What can an ambitious startup do when they want to create an innovative, feature packed mobile app on a short deadline and a limited budget? BitGym found themselves in this exact situation, they wanted to quickly find highly skilled developers but realized that an in house recruitment process would burn up too much time and resources. Instead they decided to partner up with Pentalog for an offshore IT outsourcing solution.
Source: Shutterstock / Author: Daxiao Productions
BitGym is a San Francisco based start-up that combines exercise and technology through the medium of mobile apps. Their augmented reality mobile app (also called BitGym) can be used with tablets or phones combined with any type of cardio machine, no matter how old. The mobile device simulates a walk or run through a scenic route (the Grand Canyon, Venice, etc.) and the front-facing camera of a mobile device is able to calculate running speed by analyzing a user’s movement, making progress through the virtual landscape progress faster or slower depending on the amount of effort the user is making. Users simply have to plop their device onto their treadmill or elliptical and work their way through any type of terrain they desire.
Although the concept of the app sounds straightforward enough, building it would require both time and technical knowhow. In addition to developing and fine tuning the virtual environments and motion tracking, BitGym also wanted to develop additional features such as coaching, social networking features, a strong and intuitive GUI, as well as interactive components. Developing all of these features is a challenge in itself and BitGym had the extra challenge of working with a small budget within tight deadlines. BitGym did not have the time to start a recruitment campaign nor the money to hire silicon valley developers. So they needed to quickly find a source of qualified developers in another location at an affordable cost.
In order to tackle these challenges BitGym decided to choose an offshore IT outsourcing solution by partnering up with Pentalog. In order to get the most out of limited resources, they decided to work with Pentalog’s offshore developers in Hanoi Vietnam. An Agile team of four expert developers, supported by a Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Project Director, were quickly recruited and got started on developing the application right away. Even with the 11 hour time difference between San Francisco and Hanoi, daily meetups were set up at either 7am or 7pm PST to ensure a strong line of communication. The development team worked in two week sprints, releasing a functional product with more and more features after each successive sprint. This allowed the development team to receive ample feedback as they fine-tuned core features and added on the secondary ones.
By the end of their collaboration with Pentalog, BitGym was left with a mobile app boasting an impressive list of features that was completed both on time and on budget. CTO of BitGym, Alex Gourley, stated that “it was good to rely on an affordable offshore team to get the job done and deliver our apps faster”. Released for both Android and iOS, the BitGym app was selected as one of the best Apple applications in the health and fitness category, currently counting thousands of paying users it is rated 4+ on the iTunes store.