FAQ  
About the company
Who we are

Novator is a software outsourcing company founded by several IT engineers to provide no-nonsense services, but without the typical enterprise bureaucracy found in other companies, at far above industry average quality (not a joke).

What makes Novator different (seriously)?

Novator is a tech company run by engineers.

Each project is supervised not by an ordinary manager, who has a superficial understanding of project problems, but instead, by a senior engineer who is deeply involved in all development activities from writing code and deployment to requirements review.

We avoid hiring junior level staff, try to have as few people on the project as possible and rely on senior level engineers far more than the average company.

Also we don't have pure-management positions on projects. More tech people on the project, fewer, well, non-tech people on the project.

This improves communication (no more "give me a minute, I'll check this with the devs" pauses) and minimizes costs since there are more people to do the actual work and fewer guys (and girls) on the cheerleading side.

What types of projects does Novator specialize in?

We are most experienced with a mid-large sized web/mobile+backend apps in different enterprise and not-so-enterprise domains:

  • Various business support systems - mostly automation of different paperwork activities
  • Smart home with IoT devices
  • Banking software
  • Financial products
  • City facilities automation
  • Videoconferencing and call-center apps
  • Taxi dispatch apps

We can execute various project types well, be it a medical appointment scheduling system, food delivery app or an integration between several systems of any complexity.

If the project involves some machine learning (image/text recognition, statistical analysis, etc.), large data volumes analysis - we can do that too.

If your project is in the IT field and doesn't fit into these categories, but you are in real need of a team - contact us. Even if after a brief discussion we come to conclusion that your domain or particular idea is not our cup of tea, we may still be able to help by referring you to one of our partners or by offering some general advice. Free of charge, of course.

How many employees does Novator have?

Currently there are around 30 people involved in different projects.


Projects
How quickly can you start?

Usually this depends on projects' requirements readiness. We can start analysis right away with a team of 2-3 and gradually bring in more people once the product idea is shaped.

Typically the project starts to go full throttle after 3-4 weeks, but we can assemble the whole team in a week or two if required.

Do you take projects from scratch?

Yes, about 40% of our projects are developed from the ground up. We handle all related activities from documentation to deployment and customer support.

Can you take over my existing project?

Yes, be it old legacy enterprise or an unfinished prototype - if we are familiar with the tech stack - we can do it. Around 20% of our projects started this way.

Since in many such cases the project support is going to be long-term we usually plan a roadmap to freshen it up and stabilize the development, because often product quality at the beggining is far from perfect. These activities go in parallel with priority support and new requirements implementation.

What is the typical size of project team?

This depends on the size of the project. For example, a mid-sized web portal with a couple of integrations, scalability and fault-tolerance requirement, data analysis functionality and native mobile app the team would be:

  • 2-3 backend developers who also handle deployment, monitoring and various devops activities
  • 1-2 frontend engineers
  • 1 mobile developer
  • 1 part time business analyst who often also acts as a QA engineer

For larger projects usually several such teams are allocated and work in parallel on different parts of the system.

Can you cooperate with my existing team?

We can always cooperate with external business analysts, product owners, designers, future system users very effectively.

Usually we can also work well along your development team. But bear in mind, that scaling the project by inviting more people only runs smoothly if teams can work in a more or less independent way. A good example would be when every team develops their own part of the big system. It may not be ideal when several teams share reponsibility over one pile of code and regularly step on each other's toes.

We try to avoid pure outstaffing when our engineers are included in an external team. We are most effective when we can take specific functionality, implement and ship it all by ourselves. We can adhere to any technical standards used in your team.


Pricing
Do you take fixed-price contracts?

Yes, if the requirements are, or can be defined well and everybody has a clear understanding of the project scope.

Generally fixed price contracts lead to overpricing to accomodate unforseen issues, but on the other hand they give the customer the comfort of knowing the budget cost.

Unlike many other companies, we love fixed-price contracts because they allow the development team to be flexible within the budget. For instance, on big and lengthy projects the need for specific development toolset may arise from time to time. This is often related to automated testing, deployment, monitoring or refactoring and while the benefits are obvious for the development team, they cannot be easily measured in ROI.

With time and material pricing our team has to approve the amount of work with the customer first, but in reality, there is really little choice for the client here - either reject these requests to save money now and have more problems later or reluctantly approve additional work without clear understanding of it's benefits. A fixed-price approach means we won’t be bothering the client regarding complex technical decisions allowing them to focus on the needs of their business.

Do you take time and material contracts?

Yes. Per-hour payment schemes allow substantial budget savings if client-contractor cooperation is great, because there is no need to pre-add contingencies into the price. If no risks happen, then no need to pay for them!

Communication and transparency is very important for time and material projects in the IT field. Although code usually can be considered frozen after being written, tested and shipped, sometimes it may require refactoring and maintenance later or could otherwise slow down new functionality development. These support activities can be are critical for the project success even though they aren't directly related to roadmap progress.

In our previous projects these additional costs happened rarely and usually stayed within 10% of the total project budget. We always keep customers informed of any such risks throughout the project and throughly discuss the course of action in every case.

Are there any minimum budget requirements?

Yes. From experience, our approach to development is most effective on mid-large sized projects where ingenious technical solutions and a high level of automation is economically feasible.

On very small projects it is often quicker to do everything by hand, automate less and generally stick to ship-and-forget approach. Not so much with the long-term ones, where spending 2 weeks on a testing tool development can save 6 months of work during the next 3 years of support.

In a nutshell: We usually we only consider projects with $50+k budget. With smaller amounts you can find a team which will give you a better bang for your buck, but with larger ones - we doubt it!

What is your hourly rate?

The rates depend on the skills required and generally fall into the 50-100$ per hour range.