Growing an engineering team without hiring

Project

Anadea develops SaaS, web and mobile applications for many clients from different fields and the range of company developers’ skills and proficiency levels is very broad. As a company interested in the professional growth of its employees, Anadea approached mkdev with a request for training. During initial calls, Anadea and mkdev figured that one-size-fits-all solutions won’t be suitable and decided to try a more personalised approach.

Challenge

When we discussed the project with Anadea, we realised that they were trying to find the right balance between the interests of customers and the interests of their own employees. Both lead to Anadea’s prosperity, and to privilege one over the other is to incur losses.

The challenge to mkdev was therefore to come up with a training solution that would educate the employees without distracting them from their work for Anadea’s clients.

About the company

Anadea is a custom software development company specializing in SaaS, web and mobile solutions for business automation. The company has been in the market for over 20 years and serves clients in Education, Healthcare, Real Estate, eCommerce, Fintech, Retail, Insurance, Transportation, Travel and Sports.

Use case

Internal human resources, talent growth, staff training

Lead experts

Leonid Suschev

Leonid Suschev

Nurturing partnerships to address business needs of mkdev clients. Product design and development expert. Customers and Partners relations expert. Marketing and Brand strategy expert.

Al Geas

Al Geas

Senior Front-end Developer. JavaScript and ReactJS expert. Expert in WYSIWYG solutions and DraftJS. Team management expert. Mentor at mkdev.

Solution

At mkdev, we have practiced a personalised, relationship-based approach to learning with a mentor since our inception. Although this approach has certain organisational shortcomings (precisely because of the interpersonal relationships involved), no other form of training can match it in effectiveness, engagement and impact. Therefore, using the help of a mentor in this case was the right decision.

We launched a new learning processes within Anadea with a small group of React developers who were at the time working on the SaaS platform for one of the company’s most respected clients. mkdev brought in our React expert who has extensive experience in one-to-one mentoring and introduced him to the Anadea development team.

And this is where the interpersonal relationship, and the mentor’s ability to get it right, is important. Together with Anadea, we had taken all measures to temporarily «embed» the mentor in the company’s internal processes to monitor the quality, speed and effectiveness of the mentee’s work and training. Another important part was building a trusting relationship between our expert, Al Geas, and Anadea developers.

Together with the developers, Al worked out a schedule of communication, code-reviews and calls so that it was efficient, did not harm the work process and did not overburden the developers in their spare time. Although we didn’t achieve the desired effect on the first try, eventually, thanks to human relations, all participants successfully found a balance and built effective work.

While the mentor was completely involved in the development process, he didn’t write code himself. Instead he was focused more on thorough code-reviews, and thus remained an overseer and commentator of all the processes taking place inside the project team. And thanks to that he could see who was doing what, what mistakes were being made, and what was causing those mistakes. This allowed Al to effectively influence the quality of work of all the developers involved and, at the same time, increase their professionalism.

This is exactly what this development team needed at this stage. They have improved their skills while staying focused on the client’s projects, being able to complete it to an even higher standard, on time, and not involving other developers to solve the difficulties that arise, which has ultimately increased the overall efficiency and productivity of multiple developers in the company.

«I like the fact that Anadea cares about the development of its employees and is looking for the most effective ways to do this. Many companies claim such aspirations, but it is not always possible to find a patient specialist who is willing to invest in the training of their colleagues. At mkdev we were offered professionals based on our tasks and wishes. And we had the option to change our mentor if for some reason something did not work out. It is unlikely that I would have been able to be so picky if the training had been done by the seniors on my team. I am sincerely grateful to the mentor from mkdev for the opportunity to ask any questions, from very silly to fundamental. And to get comprehensive answers to them.»

Snizhana Syngur, Front End developer at Anadea

Conclusion

It gives us great pleasure to know that our once-preferred approach to training, based on interpersonal relationships, is paying off, even at the scale of large companies. And it is even more gratifying that more and more companies are thinking about investing in their developers. Anadea has been able to appreciate the positive impact of training programmers on the efficiency of the overall development process, and that adding human relationships to a business makes it better.