Frequently Asked Questions
The answers to the most frequently asked questions about software development.
Who is BusyMachines?
BusyMachines is a software development company from Netherlands, with development teams in Amsterdam and Romania. The hybrid Dutch/ Romanian approach allows us to offer local presence and competitive nearshore prices. We build custom software products for innovative startups and enterprises in Western Europe, especially the Benelux area. You can read more about our story in the About us page.
How can BusyMachines help my company?
If you have a new business idea, we can build your product from scratch so you can deliver it to market as fast as possible. If you already have a functional product and an in-house development team, we can help you scale up and increase delivery capacity by working with our on-demand software developers, solution architects, UI/UX designers, QA engineers DevOps engineers and project managers.
What kind of services do you offer?
We offer 3 types of services: product development services, team extension services and software maintenance services. We also do legacy system audits & project rescues. We always work closely with our clients to find the best solution for their specific situation.
What does the Product Development package mean?
BusyMachines offers product development services for companies that want to go from idea to fully implemented PoC (Proof of concept) or MVP (Minimum Viable Product). We take 100% responsibility for the technical product and build the complete product end-to-end. Read more about our product development services.
What does the Team Extension package mean?
BusyMachines offers dedicated software teams for like-minded companies that need to extend their in-house development capacity or get an additional team. This way, your company gets “on demand” software experts when you need them, without any administrative overhead. We do not provide staffing services though. All our team members are carefully selected based on their skills & expertise and they are assigned to a specific project only when there is a clear match. Read more about our team extension services.
What does the Software Maintenance package mean?
We offer our clients long term support & maintenance of their product to make sure that the product is always operational and in top shape. We’ll set up a production environment for your applications and oversee security, server updates, performance monitoring, nightly backups and the regular maintenance of features, bug fixes and changes. This can be included in the initial contract or added as a separate paid service.Read more about our software maintenance services.
Do you work on Legacy System Audits?
Yes, we do. BusyMachines works with clients who need clarity on current risks and opportunities and offers pragmatic assessments based on established industry standards. We evaluate things like code quality, test coverage, existing documentation, development and deployment processes, software architecture, security, technical debt and, of course, the development team.
Do you make Software Project Rescues?
Yes, we have taken over projects in the past and helped clients get their projects back on track. If your project is behind schedule, the code quality is questionable, the platform isn’t scalable or the development team seems underqualified for the job, contact us. We will help you identify the root causes of your problems and find the right solutions to move forward.
What is your technical expertise?
We are a diverse team of skilled software creators, founded by two engineers with a strong background in CS & hardcore production environments. We are fluent in many languages and technologies. A particular case is Scala - we have spent a lot of time developing a solid functional programming expertise with Scala to build qualitative software. We have all the major areas of expertise in-house: programming, architecture, project management, business analysis, QA, testing, dev-ops. Please check our technical expertise page for details.
What technologies and languages do you work with?
Do you build native apps for Android or iOS?
Yes, we build native apps for iOS and Android. We do that for clients that want best app performance, fewer resources consumption and full access to device-specific hardware & OS features. We use technologies such as Java, Kotlin, Swift and ObjectiveC. Read more about our mobile app development expertise.
Do you build cross-platform mobile apps with React Native?
Yes, we do mobile development with React Native. Client like that because cross-platform apps can offer native-like performance while offering the option to reuse 60% of codebase. Read more about our mobile development skills.
Do you also build and maintain apps with hybrid technologies?
Yes, we do. Hybrid apps are a good fit for specific use cases. We have experience with PhoneGap / Cordova and others. Hybrid apps are developed in a mix of native and web technologies. The result is a standalone app that runs using the embedded web browser. Hybrid apps have some advantages such as: very fast development, 80% of codebase can be reused, easy app updates. Keep in mind that there are certain disadvantages too, such as limited set of functionality or limited performance. We'll help you make the correct choice between native apps, cross-platform apps or hybrid apps by analysing your particular situation and discussing the pros and cons of each in different scenarios.
Do you offer UI/UX design services besides software development services?
Yes, we are a design-driven software company, so UI/UX designers are an integral part of our product teams throughout the software development lifecycle. Clients can choose to work with on-demand UI/UX designers from BusyMachines or they can come with existing designs. Read more about our UI/UX design expertise.
An overview of some of our recent projects is available in our projects portfolio.
How would you describe your client base?
We work mainly with startups and small & medium-sized businesses from Western & Northern Europe who see custom software as a competitive advantage. 60% of our clients are startups in various stages of their journey, while 40% are mature businesses that own successful tech products, but have outgrown their development capacity. We work effectively with both technical & non-technical business owners.
What industries have you worked with?
We have worked with companies active in the following industries:
- Real Estate
- Media & Publishing
Can you share some case studies on real life projects you’ve worked on?
Read some of our case studies based on actual projects. Due to confidentiality constraints, we can only create a limited number of case studies. Here you can find our software projects portfolio where we added more projects.
Do you have client testimonials you can share?
Yes, you can read some of our client testimonials here. Again, due to confidentiality constraints, we can only show a limited number of client testimonials.
How do you protect Intellectual Property?
We start with an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) before we discuss anything about your project or company. It’s a first step we take to make sure your Intellectual Property is always safe and secure. Our contracts make sure the IP (code, documentation & data) is fully owned by our customers.
- We offer IP Protection according to EU law. All our agreements are within the EU legal framework. All of BusyMachines’ work happens inside EU & all employees are EU citizens.
- We offer our clients 24/7 access & export rights to the entire development information regarding their project: issue tracking, documentation, code, configurations & all relevant automations to the production infrastructure, databases & all relevant related resources.
- We have security measures in place around every project (eg. document management and data backups). Project-related confidential information is accessible only on a need-to-know basis.
- All our offices have standard security & are monitored 24/7 by security companies.
Do you outsource projects to subcontractors?
We never outsource projects to subcontractors: All our projects are assigned exclusively to BusyMachines team members. Every team member signs an NDA agreement upon hiring.
What’s your company culture like?
BusyMachines is a company that values individuality and provides an environment where everyone can express their opinions, relate their sorrows, and influence company culture. We encourage self development & strive to make our workplace a great place to learn. We have our own internal library and stay up to date by reading books, blogs, organizing Knowledge-sharing events and experimenting with new tech. Also, we’re a flat company with minimal management approach and horizontal company structure. We’re delivery-oriented and guided by a strong sense of personal responsibility.
How many employees do you have?
We’re a team of over 50 professionals. 90% of us are technical people and the remaining 10% is represented by designers, project managers, marketing managers, sales representatives and administrative roles. Check out our team.
How do you recruit technical people?
When hiring software engineers, we do not focus solely on finding people with the right technical skills, but also on identifying those who can find creative solutions to technical problems, who can take & give constructive feedback and people who can be team players.
Our hiring process consists in several steps:
- Application review or a combination of networking & headhunting
- First interview to check for general match
- Technical test to assess technical skills
- One-on-one interview with the Team / Project Lead
- Reference check
- Final interview
What’s a typical team size for a regular project?
A typical project requires 2-3 developers, usually a frontend developer, a backend developer and a mobile developer. In many cases, a Project Manager will join the team to make sure things are always on track. UI/UX designers can also be added to the team throughout the project, if the client needs design services. The team can also be supported by QA engineers and cloud engineers. We have also had dedicated teams of over 10 people for clients who needed more hands on deck.
Why do I need a Project Manager from BusyMachines?
Our Project Managers help clients gather requirements, define project scope, organize the project and the team, manage the budget and they provide a single point of contact. All our Project Managers have a vast experience managing IT projects and are certified in Agile, PMP and Prince 2. Read more about the importance of project management in IT.
Do you use an Agile approach in software development?
Yes, we use Agile methods, particularly in projects with an open deadline, that need to adjust smoothly to rapidly-changing requirements. The best method to organize the project is decided together with the client prior to starting the project. Read more about our project management approach.
When do you use a Hybrid project management approach?
In our experience, the Hybrid method works better when the client has a fixed budget or a hard deadline. If requirements are clear from the start and the client needs to deliver fast, a Hybrid approach is recommended. Read more about our project management techniques.
How do you establish good communication with the clients?
We believe communication is a key factor in delivering successful projects, so we communicate constantly through daily standups, frequent calls, status updates and progress reporting. We work in fast release cycles with quick feedback rounds and we always stay flexible. We often use tools from the Atlassian suite (ie. JIRA, Confluence etc) but also more lightweight solutions like Trello or others. For calls and chat, we often use Skype and Slack.
What happens after you I launch my PoC or MVP with BusyMachines?
After launching the first sellable version of your product, you need to develop rapidly and iterate on the feedback and data you get from early adopters. In order to do that, you need increased delivery capacity - no one likes a product that lacks functionality or works too slow. In this stage, our clients often decide to work with a dedicated software team from BusyMachines to add more functionality to their products and get to cruising mode.
I have a mature product. How can BusyMachines help me scale up by business?
We help our clients expand their market share and grow steadily and sustainably by offering dedicated development teams to bring continuous improvements & scale-up service delivery.
How long does a typical project last?
Projects last from a few months to a year or more, depending on their complexity. For example, a Proof of Concept will last a lot less than a complex project that requires development on multiple platforms.
What much does it cost to build custom software?
Software costs are influenced by the complexity and size of the project. Other factors such as migration of existing data or integration with other systems will add time and cost. There are no unique price tags since no two custom-built projects are the same. In our experience, most custom software projects will cost between €20k - €500k. These costs usually cover the design, development and maintenance of your product.
How does BusyMachines bill its clients?
We generally bill per hour. We send invoices at the end of each sprint (ie. once or twice per month depending on the sprint length). Each invoice comes with an additional document that indicates the number of hours spent per task so our customers get the complete picture of their costs every sprint. We only invoice hours approved by the customer.
Do you offer a trial period?
Yes, we offer a two-week trial period. This is a great opportunity to evaluate our services risk-free. We are confident that once you start working with us, you won't want to stop. If you are happy with our collaboration, we will keep on working. If not, you are free to choose another software supplier and nobody will even know that we've been working with you thanks to our NDA.
What happens after development?
Most of our clients work with us on next phases of development, but we also offer Software Maintenance services.
How do I get in touch with BusyMachines?
You can contact Paul Sabou, Co-founder & CTO at +31 617 021 657 or Ruud Diterwich, Co-founder & CEO at +31 655 877 958. If email works better for you, drop us a line about your software needs at email@example.com.