Developers who Speak Plain English

3 min read

A team of engaged, cost-effective, creative developers are three compliments which DotDev’s clients use to describe them. And they certainly did them justice.

The Australian Shopify Plus Partner and Product development company has three core values: creating long-lasting relationships, being reliable and having excellence in everything they do. Following these values has gained them a reputation as Shopify’s leading omni-channel integration partner across platforms such as Apparel21, Retail Express and SAP.

The team is small, just 15 people, but highly efficient. They manage around 60–80 projects at a time. With only half of them being smaller maintenance contracts, we can definitely learn a thing or two about efficiency from their co-founder and technical director, Brendon Nicholas.

Brendon shares the recipe which made them so successful. It seems like getting to that level of success was easy, but let’s not fool ourselves.

“Quality service and reliability would definitely be key factors in our success. We founded the company with these simple principles and with a view to work with brands and agencies as partners, not clients. Following these solid foundations, sound delivery processes and employing a diverse team of talented and committed developers has built the reputation we have today.” – Brendon

Brendon also openly jokes about sleep deprivation, a common syndrome among entrepreneurs, claiming he gets eight hours of sleep per week.

“I guess work-life balance has taken a slight backseat over the last couple of years. We are going through an exciting growth period and being a relatively small agency of 15 there’s still lots more to achieve over the coming years.”

Smaller companies, such as DotDev, often focus on execution rather than long-term planning. Brendon believes this depends on the company’s vision for the future. The fact is, if you have high aspirations for the future then planning is fundamental to ensure that growth happens. High aspirations also need reliable systems and efficient processes. This is crucial to ensuring that the level of quality remains constant as the business grows.

Ensuring sustainable growth is achieved and scalable processes are Brendon’s responsibility.

“Using products like Productive has allowed me to create a successful and repeatable model that’s allowed us to provide great value for money to our partners.”

DotDev Office

In his attempt to organise the company’s operations in the best way, Brendon has tried many tools, 20–30 over the years, ranging from startup software to complex enterprise solutions.

“We really struggled to find a system that not only provided all the features we required but was also fast and user-friendly enough that our team could do what’s required without having to read a 30-page manual. The first attraction to Productive was definitely the user experience and simple interface, the team has done an excellent job at developing an enterprise-level platform that’s as easy to use as Trello or Pipedrive.”

When it comes to choosing the number one reason that made them go for Productive, Brendon sticks with the ability to manage the whole project lifecycle within one tool. They now manage sales, budgets and expenses, projects and tasks, time tracking retainers and financials in one tool. It used to take five different system to run their agency, now they keep everything in one place.

This decision to switch to Productive has soon brought measurable impact as well and unlike most changes, their team was very happy about this one.

“Onboarding new employees have become a lot less time consuming, the amount of time we spend managing sales, budget, tasks and scheduling as dramatically reduced and as a result, we’ve seen team morale, efficiency and profitability increase. We feel confident that Productive will support our growth as an agency!”

We love to help small teams like DotDev do more creative work and consume less time managing budgets and schedules. Sign up for our free trial here!

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