What Is X-Team?
Since 2006, X-Team has provided trusted, motivated developers to companies looking to scale their teams. This makes it the longest-running service of the group. Unlike most of its competition, X-Team is not a simple project-freelancer matching service or agency. It is a tightly-knit community of top-class developers, specifically selected not only for their technical skill but also their well-vetted communication skills and a certain compassionate personality, which fits with the company's philosophy of creating a better future for people around the world.
X-Team places a huge value on professional and personal growth, and have teams dedicated to helping their developers “unleash” both their hidden and obvious talents. This investment resulted in a huge and steady year-over-year growth of 30% in the past three years, with more and more partners trusting X-Team's fully remote workforce. Moreover, all that while being 100% remote — the company does not have an office. Instead, they have distilled remote working down to a science and opened the lessons for everyone to see in X-Team's Definitive Guide to Remote Development Teams.
The company was founded by Dave Rosen in 2006. However, since 2014, it is run by the CEO Ryan Chartrand, who has envisioned its unique approach to employee satisfaction (>96%), unprecedented developer growth and motivation, and its marketing strategy, which have been instrumental for the company growth.
The major partners of X-Team include some of the world's leading brands, such as FOX Broadcasting, Riot Games, Kaplan Inc., Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and Twitter.
X-Team focuses solely on providing motivated developers who are driven to keep their skills sharp in the most widely adopted technologies today.
Project managers are not provided so that developers can communicate directly with your team.
Screening and Interview Process:
X-Team attracts and hires experienced developers who are driven, proactive, open source contributors, committed to always learning and growing, and communicate often. X-Team's vetting process consists of 4 thorough stages:
- Initial screening: First, X-Team gives developers a stage to showcase their background, communication skills and personality through a variety of questions and video interviews. X-Team has a strong culture based around a spirit of generosity and humble attitude, and it makes a strong effort to only accept developers who meet that profile.
- Portfolio Review: Next, they dive deep into their portfolios and prior code samples, looking for people with creative problem solving, highly relevant skillsets, disciplined approach to testing and best practices, experience overcoming large scale challenges, and well-documented code.
- Test Project: Developers are then given a project with changing requirements and unique challenges to help reveal more about how they react to and communicate in common situations, as well as what technical decisions they make and how those decisions impact long term stability. The product is never used commercially by the company.
- X-Academy: At this stage, developers are paid to work on internal projects to continue to prove their value (and that they do not need their hand held), while also being trained on how to be an X-Teamer by giving them a decade's worth of knowledge on how to communicate effectively. They are also welcomed into a highly motivated community filled with opportunities to continue learning and growing.
Developers' Learning & Growth:
X-Team provides a wealth of opportunities to their developers to continue learning and growing through its Unleash program.
- Every developer gets a $2,500/year discretionary growth budget to purchase programming books or courses (Egghead, etc.), attend workshops or tech conferences (including X-Team's own conference, UnleashConf), get a gym membership to stay healthy, get productivity tools or apps, and anything else that they think will help them grow and stay motivated. The total growth investment into every one of X-Team's developers is approximately $7,500/capita/year, however.
- In their free time, developers can participate in X-Team's various ongoing challenges that motivate them to learn and grow. Challenges range from building open source projects together, learning new tech, joining hackathons, mentoring other developers, participating in fitness challenges, learning and sharing productivity techniques, competing in gaming tournaments, and much more.
The development industry today is highly competitive, requiring considerable effort to engage developers sufficiently enough to retain them for the long haul.
Developers today join companies expecting to grow and that expectation has to be met to keep them around.
That is why X-Team invests significantly in keeping their developers motivated by providing them with a myriad of learning and growth opportunities, allowing their customers to focus solely on making great products — not trying to keep their developers engaged.
X-Team has discovered after a decade of this approach that motivated developers are more active, push projects forward, communicate more often, and consistently deliver and ship products.
“X-Team's moral compass, ethical framework and care for its developers are all immense factors into what makes X-Team an amazing place to be.”
Ali Uz, X-Team Developer
X-Team Is Suited for You If...
You need motivated, proactive programmers who move projects forward, communicate often, do not need their hands held, and are supported by a company dedicated to helping their developers keep learning and growing.
It is also a great fit if you are looking for a developer to keep around for the long haul, as with X-Team's support via its Unleash program, they will continue to grow their skills alongside your business.
Although all of these companies provide development and/or design resources, your decision ultimately comes down to what you need.
Need short-term resources? Consider Gigster, they boast high quality and vetted talent for more short-term engagements.
Need design-centric resources? Consider Crew, a Dribbble owned company with a strong focus around design.
Need long-term resources you can trust for the long haul? Consider X-Team, they boast high quality developers who will be supported, motivated and given a wealth of learning and growth opportunities for as many years as you need them. If you are going for long-term growth (more than 3 months), you need developers who will have the support to keep growing with you.
We hope we helped you understanding the differences between each of these services.
This research comes from the information published on each company's websites. If something is not accurate or you want us to modify it, please reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org