Kindly share your feedback on how GoodFirms has been doing so far in increasing your visibility among potential clients.
GoodFirms did a great job to become a trustworthy directory for both parties - IT outsourcing providers and those who are in search of a reliable vendor. We are honored that GoodFirms values Leobit as one of the top vendors represented in their directory and recognized our company as a Top App developer.
Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company?
I’m the CEO and founder of Leobit, a full-cycle web and mobile application development provider. We’ve been serving technology companies and startups from the US, the EU, and the UK for about 6 years already. Our development center is based in Lviv, Ukraine, and we also have representative offices in Austin, TX, and Tallinn, Estonia.
We offer our clients both long-term and short-term engagement options for team extension, outstaffing, or outsourcing services.
As a proof of excellence in delivering software product development services, Leobit was recognized as one of the top .NET companies in Ukraine by Clutch, and was listed among top 10 Mobile Application consulting/services companies in 2020 by CIO Advisor. Our company is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with a competency in application development.
I’m also proud that for over three years in a row we’ve retained the position of the best IT employer in Lviv, Ukraine. This recognition is based on our employees’ reviews on DOU.ua. We believe this is a natural result of our strong company culture and the values we live by: Smart, Flexible, Open, Efficient, and Caring.
What was the idea behind starting this organization?
The idea to build a software development company was born out of my previous extensive 15-years experience within the IT outsourcing industry. I noticed that large organizations that use outsourcing services often don’t recognize the offshore firms as an extension of their operations and weren’t eager to build a partnership with software development vendors.
Therefore, I decided to build a company that can make the overall experience of IT outsourcing better and more transparent, as a way to build strong relationships with clients through the values of dedication and trust.
In addition, I noticed that tech companies, especially mobile application startups, are frequently overly focused on the technology side. However, such important aspects as the end-clients’ needs and experience, analysis of the customer business, and plans for software product’s further scaling & growth were sometimes overlooked.
Here at Leobit, we strive to consider every angle and explore every client’s business to identify the right model, the right processes, and the right people that can bring the most value specifically for this customer.
What is your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?
We are an in-house team. Our development center is located in Lviv, Ukraine, and counts more than 120 strong software engineers, architects, testers, and UI/UX designers.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
We are a versatile software development service provider that serves a wide range of companies with focus on a customer-centric approach. At the very start of the cooperation with a new client, we aim to understand the customer’s needs, assess the constraints, requirements, and possible growth directions (the “discovery phase”) -- all to develop truly well-tailored products and solutions. Leobit’s architects determine the most suitable architecture for each project.
We are extremely flexible. There are tech people of all seniority levels in our team, which is perfect in terms of accommodating a variety of customer requirements for team size and composition, technology stack, project duration, and staffing time. We can offer our clients both full-cycle development or just a single part of product development.
I think that our internal tech mentorship program also adds value to our clients. Even though it was created to foster the professional growth of our engineers, the clients can be sure that there is an experienced developer of the Tech Lead / Architect level behind every project.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive?
We’ve successfully delivered over 150 well-designed and well-factored web & mobile applications to various technology companies and startups. The majority of our customers are in real estate, healthcare (especially, fitness and wellness apps) sports, e-commerce, media and video streaming, finance, marketing, and other industries.
We have clients that have stayed with us from the very first days of the company’s existence. And for the projects that are already finished, they recommend us to their friends and industry contacts, so that’s the best proof for me that our customers are satisfied with the services that Leobit provides.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing software.
These depend on the business needs of the client/product, e.g. critical business milestones, requirements, events, or campaigns.
Normally, the full software development life cycle at Leobit begins from the discovery phase. At this stage, our developers gather all requirements to understand the client’s business needs. Our seasoned team decides what tech capabilities are suitable for this specific case and sets realistic time frames. In some cases, the time frame can be determined by the technical side, when some tasks/parts cannot be paralleled and one task can be started only after another one is finished.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of software?
It really depends on the type of software and business needs of the client.
For a short-term project with simple, straightforward requirements and all functionality running on a single server, I can assume the back-end and the front-end would demand equal efforts, 50/50.
In the case of a large-scale project, the complexity of the back-end is inevitable. As the number of servers increases, we need to add more tools and processes, i.e. the database, data synchronization, universal API, and so on. As a result, the back-end demands more time and effort. Meanwhile, if the front-end doesn’t need much scaling or adjustments, it requires less time and resources for the development (65% to 35% BE and FE respectively).
However, if you aim to wow the users with an outstanding and complex interface, the front-end could still take up to half of the project resources.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right framework for developing software?
These parameters might include, but are not limited to:
- Project requirements and tech fit. At the very beginning, we identify the unique business and technical requirements that might call for a particular language and framework. The choice might be also influenced by the client's current software ecosystem or their preferences.
- Development and maintenance costs, including the cost of hiring experienced software developers. It would vary based on the technologies they work with. Also, the client should be aware that even after the product has been successfully released, there will always still be a need for updates, fixes, additional features requested by the end-users, and overall improvements. As the business environment changes and the project evolves, the additional maintenance will become a must: to modify, improve, or enhance a software solution.
- Time to market. This factor heavily depends on the technology stack the client chose for the project and the team composition. I would advise making sure the preferred tech stack has enough libraries, etc. to add value to the project; can be seamlessly integrated with third-party solutions; and there is a large enough pool of available developers for current and future needs.
- Security: it is wise to select a framework that is less prone to vulnerabilities, where you can ensure the required level of data security and compliance, if needed.
Leobit runs R&D programs to evaluate and validate different platforms and tools, respond to market changes, and develop the web and mobile software applications accordingly.
Which languages & frameworks do you prefer to use in development of software?
Our main platform is Microsoft .NET, we consider it to be a universal framework as it allows for creating any web, mobile, and desktop solution with ultimate reliability and scalability. This is why many of our developers are focused on .NET, and are even MCSD: App Builder Microsoft certified. Leobit as a company itself is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with a competency in application development.
For web application development, we also advise to use Angular, React or RoR. For native Android platform apps, we recommend Kotlin and Java. For iOS application development (for iPhone, iPad, and other Apple devices), we would suggest Swift and Objective-C.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of software?
The main factors are the project duration & team composition based on which we consider different cooperation models - Dedicated Team or T&M (time and material).
For a Dedicated Team cooperation model, we calculate expenses based on the number of FTE (full-time employees) and their seniority level.
The dedicated team model is the most attractive for the customers from the pricing standpoint as it allows the customer to extend their organization by a team of highly-skilled professionals, at the best price / quality ratio.
Budgeting on the Time & Materials basis means that we offer hourly rates. For projects that require licenses and materials outside of the standard list, we also calculate the cost of these additional materials that were used (both software and hardware).
What kind of payment structure do you follow to bill your clients? Is it Pay per Feature, Fixed Cost, Pay per Milestone (could be in phases, months, versions etc.)
Generally, we offer three models of cooperation and the payment method varies respectively: for the dedicated team, it’s a monthly budget; for time and material - monthly retainer; and for fixed price, cost is based on detailed estimates after the Discovery Phase of the project.
Do you take in projects which meet your basic budget requirement? If yes, what is the minimum requirement? If no, on what minimum budget you have worked for?
The minimum project’s budget we usually work with starts from $10K, our hourly rates are $25 - $65.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2019?
In 2019 we worked on a couple of ongoing projects in the price range $50K - $1M, and we completed several smaller projects with the budget up to $50K.