Hamster Marketplace development team: how our outsourcer became a partner and why AI is to blame

    Crowdfunding is probably one of the most schizophrenic modern activities. This is because crowdfunders should focus on two things at the same time: fundraising campaigns (that is, crowdfunding itself) and the product for which these funds are raised. And not everyone can hold onto the focus, which has already been sung a lot of sad songs about.

    This fate has not passed and the Hamster Marketplace project- having carried out a presale in December 2017, on the New Year holidays, we started working on two fronts at once: preparing for a large-scale token sale, which is already underway, and developing an alpha version of the product itself - a decentralized platform for trading unique indie and DIY electronics. And we succeeded thanks to the radical expansion of our team: in January, one of the best Indatalab development teams in Moscow joined the Hamster Marketplace almost in full force.

    So straight and the best?

    One of the best - does not mean that one of the most high-profile. Probably, it’s just no sense for IT specialists to explain that the IT market is not limited to the competition of web design studios, there are enough projects, and sometimes entire businesses that live their busy lives in the shadow of NDA agreements. Indatalab is one such company. Our adviser Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov introduced us to Indatalab CEO Yuri Chaynikov , as well as to CTO of the company Alexei Sokolov , introducing them as one of the best development teams he had to deal with.

    However, our initial intention was only to decide what part of the development we could outsource in order to unload the team that was already working as an house on the key tasks of the marketplace and token sale. But then everything went a bit out of plan: already at the first meeting, we caught ourselves not discussing the nuances of developing a token sale personal account, but how a specialized AI can make the management of the marketplace truly decentralized. And these are not empty words. At the time of our acquaintance, working with neural networks has already become one of the key interests for Indatalab. Therefore, we will tell a little about their history.

    From Network to Neural Networks

    Back in 2008, Indatalab was just a web development studio. But, moving in the right direction, they gradually increased new competencies, adding desktop application development, mobile development and machine learning to the team’s pool of skills. Now the Indatalab team qualification allows the company to implement complex multi-level projects using diverse programming languages ​​and technologies (Java, PHP, JS, SWIFT, Python, TensorFlow, scikit-learn and others) using the best DevOps practices on the Atlassian technology stack (Jira, Bitbucket, Confluence, Bamboo and others).

    The most difficult project in the Indatalab portfolio was the development of a system for detecting and classifying objects based on data from distributed vibroacoustic sensors. This project had to solve a whole bunch of problems at all stages of development: from bureaucracy and infrastructure issues (it was about processing a data stream of 1 Gbit / s), to coordination in the field, creating predictive models and integration into the final product. Thanks to the qualifications of the team in the field of machine learning, the tasks were successfully solved. From that moment, work with neural networks has become one of the focuses of Indatalab.

    Among the largest projects and customers of the company are FRII, AlfaStrakhovanie and T8. Of course, most of these glorious labor feats are under the NDA.

    In Hamster Marketplace We Trust

    The very opposite story at the Hamster Marketplace. Since its relatively recent birth in July 2017, it immediately began to make its way into people. The idea of ​​businessman Denis Bulavin, who mastered the transfer of the production of children's tablets from China to the Moscow region, was simple: a decentralized trading platform for indie manufacturers of unique electronics - that is, everyone who, roughly speaking, is not larger than it, or even smaller. Without intermediaries, without degrading competition with low-quality copies of other people's products and with a minimum commission. In order to reduce the cost of such a project, one must be resourceful - and we believe that specialized AI is in many ways ready to replace specialized managers . However, AI is an add-on.

    The basis that will allow the Hamster Marketplace to become a truly decentralized project is, of course, the blockchain. Two blockchains will be involved in the Hamster Marketplace: Ethereum, on which the HMT token is issued, and Emercoin, which will operate package tracking, voting system and marriage registration. In the latter case, our development team will work together with Emercoin specialists under the leadership of its technical director Oleg olegarch Hovaiko. Blockchain will reduce the complex chains of product and service quality control, which are obviously critical for a site selling DIY products.

    In this form, Hamster turned out to be interesting not only to the public, manufacturers and private investors, but also to the community of developers who are very close to the topic of indie electronics. Indatalab was no exception, making a rather unprecedented decision to join the Hamster Marketplace as part of its team. Now, telling what Indatalab has experience in developing neural networks, we can safely say that the Hamster Marketplace has the same experience in developing neural networks. But we will not abuse it :-)

    Where did you divide the old team, fiends?

    Such a question would inevitably arise in the course of the narrative. Of course, the Varangians from Indatalab did not come from scratch. Both the site and the previous version of the personal account, which worked on the presale, were also developed within the team. But a good leader knows not only his strengths, but also the limits of his possibilities. Gathering even good designers, layout designers and developers together is one task. Turning them into an effective team is another. And, to be honest, entrepreneurs, marketers and financiers are not exactly the people from whom you expect its effective solution. And in our case it wasn’t worth it. Therefore, with the developers with whom we did the presale, everything is fine. Those who wanted to stay remained, having joined the process anew already under the guidance of professional CTO Alexei Sokolov. It is difficult to imagine who did not benefit from this:

    Yuri Chaynikov entered the project as a Product Owner - a person who determines the global development course in direct conjunction with the founders of the project and, of course, CTO. Yuri makes every effort to get the site to public alpha as soon as possible.

    For this wonderful reason, we also updated the Team block on our website :

    This implementation is also not the first for Indatalab: in addition to turnkey projects, the guys had to integrate into existing projects, including support and maintenance of working products. Again, we consider this a good indicator: getting involved in someone else’s process is like taking on the support and development of someone else’s code ... however, they also did this.

    From the beginning of development to the end of its life cycle, the project lives on average 2-3 years. During this period, we can deal with both support for the created product and bug fixes, and improvement, if necessary, creating new functions and capabilities. At the end of this cycle, staffing specialists of the customer will be able to take on further support of the project.
    - Alexey Sokolov, CTO Hamster Marketplace

    Hamster Marketplace development: en route to alpha

    Our team presents the development life cycle in nine stages:

    1. Analysis of tasks and business processes of the project.
    2. Preparation of business functional requirements.
    3. Preparation of the project infrastructure (project in JIRA, server setup, Git repository, Bamboo, Confluence).
    4. Development (from architecture and design to the finished product). During the development, regular meetings with the client are provided.
    5. Testing (regression testing card, manual testing and self-tests on Selenium) at all stages of development.
    6. Product transfer (documentation, repositories, docker containers).
    7. Integration with customer business processes.
    8. Maintenance and technical support.
    9. Decommissioning a project.

    Now the development of the alpha version of the Hamster Marketplace is between the third and fourth stages. Quite a lot depends on the final budget of the project, which will be determined only after the crowdsale of HMT tokens is completed, which is reflected in our roadmap:

    Don't switch

    We will talk more about the specifications and the development process of the Hamster Marketplace website in the following publications. To chat with us directly and find out what the community thinks about us, join our group on Telegram . And most importantly - participate in our token sale . Support us now, because there may not be another possibility. So far, only the second week of sales is in progress, and a 15% bonus applies to the purchase of HMT tokens.

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