
I would also say that understanding expectations is another key variable. One of the things we strive to do with a new project is to walk through what it will mean for the client and what they can expect as a result of its launch. We make sure there’s a clear understanding of what the app can do and the available technology available now or in the near future. Sometimes, it’s best to hold off in the short term until a more robust programming language is available for use. There have been times where we’ve recommended that it’s in our clients’ best interest to plan for a slower launch so we can include new coding capabilities instead of throwing together an inefficient app quickly.
But I want to emphasize that we will do what our client needs to get a project realized. I have always felt that it’s better to build the right solution the first time and not cobble together “just okay” band-aids prone to give a bad experience for the client or their customer.
Q. Now and then, you need more hardware resources than accessible to you for a specific task, and sometimes you need only a few. Tell us about the flexibility of your testing tools to access resources exactly as per needs.
We call it our “device park.” Because of how quickly hardware can evolve, we need to continually ensure our clients’ projects work effectively, so we’re constantly researching if there are new third-party applications that could keep developed apps running smoothly. Once this is established, we will request that our clients acquire the licensing rights so that they’re fully in compliance and that QA can begin. We will also use helpful tools like BrowserStack to test software for real devices in the Cloud.
Q. How have emerging technologies contributed to the success of your business?
The entire team gets excited at the new possibilities that emerge as technology grows, so I would say that it’s been a huge factor in the success of Softermii. Whether it’s the development of more robust WebRTC servers for video streaming apps, telehealth app development, or whatever comes next, we will be at the front of the line, ready to learn and implement.
Q. Specialized software development services come with an expensive price tag. How do you maintain your affordability and profitability?
Specialized talent does come at a premium cost, but we understand the limitations that come along with a budget. We have made a lot of effort creating deep dives into our processes and finding ways to optimize the time spent on a project.
It’s our goal to be seen as fair and open. We strictly avoid scope creep and keep in constant contact with our clients to understand expectations and the potential budgetary or safety risks that can come along with moving out of our workflow and affecting our optimization protocols.
Q. What do you see as some of the issues a company can face when utilizing technology?
I think companies need to stay aware of the reality that technology changes very fast, and the ways they originally built their businesses won’t look the same a few months later. Look at 2020, and the changes businesses have had to make to accommodate quarantines and social distancing. 2020 has been a year that has proven that companies must be ready to adapt or suffer the consequences, which can be dire.
That said, I also advise small business owners not to jump into a new technology just because it’s new and popular. I have seen businesses embrace coding that was just launched and has exciting potential but doesn’t improve their team or customers’ experience and ends up being a hefty cost that has to be absorbed. If I could give one piece of advice to someone reading this, it would be not to feel like your business needs to be using a piece of “shiny object” technology just because it’s interesting. Think about if it can be utilized to increase your customer or employee experience and what that would look like.
Q. How do you source talented and dedicated individuals to maintain the quality of your services?
Our priority is the client, so we look for specialists who focus on user experience and client satisfaction. Our recruitment and interviewing workflow includes criteria that require experience in the domains and technologies we focus on utilizing for a project build. Luckily due to being in this industry for so long, we have constantly updated our database of available specialists who can handle a variety of client needs.
Q. Do you have any new services launching soon?
We are interested in Blockchain development and Smart Contracts, so those are a focus in the coming months. We are also growing our AI/ML capabilities and working on some exciting projects with new IoT developments.
Q. What are your trajectories for the next five years?
Softermii has been very fortunate that every year of operation has seen a double in business volume, so we plan to keep that trajectory.
The Leader at the Helm of Softermii
Slava Vaniukov, Co-founder, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Softermii. For over a decade, he has been on the front lines of app development. He has helped companies like Dollar Shave Club, RadPad, and Floorwatch utilize cutting-edge technology to create systems that improve profitability and customer experience. His apps have been called out on multiple ‘Top 10 Best Apps’ lists, and he enjoys finding new ways to utilize the latest IT for his clients.