Source: Shutterstock / Author: Daxiao Productions
How can a startup hire highly skilled developers when it doesn’t have the money to compete for the best talents in Silicon Valley?
That was the problem facing San Francisco-based BitGym, a startup which develops motion and exercise games for mobile platforms.
“BitGym is a startup financed by its founders, explains Chris Hote, Pentalog’s Vice-President of Operations for the USA. It couldn’t pay enough to attract Valley engineers. But we could help!”
BitGym transforms cardiovascular exercise into an exciting and addictive experience by creating an immersive and interactive environment, using augmented reality to build social realism and engagement, and employing advanced connectivity & real-time analytics to track and manage progress.
The BitGym platform was selected among the best Apple applications in the “Health and Fitness” category and the company recently announced the beginning of a technological collaboration with Samsung’s Mobile division: the BitGym technology will be at the heart of the new “Connected Fitness” digital platform.
The California startup wanted to develop a feature-packed bike trainer app for iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.
BITGYM required the analysis, design and implementation of the following features within tight deadlines:
Coaching on workout routines
Interactive components: checkpoints, bonuses or other components while taking a tour
Extending the number of tours (currently 50 tours available and more regularly added)
Social components: a “multiplayer” mode, which allows keeping in touch with people around the globe
Better integration with social networks
Capability to save the workouts to fitness trackers
Improved GUI and visual experience.
In short, Bitgym needed to find skilled developers—find them fast—, and with little money to hire Silicon Valley engineers.
How could it succeed? The answer came when the startup turned to Pentalog.
Pentalog’s solution was to assemble a 4-person team in Hanoi, Vietnam, to work on BitGym’s bike trainer app. The engineers are experts in the very specialized language needed for the project. And they are a lot more affordable than Silicon Valley types.
That BitGym founders were young developers, already sold on agile methodology helped: they and Pentalog spoke the same language.
“Using agile methodology has allowed us to stay focused on BitGym’s needs, says Chris Hote. With excellent communication and two-week sprints, we can move forward quickly!”
While collaboration between an American team and a Vietnam-based team was not a given, other advantages rapidly surfaced: the time-zone difference, for one, makes it easy to communicate without disrupting work.
The project was carried out in an agile mode with a Bitgym Product Owner and Scrum Master, and a Pentalog development team and project director.
The project was completed in 18 months, within budget, while respecting the deadline.
“The team evolved over the life of the project, but we kept the pace, and the client was quite satisfied with the process, and the result,” notes Chris Hote.
Today, collaboration continues between BitGym and Pentalog.
‘And the best compliment we received from BitGym is the fact that they recommended us to others who became customers!’
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