Small Goals and Big Dreams with Monkee: Team Augmentation for a Cheeky Startup

Skill gaps affect small technical teams even more than mature businesses – it’s time to act!

Vienna, Austria

Mobile Development, Team Augmentation
JavaScript, Node.js, React Native

Scaling software development teams can become a race against time for a business of any size. Monkee, a European startup based in Austria, had very precise requirements in terms of skills and experience but struggled to find the right fit… until they joined forces with Code & Pepper as a recruitment partner. Results? Steady source of highly qualified developers to keep the development momentum going.

About Monkee

Years of working in senior management positions in the consumer goods industry had given the founders of Monkee a unique insight into contemporary spending habits. Having realized that technological advances and marketing strategies make it so much easier to spend rather than save money, they’ve decided to take a deep dive into the psychology of saving. Their new mission was to discover how technology can remove obstacles to achieving and maintaining financial fitness.

The Monkee app has entered the Austrian FinTech mobile market as a tongue-in-the-cheek digital finance coach, helping users manage personal and family budgets in a motivating and enjoyable way. The app incorporates behavioral design, gamification and machine learning to assist in achieving saving targets. Based on transaction data, the application provides personalised digital “nudges” in the form of spending forecasts and money-saving tips. Moreover, when integrated with a (free!) savings account, the Monkee app can be used by families or groups of friends to save together for common goals. This combination of crowdfunding features and the principles of sharing economy helps reduce financial stress and… makes saving fun again.

Challenge

The startup founders approached Code & Pepper during Pioneers, a renowned technological event in Vienna. For some time, they had been trying to recruit a React Native developer on their local market, only to find out that the supply of developers in Austria is far from meeting the demand in general, not to mention particular technologies. With that in mind, the team augmentation formula offered by Code & Pepper seemed like a perfect way to finally bridge the skill gap and accelerate development.

Solutions for Monkee: Team Augmentation

Rapid changes in product development are the spice of life in the startup ecosystem. There’s no time for lengthy talent search, no matter if it’s connected with team scaling or replacing the previously hired staff. Team augmentation is a way to address all such issues with urgency, flexibility, and precision. In its essence, team augmentation at Code & Pepper involves the partner’s active participation during recruitment. It is our job to source relevant candidates and provide recommendations, but the final decision always stays with the client.

Flexible recruitment process

With Monkee, this meant designing a custom process requested by the CTO of the company. We were given a job specification and agreed to skip the standard recruitment task but asked the candidates to share a code sample instead. The next requirement was to enable the core team to collaborate with the new developer directly and avoid hiring additional staff for other project roles. Having analysed the company’s business model and the unique character of the product, we proposed a tailored approach to project management with extra focus on simplicity and efficiency.

The team at Code & Pepper has been very responsive to our business needs since the beginning of our collaboration. When new requirements emerged, they were always both fast and diligent to provide us with candidates that fully met our teams’ requirements. Experts in specialized software development areas are always in high demand so having a competent partner by your side is a great help to move quickly as a start-up!

Christian Schneider, Co-founder at Monkee

Steady flow of talent

One of the key values of team augmentation brought to Monkee was a continuous supply of talent for different stages of their business. We started with one developer, but since the cooperation in terms of recruitment and team coordination proved successful, Code & Pepper was soon on the lookout for a new back-end talent with advanced Node.js skills. A different set of expectations called for a different approach to recruitment, with more steps in the process and an even greater attention to culture fit.

Remote team coordination

Finding the right person for the job is just the beginning. If the development team is scattered around different locations, we need to take care of the working conditions for the new hires. Depending on the case, this means:

  • legal work & administrative tasks
  • office coordination & remote work policy
  • equipment & network security
  • holidays, sick leaves & benefits packages

Not to mention other factors that affect the overall cooperation, such as open communication and full transparency (project documentation, code repository, timesheets, progress tracking tools). In our staff maintenance efforts we aim to reduce employee overhead cost, while making sure the dedicated engineers have everything they need to perform well.

Technologies and solutions for Monkee

Code & Pepper services for Monkee

Open recruitment opportunities for the taking!

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