We talked to Yuriy Rybkin, COO, and co-founder of CodeIT, about custom software development and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Yuriy Rybkin: We are doing good, thank you. The virus has touched my family, as well as some of the employees in our company. Some of us had it in a mild form, some in a tough one, but all of us were really lucky to avoid some major consequences of Covid-19. Of course, we adhere to the rules of social distancing, wearing masks, washing our hands, and following all the precautions. And just trying to make the most of the family time we get during the lockdowns.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded CodeIT.
Yuriy Rybkin: It was in 2007 when I offered my best friend, and currently, the CEO at CodeIT – Alex Kholodenko, to start doing business in the IT industry. At that period, software development had not yet blown up the world as much as it does now. We were young, ambitious and believed, that we could do great things if we put our minds and hearts into it.
So I came up with the idea to start creating websites, as technology has always been one of my biggest interests. For Alex, that didn’t sound like something promising, but little did we know that it would become our business for many years to come. We started small, Alex took over the business side of things, and I the technical side, and had been the CTO of the company for 5 years, and then became the COO. Soon we met an exceptional tech-savvy guy, who joined us as our Solutions Architect and later became our CTO.
When we realized that we like what we do, and we do it well, we started growing really fast and scaling our team and business. Now we have 120+ people in our team, several offices, 500+ successful projects, and we are not planning to stop.
How does CodeIT innovate?
Yuriy Rybkin: Innovation is usually driven by the rapid development of technology, the growth of the company in question, and global changes in customer behavior. In our company, we pay attention to all aspects of our business. We monitor the world of technologies, how it is developing, what changes are relevant to our business, what is new on the market, and so on. We listen to both our clients, what are they looking for in a tech partner, and our team, what tech stack they are interested in.
We also bring innovation to our management level to successfully implement a sustainable business model. We have strategic sessions, delivery meetings, top management meetings, resource plannings, etc. Like every huge system, if even the tiniest detail stops working, things get ugly. For this reason, we integrate new processes, set a clear innovation strategy, and always spent time externally in search of new insights and ideas. This helps us to build strong relations with our clients, find new opportunities on the market, and quickly adapt to the new realities of the world.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Yuriy Rybkin: The pandemic was not easy for CodeIT, and the plans and goals we set for ourselves for 2020 were naturally affected by the events happening in the world. Nevertheless, after coming to terms with the situation, restructuring, rewriting some of the processes we managed to not only stay afloat but came out of the crisis more successful than we were expecting. “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst” as they say. Our goal was to cut expenses but to keep people’s jobs, and this process was not even close to “easy”.
Now that we came out of the crisis we are trying to give back to the community, opening new job positions, expanding our trainee programs, uniting with other fellow companies to help charity organizations and initiatives. Having both feet on the ground we can help those who need a hand in time like this. This has always been our ideology and the pandemic only strengthened it.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Yuriy Rybkin: Unfortunately yes, there were some tough decisions and difficult choices that had to be made. All of our top management team was very united and unanimous, they had to make some sacrifices, which they did willingly. I will admit, there was some staff reduction, and this process was one of the most difficult and painful moments in the history of our company. But I will also say, that we gave people everything we could, making sure they will not feel deserted during the pandemic, and when we started hiring after the major crisis, those people were our first contacts.
The lessons we learned from this situation: always know who is in your team, who you surround yourself with, really know people you spend most of your day with. And make sure to stay human even during a crisis like this. A human-oriented approach is one of the main traits of our company, something both our employees and our clients appreciate us for. If we only thought about the well-being of our top management and strictly followed the sear processes, we would have no company at this point.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Yuriy Rybkin: We use Power BI by Microsoft to manage our business processes – it stores a lot of data, gives us the ability to actually see what happens in our company through interactive visualizations. We also use Redmine and JIRA on our projects to assign and manage workload. Every project we work on has its own set of tools and skills, as required by the clients or/and selected by our tech specialists.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Yuriy Rybkin: Any company working in the same area of software development services would be a competitor to us. But at the same time, every company has its own peculiarities, approaches to work, how they build the team, etc. We respect our competitors, learn from them, and build partnerships. Our company has been on a market for more than a decade and we are not planning to stop any time soon.
Your final thoughts?
Yuriy Rybkin: I’d like to simply wish everybody’s 2021 to be good and easy, achieve your goals, let your business grow, and let your work bring you only joy. Don’t give up in despair — there is a place and time for everyone.
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