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Tech Amigos provides unparalleled Developer Experience support for global university data provider, Times Higher Education

Since partnering with Times Higher Education (THE) and overhauling its Developer Experience (DX), Tech Amigos has bolstered the company’s position in the EdTech sector. It helped build two new digital foundations/platforms to extricate THE from its legacy estate, from which it cut ties in November 2019.

THE was able to launch two new products during the pandemic: THE Student, a new B2C business catering to its student audiences, and THE Campus, which addresses the need, made very evident by the pandemic, to encourage more teaching and sharing of best practices globally.

THE has fifty years of legacy and started its life as a Higher Education Supplement as part of The Times newspaper, known as a publisher of the World University Rankings and its bi-weekly news magazine. Today, it is recognised as the data provider that underpins university excellence in every continent across the world, with unparalleled expertise on the trends sustaining university performance globally. It also provides data products such as DataPoints and the SDG Dashboard, which help institutions measure themselves against the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), tools for hiring solutions, alongside consultancy for universities and governments.

Freddie Quek, CTO at THE commented: “Our partnership with Tech Amigos was born from a previous project they helped me with when I was working for a start-up going through a scale-up phase. I gave them a challenge to help my team improve our DX, across multiple repositories, flaky development and release pipelines, etc. They did an amazing job, so it made sense to go back to a tried and tested collaborative technical partner.

“For me, it is not just about the cost which everyone always focuses on, it is about getting the right expertise at the right time and level that can support your team. It is imperative to have someone who understands the intricacies of the technology estate, but also the politics of working within a team. Working and building a strong relationship with a strategic partner, rather than just a customer-vendor relationship, whilst benefiting from their experiences with other clients, is invaluable.

“At THE, we needed help to improve the DX for THE’s engineering teams. There are multiple products and teams, and they all work in silos, with their own processes and tooling. Bringing in Tech Amigos helped us to venture through a Discovery Phase – bringing everything together with a common process across all the teams, as well as creating a robust Engineering Pipeline.”

Freddie continued: “Tech Amigos was tasked with a specific goal to realise a streamlined process for the Student MVP, help build a new pipeline and test with Student MVP. It was also tasked with improving the Jenkins setup, rounded off with a training plan to enable my team to continue gaining support while they develop and grow in maturity.”

“Another example of the previous engagement in the start-up: my team was challenged to double our productivity. With Tech Amigos’ help we did it in just three months and in many instances got more than we asked for. This is not surprising as it is in the culture of the Tech Amigos’ organisation. I have always felt that you are working closely with people, not just the company – each individual is highly competent which helps to form a personal relationship and build trust. They will continue to be a valuable strategic partner that I will turn to if I need help now or in the future. I am delighted to see them making their offering available to other organisations like mine.”

Sachin Deshpande, Founder and CTO at Tech Amigos adds: “It is always a great testament to be asked back by a past client to come and help with their next project. THE has been an exciting journey for us and we are really proud of what we have achieved for them – delivering a well-designed, fully automated engineering process that has enabled faster delivery of high-quality software to their customers globally.”