Augmented Engineering: Outsourced Engineering Without The Risks

By Sebastian Mackay

18 Jun 2020

Whatever industry you’re in right now, we're all bound together by one overarching need: to do more with less. As such, the need to get it right the first-time with outsourced software development has never been more important.

Seasons change

Traditionally outsourcing your web or mobile engineering solves one problem and produces another.

The primary problem it solves is time.

To hire requires job ads to go up, applications come in, phone interviews, tech tests, face to face, offers, counter offers. On average it's 65 days from the start of the process to an accepted offer. Then there’s a 30 to 60 day notice period all of a sudden it's 95 to 125 days before your new hire starts. Then it's approximately four months before they become productive. Summer has turned to winter. It's an eternity.

So you decide to outsource, but that has its own challenges.

Bums on seats isn’t a solution

Traditional outsourcing and contracting of software development is about giving you a body, a bum on a seat, that you pray to God adds something, or at least doesn't make you go backwards.

Augmented Engineering, the service we offer, is the solution to these issues. It reduces the impact of diminishing returns (well, as much as is practically possible), enhances speed and quality, and gets stuff done without frustrating your existing team.

Augmented Engineering is about integrating skilled engineers with your in-house software development team. Each and every individual that joins the team has a tangible impact on the effectiveness of the overall group.

We make sure we deliver the right people for the right job, but how do we do that?

Technical excellence guaranteed

First, we ensure our people are technically excellent. This starts at recruitment with less than 1% of applicants successfully securing a job at xDesign. Our Augmented Engineering teams are then put through their paces from an engineering and soft skills perspective. Everyone is UK based and has excellent written and spoken communication skills. These are the basics.

The next step is assessing the type of work you want us to do. Our teams have worked on almost every kind of project and sector you can name: fintech, healthcare, tourism, enterprise, retail, start-ups and oil and gas.

That gives us great breadth of industry knowledge, and project type, but also practical experience when it comes to working across a variety of technologies: IoT, native iOS and Android, Xamarin, Flutter, Vue, React, Angular, Node, LAMP and WINS stacks - to name a few.

Software developers

There’s more to Augmented Engineering than tech skills

What we must bear in mind, is that there's suitability beyond just technical proficiency.

Different skill-sets and experience suit different project types. So we look at your actual project brief, what you need our engineers to achieve and then we match the right people to the job.

xDesign looks at who our team will be working with internally and externally while on your project. Do you need someone who can be a mentor, present to end clients or be the lead? The best coach isn't necessarily the best presenter - so what's the role beyond lines of code?

Then, and often most importantly, we talk about goals - what gets the job done. The needs for a prototype, a proof of concept or a one-off can all be different to a project that has to be foundational and modular.

Problems to overcome with onboarding Software Developers

Having identified the best people for the job, traditional outsourcing would just catapult people over the wall and hope they land safely!

That’s where we’re different.

With our Augmented Engineering solution, we review your existing onboarding plan and augment it with our own processes so our team understands the needs, wants, context, and environment of the project.

This coalesces in nailing down the definition of done and gets to the root of what success is at a ticket level, a sprint level and a project level. This differentiates a successful onboarding experience from a poor one.

Our teams never stop being part of the xDesign family. We still hold cross-departmental meetings about new innovations and developments by speciality and interest and we're there as a support team when someone wants to look for guidance or our leverage experience. Ultimately, we're here for escalation and problem-solving.

Offering a Full Agile Product Delivery team

Software development and engineering is just one part of the puzzle. If you need to have a full product team then we can also offer: Product owners, QA, and UX/UI designers, project and Engineering Managers, all provided as part of a cross-functional, agile, product development team. This may be working on delivering as part of an existing team - as we did for Zonal - or delivering a brand new product from prototyping to deployment, as we did for Heineken.

Software development

A better way to outsource engineering

We have built, and continue to develop products with and for Tesco Bank, Sainsbury's, Heineken, Zonal, the NHS, Paypal, MoneySuperMarket and many more. These projects have been successful because even though each of these companies had their unique challenges, they all fundamentally understood that building a better product is about building a better team

Find out more about how Augmented Engineering can help take your project to the next level and save you time and money: [email protected]

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