SteelKiwi is a Full-stack software development company based in Ukraine, that provides quality web and mobile development services that bring ideas into reality. We spoke with co-founder and managing director Slava Ponomarov to hear what SteelKiwi is all about.
Please Describe the Background Behind SteelKiwi.
SteelKiwi was founded in 2011 by me and my partner, Anton Baterikov, who is now our CTO. The idea was to bring new strength to the software development world by offering something different to PHP, which was and still is quite popular and mainstream in web development. We chose python/Django as our core technology. The idea was to be different from PHP development companies that use CMS’s like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and to offer the customer something new.
As the company grew, we expanded our service range with graphic design and mobile development, until finally becoming a full stack development company. Now we’re a custom software development company; we provide digital solutions for new and established businesses. We do everything from start to launch, including business issue analysis; we help to improve the business process, bringing custom web and mobile solutions. Our primary goal is to improve and digitalize our customers’ businesses.
For example, we have built a restaurant management system that allows you to manage the entire workflow from one place. From booking to ordering, kitchen stock up and payments, everything can be managed under one app. We like the idea that we can digitalize the business process and make it more efficient.
What are the most challenging aspects you encounter in your work?
As a manager of a software development company, I have 3 types of challenges.
Firstly, involving the customer in the development process and keeping their interest on the high level is essential to the success of the project. The customer or product owner is the core part of the development team. It’s important to have their feedback all the time, as it helps to bring a product that exceeds their expectations.
Often a customer would not pay enough attention to the process, and that leads to problems when a project comes to the release. To solve this problem, we’ve adopted our project management process to encourage and motivate our customers to pay huge attention to the development process. And we ask for respect to our processes: once you came to Steelkiwi as a professional team, you should trust the development standards Steelkiwi follows.
Secondly, marketing. Some customers don’t think of the launch or the marketing strategy. They believe that it’s enough to just develop a product and launch it without any promotion and the project will become popular, but that’s far from being true. To resolve this problem, we refer our customers to established marketing companies that can help with a mature digital promotion strategy.
Lastly, the lack of trust in development companies. Right now the market is overloaded by a huge quantity of companies that develop low-quality products. They spoil the industry and the reputation of companies overall. Frequently we face situations where a customer comes to us after having a bad experience with another company; as a result, they don’t trust us from the very beginning and it makes it really difficult to build a professional relationship. Trust is a mandatory foundation and we decided to start from ourselves. As a result, we’ve built the development process around transparency, so our customers can experience absolute trust and honesty from our end.
What do you do to comply with GDPR regulations?
Steelkiwi’s team attended several events and training, which helped us to understood key GDPR rules. After that, we’ve composed a simple checklist of 6-10 features that should be included in each project to make it GDPR compliant. Our design and development teams implement such features and our QA engineers confirm the results.
GDPR is doing a great thing because they force customers and development companies to think twice about their user’s information. Previously only financial data was labeled as sensitive data. Now that regulations are active, any kind of user information is regarded as personal data, therefore it is sensitive. So unlike the past, when the information was spreading in every possible channel, and there was no privacy whatsoever, I believe information should be stored and cared with more security, more attention to privacy rights.
In your opinion, what software development trends can we expect to see in the next five years?
I believe that in 4-6 years the difference between web applications and mobile applications will disappear. Technology giants like Google invest a lot in new and modern development tools, and they are doing really great experiments. Such input will bring us to a world where we can use any device, whether it’s a phone, a laptop or a tablet, and have absolutely the same experience with the same application for all devices. Development tools will continue to progress. Tools like Flutter and PWA-concept show us that in the near future, application code will be distributed in a unified format that can run on all devices, regardless of screen size and operating system. If I were to predict the future, I would say that at some point, everything will collapse into a new technology which will give developers a good way to create truly universal apps.