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Q & A with Nightsprout

by Laura Lindeman

Nightsprout has been building and delivering user-friendly, next generation web applications since 2011. We caught up with founders Mitchell Lane (@mitchelllane) and Jason Bishop (@JSON_Bishop) to find out more about how this two-man team works with both startups and established businesses on the full life-cycle of an app: from design and development to deployment and data management.

Your Pitch:
Nightsprout helps companies reach their goals by creating software that meets their business needs and refining their web technology strategy. We are application builders with end-to-end experience ranging from database administration and app deployment to user interface design and product branding.

Mitchell Lane and Jason Bishop

Midtown (Atlanta, Georgia)



Funded or bootstrapped:

Price of Services:
We offer a flat total project cost determined on a case-by-case basis; alternative weekly rate not advertised.

What Customers Get:
We pride ourselves on our ability to combine high-quality client relationships with world-class software engineering services. We also feel that we are unique in our ability to deliver end-to-end application development: usable, attractive apps backed with rock-solid engineering.

How’d You Get The Idea For It:
We have worked in Atlanta’s technology community for years, helping startups achieve business success by building their software layer. There are so many great local Atlanta companies – from small, bootstrapped startups to big, well-recognized brands – who want to create software with a skilled, trusted partner. We’ve historically had to turn down these kinds of relationships due to time constraints. We thought this was really unfortunate so late this year we decided to quit our day jobs and take the jump into doing web application contracting and consulting full-time.

Collaboration Tools & Processes Do You Use:
We believe strongly in the use of Agile methodologies when it comes to software development. We’ve found that it offers some key advantages: adaptivity, communication, and timely results. Over the years, we’ve tailored it to meet our specific needs. Some concepts we draw on heavily include:

  • Sprints: Discrete development cycles in which various issues and features are addressed.
  • Task Estimations and Velocity Tracking: Help us to predict how much work we can get done during a sprint and improve accountability for work.
  • Daily Scrums: The best way to communicate essential information (like progress and roadblocks) to your team.
  • Pull Requests: A good tool for vetting work and managing what goes into the next version release.

We rely on face-to-face collaboration and communication as much as possible. Some scenarios call for other methods:

  • We rely completely on GitHub to manage interactions and communication regarding code.
  • For design process, we exchange documents using Dropbox or Google Drive.
  • In refining ideas and collaborating with outside parties, we use Google Documents and Spreadsheets.

We’ve also tried many project management tools like JIRA, Pivotal Tracker, Kanbanpad, GitHub Issues, Siasto, Basecamp, and most recently, Target Process. These products come and go; each has their own strengths and weaknesses. But for general use, we always return to using a whiteboard and Post-it notes. It is a simple way to track progress that is also engaging in a group setting. Some projects, particularly those with geographically separated collaborators, call for an online solution. In those cases, we’ve had a lot of luck using GitHub Issues.

Check back in a few weeks to find out how Nightsprout stays on top of emerging trends and builds a unique culture. 

[Photo Credit: Whitlock/Hypepotamus]


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