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Chacra Software Solutions

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Interview with Iskandar Chacra, Managing Partner - Chacra Software Solutions

Iskandar Chacra Interview on

Iskandar Chacra  linkedin

Managing Partner, Chacra Software Solutions
How did you begin your journey with Chacra Software Solutions?
My partner and I have been working together for over 8 years in the USA. We have both been excelling at what we do during this period; each in his own domain of expertise. Throughout our careers, our skill-sets complemented each other perfectly and we were unstoppable as a team. We reached a point where we knew the ins and outs of the industry thoroughly and were able to create reliable software projects of the highest caliber within a short period of time. Chacra Software Solutions was born naturally, as the next step in our journey of providing excellent software services that guarantees customer satisfaction.

In short, how will you describe your responsibilities at Chacra Software Solutions?
My responsibilities are to oversee the direction of the company, manage company resources, and create a positive and relaxing company culture; all done in tight collaboration with my partner. In general, I make sure that everything is running smoothly, everyone is doing their jobs properly, and that our work exceeds all our clients’ expectation.

What do you think is the key role that you have to play as a Managing Partner?
Software development is not just coding. There is an intricate process that involves communicating with the client, understanding their needs, and transforming their ideas into reality. My key role is to ensure that our clients go through this process with peace of mind, knowing that their precious idea is in safe hands. Simultaneously, I do my best to remove blockers and hurdles from the team members’ daily work to allow to them to do their jobs properly and output projects of the highest quality.

Tell us about your most valuable achievement in the industry.
My most valuable achievements are what we accomplished so far as a business, and the satisfaction and success that we provide our customers at Chacra Software Solutions. Every job request we receive is personal, and when a client engages us, we behave like our livelihood depends on their success.
We are a result driven organization, and I take pride in everything we have done so far and the stellar reputation we maintained.

As an app development company, where do you think that Chacra Software Solutions needs a close attention during app development phases?
At Chacra Software our goal is to build reliable software using the best practices to guarantee our clients’ success and satisfaction. We reach this goal with every single one of our clients by holding ourselves at the highest standards throughout every step of the development process.

Scope Analysis: It is imperative that we understand our clients’ wants and needs clearly before writing any code.
UI/UX Design: The UI/UX need to translate to exactly what the client envisions, without compromising on usability or attractiveness of the software.
Development: The architecture and development of an application are crucial elements that will affect it throughout its lifetime. Any faults or defects that may be hidden at first will eventually show up in the short run or later as the app grows. We work diligently to perfect the results at this stage to prevent these errors from ever occurring.
Quality Assurance: Our quality assurance engineers test every feature and component in the system. This guarantees that the customer receives a flawless product.
Support: Once the product is released, we make sure that it is running smoothly and without issues by providing maintenance and constantly updating its dependencies.

Which project development methodology do you think is effective?
In my experience as a software engineer and manager, I believe the agile Scrum methodology is the most effective way of managing software projects. Scrum is a framework that helps teams work together to solve complex issues dynamically, while consistently delivering their product to their users.

Scrum facilitates change: Scrum emphasizes delivering value to the user incrementally over iterations. These iterations are called “Sprints” and each sprint is usually 1 to 4 weeks long. Adapting this incremental approach lets the customer give feedback as to what features are valuable to them, allowing the developers to focus on implementing them. Moreover, small changes in a large software project might affect the entire system negatively. Sprints allow those changes to be done with minimal risk and make detecting mistakes early on easier, allowing us to correct them before they negatively impact the system. This saves the team from wasted effort, and the stakeholders a lot of time and money.

Scrum optimizes the teams’ work efficiency: Daily meetings called “Stand Ups” synchronize the team, eliminate work blockers, and plan out the workday optimally. This also provides transparency as to what every team member is doing, which is crucial to make sure the entire team is on the same page.

Scrum embraces early customer feedback: Product increments can be delivered at the end of every sprint, allowing the project stakeholders and customers to provide feedback and ask for changes. Doing so ensures that value is delivered to the customer during early stages of development, and that the stakeholders can get a return on their investments early on as time-to-market is minimized.

What will you advice for your peers for an effective management as a director of a technical firm?
The best way to lead your team successfully is to understand the work process intimately. To me, this came naturally with years of experience and long hours working behind a computer with the most talented people in the industry; engineering and writing code to solve complex issues. If you are someone without a technical background and do not know how your engineers work, I advise you to sit down with your team and immerse yourself in their day-to-day work process. This understanding will lead to better time and effort estimations, facilitating the workflow, and ultimately increasing the work productivity of all the teams involved.

How do you balance your relationship with the technical and non-technical teams while leading them?
Our team members are the most professional, hard-working, driven people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. This makes my job a lot easier to do, as I can rely on them to do their work properly and professionally. Each and every one of our team members shares the same vision and goals, and our company culture promotes complete transparency and working together to achieve those goals.
The technical team is more task oriented, which means once the tasks are assigned, they get straight to work to craft and build amazing, reliable software solutions. We try not to bother them with any more meetings, or what they would call “distractions” from their work. On the other hand, the non-technical team is more people oriented, so we tend to have more meetings and discussions to brainstorm brilliant and innovative ideas that help the entire company succeed.

Which do you think is the futuristic technology and why?
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. There is virtually no major industry that has not been disrupted by these technologies, and their impact will only grow further and faster in the future as more companies and governments are investing in them.

What are your plans for Chacra Software Solutions in the year that has set in?
Our goal is to grow our company by expanding our team. Currently, we are receiving more job requests than we can handle. We are working hard at hiring talented people that share our company’s values and culture so that we can accept more clients and deliver excellent service to more people.

Which are your favorite mobile apps? Tell us at least 5 of those.
I find the best mobile apps to be simple and practical, yet have their own unique identity. Since phones have limited screens and processing power, I am constantly guided by the principle of “less is more” when reviewing or developing a mobile application. The following applications are, in my opinion, some of the most impressive applications in terms of their simplicity and aesthetics.
1- Uber
2- Airbnb
3- Netflix
4- Venmo
5- Starbucks
There are many UI/UX design methodologies we use at Chacra Software to guarantee that the apps we develop are like the ones mentioned, in that they handle complex data yet are easy to use, do not drain the device, and are unique in their designs and identity.

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