In 2008, the world was very different. It marked the birth of Android, the release of Fallout 3 and the first-ever bitcoin registration. It was also the year this word was introduced. Our history dates from that year as well. Back then, Django framework being publicly released in 2005 still hadn’t been widely used for commercial purposes. But this state of affairs was not to last.
Kyiv, October 2008: The financial crisis crippled the world economy, destabilized markets and weakened currencies. It must have been the worst time to start a company, right? Not really. It actually was the starting point for Django Stars. Now, since you know about the times when the company was founded, I think you can form an idea of what our founders - Roma and Roma - are like. They’re bold and desperate inventors who were, and are, confident in their plans.
In the Dawn of Django Stars
Back then, we were young, shared the office with another company and believed that our persistence and hard work will break us through to the new heights. As any new-born company, we were too young to have big clients and mostly muddled along until the first client came from Norway and trusted us their project. To do our best, we started to grow the team and thus our path began. Further, new clients appeared. MyMoneyPark (now - MoneyPark) and Diviac (now - Padi Travel) were among them, and they still stay with us. Thanks to them and their challenges, we grew and enriched our expertise. We needed them as much as they needed us, and we’re proud to be a part of these projects.
Since then, we changed 7 offices, got new clients and gained experience in developing such various projects in so different arias that now we see ourselves as multi-industry Django developers. We’re like James Bond. We can infiltrate any domain, examine it and offer the best solution for our client. Just to give you the lay of the land, here are some of our projects.
We made visualization for huge volumes of medical data, created widgets for storing data in cloud storages, built browser plugins, installers of our system for Windows, developed web portals for government agencies in education, created a social network for wine-lovers, a logbook for divers, mortgage platforms, subscriptions for pet nutrition, a load of CRM and a small mountain of other interesting and useful things.
From the very beginning, Django Stars chose to work with open-source tools. In return, we try to support the Django community and contribute in it through sponsorship of DjangoCons, Django Girls organization, and other global and local events. “However, we still feel obliged to Django, Python, PostgreSQL and hundreds of those freely accessible tools that we use in our projects” Roma Osipenko, CTO, opens up.
“The thing is that while our company was growing, we were growing too,” says Roma. “We got families and children, we live our lives and Django Stars has become an inherent part of it. And we are glad that the bunch, time, place and tools defined our company and made it happen.”
Django Stars stands on three pillars: its philosophy, clients and team
Over the years, the world has been changing along with the software market. But our main approach to services hasn’t - offering customized solutions for each client. After all these years, we still stick to this approach, having incorporated it into our philosophy. We don’t just create code according to the client’s requirements or adjust existing solutions to meet their needs. We examine the request, identify the needs and develop personalized solutions for each client, personally. You could compare us to a bespoke tailor. When people need a well-tailored jacket that fits perfectly, they don’t rely on the mass market.
We transform ideas into products that really work
We always strive for a high-quality end product that meets the client’s needs. The keyword here is “high-quality.” That means that even if clients ask us “just to redesign the interface,” we will do our best to ensure that the released product will work smoothly. Other clients come to us with an idea and vision of its realization and we help them to find a working solution that not only brings their idea to life but makes it truly valuable for people. To put it short, we create the best smart, efficient, handy and continuously upgrading products for clients who strive for all the above mentioned by people who love what they’re doing.
“Client is the king,” the proverb says. However, our 10-year experience proves that only those clients who know what they want, who are concerned about their product and take an active part in its development, receive in the end what they were looking for. Others, with a complex bureaucratic management system and low interest in the end product, will not be satisfied in any case and, thus, they are no partners for us. To put it clear, we are not afraid of large enterprises as it all depends on their commitment to the development process. Even more, we are ready to offer them enterprise-scale service with a warm and friendly approach.
Our main principles are: transparency and predictability
Keeping the focus on the quality of the end product boosts development of our clients as well. That’s because sometimes, a product idea may seem great in the early days, but only as an idea. So, when we get the client’s requirements, we do not simply start coding. We discuss with the client what they want to achieve in the end and move together toward that goal.
More than $350 million of investment raised by our clients proves that better than any words.
Our clients come from different countries, as you can see above. A lot of them come from Switzerland. Our COO, Arthur Bachynskiy, notes that in 10 years, we have brought nearly 80 projects to life. “A number of them came to us as fresh startups with an idea to develop, grew up along with us and remained our clients on maintenance. Such long-term relationships reflect our goal to bring high-quality products to life and support them as long as they need it. Every project is special to us, and we are proud to be part of every single one of them.”
To stay on the same page with our clients and track changes in the product development process, we stay transparent and eager to communicate at any time. Altogether, we have had nearly 50 trips in common to visit our clients, or them visiting us.
Our clients made us to discovered tons of interesting information: from the composition of the gas mixture for diving to scoring rules for getting a mortgage. In short, we’re glad to be part of totally different projects and solve completely polar challenges and, thus, grow and develop together with our beloved clients (but don’t tell them. It’s a secret).
The company is the team, and we’ve been developing side by side.
Over 10 years, Django Stars has hired 110 employees. Today, we are a team of 70 people. As a result, the median tenure at our company is superior to that of most leading software corporations.
Why do people dedicate their energy and experience to Django Stars?
Our CEO, Roma Gaponov, thinks that people are attracted by our devotion to what we’re doing. We’re not interested in money only. We’re really fond of our job. We are enthusiastic about solving complex problems, and there’s no other business we’d rather work in.
And that’s what we appreciate in our employees – not only professional experience, but also a passion for what they’re doing, even when they’re out of the office. We live the way we work, and we appreciate that our team shares this philosophy as well.
The team is our most valuable resource and is the reason we’ve spent 10 years as we did. We always bet on people who love their job and are open to new knowledge. We grew up and got experience together. And we’re glad that there are people who work with us for 5-6 years. They’re guardians of our principles and approaches who help the new generation of employees to understand and follow them.
Fun fact: In 2015, Django Stars employed 15 people, and only one of them left the company in the following years.
We are keen on the continuous development of the team, and we plan to raise it to the level of SWAT for extraordinary challenges but as accessible as 911.
That may not be profound wisdom, but it helps us stay true and keep on track. See us hitting the 20-year mark!
Originally posted on Django Stars blog.