Softensity’s Development Engine Propels Form.io’s Rapid Rise
Established in 2015, Form.io is a platform that combines form building and API creation into one step for developers. This streamlined approach provides businesses with greater control, increased flexibility and faster turnaround times. The platform is built on an open source core with commercial packaging. The technology has quickly become the industry standard combined form building and API creation platform for global software developers in every industry.
At the company’s inception, Form.io sought to outsource the development of the platform, which was built from scratch. The company had highly demanding requirements for developers with the skill sets to work with bleeding edge, NextGen technology. It proved difficult to find developers with adequate skills to work on both the open source and commercial areas of the esoteric platform.
Leadership was also acutely aware of the high visibility of the project. As CEO Gary Wetzel put it, “Form.io is a software platform that’s used by software developers, so our code quality and our technology sophistication are all highly visible to a highly qualified audience that’s quite discerning.” Unfortunately, Form.io’s first two forays into an outsourcing partnership with teams in India were “abject failures,” according to Wetzel. And that’s when the nascent organization turned to Softensity.
Form.io first engaged a single Softensity developer to join two in-house developers in building the platform. The great success of this initial start led to rapid growth of both Softensity’s team and the platform itself. In addition to numerous more developers, the organization tapped Softensity for nearshore QA support.
“Throughout the entire seven year growth of Form.io, Softensity has been an essential — and dominating — part of our development engine, and has grown accordingly,” said Wetzel. “We’ve depended heavily on Softensity, and still do today.”
The expanded Softensity team has made up the majority of the company’s development resources since the beginning of the partnership years ago. There were ample challenges along the way, including a constant influx of new and emerging software frameworks and expanding feature and capability requirements. The team first started with AngularJS, then came React, Angular, and Vue.js. Softensity was able to provide developers with every required skill set as quickly as the frameworks were introduced, along with timely support for new challenges like accessibility.
Softensity’s highly capable team collaborates closely with the internal team at Form.io, including Wetzel himself, through daily project management calls and daily scrums. “The developers we work with have been an intrinsic part of our development team. And a stable part of our organization,” says Wetzel. “Many have been on the team for years, and we have meaningful personal relationships with them. Our internal team knows each and every one of the Softensity team members very well, including of course their full first and last names, but also even their pets’ names, and in many cases much about their personal lives.”
When speaking to the long-term partnership, Wetzel points to Softensity’s expertise, responsiveness, scalability and continuity — noting that the turnover with Softensity has been “remarkably low.” The CEO also appreciates the continuity provided by Softensity’s executive management in the face of significant and unpredictable events like the war and the pandemic. “Their proactive hands-on management during these major disruptions has been remarkable,” he says. “They’ve been exceptional partners throughout.”
And while Wetzel makes mention of executive managements’ “commitment and direct participation in our relationship with the organization,” it’s the team’s capabilities that he keeps coming back to. “There’s something in the water over there,” he jests. “There’s something special about this team, and I don’t think it’s limited to the people we work with. There’s something systemic in their solution provision. They’re just really solid and capable individuals.”
Form.io’s partnership with Softensity has helped propel the platform’s meteoric growth. Today, the technology is used by organizations ranging from startups and SMBs to large global enterprises within government, healthcare, banking and finance services, and many other demanding sectors. Clients include multiple agencies within the US federal government, the US Federal Reserve Bank, the European Central Bank and all of the tech consulting powerhouses including Accenture, Deloitte, Booz Allen, among many others.
Form.io also serves more than 70,000 individual developers with accounts on their commercial platform, many of whom contribute to and use Form.io’s open source (OSS) libraries found within Github, and who also participate in a large and active open source software community on Gitter. As the platform continues to evolve, the Form.io team is focused on expanding the platform’s capabilities, and strengthening developer experience (DX) features. “As we grow and expand,” says Wetzel, “we will continue to rely on Softensity’s partnership and resources both nearshore and offshore.”