How Starcity Scaled From One Developer to Three Distributed Teams


Starcity needed to quickly hire both a new mobile and a new front-end development team, and they didn't currently have these skillsets on their local engineering team. Having had a great experience with their first Andela developer, Cecilia, they looked again to Andela to bring on a team of qualified developers who could ramp up quickly to avoid lost time and productivity.


Starcity onboarded a team of three Andela developers, already trained, connected, and ready to start delivering on day one. When they began migrating some of their software from Clojure to Javascript, they turned to Andela again to build out a front end team. Today, they have 11 Andela developers working across three Starcity teams.

Ramping Up New Mobile App Development

Last October, with their coliving sites filling quickly, Starcity wanted to grow beyond its desktop/web-based platform and offer its community members a mobile app.After evaluating several options for mobile development, including Clojure, Clojurescript, native iOS, and Android development, CTO Josh Lehman sought a balanced, middle-ground approach. Based on the experience of Software Engineering Manager Allen Price, they chose to build the app in java. The rest of the engineering team did not have this skillset, so they needed to hire a team of java developers.

Hiring in a Job-Seeker’s Market

A major hitch for Starcity was that hiring qualified local talent, onboarding each developer, and coalescing them into a functioning team would take time, and they needed to ramp up quickly.“We didn’t have anyone on the team with that competency and we were faced with trying to hire a whole team in San Francisco, which would be time consuming. Hiring in San Francisco is generally a hard thing to do. It’s a job-seeker’s market,” Josh reflects.Allen Price adds, “Even when you bring on more experienced engineers, you lose one to three months of productivity while they get acclimated.”

Returning to Andela for Guaranteed Results

Just a few months earlier, Starcity’s very first Andela engineer, Cecilia Wahome, successfully learned Clojure and executed a full website redesign. Cecilia’s successful partnership and connection to the company made Starcity turn to Andela again for a solution to their hiring and development needs.Rather than going through the time-consuming process of building an on-site team one developer at a time, Andela helped Starcity bring on an entire team not once, but twice. Download the case study now [link] to learn how Starcity created three fully integrated, distributed teams with Andela.

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