ShakaCode Consulting Versus Full-Time Hires and Staff Augmentation

favoritesabout usFebruary 11, 2023Dotby Justin Gordon


ShakaCode consulting differs from “full-time” staffing because we track and bill time to specific tasks reported weekly. We deliver results per your requirements. Our clients benefit from greater accountability, flexibility, and overall value.


When considering ShakaCode consulting for more significant projects, our clients will compare our value proposition with additional full-time hires or staff augmentation services. While our hourly rates seem higher on the surface, our value, as measured by results per costs, including overhead and management time, should compare favorably. With our flexible billing and specialized skills, we often complement your full-time staff and integrate seamlessly with them. Some of our ongoing clients, such as, have continued for many years.

ShakaCode is not a staff augmentation firm. Staffing firms provide engineering “resources” comparable to full-time staff but without the recruiting effort.

In contrast, ShakaCode consulting works on a task basis. The difference shows up in the billing and weekly reports:

  1. Staffing firms bill per person by the month
  2. ShakaCode bills to the minute by tasks with weekly email reports. We guarantee value for every task delivered.

Components of Value

  1. **Detailed Time Tracking: **ShakaCode bills time to specific tasks, per this article, with weekly reporting of hours for the prior week. Clients expend less management effort as each developer tracks work to tasks, with weekly reporting of hours.
  2. **Flexibility: **ShakaCode allows ramping up and down the budgeted hours quickly per business needs. For example, ShakaCode might have to wait for the product manager or designer to prepare a task description. Tasks requiring different expertise can be assigned to engineers with appropriate skills and interests.
  3. Continuity: The flip side of flexibility is continuity. ShakaCode never has and will never pull that developer off a project so long as both the client and developer are happy with the relationship and there is a sufficient workload. In that sense, ShakaCode team members have the continuity of full-time staff. If a budget allows for only part-time work, then ShakaCode developers are comfortable with batching work and minimizing context switching.
  4. Knowledge Base: ShakaCode works on many high-profile Rails applications at scale. Plus, we innovate in our internal project, As a result, we bring a wealth of experience to our client projects.
  5. Communication: The ShakaCode project lead meets weekly (or bi-weekly with smaller projects) with the client contact to assess tasks and workload. These weekly synch-ups often cover progress, issues, and expectations for the coming week.
  6. Teamwork: Software is a team sport. ShakaCode's engineers work together to ensure quality pull requests with minimal back-and-forth, so that client reviewers typically approve pull requests with minimal feedback. While every engineer will get stuck occasionally, ShakaCode encourages engineers to always reach out to teammates to ensure nobody is ever stuck for long.
  7. Satisfaction guaranteed: See below.

ShakaCode Internal Processes

Our processes keep high and consistent standards for our client deliverables.

  1. Management: Every ShakaCode consultant has a weekly, non-billable meeting with a senior ShakaCode reviewer. This weekly check-in allows ShakaCode management to identify any "issues" sooner than later. A standard agenda includes:
  1. Ensuring accurate and reasonable time tracking per ShakaCode's time tracking guidelines.
  2. Ensuring proper prioritization of tasks. Where was the majority of time spent during the week?
  3. Assessing answers to a weekly survey to assess accomplishments, upcoming priorities, and a "pulse" for how one feels about the work week.
  1. Screening and Training: ShakaCode focuses on recruiting software engineers that contribute to open source. Candidate assessment includes a survey and a coding challenge. Before working on client projects, new hires typically work on ShakaCode's products, including and various open-source projects.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

We always strive to deliver great value to our clients, which means the amount and quality of work delivered relative to the amount of time billed. We send weekly reports mapping time to tasks so that any issues with value surface quickly.

If any billing seems high, we'll discuss the billable hours and find a remedy. Should any ShakaCode consultant added to a project seem suboptimal, ShakaCode will replace the consultant and remove billing from the project onboarding period.

  1. ShakaCode Client Engagement Model
  2. Shortcut (Jira/Trello/Github) Toggl Time and Task Tracking.

Closing Remark

Could your team use some help with topics like this and others covered by ShakaCode's blog and open source? We specialize in optimizing Rails applications, especially those with advanced JavaScript frontends, like React. We can also help you optimize your CI processes with lower costs and faster, more reliable tests. Scraping web data and lowering infrastructure costs are two other areas of specialization. Feel free to reach out to ShakaCode's CEO, Justin Gordon, at [email protected] or schedule an appointment to discuss how ShakaCode can help your project!
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