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Introduction

This is how we work at MarsBased and how we help our clients and partners to design & develop mobile and web applications using Ruby on Rails and Javascript.

Our clients

Our clients are technological companies from virtually anywhere on Earth who:

  • Value quality over quantity.
  • Are looking for long-term relationships.
  • Believe that simplicity is key to any project's success.
  • Like to communicate frequently and clearly with providers.
  • Trust providers when tasks are clear and no communication is needed.

We have worked with teams from all sizes, from one-man startups to big multinationals like Zinio or Rakuten. Sometimes, we are the only dev team in the project and sometimes we need to coordinate with other teams (QA, marketing, deploys) to ensure the success of the project.


Roles

As a development consultancy who offers end-to-end solutions, we have a multidisciplinary team. Each phase of the project has different tasks and responsibilities, and thus requires different skills and knowledge.

At MarsBased, we have the following roles:

  • Project Manager
  • Web Architect
  • UI/UX Designer
  • Front End Developer
  • Back End Developer
  • SEO Specialist

Some of our employees are able to do two or three roles, given the circumstances.

In the next sections of this chapter, you will find a description of each one of them, along with a detailed list of their duties on a project.

Project Manager

The Project Manager is the ultimate responsible for the project. He can be someone with a technical background, someone creative or someone with product management skills, depending on the project needs. For example, if the project is exclusively backend development, the Project Manager will be an expert developer. If on the other hand the project requires mostly design, she will be a designer.

The duties of the Project Manager are the following:

  • Setup of the project in all the communication & project management tools of the company.
  • Organisation of documentation (contract, accepted offer, contacts…).
  • Scheduling and conducting the kick-off meeting between the client and our development team.
  • Scheduling a weekly internal meeting with the team.
  • Definition of milestones, and review on a weekly basis that we are meeting the deadlines.
  • Communication with the client related to milestones, deadlines, critical issues and contractual matters.

Web Architect

The Web Architect is a highly experienced and skilled developer. He is in charge of the technical definition that happens at an early stage of each development project. The Web Architect defines the architecture of the application, its services, frameworks and libraries that will be used, and how each critical feature will be developed.

He normally intervenes only at the beginning of each project. However, he might also play a role in the later stages of our projects, if the scope of the project has suffered major changes, or critical issues have appeared.

The duties of the Web Architect are the following:

  • Definition of user stories, flux diagrams and entity-relation diagrams to discuss them with the client and the development team involved in the project.
  • Definition of the technical architecture to discuss it with the client and the development team.
  • Answering the developers' technical questions all along the project.
  • Code reviews.
  • Development, when necessary.

UI/UX Designer

The UI/UX Designer is the person who takes care of all the design duties of the project. She is in charge of designing the user interface and all the graphical assets, discussing design related topics with the client, and ensuring an outstanding user experience.

The duties of the UI/UX Designer are the following:

  • Design the user interface of the application.
  • Design all the graphical assets required in the application.
  • Discuss the design with the client and the team involved in the project.
  • Answer design related questions all along the project.
  • Organise and perform QA.

Front End Developer

The Front End Developer is a developer with deep knowledge on one or several front end technologies, such as HTML/CSS, JavaScript, Angular or Ionic Framework, among others.

All our projects require an HTML/CSS expert, who is in charge of implementing the static version of the design. Other times, a JavaScript developer is also needed (usually an Angular programmer), when the application has advanced dynamic components that need to be developed and integrated with the Back End.

The duties of the Front End Developer are the following:

  • Chop the design into HTML, CSS and JS.
  • Develop the user interface and integrate it with the back end.
  • Discuss and communicate all the front end aspects with the client and the team involved in the project.
  • Answer front end related questions all along the project.
  • Perform code reviews when necessary.

Back End Developer

The Back End Developer is a developer specialised in back end technologies, such as Ruby on Rails. He is in charge of building all the server-side components and API endpoints of an application. Also, he takes care of setting up the servers and services required for the project.

The duties of the Back End Developer are the following:

  • Set up the servers and services required for the project.
  • Develop the back end of the application.
  • Discuss and communicate all the back end aspects with the client and the team involved in the project.
  • Answer back end related questions all along the project.
  • Perform code reviews when necessary.

SEO Specialist

Sometimes, the success of a project is tightly linked to its SEO. In cases like that, we add an SEO Specialist to the mixture.

The SEO Specialist is someone who understands the SEO best practices and knows how to implement them. He is responsible for communicating the guidelines and specific actions that need to be implemented to ensure that a website will be optimized for search engines.

The duties of the SEO Specialist are the following:

  • Define the SEO strategy of the project and discuss it with the client and the team involved in the project.
  • Communicate the guidelines and specific actions that need to be implemented.
  • Verify that the application has been developed according to the SEO requirements of the project.

Shared duties

Each of us has a different role when we are working on a project. However, some duties apply to all of us indistinctly (and are as important as the other ones!).

So we all have the following duties:

  • Participate in specific team meetings where our presence might be necessary.
  • Be responsible for our work.
  • Be positive all the time, respectful with the client and with our colleagues.
  • Communicate any issue that might affect our performance, the quality of our work or the deadline of the project.
  • Ask for help or for a second opinion to a colleague, proactively, when we feel that it might be necessary.

And that's all. At MarsBased, be believe that developing a product is a team effort and that each of us is crucial to the project's success.


Hiring Methods

Because we know there are different kinds of projects and clients, we offer three ways of working with us.

Model #1: Agile Development

You might want to hire our services according to the number of weekly days you want us to work on your project.

This model is especially fit for lean or ever-changing projects, with many change requests and a more dynamic roadmap.

We will sign a one-year frame contract establishing the price per day, invoicing method and the rules of the game, and for every project/feature request you send to us, we will produce an estimate on how many days it will take to complete it, allowing maximum flexibility.

We invoice monthly. The first day of each month we will invoice you for an upfront payment of 50% of the contracted days of the starting month, plus the 50% of the remaining days of the previous month.

Model #2: Closed Scope

Some projects are very well defined from the very beginning, especially the most technical ones. This allows us to work on a closed scope planning.

Once you send all the documentation of the project requirements, we will come back to you with an estimate/quote based on the number of days required to complete the project. This model is ideal for highly defined projects whose documentation is already written, covering all the cases and features.

Invoicing, in this case, will be agreed with the client, usually following project landmarks. By default, we will invoice you following these landmarks:

  • 40% upon having signed the contract.
  • 30% upon reaching a certain milestone of the development (usually around 50%).
  • 30% upon the delivery of the project.

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