Happy Bear Software

Trouble finding experienced Rails developers?

We're an experienced team of full-stack web developers that will help you ship high-quality software

You build software. You can tell the difference between a high-performing team and a dysfunctional one. You've worked with agencies, hired permanent/contract programmers and know how hard it is to find developers you can rely on.

We do our best work with people like you. We have an established track record, have built countless Rails applications, and bring with us a diverse range of experience, skill-sets, and backgrounds. If you run a Rail application, have a roadmap, and want to push forward, it's highly likely that we can help.

We don't do "best practice"

We're not agile, we're not waterfall, and we're definitely not "software craftsmen". Our singular objective is for you to come away happy from your experience with us by helping you meet your goals. We will use whatever tactics, techniques, and practices we feel apply to your specific situation to do that.

Our competitors define themselves with a focus on a process or methodology like agile software development or software craftsmanship. We are happy to steal useful techniques from these movements and buzzwords if they can help us ship the right software for our clients.

Our focus is instead on establishing a collaborative relationship with you. We do this by talking to you a lot. We want to understand as much as possible about your organisation and goals, and use that as a starting point for any software development we do on your behalf.

We work in iterations, ship early and often, write tests, and do code review, not because we read about these practices in a book. We do them because after working on hundreds of software development projects, we know they result in better software shipped faster.

Signs we're going to work well together

You have a roadmap. You have a strategy, a roadmap, and a clear idea of the user journeys you want to build. We can advise, consult, and help you experiment with ideas. But ultimately you need to know what makes sense to work on next, based on what your users are doing and what your organisation wants to accomplish. If you're still at the idea stage, then it's probably best that you start by working with someone that specialises in strategy or UX, whom we'd be happy to introduce you to.

You have professional experience building software. You've worked on teams that have delivered software before, as a developer, designer, product manager, or other role. Without someone to fill the product manager role that has experience of how software is built, it will be difficult to get the most possible value out of us.

You are comfortable working remotely. You are happy to work with a team spread across the planet and believe it can be successful for your project. We know that remote teams can build exemplary software because we've done it for tens of clients across a huge range of domains and stages of business.

You can describe what you want in terms of the user. Instead of telling us to use a gem or prescribing a database schema, you tell us how you want a user to interact with your software. You then leave the technical details to us, because that's what you're paying us for.

You will give us regular, detailed feedback. Software is never done. No matter how good our communication is, the thing we build won't ever be the exact thing that you wanted. To get the best value out of our services, we'll need to establish a tight cycle of shipping software and iterating based on your feedback.

Ready to talk? Click here to get in touch

Our clients

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Third Space Learning

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DriftRock

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Happity

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CharlieHR

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Really English

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Contagious Communications

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The People's Operator

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Survival International

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Paper Cavalier

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Cutover

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Eagle Genomics

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Retechnica

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JRPass

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CurrencyTransfer

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Calltracks

Questions you might have

Q: How much do you cost?

A: Please get in touch to set up a call and we'd be happy to share our rates with you. To give you an idea, we charge about as much as a London-based contractor but far less than our agency competitors.

Q: Who does the work?

A: The work is performed by one or more developers on our development services team. The current team includes:

Q: Are you time and materials only? Do you do fixed fee?

A: Time and materials only. We don't do fixed-fee, fixed-scope work. Before work starts we'll work with you to get a backlog planned and prioritised with more work than we can complete in a week. We'll then give you a rough guess as to what we can ship in that week. On some weeks we'll deliver 75% of that guess, and on others it will be 125%.

If at any point you feel that we're not delivering fast enough, we'll work with you to refine scope further, streamline our communications, and otherwise address any issues that may be slowing down progress. If after this you're still not happy, you are free to walk away from the engagement at any time with all of the code we've written so far.

Q: I want to hire permanent staff, can you help with that?

A: That's great! We wish you the best of luck with growing your team. We've even written a book about how you can do just that. To find and keep developers, you'll need to think about your engineering culture, how your team communicates, your onboarding process, how you select developers, and how you go about convincing qualified candidates to apply. We're happy to help with all of the above, so please do get in touch to discuss further.

While you're working on that, if you want to move forward on your roadmap without waiting for a candidate to get through your hiring process, we would be more than happy to do some work for you in the interim. When you find your permanent developers, we'll do everything in our power to make the handover as smooth and productive as possible.

Next steps

If you think we might be of assistance then here's what happens next:

  1. Discovery. You meet with us to discuss your organisation, your goals, and your immediate requirements. The purpose of this meeting is to determine whether or not we can help you. If we can’t, we’ll try our best to refer you to someone that can.
  2. Signing a Client Services Agreement. Our client services agreement sets the ground-rules for our client/provider relationship. It covers confidentiality, IP rules, and payment terms. It doesn’t commit you to any payment nor us to any work.
  3. Pre-flight. We do everything we can to ensure that we’re productive as possible on day one. That means getting set up with your development environment, getting permissions for your Slack/Trello/Heroku/other applications, and having a clear set of requirements planned for at least the first week of work.
  4. Signing an order form. An order form specifies a start date and fees for ongoing work on your project. Once we’ve decided on a start date and signed this document, your work is officially booked in.
  5. Work start. We start shipping software for you. We keep you in the loop over Trello, GitHub, and whatever other tools you prefer to use for communication. At the end of each week, you’ll receive a summary of what was achieved along with your invoice for that week.

If you think that there's a project we can help you with then we'd love to hear from you. To get started, please click the massive red button below, fill out your details, and we'll be in touch as soon as possible.

Click here to arrange an initial meeting