I mention my boutique consulting company, yafla Inc., on the blog occasionally, resulting in some rewarding engagements to add to the normal word of mouth opportunities.
Among those who have contacted me, however, a common element has been confusion about how yafla works, what it’s about, or the engagement types that it seeks.
Not The Royal We
Several times when talking about the company I say “we”, and I thought I’d clarify what this means. It is not a grandiose use of the “royal we”.
yafla Inc. is not what you might remember about Accenture. It is not CGI. It is not Tata. It does not strive to be those companies, does not emulate those companies, and draws none of the behaviors or practices of those companies.
Instead it is myself and an independent conglomerate of experts, with some business administrative support. People with exemplary skills in a wide variety of fields. Of intelligent, experienced people who achieve extraordinary things, regardless of the problem set.
These are people who I’ve met professionally, who I’ve worked with on projects, or who I heard great things about and reached out to, engaging them in my pursuit.
if you have exemplary skills and would be interested in such engagements, have a demonstrated history of great work and a commitment to excellence and delighting clients and users, drop me a line (email@example.com)
The we are not employees. They are associates who are very well compensating for their efforts in building fantastic solutions. The yafla Inc. overhead for subcontracting efforts is extremely low, and is openly and proudly detailed.
Instead of exploiting workers and clients (the standard model where organizations pay enormous fees to consulting companies in return for mediocre skills, a small fraction of the fee actually going to the talent), yafla provides a subcontracting solution — when the solution demands the scale — that offers more focus, dedication, and success than any alternative, and compensates partners in a way that makes them fanatical participants.
This low overhead model — where dollars buy talent and not tiers — means that we don’t have a sales team that will take clients out to box seats at sporting events. Dollars go to talent and solutions, not overhead and distractions.
Where travel is of value, we fly cheap; we eat cheap; we stay cheap. The dollars go to the solution.
Ok, Sometimes the Royal We
Often engagements are just me, especially early in a project cycle as the plan is being set, or where the project scope or timeline makes it an ideal option. Regardless of whether it’s we or I, you will receive the best solutions in remarkable timeframes, and the team will scale as necessary, with your approval of course.
The Work We(I) Do
Software solutions. Databases, data warehouses, data marts, data distribution, and the ETL between them all. Middleware. Business intelligence. Artificial intelligence solutions. Blockchain based solutions and integration. Very high performance financial systems. Web services. Transformations. Mobile and web applications. Service tiers. Security systems. Monitoring platforms.
Cloud initiatives and IT planning. CTO support. Virtualization. Ideally when coupled with software solutions of some sort.
We make and leverage software better than anyone. We make technology dance.
While we are most commonly tasked in the financial industry, our skills translate to many domains.
If you’re curious if your need fits our skill profile, contact me today (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What We Don’t Do
Desktop support. IT administration.
The Technologies We Use
The most common languages that we do implementations in are C/C++, C#, Go, Java, and Obj-C. The most common platforms that we target are Windows, Linux, iOS and Android. The most common databases are SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, and PostgreSQL.
All are fantastic in their own ways and are in no particular order, and each can play a part of compelling, leading solutions.
But we aren’t limited to those. There have been engagements that saw the productive, rewarding use of Erlang against a Riak data store. Another using Haskell. A data warehouse built on Vertica and the R language. F# was used in one solution because it was preferred by the team we worked with. We’ve exposed real-time financial data through WordPress. Made high-performance calculation systems for ARM processors.
We are not language or platform bigots. We work with whatever works best for your solution, incorporating all considerations, most obvious being suitability to task, but also factors such as the skillset of your team, and your ability to have contingency options. We also ensure that you are never locked in or lose flexibility by niche technologies or implementation techniques.
Security, Continuity, Intellectual Property
From day one we work from repositories that you have access to and control over, always developing and planning in a way that allows others to pick up the project and continue on the path that we laid. We will never claim copyright on code that we write for you, though of course mixed solutions have their own licenses (e.g. if a solution utilizes GPL open source code, or commercial or shared libraries, those restrictions will be detailed).
From the very beginning, every incremental piece of planning, design and construction is available for your browsing.
We generally require nothing proprietary from you, demand no special access or privileges, and will always work to guarantee least necessary access at all times. This is simply a best practice that all teams, whether external or internal, should always follow.
Who We Work With
We look forward to working with anyone, whether independent inventor/domain expert looking for some application development or data analysis chops to bring a vision to fruition, a team-lead of a project for a medium sized employer that needs some acceleration of a project that can be modularized, or the CTO of the mega finance company who wants some assistance on a data warehousing initiative. Our contact will be our leader in this adventure.
Geographical Markets We Serve
The planet Earth (minus a couple of UN embargoed nations). We physically work in Canada and the United States, currently, but can accommodate jobs from anywhere.
On-site visits will be accommodated and billed as necessary (and would be considered a plus for many locations), but generally work is done remotely through all available connectivity and communications options available. Not only will the process work fantastically well, in the end your organization will have improved your communication options and their use, and with that your talent pool.
What We Cost
Normally this sort of information is spoken of in hushed tones after the client representative has been wined and dined.
It varies depending upon the type of task and number of resources leveraged.
A – real-time, high performance vectorization, GPGPU/Compute type applications, security analysis and abatement, IT/C-level strategy
B – Big data. Hadoop. High performance data integration strategies. Very innovative mobile initiatives.
C – Advanced web applications. Normal mobile applications. Strategy mixes of the two.
D – Standard web applications. CRUD. SEO.
E – Windows administration. Basic deployments.
We don’t generally pursue C to E level engagements beyond oversight management, or if a regular customer demands it.
Rates might be discounted slightly for longer project durations. All amounts are in Canadian dollars, taxes levied as legally mandated (e.g Canadian clients are charged HST). Billing is usually done weekly, and a deposit is required in advance in some cases.
Engagements are generally set weekly to be either 0.5 or 1.0 of a weekly commitment, which generally entails 18 or 36 hours respectively. This commitment ensures that the week is spent building the best solutions instead of trying to optimize or minimize hours. We never spend a moment of our time or effort trying to lengthen or increase our engagement with you, beyond making you so impressed and overjoyed that more projects naturally follow. The length of engagement for most projects will be much shorter than you would ever have expected because we get a lot done in a very short period of time. Having said that, longer term engagements are of course discounted, as are those that are prepaid.
All engagements that entail subcontracting must be prepaid at each period interval. All resources (myself and my associates) schedule less than 100% to keep adequate time for research, investigations, and endless learning and experimenting. We do our own entrepreneurial projects both for financial rewards and to endlessly stay ahead of relevant technologies.
We will be an incredible value for your organization. You will receive enormous returns for your investment in excellence.
Send me an email with any questions you might have and we can arrange phone, video, or in-person meetings to go over details. Let’s get the process started. Of course the initial conversations and then engagement negotiations and high-level plan are completely free and no risk.
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Are You Just Pretending? No One Pays That Much!
I value my time and your time, and try to only enter into high value engagements where all parties are committed to nothing but outright success and heavy inertia towards a goal. I have no interest in engagements where the goal is headcount maximization, or people are just trying to fill time with no real goals. My requirements as far as compensation are firm.
It makes it much harder to find clients, and the situations are few and far between, but experience has demonstrated that they’re the inputs to certain success for everyone.
“I’m Not Sure If You Know Our Niche”
Try me and be surprised. Even for very vertical, domain-specific markets I’ve embraced challenges and delivered extraordinary solutions.
I am always open to discussion. If you have alternative arrangements that you’d like to discuss (e.g. investment based, longer term, dedicated, etc), give me a call or send me an email and let’s start a discussion.