Agile Java Development

Agile Java Development has been our slogan since the foundation of the company

Agile Java Development has been our slogan since the foundation of the companyJazzTeam is a service company with streamlined processes and an established culture focused on long-term customer cooperation. We have been supplying high-tech IT solutions to the European, US, and Russian markets since 2011, and have successfully completed over 100 projects. Our clients are leaders in the European telecom market, e-commerce and marketing solutions providers, and innovative companies which create the most complex products in the sectors of science and Internet of Things (IoT). Among others, we work with Silicon Valley companies and residents of the Skolkovo Innovation Center.

Our service and project management standards are based on Agile software development methodologies, while the company’s technical expertise is based on Java technology. This approach was consciously chosen from the moment the company was founded, and determines the way we work today. The approaches we have been following for over 10 years are reflected in our “Agile Java Development” slogan. Each part of this slogan demonstrates the values and working principles of our company.

Cultural values, priorities and approaches to project management in JazzTeam
Cultural values, priorities and approaches to project management in JazzTeam

Before creating JazzTeam, our CEO, Dzmitry Harachka, was professionally engaged in Java development on international projects for many years. After gaining extensive experience as a developer, architect, and Open Source projects committer and consultant, he became convinced that Java technology is one of the most universal and effective solutions for providing IT services.

Focusing on Java allowed our company to occupy its niche and gain popularity on the market. By focusing on one technology, we have been able to create an environment of real expertise in the company. Our accumulated experience allows us to analyze product architecture more deeply, share best practices between different projects, and effectively solve technological problems, thereby enabling us to do our job more professionally.

This approach is reflected in our values: we believe it is better to do one thing perfectly than a lot of things at an average level.

JazzTeam quickly reached a stable flow of orders and accumulated a pool of regular customers who were completely satisfied with our service level and highly appreciated our work. We have continued to maintain strong partner relationships with several of them over many years. The effectiveness of our chosen approaches and the high quality of our services were also noted by Clutch, a leading ratings and reviews platform in the IT industry. According to its 2020 report, JazzTeam was among the leading companies in the “Development” category in our country.

The advantages of using Agile project management approaches

Agile software development is very popular on the IT services market today. Customers increasingly prefer to take an active part in the project, want to constantly track progress and influence it, and are interested in the prompt introduction of new functionalities and quick product releases. The classic waterfall model does not always allow a vendor to meet the customers’ actual needs. The lengthy requirements formalization stage and the strict sequence of development stages often prevent a team from focusing on the implementation of the most important business functions. With the waterfall model, a product can only be used after the entire scope of work initially fixed in the requirements specification is completed. This type of cooperation does not allow the checking of the effectiveness of the developed solution in the early stages of the project, which can be crucial for the customer. Also, with this type of cooperation, the customer cannot be fully involved in the development process and can only influence the final result during the requirements collection stage.

Using Agile project management allows us to respond to the actual requests and business challenges of our customers. Commitment to Agile philosophy and practices provides several advantages to a vendor company.

EffectivenessEffectiveness. Agile methodologies presuppose a quick start of work and provide conditions for testing hypotheses at the MVP stage. Rapid response of the team to changes in project requirements and priorities provides an opportunity to create the most relevant and important functionality to contribute to the customer’s business development.

Transparent of processesTransparent of processes. Agile culture increases the effectiveness of cooperation through open discussion of situations on the project with the customer. A short feedback cycle and regular communications (standups, demos, and retrospectives) adopted as a rule in Agile processes contribute to achieving a common vision shared by all project participants. The development team and the customer get a clear picture of the project’s actual status, ongoing events, the current status of tasks, and the progress made so far. This continuous direct communication, both within the team and with the customer, accelerates the process of making important decisions and prevents unexpected risks, ensures continuous knowledge sharing, and increases the efficiency of interaction between team members.

PerformancePerformance. The iterative approach focuses on obtaining concrete demonstrable results every 1-2 weeks. The main progress indicator for a team working according to Agile methodologies is frequent and regular deliveries of new product versions, which brings real benefits to the customer during the development process. Due to Agile processes and effective management, the team maintains high performance levels throughout the project.

Flexible cooperation conditionsFlexible cooperation conditions. Agile practices presuppose flexible project parameters. The customer can effectively reconsider the budget and decide which functionality to invest in now, and which is still worth refusing. The same applies to the use of best practices. For example, in response to product instability, the team focuses on test automation. It is also possible to terminate the development at any moment (according to the contract terms), for example, if the customer understands that the created functionality is sufficient to achieve the set goal.

The impact of Agile methodologies on various aspects of our work

JazzTeam applies Agile methodologies at three levels:

  • At the strategic level — we are guided by Agile philosophy
  • At the tactical level — we build processes according to Scrum methodology
  • At the operational level — we apply eXtreme Programming tools and techniques (eXtreme Programming, XP)

Agile methodologies at three levels
Agile methodologies at three levels

Below, we will tell you more about how the above practices and approaches affect our work and what benefits they bring to our customers.

JazzTeam culture is based on the Agile Manifesto principles

When building the JazzTeam philosophy and processes, our CEO, Dzmitry Harachka, was inspired by the postulates and principles of the Agile Manifesto.

the postulates and principles of the Agile Manifesto
The Agile Manifesto principles

The Agile philosophy and approach are natural to us, so the above principles are also reflected in our cultural values, priorities, and approaches to project management.

Proactivity and mutually beneficial cooperation
Engineering approach to development
Highly motivated and professional specialists
Fast product deliveries
Self-organizing and constantly developing teams
Concrete, demonstrable results
Continuous analysis and improvement of project processes

Scrum as the basis of work for all the company’s units

Scrum is an Agile software development methodology with its own approaches to organizing project processes (sprints), tools (backlog, Scrum board), and roles within project teams (Product Owner, Scrum Master). According to Scrum, project work is broken down into short iterations, or sprints (1 to 4 weeks), which include every stage of development: from planning and analysis to implementation and release.

Scrum process

Scrum process

Scrum processes help to establish regular deliveries of new product versions, and ensure the transparency of the team’s work for the customer through daily standups and demonstrations of the functionality created during the iteration. Achievements and problems which arise in each iteration are analyzed during retrospectives.

In addition to these benefits, Scrum is an excellent organizational framework for company operations, which has been proven over our 10-years of using it. Scrum methodology is the basis of work for all JazzTeam business units, including the ones not related to software development (marketing, accounting, and administration). Our company has created a Scrum Rules document, which summarizes and formalizes the rules of the application of Scrum methodology tools (Scrum board) and events (standups, retrospectives). Having studied this guide, JazzTeam specialists quickly learn how to work with Agile methodologies and apply these practices in their daily work. Each JazzTeam employee maintains their tasks, estimates risks in advance, achieves specific results by the end of the sprint, and analyzes their effectiveness in retrospectives. All this contributes to the efficiency of our processes.

 

Scrum elements
 
Scrum elements

Over our many years of working according to Agile principles, we have accumulated extensive experience in building processes based on Agile methodologies. We will be happy to share our expertise with you to help you implement Agile practices in your projects. Our company also provides consulting services. Very often they are the beginning of our cooperation with customers within our other services, such as test automation or project management.

In addition, our CEO, Dzmitry Harachka, who has more than 10 years of experience implementing Agile methodologies in various companies, consults founders, owners, top managers, and shareholders of companies on the effective implementation and use of Agile and Scrum on software development projects. You can find more details about this service at zmicer.consulting.

eXtreme Programming tools are standard in our engineer’s everyday to day work

Our engineers apply the best practices of eXtreme Programming. Constant code review, collective code ownership, pair programming, and the unified code style are the approaches which help our teams to create products with a well-defined and logical architecture and easy-to-read and extensible code. Definition of Done, memory maps, and brainstorming sessions are the necessary and natural tools for our specialists to improve their performances.

Our engineers apply the best practices of eXtreme Programming

Our engineers apply the best practices of eXtreme Programming

We implement continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) at the early stages of a product life cycle and use the Test Driven Development approach, which ensures frequent deliveries of new functionalities with high quality. Our engineers always adhere to the principle of realism and independently analyze and evaluate their tasks, which allows them to achieve the necessary results in time without stress or overtime work. Thanks to this approach, we are able to achieve high levels of productivity and establish a healthy psychological climate within the team.

By applying eXtreme Programming principles, we significantly reduce the cost of development, testing, and further support of the systems we create. Due to constant communication with customers, we clearly understand their priorities and provide exactly the product they want to get in a timely manner. We ensure effective teamwork, where each project participant is actively involved in the IT solution creation processes and is responsible not only for their own tasks, but also for the overall result.

Why are we focused on Java?

The Java programming language has been popular in the IT community for over 20 years, and remains very popular to this day. Java is a leading technology that occupies the top lines in the popularity rankings on the IT services market. So, for 15 years this technology has been one of the top three leading programming languages according to the TIOBE community.

For 15 years Java has been one of the top three leading programming languages

For 15 years Java has been one of the top three leading programming languages

SlashData, a leading developer economics analysis company, has determined that more than ⅓ of the world’s total number of developers choose Java. This technology is used for creating products for cloud infrastructure (Amazon Web Services, Google Web Services, Oracle Cloud), machine learning, neural networks, for working with Big Data and applied science programs, and in the field of Internet of Things (IoT). It is also an excellent tool for solving complex research problems.

Java has always set trends in the world of software development

Java has always set trends in the world of software development

What benefits does this focus on Java bring to our company and customers?

Java is a key area of JazzTeam’s expertise. However, this doesn’t mean that we use this technology to the point where we neglect others which may be a better fit for a particular project. It is a conscious choice which has allowed us to accumulate deep knowledge in software development and provide professional engineering services based on this knowledge.

Being focused solely on the chosen stack, along with our vast experience in Java server side applications development allows us to apply the best practices of this programming language to various aspects of our projects. By adhering to engineering standards and approaches, we have gained extensive experience in architecture building and software design and constantly apply the best practices from the world of Java to other programming languages.

Our frontend developers always learn OOP and design patterns. When building the client-side logic (and not only this) in JavaScript, they use architecture and pattern-based thinking from the world of Java. When they apply JS frameworks (AngularJS, ReactJS, etc.), they deeply understand their function. They study their source code and repeat best practices when writing their own frameworks, which they create in an extensible OOP style following Java standards. The engineering approach to development is also consistently applied by our quality assurance specialists during creation of test automation frameworks. Thousands of automated tests we have written are easily maintainable, inexpensive, and save customers’ money in the long run.

Effective testing with JazzTeam

Effective testing with JazzTeam

Our company developed a methodology for retaining experience and reusing it between projects. If any of our teams has questions or difficulties, the entire technological expertise of the company accumulated over many years of work can be used to solve them. We also created an effective experience transfer system with the help of reference projects, which transfer best development practices to engineers and help specialists effectively immerse themselves into new projects.

JazzTeam created its own training program for Java engineers. The unified IT education system allows us to continuously enrich employees with new experiences and effectively transform education methods and plan for the future. The program is constantly updated to keep up-to-date with the latest trends and standards. As a result, we can guarantee that the knowledge of our technical specialists meets the current requirements and demands of our customers.

Our expertise in Java

1. We follow the best engineering traditions and practices:

  • Excellent coding style: loosely coupled, component-based, modular code, small methods and classes.
  • Extensible programming traditions. Designing extensible (including plugin) architectures using Java technology and various XP tools.
  • Professional reengineering and refactoring service. We know how to work with legacy code and legacy software architectures written in Java. During code refactoring, we evaluate the state of a product in terms of the architecture, technologies used, and processes executed, and propose options for further code development. Before we start manipulating the codebase, we try to create the necessary Unit and Data Driven tests to monitor the system’s stability during subsequent changes. All problems found are covered by Unit tests, preventing the reoccurrence of eliminated bugs. This allows us to ensure regression testing of our patches in all versions of your product, which makes the refactoring process more stable.
  • High level of Research & Development. JazzTeam has substantial R&D experience, and effectively works on projects where the customer doesn’t yet have a clear idea about the ways to implement specific solutions to achieve a business goal. In cases such as these, we perform the necessary research by building a technological foundation. Then, in subsequent iterations, we can proceed to the implementation stage or terminate cooperation at this phase and provide the customer with a detailed expert analysis, estimation, and architecture or prototype of the future product.

2. The approaches we use on all our projects:

  • Implementing Continuous Integration in conjunction with automated tests (Unit, component, integration, and UI, as needed) on each project;
  • Using Test Driven Development and Data Driven Testing approaches.

3. We are happy to take on complex R&D tasks. For example:

  • Professional secure refactoring of complex systems using Data Driven Testing
  • Reverse engineering of projects for future expansion and customization
  • Creation of scalable plugin systems
  • Creation of DSL languages and frameworks of various complexity for project needs
  • Creation of plugins for Eclipse
  • Extensive experience in modifying source code, customizing various libraries and frameworks such as Spring, Struts, Hibernate, Seam, etc.

We are not solely limited to server-side technology, and actively apply other programming languages. Our constant use of Java to create backends and integration solutions has given us experience in building backends in Node.js. We also frequently use Groovy (both for scripting and for creating complete backends), as well as Kotlin. We are proficient in technologies historically associated with the Java ecosystem (XML, XSLT, XSD) and professionally use JavaScript and related web technologies: HTML5/JS/CSS, AJAX, Angular.js, React.js, Redux (learn more about our expertise in Java and frontend technologies).

In addition to Java, we use Kotlin, Groovy, and also Node.js

In addition to Java, we use Kotlin, Groovy, and also Node.js

Not coding, but engineering. Not an outsourcing, but a service company

We are focused on creating high-tech IT solutions for the effective achievement of all our customers’ business goals, and are interested in active participation on their projects. The concept of ‘Development’ in our slogan is not only limited to product development and code writing. We offer a comprehensive service, including business analysis, planning, process structuring, design, testing, and deployment.

JazzTeam has established a value-based engineering approach to creating IT solutions. We always start the development process with the product architecture design and make various UML diagrams (deployment, classes, sequences, components, etc.), which are necessary to achieve a common vision of the concept and functionality of the product by the team and the customer.

Engineering approach to creating IT solutions

Engineering approach to creating IT solutions

Our specialists use engineering approaches and practices in their work. On all of our projects, we first of all implement continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) or significantly improve these processes if necessary. Timely implementation of CI/CD ensures predictability and stability of product function and reduces the cost of its further support. With continuous integration and delivery set up, developer-written parts of code are immediately integrated into the system and must pass daily testing (Unit, integration, and regression testing), which makes it possible to arrange regular product deliveries with complete confidence in their high quality.

Implementation of CI/CD includes the continuous application of best development practices by engineers: it establishes a single coding style in the team, as well as systematic creation of Unit tests. Introducing CI/CD and the best development practices allows us to improve the technological side of the product and contribute to the optimization and improvement of processes on customer projects.

When we find bottlenecks in the product, we apply automated tests to that part of the code. The autotests we create are integrated into the CI/CD processes right from the start and become immediately useful. Due to the implementation of autotests, the Product Owner can make sure that the key functions of the system work properly at any time, which allows them to avoid huge expenses on manual quality control and lengthy product stabilization. If there is a need to test a large amount of input data, we use the Data Driven Testing approach.

our services always include the participation of a manager on the projectWe constantly consult business owners on product development and offer ideas to improve the project’s processes or technological aspects. JazzTeam managers are facilitators of the service. Regardless of the size of the team or the task that needs to be done, our services always include the participation of a manager on the project. This means facilitating communications, creating documentation, and setting up processes on our part. Our managers provide a high level of process management on a project, introduce necessary task tracking and test management tools, and apply best product development management practices.

We are always ready to adjust to the customer’s needs and offer the optimum cooperation model:

  • Work within a single service (e.g., a product only needs testing).
  • Provide several separate services (it could be only backend development and test automation).
  • Offer a full scope of services (creating a project from scratch, including consulting, development, testing, CI/CD implementation, and IT support).

In project management, we rely on Agile methodology: we use short iterations and seek constant feedback from the customer. This approach allows our customers to receive and evaluate the first significant results of the work in just 2 weeks after the start of cooperation, and to make sure of the transparency of our processes.

By choosing JazzTeam, you choose a company with a clear focus and established culture. We have been following the principles reflected in our slogan for more than ten years. Agile philosophy, Java technology, and Development services are our foundation for solving technologically complex tasks and building productive relationships with customers.

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    Dzmitry Harachka, CEO & Founder
    Email: zmicer@jazzteam.org
    Skype: dzmitry_harachka

    Sales Department: sales@jazzteam.org
    Phone (Lithuania): +370 525 95660
    Phone (USA): +1917 508 53 87

    Talent Acquisition Department: talent@jazzteam.org

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