We are Haefele

It’s all about collaboration

Discuss your project

We believe effective software development starts with collaboration. True collaboration.

Much like with the creative arts, music and film making, the outlier productions are the result of passionate, specialist professionals collaboratively weaving their expertise together, each sharpening their respective crafts.

Software development at its best, is no different.

We cultivate and mentor teams of dedicated software professionals, partnering with our clients to provide cohesive, handcrafted Agile teams from our team of Scrum Masters, Analysts, Designers, Developers & Testers, many practiced alongside each other, driven to solve their next challenging problem, as a team.

Engagements

From Clean Start-ups to Dirty Refactors

Whether you’re exploring a new concept, navigating your MVP, or tackling a decade of technical debt in a complex refactor or complete rebuild, whether building a new team or boosting an existing team, there is a team shape and a road to high-performance.

Partnerships

From Design to Dev to Data Science

We believe Boutique consultancies like ours represent an important sweet spot for clients – large enough to be trusted with considerable challenges, but small enough to be attentive and foster expert specialism in a field – this is a win for clients and talent alike seeking high-performance teams.

We lean into this belief and partner with fellow Boutique consultancies in the Design & Creative craft (Product Design, UI, UX), and Data Science skills (Data Engineering, AI/ML) folding such specialism into our own as teams require – giving our clients a Boutique experience across multiple crafts.

Meet the team

Alan Haefele

Managing Director

Jonathan Balmer

Delivery Director

Shahn Middleton

Technical Director & Architect

Monique Geldenhuys

Operations Director

Guy Coleman

Technical Director & Architect

Monique Geldenhuys

Operations Director

Jean-Luc Roels

Accounts and Operations Administrator

Christy Haefele

Social & Community Engagement

Jamie-Lee Havenga

People & Culture Associate

Androux Havenga

Network Admin & DevOps Engineer

Jonathan Balmer

Delivery Director

Ryan Meiring

Business Analyst

Bodhi Middleton

Business Analyst

Kyle Roycroft

Business Analyst

Ivan Bock

Business Analyst

Kieran Moore

Business Analyst

Andrew Wicks

Business Analyst

Harley Ferguson

Developer

Riegardt Steyn

Developer

Claud Plaatjies

Developer

Johann Jonck

Developer

Marius Pruis

Developer

Jonathan Georgeu

Developer

Sashen Naidoo

Developer

Simon Gasson

Developer

Johan Botha

Practice Lead – Back-end & Cloud

Teri Jacobs

Developer

Stefan Jacobs

Developer

Matthew Bevis

Developer

Paul De Klerk

Developer

Thato Ramaoka

Developer

Gavin-Li Hunt

Developer

Henry Bartosch

Developer

Vincent English

Developer

Altus Baard

Developer

Darian Leonard

Developer

René Johannes

Developer

Androux Havenga

Network Admin & DevOps Engineer

Clint Hill

Practice Lead – Quality Assurance

Wayne Wilson

Functional QA

Ricky Wilson

Functional QA

Tyler Verster

Functional QA

Ross Coetzee

Automation QA

Ashley Wells

Functional QA

Garreth Dean

Automation QA

Simone Du Preez

Support Consultant

Jason Bowers

Support Consultant

Kate Gorey

Sales and Marketing Manager

Nicole Beukes

Creative Lead

Nicholas Gordon

Business Development

United States

How we work

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Offshore, Onshore, Hybrid Teams

As part of presenting a truly collaborative team for our clients, our offering doesn’t always equate to  a purely offshore team. We realise that some projects can greatly benefit from an onshore or hybrid team most commonly expressed with an onshore Business Analyst or Technical Lead able to engage stakeholders onshore while broader development and QA continue offshore in South Africa. Additionally, when it allows, we encourage key members of hybrid teams travelling between locations to spend time for high-value ramp-up and ever-important team culture alignment.

Collaborative Offshoring

Many cross-functional, geographically distributed software teams suffer with issues around process, code quality, output velocity, unhealthy team dynamic, high team churn, or a combination of these. Unfortunately, most of these issues compound the others creating a feedback cycle, but fortunately, many can be resolved through collaboration and working with a partner who has encountered these challenges in various shapes and is proactively engaged with you in building healthy teams with an ever-improving process and stable velocity.

Aligned Language, Culture, Time-Zone

Many software projects require more than just pairs of hands to perform a task – they require a partnership to interrogate and contribute to solutions on the table, proactively engage and take initiative in solving unexpected challenges. This kind of partnership requires IQ, EQ and true collaboration and sadly, barriers in language, culture and time-zone have a knack for eroding true collaboration.

The art of offshoring in software comes down to striking the balance between affordability (finding resource cheaper than local talent) and collaboration (finding talent who can truly engage as peers to your team). This is undoubtedly a difficult balance to strike, but this is where Haefele Software (and South African talent in general) presents a unique advantage – presenting an improved balance between affordability and collaboration, which most software projects demand, and deserve.

Pragmatic & Accountable Agile

We believe the trick to effective Agile is actively and constantly striking the balance of pragmatism, accountability and adoption.

In terms of pragmatism – following Agile shouldn’t be about forcing dogmatic ceremonies but on maximising team agility and responsiveness to the business. Not all businesses and teams are mature enough for full Agile but every team can iterate and improve on something towards the goal of improved agility and responsiveness. Try to fix one thing. Iterate. Repeat.

In terms of accountability – following Agile shouldn’t mean a drop in accountability at the expense of gained “agility”. Done right, Agile can provide necessary data points to improve estimation and everyone’s confidence in them, while holding the team more accountable, not less, at more regular intervals.

In terms of adoption – when Agile is done right, the key client stakeholders, product owners and the broader team all need to understand the Agile basics, and engage regularly, even if lightly, in the cadence and unfolding outcome.

Common Team shapes

We build and refine high-performance teams/units of all kinds of shapes, crafted around the business outcome, technical needs, backlog maturity, ideal budget/burn rate and phasing, amongst a number of other factors.

However, common units look as follows:

  • Scoping Week: A week comprising a partial Lead BA and partial Architect or Tech Lead.

  • Tech Assessment Week: A week comprising a light-touch Lead BA and a full-time Architect or Tech Lead.

  • QA Assessment Week: A week comprising a light-touch Lead BA, partial QA Functional Lead, and a partial QA Automation Lead.

  • Design Week: A fortnight comprising a partial Lead BA, full-time Designer, partial UX Lead, and a partial Creative Director.

  • Small Dev Sprint (1-2 devs): A fortnight comprising a light-touch Lead BA, partial Intermediate BA, light-touch Architect, full-time Senior Developer, light-touch Lead QA, and a partial Junior QA.

  • Medium Dev Sprint (2-4 devs): A fortnight comprising a light-touch Lead BA, full-time Intermediate BA, light-touch Architect, full-time Tech Lead, full-time Senior Developer, full-time Junior Developer, light-touch Lead QA, and a full-time Intermediate QA.

  • Large Dev Sprint (4-6 devs): A fortnight comprising a light-touch Lead BA, full-time Senior BA, light-touch Architect, full-time Tech Lead, 2 full-time Senior Developers, 2 full-time Intermediate Developers, full-time Junior Developer, light-touch Lead QA, full-time Senior QA, and a full-time Junior QA.

  • Automation QA Sprint: A fortnight comprising a light-touch Automation QA Lead, partial Senior Automation QA, and a full-time Intermediate Automation QA.

These teams represent a starting point for building an effective team, each shape suited for certain scenarios, recommended based on a number of factors; invariably each team evolves to a unique mix for the outcome and challenge facing each.

Proven Low Developer Churn

Given the increasing tension in supply & demand around software professionals, many clients are directly feeling the impact of this growing developer churn, both in their own in-house teams and in their offshore teams, perpetually dealing with ramp-up and waning developer engagement.

Developer churn is an important metric in your choice of software partner, not just their cost and quality. In fact, the rate of developer churn will drive your partner’s cost and quality – a software partner who cannot minimise developer churn, cannot maintain cost nor quality.

At Haefele, we maintain our team solely with full-time, permanent employees (contracting in only exceptional circumstances) – prioritising stability over revenue – and we are proud that as our team approaches 60 professionals, we record a mere 10 resignations over 15 years.

Why do our staff stay with Haefele? Good question. We hope there are a number of reasons for this – perhaps our ethos and values, perhaps our hiring process, perhaps our internal initiatives – but we’d like to think it’s equally our 3-part Why.

Bring talent together, Advance the industry, Be truly collaborative. 

From a developer’s perspective, this loosely translates to – Work with talented individuals, Build it properly, Have an impact.

“Following the BAMS Development with Haefele, we’ve seen 3,300 users onboarded. Tesco’s team is spending significantly less time on admin tasks and user training and saved a 6-figure cost-saving over 2 years.”

"We have a longstanding relationship with Haefele, and in the almost 20 years that we’ve been working together, they’ve continued to bring valuable advice and knowledge through their experience."

“We’ve been really impressed with the work Haefele has been providing. We've been really happy with their capabilities, the high calibre of their team members and their willingness to deliver has been felt from day one.”

What we do?

Build Partnerships

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Talented Business Analysis, Development & QA

Our primary goal is to engage in trusted partnerships around software talent – whether it be skilled Business Analysts, Front-end/Back-end/Full-stack Developers, or Functional/Automation QA Engineers.

 

With our base of talent in South Africa, we present the offshore alternative to the usual suspects in Eastern Europe, India and the Far East.

Full-Service or Augmented Teams

Our partnerships often take the shape of a flexible full-service, cross-functional team providing BA, Architecture, Development and QA talent (in a ratio suitable to your project needs), or as a collaborative, augmented team, providing the specific talent or skill missing around your table, whether it be a part or full-time Azure architect, or Automation QA Engineer.

Aligned Language, Culture, Time-Zone

Many software projects require more than just pairs of hands to perform a task – they require a partnership to interrogate and contribute to solutions on the table, proactively engage and take initiative in solving unexpected challenges. This kind of partnership requires IQ, EQ and true collaboration and sadly, barriers in language, culture and time-zone have a knack for eroding true collaboration.

 

The art of offshoring in software comes down to striking the balance between affordability (finding resource cheaper than local talent) and collaboration (finding talent who can truly engage as peers to your team). This is undoubtedly a difficult balance to strike, but this is where Haefele Software (and South African talent in general) presents a unique advantage – presenting an improved balance between affordability and collaboration, which most software projects demand, and deserve.

Experienced Agile Development

All of our projects work towards the Agile methodology, engaging clients in varying industries at varying degrees of Agile maturity. Our SCRUM literate teams have come to enjoy assisting our clients in that journey towards the more iterative process, higher release frequency, and achieving shorter/faster steps towards business value.

Experienced in POC, MVP & Product Development

Along the way, we’ve worked with a number of projects aligned to shorter and sharper deliverable, whether it be an innovative proof-of-concept (POC), helping a client define their most cost-conscious minimum viable product (MVP) and/or ramping up their team to carry their MVP to Phase 1 product development.

Specialist in Microsoft & Azure Stacks

As a consultancy, we continue to specialise in Microsoft & Azure to gain a depth and expertise to lead in this, our chosen stack. We maintain Microsoft Gold Partnership and strive for a consistency in quality talent amongst our analysts, full-stack developers and testers alike.

 

As the technology landscape ever changes, we do engage in adjacent technologies, frameworks and languages that add value to the Microsoft & Azure offering, whether that be in Cloud services (AWS, Google) and other language sets (e.g. TypeScript, Python), although balanced to not be at the expense of our depth in Microsoft & Azure.

Pragmatic & Accountable Agile

We believe the trick to effective Agile is actively and constantly striking the balance of pragmatism, accountability and adoption.

In terms of pragmatism – following Agile shouldn’t be about forcing dogmatic ceremonies but on maximising team agility and responsiveness to the business. Not all businesses and teams are mature enough for full Agile but every team can iterate and improve on something towards the goal of improved agility and responsiveness. Try to fix one thing. Iterate. Repeat.

In terms of accountability – following Agile shouldn’t mean a drop in accountability at the expense of gained “agility”. Done right, Agile can provide necessary data points to improve estimation and everyone’s confidence in them, while holding the team more accountable, not less, at more regular intervals.

 In terms of adoption – when Agile is done right, the key client stakeholders, product owners and the broader team all need to understand the Agile basics, and engage regularly, even if lightly, in the cadence and unfolding outcome.

Common Team shapes

We build and refine high-performance teams/units of all kinds of shapes, crafted around the business outcome, technical needs, backlog maturity, ideal budget/burn rate and phasing, amongst a number of other factors.

However, common units look as follows:

  • Scoping Week: A week comprising a partial Lead BA and partial Architect or Tech Lead.

  • Tech Assessment Week: A week comprising a light-touch Lead BA and a full-time Architect or Tech Lead.

  • QA Assessment Week: A week comprising a light-touch Lead BA, partial QA Functional Lead, and a partial QA Automation Lead.

  • Design Week: A week comprising a partial Lead BA, full-time Designer, partial UX Lead, and a partial Creative Director.

  • Small Dev Sprint (1-2 devs): A fortnight comprising a light-touch Lead BA, partial Intermediate BA, light-touch Architect, full-time Senior Developer, light-touch Lead QA, and a partial Junior QA.

  • Medium Dev Sprint (2-4 devs): A fortnight comprising a light-touch Lead BA, full-time Intermediate BA, light-touch Architect, full-time Tech Lead, full-time Senior Developer, full-time Junior Developer, light-touch Lead QA, and a full-time Intermediate QA.

  • Large Dev Sprint (4-6 devs): A fortnight comprising a light-touch Lead BA, full-time Senior BA, light-touch Architect, full-time Tech Lead, 2 full-time Senior Developers, 2 full-time Intermediate Developers, full-time Junior Developer, light-touch Lead QA, full-time Senior QA, and a full-time Junior QA.

  • Automation QA Sprint: A fortnight comprising a light-touch Automation QA Lead, partial Senior Automation QA, and a full-time Intermediate Automation QA.

These teams represent a starting point for building an effective team, each shape suited for certain scenarios, recommended based on a number of factors; invariably each team evolves to a unique mix for the outcome and challenge facing each.

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Technical Exploration

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Opportunity & Gap Analysis

Our experienced Business Analysts, with exposure across industries, often work in tandem with client domain holders to provide structure and best practice artifacts to scope out your opportunities and needs. We explore off-the-shelf players, service vendors, and competitors in your space, all to assist your team in likely Feasibility assessments, Budget calculations and Business cases necessary to support your upcoming projects.

Project Scoping

We engage with our clients to help clarify and capture their requirements, unpacking pain points in a series of workshops towards some key outcomes – often resulting in a subset of detailed backlog of user stories, high-fidelity wireframes, creative mockups, timing/phasing considerations, suggested architecture and a recommended team structure. In some cases, our Scoping exercises go as far as to develop POCs (proof-of-concepts) around more complex challenges to validate our technical recommendations.

Business Domain & Process Modelling

When our clients are operating in an environment with a complex domain, or an environment with many moving and changing parts, it is difficult to pinpoint where to start or at least ensure the starting point carries the most value. Our team engages to conduct the necessary workshops in the shape of Event Storming to map out your current business processes, identify users, systems and pain points to help you make an informed decision on what to focus on and how to proceed.

Product Research & Prototyping

In partnership with leading UI & UX product design teams, we engage to provide an end-to-end approach from researching your concept, market, and users through to design and prototyping through to solution architecture, development and  deployment.

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Technical Coaching

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Technical Coaching

As we’ve seen with some of our clients, not all software needs point to development resource – and sometimes the partnership is less about writing code, and more about improving the challenges upstream and downstream of that code and adding value in the broader software process.

When it calls for it, we enjoy getting involved alongside your team in technical consulting assignments, whether that be for a few weeks, a few months, or an ongoing addition to your cross-functional teams.

Strategy & Process Coaching

Our experienced senior team and Practice Leads, from covering industries from retail to construction, neuromarketing to financial services, always enjoy engaging in more strategic IT planning whether it be infrastructure, architecture, resourcing, or non-trivial technical decisions e.g. offshore vs. nearshore, outsource vs. inhouse, off-the-shelf vs. bespoke, rebuild vs. refactor and numerous other complexities that come with being a CTO today.

Agile & SCRUM Coaching

From our experience in augmenting numerous functional and dysfunctional teams, our SCRUM certified Business Analysts are well-equipped to engage in Agile, SCRUM and overall process coaching whether it be onshore, offshore or hybrid – not merely by sprouting best practice (which is easy), but by immersing within the team to affect change, embarking on iterative improvements one sprint at a time.

Release & Change Coaching

Downstream of code, a lot is often left to be desired. Our experienced Architects, Team, and QA Leads really enjoy the challenge of introducing team-changing improvements around QA strategy, release/pipeline strategy, branching strategy, and environment strategy – again, not merely by sprouting best practice, but by immersing within the team to affect change.

Architecture & Code Oversight

Reporting to provide insight and recommendations into the structure, security, performance, testability, extend-ability and suitability of a given architecture, from the coded solution and design patterns used, to 3rd party components and release pipeline, to guide technical decision making around complex refactors, state of technical debt, and/or feasibility for rebuilds.

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Technical Reviews

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Independent Insights & Recommendations

Given our experience in a variety of industries, types of software projects and their technical challenges, our clients occasionally lean on us for assistance in a slightly different shape – that of a Technical Audit, often to gain insight and recommendations from an independent, but technically knowledgeable party.

Architecture & Code Review

Our team engages to provide insight and recommendations into the structure, security, performance, testability, extend-ability and suitability of a given architecture, from the coded solution and design patterns used, to 3rd party components and release pipeline, to guide technical decision-making around complex refactors, state of technical debt, and/or feasibility for rebuilds.

Team & Process Review

Our team enjoys providing insight and recommendations into the health of a given team and their process, considering a number of facets from SCRUM/Agile maturity and adoption to branching strategy, from pull-request health to team skill gaps, from BA quality, story definition and estimation reliability to QA process and definition-of-done.

QA Automation Review

Our QA team, equipped in both Functional and Automation disciplines, enjoys engaging alongside BA, Dev & QA teams alike to unpack and improve all aspects of our client’s QA challenge often advancing their processes, tools, and  environments while improving maturity in test case management, regression packs and importantly assessing overall readiness and route to Automation.

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Careers 
at Haefele

We are engineers – run by engineers, owned by engineers. We are happiest when surrounded by personable, intelligent, challenge-seeking people – working on complicated projects in a space that values relationships, culture, and people over process – where the mentor and the mentorable thrive.

Ready to join our team and build some complex stuff?

Work for us
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