Frequently Asked Questions 9


Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 23:06


Please describe how you would deploy an application of this nature including reference to any development, staging and production servers. What systems would you put in place to roll out upgrades after the application goes live? Also, how would you create a 'down for maintenance' page if we needed to do some emergency work to alter the application without loss of user data?

-For deployment, we prefer the use of Capistrano since it supports remote deployment, rolling back and release version control. In addition, Capistrano also supports the configuration of “down for maintenance” page.
- Normally, we use git style management features to handle different environments. Usually, we have 2 branches: production with stable code and development with newly-implemented code. Two...

Frequently Asked Questions 8


Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 23:01

Technology platforms

If you were asked to build an application like, what technology platform would you use? Eg PHP, Ruby on Rails, .Net, MySQL, SQL Server, Apache, IIS etc. We know this depends on a lot of things but please just give us your first impressions.
What payment system choices would you initially recommend?
Please explain your choices above. We would like to get an idea of your preferred technologies and your expertise with them.

If we were implementing a system such as the one described we would use Ruby on Rails on Engine Yard managed Amazon EC2 infrastructure (Linux, MySQL). Rails is a natural, proven, scalable choice for this sort of application that would enable rapid test driven development with strong security, strong standards, and manageable...

Frequently Asked Questions 7


Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 23:00

Will all the development take place in-house or would you outsource as well?

We do all development in-house.

Frequently Asked Questions 6


Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 22:54

How big are your typical projects in terms of time and money spent on them?

Most online applications take between six weeks and six months to implement. This is usually a client choice since we can usually adjust team strength between 1 pair (2 developers) and 3 pairs (6 developers). Costs range from USD 12,000 to USD 120,000. Some clients engage our developers on an ongoing basis.

In financial services, engagements range from a few weeks to three years costing between USD 30,000 to more than USD 1,000,000.

Frequently Asked Questions 5


Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 22:52

What type of work do you typically do?

We implement new online ventures for entrepreneurs (startups) or more established ventures (e.g. Twitter). We also build advanced analytics infrastructure (e.g. Hadoop) and provide advanced business analytics (e.g. neural networks) to customers from finance (Morgan Stanley) to mobile games (ngmoco, mig33).

Frequently Asked Questions 4


Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 22:51

Will you be able to provide a fixed cost for the work?

Yes. However, we strongly discourage such engagements since it limits our agile development methodology's ability to respond to changing priorities, ideas, and emphasis during the development process

Frequently Asked Questions 3


Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 22:51

What currency do you invoice in?

We typically invoice in US dollars, but we can invoice in another major currency if that is important to a client. Invoices are issued by East Agile Limited in Hong Kong and paid by wire transfer

Frequently Asked Questions 2


Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 22:40

How many employees do you have?

There are 17 people in the East Agile organization. Most of us are Ruby on Rails developers.

Frequently Asked Questions


Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 22:35

How many years have you been in business?

The Stanyan Group, the first part of the East Agile global enterprise, was founded in San Francisco twelve years ago, in 1997. Since then, other parts of the enterprise were set up in India (1999), Hong Kong (2009), and Vietnam (2007).

Upgrading to Snow Leopard for Ruby on Rails Developers


Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 06 Nov 2009 at 12:48

A Mac OS X Snow Leopard upgrade can go badly for Rails developers.

Norbauer provides some advise on fixing mySQL and other elements of the Ruby on Rails development environment that can break when upgrading to the 64-bit Snow Leopard environment. For a full description, see

We have a large number of iMac OS X system on which we develop Ruby applications and were thankful this upgrade advise. Unfortunately, it did not alway address our problems. In those case, we actually found a fresh install was the most effective solution. Developers in the same situation may find the following directions for doing this helpful.

Duc and I tried to upgrade to Snow Leopard and to our surprise, it did not go very well....