The first smart connected biking system
COBI is helping to revolutionize the overall cycling experience by connecting your smartphone to your bike. This award-winning system provides bikes with intelligent assistance. The result is more safety, convenience, and fun on any trail or bike path.
COBI’s product manager Sebastian Frommherz contacted me in January 2016 because they were looking for a front-end developer to help them build a fast page for their current marketing web site which introduces COBI’s technical features to prospect clients and users, called the "COBI Connect" page (screenshotted above).
After our initial Skype call, The COBI team and I both knew we wanted to work together. COBI’s interest in building a great experience for their users and emphasis on performance matched well with the principles I strive to code by. What I appreciated even more is their openness for feedback and constructive criticism even from the first call, which helped us all realize that we were on the same page, and were wanting to work towards one shared goal.
In addition to the Connect page, the project included building the front-end foundation for the new COBI web application. More specifically, the Web app was composed of few sections, including—but not limited to—a user dashboard, help section which included help videos and PDFs, as well as a FAQs section. Future iterations of the application would then add more sections, all tied to their product and that would help users keep track of their activities and connect their physical biking activities with their digital accounts.
I heard about Sara the first time when my colleague sent me a link to her website. We had been searching for freelance web developers at that time to support our internal web devs. From what I heard Sara had some interesting CodeDrops and apparently was also involved with Smashing Magazine. None of which actually blew me off my feet right away. (Seriously, sorry to say, but there are so many who claim to having worked for this great company, and this great client and actually are not that good at all).
Well, turned out I was wrong. Already in the first calls we had established a great connection (I’m not talking about the Skype connection here - this was horrible). Sara was not just listening to all the stuff we had to say and present but already started to actively question our ideas and recommend alternative approaches. Excellent match - hired!
It turned out, we were completely right. Sara was very closely involved with our Design and Concept team. Technical issues and questions were resolved on the fly together with the team in a very agile way. And when saying “agile” I’m not meaning “without any plan”. The contrary: we had a pretty tight deadline which she pursued rigorously. I, as a project manager, consider it highly important if a team finds its flow and that was definitely the case here. This not only leads to better quality results but also to the team taking on responsibility for their work and making very great decisions themselves. A pleasure to see all that happen.
Next to this, and I guess this is just a PM thing, there was no worry at all to be left in the dark. Where others just close their shutters and come back from their tunnel after some time and you are sort of surprised by the result, I have been frequently updated about progress, issues which needed to be resolved and have seen development snapshots early in the process. Again, something I consider very valuable as I always felt included, in control and never was really worried the projects would crash.
And, best thing ever: it was a first timer for me to be working with somebody who gets quoted in academic work. (a talented, young web developer I know referenced Sara in his Bachelor thesis - isn’t that awesome?!?!)
Conclusion: of course, Sara doesn’t come without a price tag. But it’s worth it. Up to date I have not worked with a freelancer so open-minded, innovative and not afraid to challenge client’s work as Sara. And best of all, its not just “talk”… but also “walk”. Thank you, Sara, for the great work and even more for the great experience of getting to know you and working together!