Software Factory

Our Software Factory: a laboratory to develop projects

08 Mar 2019


Cedric Pontet

software factory-01

Written by Lëtzebuerger Gemengen (LG) magasin in July 2017.

Innovation has always been one of the leitmotifs of Agile Partner. In October 2017, the IT service company launched an entirely new initiative in Luxembourg: the Software Factory. What is it about? How is this service, based on the learning enterprise principle, is different? Cédric Pontet, the head of the Software Factory, tells us more.

What are the reasons that Agile Partner created the Software Factory?

They are found in the values ​​and principles that make up Agile Partner's DNA. Since its creation in 2004, our company has specialized in agile software development. Our priority is to satisfy our customer by delivering fast and regular features with high added value. To achieve this, we adapt to the changes, work together with the customer throughout the project, deliver operational software with very short cycles (from a few weeks to a few months) and place a lot of importance on the motivation of our employees .

Our structure is very close to the liberated company, an organizational form in which employees have total freedom and are responsible to whatever they choose. We trust our people, empower them and provide the environment and support they need. We created the Software Factory, an entity that learns and renews itself constantly, to prepare our developers for the future. It is now our third pole of activity alongside the Consulting and Coaching divisions with which it works in close collaboration.

Which services does Software Factory offer and for who?

We are targeting customers who have an idea but neither the skills nor the abilities to implement it. It can be a startup, an SME or even a large organization. This is usually a project related to the customer's particular business or an innovative idea for which no solution exists and whose degree of technical and / or commercial complexity requires specific development. Our offer reduces the time to market and maximize the chances of success of the project.

Concretely, we support our customers by setting up a dedicated and multi-competent team thanks to various profiles: from designers to facilitators to computer engineering experts, architects and front-end and back-end developers. Face-to-face communication and short feedback loops are very important to us. This is why we ask our customers to be present regularly in our work space to work with the team. That said, we accompany our clients beyond the technical plan. In order to guarantee a quick return on investment, we also criticize the economic viability of the project and identify its functional scope. Thus, we examine with them the relevance or not of certain features provided in the project to avoid unnecessary work. In many cases, half of the functionalities considered by the customer do not bring value and will never be exploited by the end user!

We then implement disciplined approaches, practices and tools that ensure a high level of quality while allowing fast and regular delivery. To give an example, we regularly use a method of work called pair programming. Rather than letting a developer do all the programming work and then check the work done, we have two developers working together on the same workstation. The first writes the code and the second assists by detecting imperfections, verifying that the code correctly implements the design and suggesting development alternatives. The time of realization is thus halved and the developers enrich their mutual knowledge by interactions during the programming session.

Who are the people who make the Software Factory?

We are a team of about fifteen people, between 20 and 45 years old, of very different origins and experiences. In this team, experienced professionals supervise young profiles, either recently graduated graduates or trainees in the final year. We are not only an incubator of ideas - those of our customers - but also a pool of talent. We believe that it is our social responsibility to help young talents develop and enable them to develop skills quickly by training them in our approaches and practices and by mentoring them.

This is the very principle of learning by doing. Universities and schools certainly teach students the basics of starting a career, but there's nothing better than learning how to serve a client, understand their needs, and deliver what they want on time. the fastest. What we are looking for in the Software Factory is young people who have an appetite for learning and a natural curiosity that drives them to go further. Our commitment to them is to provide them with means, interesting and innovative projects and quality coaching.  

With the Software Factory, we aim to create a virtuous circle where everyone wins: our employees because they are fulfilled, our company because its teams are motivated and customers because they are sure to have with them a team ready to follow them to the end of their project.

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