We talked to Vladimir Obrizan of Design and Test Lab about OTT web applications.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Vladimir Obrizan: In these hard times, we basically follow the common-sense rules: isolation, hygiene, masks, etc. Thank God, no one from my family was affected.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Design and Test Lab.
Vladimir Obrizan: The company’s story started in 2005 when my partner Oleksandr Yegorov and I established Design and Test Lab, being Ph.D. students at Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics.
First, we developed IOS and Android applications for our clients, and our major customer was Kaspersky Lab.
Through time we have successfully developed more than 84 products, MVPs, and platforms for iOS, Android, and web.
In recent years our team has enlarged due to the capacity of app development. One of our successful applications was an online video library for students on different platforms. This case inspired us to focus our efforts on OTT app development.
How does Design and Test Lab innovate?
Vladimir Obrizan: The highest priority of Design and Test Lab ☆☆☆☆☆ is a Mature OTT Reliability Standard that is the development of reliable OTT applications.
But we don’t just write code. We help our clients to build better products by walking step by step along the way and helping to refine the vision and maximize chances for success. We apply scientific knowledge in project planning, architecture development, programming, and testing in our work.
Our software engineers necessarily cover the software applications with automated tests and also carry out the obligatory code-review procedure to make sure the source codes are correct.
Our mantra — “We do not develop without tests!”.
Our slogan: “We correct mistakes at our own expense!”
Because if this is done at the customer’s expense, then we are interested in making as many mistakes as possible. If this is at our own cost, then we think about how to program more reliably!
Design and Test Lab values:
☆ Proven OTT-modules;
☆ High-performance apps
☆ Low-cost maintenance;
☆ 1-2-3 integration;
☆ Certified reliability engineers.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Vladimir Obrizan: We always worked in the office altogether. During the Covid19 outbreak, our employees were forced to work from home. They felt isolated and out of control, although many processes on projects must be synchronized. So we had to quickly adapt to new circumstances and work remotely. Thanks to meticulous planning, daily online meetings, and regular control, we manage to sustain effective productivity, even working apart from each other. Afterward, we even hired several remote Software Engineers that already have shown great results.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Vladimir Obrizan: One not so difficult choice — is to let go of people who started to cheat on remote work: e.g., working for two companies at the same time/logging full-time day with actual 0 results, at the same time billing the company for a full-time job. However, most of our project management systems use results-oriented goals, so we found such poor workers within the first week of a remote job.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Design and Test Lab in the future?
Vladimir Obrizan: Yes, indeed, it is hard to keep good morale with a remote job. However, we send some small gifts (flowers) to people on occasion. We do remote pizza-parties with webcams to make sure all people still feel they are part of the team.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Vladimir Obrizan: Our competitors are companies who offer ready solutions for OTT streaming services in the form of a streaming platform that manages to play fast and qualitatively high volumes of video. Usually, they take a monthly fee for renting their platform and their storage.
We are going to release our own product. Next year the first step will be the release of video CMS and OTT web application.
But the uniqueness of our platform is zero crash rate thanks to the reliable method of development. Each content owner wants to attract and retain viewers. Reliable development guarantees high quality, high performance, and low-cost maintenance.
Your final thoughts?
Vladimir Obrizan: Yes, this COVID-pandemic is a tough challenge, but on the other hand — it is a big opportunity to build new products to make companies robust. Many companies never thought they will work remotely a year ago — look now: ALL COMPANIES WORK REMOTELY. What else should we expect from the future? I don’t know. Let’s relax and enjoy these changing times.