Made.com just celebrated its 8th birthday. After raising 40€ million in their latest round of fundraising, the London-based furniture “e-tailers” expanded from the UK to France, Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands & Germany.
If you’re thinking the company nipping dangerously at IKEA’s heels knows exactly what they need, you would be right.
Made.com needed a highly competent, scalable technical team and it can sometimes quite a challenge to manage recruitment, retain talented engineers and continuously adapt to business needs at reasonable costs in London. Extending the Made.com team with a Pentalog team based in Romania was a flexible, cost-effective way to address these challenges.
Back in 2013, Made.com had the idea to build a strong, engaged community around their brand and website. The main objective of the Made Unboxed platform was to allow customers to post photos and reviews of their purchased products on display – in their own homes and spaces.
Considering the rigid planning constraints and the need to focus on existing projects, this was the perfect opportunity to start building a nearshore extension of the internal development team.
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A team of 5 engineers at Pentalog’s Delivery Center in Iasi, Romania shouldered the task of developing, testing and maintaining the Made Unboxed platform – working alongside Made.com’s own Product Owner and UI designer.
Here is an overview of the technologies used for this project:
- Front-end: PHP 7.1, MySQL, Magento 22.214.171.124ES6, NodeJS, HTML, CSS, SASS, BEMElasticSearch, GraphQL, FlaskVarnish
- Back-end: Python 3.7, PostgreSQL, asyncio, AIOHTTP
- Deployment & DevOps related: Docker, Ansible, Jenkins, Nomad, AWS, ELK Stack (ElasticSearch, Logstash, Kibana), Eventstore
The Made Unboxed site is responsive and supports all the main browsers, including both Desktop and Mobile platforms.
The application was developed using the Scrum methodology, is scalable and deployed on cloud infrastructures.
The implementation was initially planned to be executed using the Social Engine (SE) framework, and the first version came with a deadline of 2 months.
After the first sprint, the Pentalog team suggested switching to Symfony, which was better suited to reach the MVP within the deadline. Their initiative and strong commitment to catch up with the first lost sprint allowed them to deliver the MVP as initially planned.
The success of this first project in such a challenging environment strengthened the relationship. It allowed following new projects and an increase of the Made.com extensions with Pentalog to around 25 people today.
Talentlab X Pentalog
The TalentLab platform is a unique opportunity for up-and-coming creators to submit their furniture design proposals online, where customers can crowdfund and order pieces they like and support these initial designs. The platform was developed with the same technologies used for Made Unboxed.
Pentalog continues the maintenance and support of both these projects today but is also working on other different new projects.
By working with Pentalog, Made.com managed to control the recruitment challenges on a complex market like London, to quickly launch new projects, to speed-up existing ones – and do it all in a flexible framework and good value for money.
Our skilled developers with experience on similar projects
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Made - We view the relationship with Pentalog as a partnership
We view the relationship with Pentalog as a partnership so it’s not just a traditional supplier and customer relationship. We use Pentalog for accelerating things we couldn’t do just with the team in London. So we can start up a new team much faster than we could recruit in London, we get some flexibility every time and get to add people.
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