Experience is Everything

February 9, 2022

This post was written by our partners at Dualboot.

There is no substitute for experience — particularly when it comes to technology development. 

Experience saves you time, money, and mistakes. It teaches you best practices. It helps you understand when and how to pivot. And, when you opt for an experienced, external software development team instead of building an internal one, it can provide even more value to your company.

We know some incredible chief technological officers and in-house developers, so this is not a knock on internal technical professionals and the companies that hire them. (In fact, our team is full of people whose resumes are full of those exact roles!) But, as we’ve learned over time, there are benefits to hiring an external development team to build your product or software, and experience is chief among them. Here’s why: Even the most seasoned technology professionals are only able to draw on the experiences they’ve amassed over the course of their careers. Their perspective is limited to the handful of companies they’ve worked for, the specific ways they’ve been trained and the encounters they’ve had with setbacks, challenges and projects. 

On the other hand, when you can leverage the resources of a firm with dozens or even hundreds of coders, developers, project managers, product managers and business strategists, you can leverage a wider range of experiences — and benefit from those who have been there and done that.

When we launched Dualboot Partners in 2018, we knew experience would be our differentiator, allowing us to add exponential value to our clients. Our founding members come to this work with decades of combined experience starting, running and (successfully) exiting their own technology businesses. We have since hired 170 developers, engineers and product directors with deep expertise in all aspects of this work. Wade Minter, for example, started his career as a technical engineer and eventually became founder and chief technology officer of tech startup TeamSnap, in which Waud Capital Partners recently acquired a majority stake. Allison Clott worked as a product manager and product director at three different organizations, including the New England Sports Network, before joining our team. Brian Moran has built and maintained more than 130 sites, and has also served as president and CEO of a software development company. Karolyn Currence spent more than 10 years overseeing Merrill Lynch’s wealth management and CRM products.  Jeff Lindsey has founded and been involved in several companies in the Durham, NC entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Lee Barkley was an Executive for two top-notch software development companies.  And Allen Williams was the first employee and head of product at Springboard Retail, a SaaS retail platform that was acquired by Global Payments last year

Those are just a few examples from the team we’ve built over the years. The result is a vast collection of experience that far surpasses anything we’ve seen in-house. 

This breadth of experience has also allowed us to build a proven process based on best practices, including regular peer reviews of our tech stacks and projects to ensure we’re following the necessary protocols and implementing solutions that work for the long haul. It’s a system of checks and balances to ensure peak performance across everything we do. And — side bonus — it alleviates so-called “key person” risk, ensuring no one person holds all your most important technical information. 

We’re also able to provide our clients with specialized resources. For instance, we recently took over a project where the in-house team tried to build its own dev ops infrastructure. Two people spent four weeks on that project and never actually finished. When one of our team members came in, he did everything in three days. He knew what he was doing, and he got it done, fast. 

Our developers have also helped many of our clients find the right third-party tools to supplement their internal software. We’ve seen the ones that work really, really well and the ones that fall short. Now, we routinely save companies’ time and energy by routing them toward the applications that will do the most good with the least amount of headaches. 

And then there’s the broader network that comes with an external development team — or at least, one with powerful connections. We have helped our clients find funding, full-time hires and potential acquirers, and that has been a force multiplier for our clients.

Technical skill is important, no doubt. But experience is by far the greatest teacher. And when you’re building a business or product, you want a team that has been there and done that. You want a team that has tried and failed, listened and learned hundreds of times over because you’ll directly benefit from it. They’ll bring only the best to the table, because they’ve already figured out how to do it right the first time.

February 9, 2022
Hilton Thompson