AnyforSoft: Implementing New Technologies and Best Practices in IT Company
AnyforSoft is one of the largest companies in Europe specializing in software development on Drupal+React. In nine years, a team of three people has grown into a classic representative of the Ukrainian IT market with 80+ in-house specialists.
AnyforSoft often takes part in large projects that require not only a high level of expertise in web and mobile development but also non-standard solutions.
Technologies that underlie AnyforSoft business
The company started as a small agency based on Drupal technology, known for its flexibility. Besides, Drupal is extremely secure and scalable. Development on this engine takes half the time than development on such frameworks as Symfony or Laravel.
However, despite all the advantages of Drupal, for the AnyforSoft team, it is more than just a technology. Above all, it is the ideology of the open-source community.
About the Drupal open-source community
AnyforSoft actively participates in the life of the Drupal community, which is constantly evolving thanks to developers from all over the world. The company strongly encourages the team to contribute to Drupal core and Drupal modules on Drupal.org.
“For AnyforSoft, the social dimension has always been important. Our team members contribute to the Drupal community as it helps to improve the technology itself and the solutions. It’s cool when someone uses your best practices, and they make someone else’s work more efficient!”
Besides, AnyforSoft sponsors Drupal events, and team members always speak at specialized conferences. The guys note that, first of all, it is important for the experience exchange as well as for the development process improvement. Also, it helps to popularize Drupal technology on the client and candidate markets.
The company makes every effort to develop the Drupal community in Ukraine and annually organizes local Drupal camps. In recent years, in the Ukrainian market, the number of companies that have started using the technology has been growing rapidly, as well as the number of Drupal specialists and their professional level.
“We are happy that the Ukrainian Drupal community has been actively developing in the last few years. If earlier the Drupal camp in Kyiv had hardly been getting 15 speakers, then during the past 3 years about three applications are coming to replace one speaker.”
The implementation of new technologies
The company’s management often modifies the already habitual approaches, adapting as much as possible to the client’s requirements and aiming for the best result. Therefore, the AnyforSoft team doesn’t stop on the long-term use of some technologies and is happy to test new solutions and services.
“The rapid development of JS technologies started to reveal itself, and we decided to try Decoupled Drupal from a front-end on React or other technologies. For example, the AnyforSoft website is developed on Drupal + GatsbyJS.”
Today, AnyforSoft specialists manage to adapt the technology stack for each new project and customer needs to achieve the best result.
Only a holistic and systematic approach allows us to effectively implement new technologies to our work and expand the competence and professionalism of the team.
AnyforSoft motivates its developers to pass Acquia certification regularly, helping them with the organizational and financial aspects. In turn, it helps the development of the company itself, as for some clients certified resources are important.
The company focuses only on the latest versions of Drupal for web development. Today, the company has eight certified Drupal 8 developers and two certified Drupal 9 developers. Besides, the guys help their clients to migrate from old Drupal versions to new ones, ensuring a safe migration process.
The company passes the certifications in a variety of areas, including management and testing. And English challenges have already become a common practice because today it is impossible to imagine an effective developer without fluent English.
AnyforSoft implemented several large-scale projects using various technology stacks that require coordinated work and effective risk management. Is there a universal recipe for successful management in such projects? The AnyforSoft team believes it exists. Top managers of the company believe that it is necessary to listen and hear team members, accepting their points of view, and helping to implement ideas.
Top rules in project management from AnyforSoft:
- Those who plan, sleep peacefully.
- Talk about risk elimination as if someone’s life depends on it.
- Set expectations: an informed client is a calm client.
- Never put off until tomorrow the information you can share with the client today.
- Ask the team for a demo.
- Distribute tasks according to the team’s skill set but take tasks for growing.
- Clarify the needs/interests/expectations of the client in advance.
The core team management toolkits include Redmine for time logging, Teambook for planning, and Jira for project management. This set turned out to be optimal in terms of convenience and cost.
The team also tries to effectively use the time of the guys who are temporarily on the bench. One of the internal projects for them is a system that brings together data from Redmine, Teambook, and makes up analytics and planning based on them. Thus, AnyforSoft uses 3 tools instead of one, but pays for functionality only once, during its development.
Variety of business tasks
The company focuses mainly on the digital media industry, beauty commerce and e-learning. This choice was made by AnyforSoft customers. Successfully implemented projects have made a kind of revolution in the business of customers.
For example, through a rather complex solution for the Bellame beauty business platform, where the store is only a small part of the system, it became possible to optimize work processes, increasing their speed by 8 times and expanding the customer network by 5 times.
In a Stage Entertainment project, AnyforSoft created an efficient and scalable content management platform (website builder) based on Drupal for a company that produces and distributes musicals. It enables the client to easily create a website or a landing page for a show, theater performance, or any other event using the functionality of the CMS and leveraging visual effects.
For WehaveAnyspace, which is an analog of the well-known Airbnb, a web platform for selecting high-quality commercial real estate with various filters was developed from scratch. The main market of the company is concentrated in the Netherlands, but there are also representations and offers in other countries.
However, each new project requires an individual approach and deep learning of the client’s business processes. AnyforSoft believes that the value of a team that just does a good job is substantially lower than the value of a team that can see the problem and offer options for solving it.
“We solve business problems of clients together with clients. This is the most effective way to learn something and get results.”
Therefore, the AnyforSoft team is happy to take on variety of business tasks that require a non-standard approach. Now the company is being engaged in a rather complex project for video hosting, it’s an online video editor creation.