Keeping Our Promises

What makes CodeStringers unique in outsourced software product development?

Any firm that needs to outsource the development of a software product or a portion of that product needs to know how long it will take and how much it will cost to get to market with the first version. They also need to have confidence that they are building a product that will achieve their objectives, that the product quality will be high, and that they have a plan to bring that product to market successfully. In the end, selecting an outsourced software product development partner is entirely about trust.

To this end, CodeStringers provides a few services that make us stand apart from other outsourcing firms:


We assign a US-based executive as engagement manager.

We assign an executive-level person to act as the engagement manager who is located in the United States (either Christian or myself). This is appealing for two reasons. The first is the seniority/experience of the person assigned. The second is the location/language of the person assigned.


The “service” provided in #1 is far beyond engagement management.

Engagement management is typically just a project management role, ensuring that the client clearly defines requirements and that the delivery team understands them and delivers against them. Instead, we act as a senior consultant on everything from feature definition and prioritization to user experience to product architecture and even to go-to-market strategy. In most cases, an executive from our team truly becomes an extension of the client’s internal leadership team. And, as long as our work is purely advisory and is not abused by the client in terms of the number of hours we invest, we do NOT charge for this. If a client asks us to produce deliverables and own action items (other than those associated with engagement management), we will ask the client to pay us a consulting fee, but its rare that we do this.


We help clients build their release plans for free.

We help clients build their release plans for free. Release plans include feature definition (user stories), wireframes or preliminary designs, and estimates of the effort and duration to build the scope of the plan. Most outsourcers demand a “discovery” fee for this. We just do it as it gives the client a chance to see how we work and our value add and allows us to determine if the client is likely to violate our “no asshole” policy. It’s a way to date before we marry, so to speak. We get burned on this periodically, where we help a client do this and then they decide not to fund the initiative or do the work in-house, but we communicate that until we’re under contract, the “Intellectual Property” in the release plan does not belong to the client. Once contracts are signed, they own it all.


We commit to hitting the date of the release even if our estimate was wrong.

In the event that we’re building an MVP (a v1.0 product), we commit to the estimate we created in #3. In other words, we commit to “hitting the date” of the release even if our estimate was wrong. We do this by assigning extra resources at no cost the client. The only exception to this is if/when the client changes the scope of the release after work is started. But assuming that the release plan is fixed and any changes do not impact the overall estimate, we guarantee we’ll hit the committed date.


We assign a team of resources with the “right” seniority and a management/leadership structure with even more experience.

We assign a team of resources that includes the “right” level of seniority and we provide a management/leadership structure to oversee those resources that has even more experience than the resources assigned, and that cost is bundled in our resource pricing. In other words, we “sell” the client a developer/tester/UI person, but we also have management oversee the work quality of those people and include that extra service in our pricing. Larger outsourcers just assign a team and hope for the best and, when the best doesn’t happen, blame the client for mismanaging the initiative.

We do these things because we genuinely stand behind our corporate values: Integrity, Craftsmanship, Innovation. Our job is to help clients define the “right” product; keep the promises we make; and provide a level of quality and manageability that’s more akin to insourcing than outsourcing.