The Exscudo ICO is the first major milestone for Excsudo. Four years of hard and intense work have paid off in a successful crowd fund raising over $4,000,000 and more importantly bringing around 3000 investors into the Exscudo ecosystem.
Andrew Zimine, CEO, and Alex Sitnikov, CTO, share their memories and thoughts about the development of the project.
How did the development of Exscudo and EON progress from the first day to today?
At first, we worked on the idea. We explained the project to our colleagues and friends. We collected the feedback from industry experts. There was a time when we were in doubt whether the world really needed one more blockchain system. In 2013, after our analysis of the alternatives we were convinced that the best solution was a custom blockchain (EON), designed and developed specifically for the Exscudo suite of products.
This journey was not without its’ challenges. Finding the right talent is one of the main reasons Exscudo is at an advanced stage today.
The team building Exscudo went through a period of maturity. We had to let a few people go in the interest of the project. In 2015, a strategic decision was taken to move the development outside of Russia because at that time the regulatory stance towards cryptocurrencies was unclear. Expanding our search to other countries and hiring more team members globally, enabled the team to grow. We found the right talent which was more open to the challenges of building a next generation cryptocurrency exchange.
In 2013, two separate teams were developing Exscudo. One team working on the exchange core and another one on the EON blockchain. We realised that we could achieve significant synergies if we combined the two teams. The components of the Exscudo ecosystem listed on our website today are in fact products inherited from those two initial systems. Now Exscudo’s value and complexity are much higher than the sum of its parts.
What methodology did you use to develop Excsudo?
Technically, the project consists of 2 parts: the exchange modules and the blockchain modules. Ideas were discussed, built and tested. The exchange part is managed by Alex, he has used his own variant of the the waterfall method to organize the team workflow.
The development model has evolved from the waterfall model into the Agile. Today, developers work in a system of sprints, tickets and product prototypes.
Agile allows us to react quickly to the market. We have a roadmap, but ultimately it is customer service and value that we seek to achieve through the Exscudo ecosystem.
In the early days of development of Excsudo and EON, we tested various methods of development. The waterfall method worked best when we were defining our system building the core of Exscudo and EON. Today that our vision is clear we are using 100% the Agile methodology.
How have you recruited the team?
I recruited the team by finding experts in their field, some were my friends, others contacted us through word of mouth and still others in we found and hired from the net.
The Team is one of the most challenging issues when building such a complex system. We
changed a number of developers. Our staff are well rewarded but we also expect them to be high performers. It takes time to find the right people who can deliver high quality code work cooperatively and rally behind the vision of developing a suite of products that form Exscudo.
The right team can work in harmony when motivated both by their love of blockchain tech and a belief in the management team. Keeping such experts on board before the ICO and most importantly after is what creates success, after four years of working together we enjoy our passion in making Exscudo a success.
Today we have a streamlined the process of finding the best talent, we work with a number of the top agencies, furthermore we test potential candidates with tools such as https://devskiller.com/. When hired, developers go through a period of coaching, to find how their skills are best used in our project.
Our development process is Testing Driven: first, a programmer writes the tests, and then he develops its functionality. This can cause double work, but makes the developers think about all the exceptions that they have to address when writing their code.
Do you work with freelancers or temporary consultants?
We have hired the best academic professors from Russia to verify our mathematical and
theoretical models. Today there is little difference between what is academic research and the development of cutting edge technologies.
The boundaries between academia and business is slowly crumbling today. Today, the development of innovative solutions can only be done when the link between scientists and industry professionals is strong. If you want to develop a truly innovative model, researchers have to sit next to those who know the market needs.
Testing our assumptions and ideas is something we constantly do. Given the nature of our development the first place we do this is with our trusted team. We have also hired mathematicians to review and test parts of Exscudo and EON.
What was the most difficult in the workflow management?
Communication is key but it is also the most challenging. The requirements of Exscudo are complex, and being the technical lead feels like being the director of an orchestra. Each sprint is a coordinated effort from the developers to bring Exscudo closer to completion.
A four year development timeline in a project is long and challenging. If it was easy many others would have attempted this before. We worked hard to keep the development team focused and motivated.
At IBM there is a concept where a customer establishes a lifelong company relations: they are always together, regardless of the conditions, prices, crises. We would like to be a company where our employees have the same attitude to their work. 🙂
If you had to change one decision what would it be?
We made the wrong choice when we hired an external marketing agency. The current in house marketing team have proved their worth in this successful ICO. Having an in house marketing team gives me better control and flexibility. In addition the marketing team is the link between the users and the developers.
Losing talent, is painful but this is the nature of tech business. However new developers bring with them they bring fresh ideas and skills.
What does it take to work for Exscudo?
I want people who can adapt to challenges and find solutions. The two common traits of such people are discipline and self-development. On top of this, we are looking for passionate people, this drives people forward even when they feel that challenges have no solutions.
Proactive, creative and industrious are qualities we look for in candidates. Staff who are versatile and flexible are essential for small teams to be successful, because we are continuously creating solutions for the challenges our users face.
We encourage sharing of knowledge between our team members. During the development the lead developers regularly make presentation to the team for both feedback and sharing of knowledge.
What are the expansion plans for Exscudo?
We are currently expanding the development team. We are looking for the right talent globally.
Exscudo is a cutting edge ecosystem of financial products which requires world class developers. I am proud to work side by side such talented developers. This ICO has given us the required funds to find more staff who will help us build the products on the roadmap with success.
We thank Alex Sitnikov and Andrew Zimine for the interview.
Website : https://exscudo.com
ICO Page : https://exscudo.com/ico
Blog : http://blog.exscudo.com
Twitter : https://twitter.com/ex_scudo
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/exscudo
Whitepaper : https://exscudo.com/exscudo_about_the_project.pdf
Reddit : https://www.reddit.com/r/EXSCUDO
Bitcointalk Ann : https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1781624.0