No seriously we are. Microsoft Certified Partners in the Custom Development Solutions competency. What does it all mean?
In a nutshell, we have some great developers who have, through self study, passed the necessary Microsoft exams. Combine this with our wealth of experience delivering medium to large scale custom web development projects and we have met the necessary requirements to attain certification.
However at Equator we don't really feel like anything has changed, but that we have simply attained the recognition of what we have been doing all along; the development team have met one of our 12 month objectives. Tick. As a team we have some certificates to prove our skills. Tick.
It is not about ticking boxes though! We want our development capabilities to be envied by other companies. We want people to want to come and work for us. We want to deliver the best solutions against budget and requirements for all our clients. Simple eh!
How do we do this?
R&D - We are bringing what is happening in the development community into Equator. We ensure adequate R&D time, hold Grok talks (informal fast paced introductions to technologies and methodologies) and we insist that every team member should be prepared to have input into discussions and be prepared to mentor others.
Recruitment - Our recruitment process is rigorous. We always make our applicants write code under normal working conditions. Everyone is expected to prepare a presentation because you absolutely have to be able to communicate effectively. This process ensures we get the right balance between technical and people skills and also only take on the people who have the desire to work hard, help others and keep learning!
Quality Control - By keeping ahead and encouraging the uptake of new technologies we are better able to introduce and formalise new testing methodologies and technologies. Formal code reviews are always part of the process, not to mention accessibility and usability testing - often with real people, not just what we are told will meet the basic guidelines. We simply hate it when something goes wrong so we work hard to make sure it doesn't!
Finally - We are extremely proud of what we have achieved and continue to achieve. There are so many opportunities to help our clients in all aspects of their IT requirements (both public facing and internal) and we have the skills and desire to do this. If by attaining this certification, our new and existing clients have an increased feeling of trust in our abilities, then it really is worth having.