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Interview with Sergei Orlov, Founder - Timspark

Sergei Orlov Interview on TopDevelopers.co

Sergei Orlov  linkedin

Founder, Timspark

Give us a quick overview on Timspark. When and how did you begin this journey and what were your motives to be successful?

Timspark is a pioneering company specializing in cost-effective software development.

Staff augmentation and dedicated teams are at the basis of our business model. However, we wanted to take it a step further and expand it with a bold new vision of what we call ‘Core Teams’ (teams of 2 to 5 seasoned professionals who have accumulated expertise in the technology verticals and business domains). We aim to redefine software development worldwide and inspire teams to deliver top results with in-house-like dedication.

At Timspark, we foster professionals who genuinely care about the value our clients receive from their work and go the extra mile to make it happen. As a result, we can guarantee a remarkably higher quality of work and faster time to market than a more traditional outsourcing setup could ever hope to provide.

What is your role in the management and development of Timspark?

As a co-founder of the company, I am mainly responsible for overseeing and contributing to both the management and development aspects of the company. My main responsibility is to align the software development with the strategic goals of the organization.

I work closely with project managers, team leads, and stakeholders to ensure that projects stay on track, meet deadlines, and make the best use of resources. I am also responsible for resource allocation decisions, budgeting, and strategic planning for overall company growth.

On the development side, I work closely with our experienced software engineers. I help shape the technical vision and guide the team in adopting best practices and emerging technologies.  

Tell us about your biggest achievement in the industry.

What can be our biggest achievement?

So far we have engaged and nurtured 20+ dedicated teams of seasoned specialists with more than 15 years of experience, deep understanding of business and technical domains, and entrepreneurial spirit. We use various business and management practices to build teams of highly motivated, galvanized aspiring engineers who do much more than just code and deploy. Moreover, we have arrangements with each Core Team that it builds its own brand and can become an independent company over time while maintaining a connection to Timspark.

How do you schedule the development phases of the apps to promise the timeline to your clients?

We assign a project manager to each project. This professional and the client plan the project schedule and approve milestones and associated deliverables. Then, as the project progresses, the manager systematically tracks the project plan to see if tasks are being completed on time and, if not, analyzes the reasons for any deviations from the schedule. For long-term projects, we also apply various KPIs, such as Schedule Adherence, Accuracy of Estimate Variance, and Budget Compliance.

How do you help your clients in choosing the right yet profitable platform for app development?

We have a tried-and-true process of working with the clients’ demands. When we receive a request from the customer, we involve a technical pre-sales expert to reveal the customer’s needs and propose the most suitable solution. For enterprise projects, we typically have a discovery phase where key requirements are elicited, and a high-level architecture is designed. These steps will help us choose the right technology stack. Additionally, we help our customers define the monetization approach (or ROI strategy) from a business and technical perspective.

How do you scheme your pricing model? How do you fix your budget?

It depends on the customer's request. We usually work on a Time and Materials (T&M) model. This approach allows us to be agile and flexible to any changes in project requirements. However, in some cases, a fixed price may also be applied to a PoC or to a discovery phase that is paid for separately. The budget control strategy is similar to timeline control: we track the project plan and systematically analyze KPIs.

How helpful are the web and mobile apps developed by your team, for enhancing your clients’ business?

Taking a business to the next level requires a deep understanding of its intricacies. That is why we engage an experienced business analyst who understands the business domain to conduct a requirements analysis. Our professionals don't just document project requirements; they propose solutions that are tailored to the client's needs.  

However, proper software design is only 50% of success. The other 50% is made up of mature development processes and the use of the latest technologies. For each project, we engage mature professionals with relevant technical and business expertise. They can build your project from the ground up or augment your in-house team with specific expertise.

What according to you are the best practices to attain client satisfaction?

Transparency and communication. We are always on the same page with our customers. The customer can see the progress of the project at any time. At the end of each sprint, we deliver a product increment to the customer and collect feedback. This allows us to quickly identify inconsistencies between the developed product and customer expectations. And, of course, develop mutual trust.

How do you update your business system to be in pace with the technological advancements?

Our company has dedicated technical experts in various fields such as artificial intelligence, mobile and web development, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, AR/VR, IoT, and others. Their main responsibilities include:

Analyzing tech trends
Exploring the most promising technologies using PoC and sharing this knowledge throughout the company
Auditing projects to avoid technical debt
Sharing technical expertise between teams across different projects

What are your thoughts about AR, VR and Internet of Things (IoT)?

The Internet of Things has become a seamless part of our daily lives, with smartwatches, washing machines, and electric kettles becoming commonplace. However, from a developer's perspective, many IoT devices support outdated security protocols, potentially providing backdoors for attackers. Therefore, when we are approached for IoT development, we make cybersecurity a priority and ensure comprehensive security testing for our clients.

As for AR, VR and MR (mixed reality), these are developing and extremely promising technologies. For instance, if we combine MR and AI, we can get a powerful tool to improve the quality of education. Just imagine: AI can be used to create a personalized study plan for a medical student, with assignments that run on a virtual reality simulator.

What do you think will be the future of Mobile technology?

The mobile technology market is set to expand. Here are the factors contributing to this growth:

Global mobile coverage (including 2G) now stands at 98%.

More than 85% of the world's population owns and actively uses smartphones.

The popularity of various wearable devices has surged, particularly in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

Cross-platform technologies (such as Flutter, Kotlin and React Native) allow developing mobile, web and desktop applications from a united code base, reducing the cost of the final product.

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