Interviews and Reviews

Custom Software Development Consultancy; Interview With Dmitry Chekalin, CEO of Codica

Dmitry Chekalin

Codica is a software development consultancy specializing in building custom online marketplaces, SaaS products and PWAs. The company is one of the best PWA firms and among the top web & e-commerce developers in Ukraine. The CEO Dmitry Chekalin, shares more details with us in this interview with TechBullion.

What was going on in the Ukrainian IT market when you launched Codica? What were the company goals? Сould you give a bigger picture?

When we founded Codica six years ago, there already was a significant number of software development companies on the market. Most of them focused on providing simple services such as website development or website design. Some companies offered simplified services such as WordPress website development.

Initially, we were following a totally different aim and concept. Our team focused on building large-scale, complex software solutions. Such an approach and delivered products would stand out in the Ukrainian IT market. And, of course, we did our best to add value to our clients and end-users. So we started to offer custom software development services, from product discovery and MVP development to product support and maintenance.

Of course, working on complex solutions is always a challenge, it’s much more difficult to deliver such a product if compared to a regular website. It’s true that many development companies are not capable of managing them, because such projects require profound expertise and relevant skills.

Consequently, due to the projects we were mostly dealing with, our approach evolved into specific services: custom marketplace development, SaaS product development, and PWA development. We have gained enough domain expertise, so now we’re not only a development partner to our clients but a team of consultants. Because we have built many similar products, and we know what will work better.

Based on your experience, can you single out some challenges your team had to overcome to stay ahead of the competition?

I think there are three main challenges.

The first one is specialization – it is the biggest challenge and trend for our company and all other software houses as well. It is necessary to choose the niches within which a company should be developing. Nowadays, no company can build everything for everyone.

The second aspect is the development of marketing as a system process. This kind of activity is often overlooked by software development companies that focus solely on the development process. Marketing is an important and essential activity that ensures the company’s development. Regular sales are impossible without it.

The third aspect is attracting, integrating, and training new employees. These days it is an important trend because each company develops its own processes and approaches to successful project implementation. No professional available in the market, even the most experienced one, cannot integrate and implement these approaches right on the spot. Specialists, especially entry-level ones, need special programs aimed at staff training and engagement.

Codica has a complex list of services — from custom software and online marketplace development to SaaS and cross-platform app development. Is there a key point connecting all services that attracts the customers? 

That’s certainly an excellent question. We adopt a system approach for each project we develop. Also, we have a customer journey or the so-called project journey that we are currently using. Each stage is crucial for project success. 

The first stage is product discovery, when we are talking to the customer and figure out the project goals and objectives. We create specifications, build prototypes and discuss the implementation of technologically complicated or important project elements.

After the successful completion and approval of the product discovery stage, we can move further to the development and the implementation stages. By the way, we cannot start this stage without a successful project discovery. This is when our technical team starts building the product, and we use the most efficient processes that have been established in the course of our activity. These include development according to the standards, code review, CI/CD implementation, and so on.

The third phase is maintenance and support. We take full responsibility for our work, and each project we deliver is further maintained and supported. We track and check its state, find bugs that may appear, check server stability. Our team monitors and fixes all the issues transparently and without any hassle for the customer.

In brief, our customers get full-cycle development and support services, and we act as a technical partner that delivers comprehensive solutions.

What is the number one benefit Codica delivers to businesses: costs and hours saved, reasonable rates, better UX for customer-centric solutions, operational flexibility, improved ROI, some or all of the mentioned here?

I would say that given our specialization and expertise, our clients get all the listed benefits. 

It’s not always possible to quantify these benefits, but after talking to our team, and comparing our approach and project estimates with those from other providers, our clients choose us.

Having built multiple similar solutions, we know how to deliver a successful product within a shorter period of time and on a reasonable budget.

Please share how much of your development process is based on adapting to the main IT market trends and customer feedback?

We are constantly working on improving our development process and offering the most relevant services to our clients. Of course, we analyze the market demand and keep track of all the newest business and tech trends. At the same time, we use both our vision and experience and customer feedback that we collect regularly.

Before adding a new service offering, we thoroughly analyze the necessity and market demand for it, and our ability to deliver such services. For example, we understood that a discovery stage is vital to a product’s success. We did research, created internal documentation and recommendations for this project stage, and extended and trained our team correspondingly. Now we start all our projects with a discovery, and this practice has been greatly appreciated by our clients.

Great ideas like this can come both from the client-side, and from our team, and they can concern our working process, tech stack, or any other aspect of product development.

This is how we work with feedback. After the product launch, we hold a retrospective meeting with the team, discuss what was done well, and what could be improved for our future work. This can be literally anything. At the same time, we talk to the client and collect their feedback as well. We go through the best ideas and implement them, of course.

As for the new technological trends and putting them into practice on our projects, of course, we keep an eye on them. At the same time, we strongly recommend not going with the hype, but using the solutions that have proved the most suitable for our customers’ projects, be it a new technology or approach or an old one.

What’s coming up in the foreseeable future for the Codica team?  

We can see strong demand for quite complex customizable solutions such as marketplaces. Along with that, people are looking for a simpler way to launch new platforms to satisfy their needs. 

We have an idea of developing several basic solutions that we could offer our customers to launch their marketplace website not in the process of long and tedious custom software development but fast enough by customizing the existing solution. It is one of the potential business areas we would like to develop further.

For more information, visit the website;

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