Software systems facilitate the automation of business processes across the world, and in virtually every industry. Their widespread appeal stems from the inherent ability of software to provide innovative and value-added services while reducing operational costs.
Most companies outsource software development to subcontractors or acquire readymade products from third parties. One of the most prominent names in this sector is CodeFirst, a leading software development company based in the city of Exeter in the U.K.
CodeFirst gives businesses instant access to the industry’s foremost software developers. It also excels at outsourcing services such as customized business software development and application maintenance.
Many of the world’s most reputable brands, including Dell, IBM and Medtronic rely on CodeFirst’s range of products and services every day.
Software Development Strategy
CodeFirst wants to bridge the gap for companies that can benefit from a customized software solution but do not have the resources necessary to deliver a quality solution in-house.
Their development methodology is a customized form of Scrum, characterized by one-week sprints that deliver working software to stakeholders as often as possible. The Kanban visual system is used to manage the workflow within each sprint while the end of every sprint is marked by a retrospective to discuss possible improvements.
Clients have unfettered access to the data at all times and are encouraged to get involved in Agile activities such as addressing the product backlog and prioritizing stories.
CodeFirst has also created PlanITpoker, a revolutionary system for estimating backlogs. It was released for general use and has now emerged as one of the most popular Agile estimation systems, used by thousands of developers worldwide.
Graham Church is the Founder of CodeFirst. He established the company in 2012 but has been part of the software development industry for over 20 years.
In that time, Graham delivered custom software solutions across several industry verticals for clients that include Pfizer, Sony Ericsson, Prudential, ABB, and Lycos. Prior to CodeFirst, Graham worked as a consultant helping businesses to create and scale development teams.
CodeFirst initially comprised a small but experienced team of software development experts. The first 8 years were marked by a series of challenges, which Graham concedes were difficult to overcome. However, he also acknowledges that those very challenges helped to transform CodeFirst into the powerhouse of innovation it is today.
Agile software solutions lie at the core of CodeFirst’s methodology. The company has created and honed its own development system through the knowledge and experience gained from working on so many diverse projects. Thousands of developers use Agile tools created by CodeFirst every day to manage their own projects.
CodeFirst believes that tightly-controlled short sprints are the lynchpin of its record of delivering versatile software that works as promised. This approach contributes to superior control over project development and enhances the company’s ability to identify and address shortcomings or bottlenecks before they develop into critical issues.
Perhaps most importantly, the sprints allow CodeFirst to gauge project velocity accurately and enables clients to track progress in near real time.
Those clients include both software/IT professionals with a good understanding of Agile and others who are not familiar with the technology at all. The company tailors its procedures to each one, balancing the need for their comprehension of the process without overwhelming them with too much information.
To improve collaboration and communication with their clients, CodeFirst has created a range of tools that range from simple dashboards with key project metrics to custom integrations with clients’ proprietary development systems.
One of the essential differences between CodeFirst and most of its competitors is that it actively shares its internal systems with its clients. By foregoing secrecy in favor of transparency, the company creates an environment where clients can learn to control and accelerate their progress towards their respective goals.
Having worked with companies of all sizes, ranging from startups to blue chips, CodeFirst has experimented with dozens of different software development methodologies. This is unusual for the industry and is a testament to CodeFirst’s commitment to flexibility; if a client wants to work a particular way, they are always willing to adapt.
CodeFirst’s Strategy for the Future
CodeFirst will continue to experiment, refine, and adapt its existing Agile development processes with new tools and methodologies. Part of this evolution includes the design and improvement of its own tools, some of which will be released for general use like PlanITpoker.