Mission: WWT Asynchrony Labs' mission is to create high-impact software solutions through ongoing client collaboration, iterative development, and continuous testing that are better than could have been envisioned at project start.
We're hosting the Hour of Code on December 8 in St. Louis, Denver, and Kansas City, Kansas. This is an excellent program to teach K-12 students the basics of coding and it's totally FREE.
For more details and to register by December 1 visit: http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vQSrg
When Emerson needed help developing their new cutting-edge thermostat for smart homes, they reached out to WWT Asynchrony Labs. Here’s the story: http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vQqaY
We specialize in application development, mobile computing, systems and sensor integration, enterprise architecture, and tactical collaboration.
Asynchrony is an information technology consulting firm located in St. Louis, Missouri. We specialize in application development, mobile computing, systems and sensor integration, enterprise architecture, and tactical collaboration. Our diverse client base includes commercial, non-profit, and government organizations. We’ve delivered solutions ranging from back-end government middleware to front-end applications and full-scale, commercial Cloud infrastructures. In short, Asynchrony connects people, sensors, information, and systems.
Our mission is to create high-impact software solutions through ongoing client collaboration, iterative development, and continuous testing that are better than could have been envisioned at project start.
The Asynchrony team is comprised of highly-motivated experts focused on developing well-designed, usable software backed by hard-core tech and engineering.
Thriving on Change:
Asynchrony was founded in 1999 by brothers Bob, Steve, and Dave Elfanbaum and Nate McKie. Since then, we’ve grown into a thriving company of 200 people and growing including developers, designers, QA professionals, UX specialists, customer support personnel, and the management, sales and administrative support to keep the company confidently moving forward into the “unforeseeable future.”
Our workplace and processes are designed to spur creativity and foster consistent innovation. Our teams work in open spaces that promote ad-hoc collaboration, employing tools as low-tech as whiteboards and as high-tech as state-of-the-art integrated project dashboards. Our “approachable nerd” culture keeps us thinking towards the future while keeping focused on the challenges at hand.
We’ve been a recognized leader in Agile development practices for over a decade, and remain one of only a handful of contractors delivering true Agile solutions for the Department of Defense. This development methodology allows us to be highly responsive to the evolving needs of our clients, learning as we go along, “failing faster (and cheaper)”, adjusting, and then getting it right. Our teams are designed to respond on a dime to changing requirements and emerging opportunities and technologies.
At Asynchrony, we don’t just respond quickly and effectively to change, we thrive on change.
Today’s technology and business environments change so fast that solutions created by software projects can be obsolete by the time they’re delivered. Traditional approaches to enterprise IT aren’t designed to respond to the unprecedented speed and uncertainty. That’s why we build software through ongoing iteration in close collaboration with our customers.
Asynchrony’s software development capabilities are driven through ongoing customer involvement that spans the entire project lifecycle. The customer is a key participant in the project’s kickoff meeting as they provide insight and guidance to establish the vision of what the team needs to build. Using this vision, the project team creates a charter that captures the team’s processes and determines the frequency of when the team will meet with the customer to gather feedback on completed software and flesh out the details of upcoming features.
Asynchrony’s agile software development techniques continuously deliver working software throughout the entire life of a project.
Ongoing conversations with the customer capture the details of the software to be developed using concise user stories. By breaking down details about the software in small user stories, customer investment is focused on implementing software vs. writing documentation. More importantly, small user stories allow for quick software implementation that provides faster return on investment and drives the agile feedback cycle; it is common that once a customer and an Asynchrony team brainstorm the details of a feature, the team is able to start demonstrating components of that feature to their customer in as little as one to two weeks.
While Asynchrony’s engineering teams use technical best practices to ensure software is developed the right way, ongoing customer demonstrations provide feedback to ensure the software does the right things. These demonstrations lead to refining the features right from the start of the project so as to increase the business value each feature provides. Discussions during these demonstrations allow both the customer and the team to share lessons learned and recommendations for improvement realized during the project; this results in prioritizing features that provide strategic business advantage while deprioritizing features that provide limited business value.
Our quality assurance processes are designed to prevent bugs, not just fix them. Before we write a single line of code, we create tests to validate whether each unit of code will work as intended. We program in pairs to catch errors at the keyboard and adhere to a uniform, maintainable approach to architecture and software coding standards. Continuous integration ensures that a system works exactly as it’s designed to work after each and every change. Customer acceptance tests not only guarantee the code works properly, but also verify that the individual business functions of the system work correctly.
Asynchrony engineering teams leverage automated test capabilities to enable their customer’s business agility.
Automated testing allows customers to refine and improve the software’s features throughout a project as the automated tests confirm immediately that enhancements made do not adversely impact features already completed.
A video of Asynchrony employees describing how embedded QA promotes quality on Agile development teams:
Asynchrony employs proven principles from lean systems and Kanban to increase the efficiency of software development and maintain customer awareness of project status. Working with their customer, development teams complete stories in priority order, focusing on the stories that provide the greatest business value. Teams only work on a few stories at a time so as to minimize work in process. This enables the customer to provide fast feedback and allows for lessons learned and shared code to be applied to stories that are addressed later in a project’s lifecycle.
Team efficiency and project risk are monitored by capturing metrics regarding how long it takes for a team to complete the development of each story. Trend analysis of the time required to complete each story guides a team to improve their process and software design so as to increase efficiency while not impacting quality. Teams use Kanban as a visual management system to track each story through its entire lifecycle. All members of the team, including the customer, can view completed, active and upcoming stories at anytime by viewing a team’s Kanban board. While the Kanban board guides the team to write the necessary tests and code for each story, customers can view the same board to see which stories have been completed and are ready for demonstration, and which stories have been prioritized for the team to work on next.
Asynchrony’s software development capability leverages the benefits of continuous improvement and learning. Development teams engage in frequent retrospectives to focus on identifying opportunities to improve their development processes and software. Teams then use metrics to confirm that changes made provide intended benefits. Ongoing customer collaboration ensures the learning, which inevitably occurs throughout the lifecycle of a project, is not lost, but rather used to enable the team to write better quality software and best support emergent business needs.
A video of Asynchrony developers talking about how pair programming supports learning:
Bob Elfanbaum is a co-founder and General Manager of Asynchrony. He is a CPA with 25 years of broad-based experience in management, sales, accounting, financial analysis, technology and operations. As Asynchrony’s General Manager, he oversees all business, financial and sales activities.
Bob, along with Asynchrony’s other co-founders, has managed the consistent growth of the company since its inception in 1999. He is responsible for not only growing and sustaining the company’s current initiatives to provide the US Department of Defense, other public sector organizations, and Fortune 500 companies with the most innovative technology solutions, but also establishing strategic initiatives to offer additional services and products in new market segments.
After Schafer Corporation acquired Asynchrony in 2010, Bob was named Senior VP of Schafer’s Mobility Sector, and is responsible for setting the broader business strategy for his division in context of Schafer’s overarching strategy.
Bob spent eight years at Price Waterhouse managing relationships for middle-market companies, including taking two clients through the IPO process. He also served as Chief Financial Officer of Virbac Corporation (NASDAQ: VBAC), a public animal health company, where he managed the financial operations of the company, including successfully completing three acquisitions, synergistically merging operating units and successfully implementing a recapitalization of the company to facilitate future growth, resulting in a 300%+ increase in stock price.
Bob also offers advisory services to local organizations, and currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Saint Louis University Center for Supply Chain Management Studies, as well as Shalom House, a not for profit organization dedicated to helping homeless women in St. Louis through innovative programs and supportive services.
Jim Rubin joined Asynchrony as Chief Operating Officer in the summer of 2014. Jim is providing operational leadership in the areas of finance, accounting, recruiting, human resources, legal and compliance matters, along with other general operating responsibilities. Prior to joining Asynchrony, Jim had been the chief financial officer of Gateway EDI since 2007 and prior to that he was the senior vice president and chief financial officer of Tripos, Inc.
Earlier in his career, Jim served in various financial and strategic roles in both large and smaller entrepreneurial organizations and in a variety of industries, including Monsanto Company in St. Louis and Coopers & Lybrand in Chicago. Jim earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Indiana University and an MBA from Northwestern University.
Nate McKie has worked on significant global integration projects and has experience in a broad range of financial services companies, including finance companies, insurance, mortgage banking, etc. He has extensive expertise in web development, imaging and workflow, process automation and intranet/extranet applications. In 2003, Nate became interested in Agile as a way of harnessing the amazing R&D work that Asynchrony was doing into a mature process that can create ready-to-ship applications for our customers. Since then, Asynchrony has become a leading practitioner of Agile techniques and ideas and has spread the disciplines of quality code and rapid implementation throughout its commercial and government customer base. Nate coaches teams in Agile techniques and has taught classes in Agile and Test-Driven Development to various Asynchrony clients.
Nate is a contributor to Asynchrony’s blog covering his perspective and advice on Agile team improvement techniques; many of these posts and other articles he has authored have been published in technical and project management journals. He is also a regular host on “This Agile Life,” a podcast about real-world issues encountered by Agile developers and teams. He has been invited to speak at technical conferences on Agile and Lean development techniques.
Doug Yokoyama has 30 years of experience as a strategic IT thought leader with a track record for turning ideas into outcomes. Many of those years were spent in the Silicon Valley establishing and leading innovative teams and startup organizations. His success is largely due to his ability to establish meaningful partnerships with technology-based solution providers.
Doug’s current position as Vice President of Business Development at WWT Asynchrony Labs allows him to provide thought leadership and vision for their expanding global sales and business development organization. His deep understanding of new and emerging technologies and enterprise and consumer software contribute to the success of the company’s mission to deliver superior outcomes and solutions for their clients.
Steve Elfanbaum is a co-founder and Vice President of Asynchrony Solutions. He is also a published technology author, instructor and speaker. Prior to Schafer’s acquisition of Asynchrony in August of 2010, Steve was President of Asynchrony, serving as lead technical consultant and program manager on multiple projects for the US Department of Defense and Fortune 1000 companies, as well leading the company’s mission to provide the most innovative technology solutions for their clients. His sound management and technical skills have directly impacted the company’s growth, stability, and customer satisfaction ratings.
Prior to helping found Asynchrony, Steve had 11 years of systems design, development and implementation experience with Fortune 100 companies.
He has been responsible for assessing and managing the systems architecture for both GE Capital Mortgage and Deutsche Financial Services. As President of Asynchrony Solutions, Steve has consulted with the US Army CIO/G6, US Navy Joint Explosive Ordnance Disposal program, Kaiser Permanente, American Financial Group and other leading public and private sector organizations in e-Architecture and complex systems integration projects. He has designed and managed the development and implementation of significant applications related to Internet-enabling an organization, reengineering and automating workflows, enabling mobility and managing information throughout the supply chain.
“Geek Interpreter Guy,” his unofficial title and superhero name, is a reflection of Dave’s passion for making complex issues more understandable through clear storytelling in multiple mediums. His focus this year is helping organizations move from seeing change as a risk to be managed, to using change as an opportunity to thrive.
Dave’s writing on emerging technology has been featured in multiple publications, including Wired Magazine’s Innovation Insights. He has presented keynotes at major conferences including The Association of Change Management Professionals Global Conference and the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference.
Say goodbye to cubicles! Asynchrony offers the type of working environment you’d expect to find in Seattle or San Francisco, right across from Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis. Our employees deliver cutting-edge software in small teams using Agile software methodology.
We started Asynchrony as a place where we wanted to work, not just a place where we had to work. After more than a decade of growth and success, we still retain the same comfortable atmosphere and have created even more advantages such as a supportive learning environment, agile development teams, leading-edge tech projects, casual dress, free soda and opportunities for advancement.
As an Asynchronite, you’ll have the opportunity to work with intelligent and friendly coworkers (don’t take our word for it, see our employee reviews!) Asynchrony offers several opportunities for employees to develop better relationships with their coworkers and further participate in activities outside of work including:
Working Together: A short video of Asynchrony employees talking about working well together in diverse teams
Growing Together: A short video of Asynchrony employees talking about how we've maintained culture and values in a rapidly growing company.
Asynchrony's client base includes commercial, non-profit and government organizations. Some information on our a few of our projects is included below. You can find more information on case studies and products on our website: www.asynchrony.com
Emerson, the world’s leading provider of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration solutions, has been pioneering in electrical technology for over 100 years. Their most recent venture into cutting edge technology is Sensi, a Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat that can be accessed from anywhere–home or away–right from a PC, smartphone or tablet.
Emerson reached out to Asynchrony to help them create their new product, bolstering their internal electronics expertise with Asynchrony’s deep knowledge of sensor integration, mobile application development, design, and the Internet of Things. In support of the Sensi thermostat, Asynchrony created a web portal, an iOS app, an Android app, and the scalable Cloud infrastructure to connect it all in a single, business-driven ecosystem.
Emerson now has an integrated, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat, a suite of apps and a web portal to bring to market, along with the back-end infrastructure to support them. Sensi is going to keep Emerson driving full-speed ahead into the future, and Asynchrony is proud to have helped make it happen.
For more information about the Sensi thermostat, visit www.sensicomfort.com.
The Navy tactical chat community has used Internet Relay Chat (IRC) since the 1990s. Over the years, it’s become a mission critical capability, supporting coordination, integration, and execution of missions, including everything from maneuver and logistics to intelligence, fires and force protection. Despite its utility, the decades-old IRC protocol has inherent security flaws that need to be addressed. The challenge is that the typical tactical chat network environment is disconnected, intermittent, high-latency (DIL) and low bandwidth. After a great deal of study, it was determined that XMPP, the designated Department of Defense Enterprise protocol for chat, could not provide adequate functionality in the DIL environment.
Asynchrony began a research project for the Navy in 2006 to develop a tactical chat solution that would add a layer of encryption and authentication to augment IRC, while retaining the resiliency and function of the protocol. This work led to the creation of “Mako Chat,” providing client and server technology designed to meet both Information Assurance (IA) requirements and the critical needs of the Naval Afloat user.
MasterCard Worldwide recently launched a global initiative entitled Simplify Commerce, making it easier to accept e-commerce and mobile commerce payments. MasterCard aims to trump domestic competitors such as Stripe by leveraging their worldwide brand equity, offering the lowest transaction rates available and releasing software libraries that dramatically simplify integration into consumer software.
The Simplify Commerce application helps developers set up merchants to accept online payments. It offers a merchant account and payment gateway in a single, secure package so merchants can concentrate on what really matters to their business.
To meet these objectives, MasterCard searched for an external partner that could support their brand’s high standard for security and quality. They needed to produce bulletproof and well-documented SDKs for rapid iOS and Android development.
The Asynchrony team was able to define a strategy that aligned perfectly with MasterCard’s objectives; namely, to produce libraries that they, themselves, would want to use. It’s tested, well-documented and contains sample applications that exhibit the end-to-end cart/checkout process.
Asynchrony developers built a graphical component and controller that focused on reliability, security, and stability. The SDKs, built using the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), had to ensure that the merchant never sees sensitive card data.
“MasterCard is always looking for ways to make payments easier, and Simplify Commerce is a new way to help merchants and developers connect with electronic payments. We built Simplify Commerce on an open platform that developers can enhance, and we are pleased that Asynchrony leveraged its expertise in the mobile space to build robust SDKs to support our open platform in a systematic, well-documented manner.” Rahul Deshpande, Technical Evangelist, MasterCard Labs
The history of U.S. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams dates back to World War II. The initial mission at that time centered on rendering safe the host of unexploded bombs, mines and other ordnance left behind by conventional armies on battlefields and cities across Europe.
Today’s mission has shifted to a focus on detecting and defeating improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and Weapons of Mass Destruction(WMDs). The challenge of today’s mission is two-fold:
Asynchrony has been supporting the EOD mission since 2003, when it worked on a Government research project developing a system to connect EOD personnel in the field with an online knowledge base. After leading the project to a successful final Military Utility Assessment in 2005, Asynchrony entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to extend the technology to other military, public sector, and commercial organizations.
Today, the Mobile Field Kit (MFK) puts state-of-the-art collaboration tools and real-time sensor data in the hands of tactical teams such as:
The Kit is housed in a portable, hardened case that includes everything needed for deployment across the city or half way around the globe. It’s built to easily integrate a wide array of communication and sensor suites within a field-tested, standards-based platform.
Whether working in the wake of a disaster or mobilizing to secure a base or large facility, teams in the field require effective tools for communication, collaboration, situational awareness and management. The MFK allows team members to acquire, store, assess and share information, both within the team and across organizational boundaries.
Krypdox is an enterprise wide, ultra-secure mobile file distribution solution. Unlike typical peer-to-peer file sharing solutions, Krypdox’s enterprise-to-user paradigm gives organizations full control of what files are shared, who they are shared with, and the level of security for each file and user. Krypdox is designed for companies that routinely distribute confidential information to mobile users, such as financial reports, price lists, lab notebooks, healthcare data and pre-release film and music media
For more information about Krypdox, please visit Krypdox.com.
I have been working at Asynchrony Labs full-time (More than 3 years)
The Asynchrony culture is a perfect fit for how I want to work, and being part of WWT has only made it better.
The calibre of the people who work at Asynchrony is amazing, from the delivery teams, the sales team, the back office, to the executive team.
Asynchrony has truly embraced working in an Agile way, not as a methodology to be followed, but as a set of principles that define how we want to work and what's important to us.
If positional power is important, or being the star player on a team is where you need to be, you may find this a challenging environment.
Advice to Management
Keep doing what you're doing. I appreciate the humility you continue to show, and the transparency you continue to provide.
I applied through other source. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Asynchrony Labs.
Initially, I had a phone interview (they contacted me). I spoke to HR briefly, and we set up an initial tech interview by phone after that. This was done a few days later. The phone interview felt more like a grilling session then anything. It was definitely not what I was used to in this industry and I felt like most of the questions were rushed. They asked me about existing code that was on one of my public repos and seemed to be more critical about what wasn't there then what was. Honestly, after the call I felt a little embarrassed and kind of good to be off the phone with them.
Two days later, I got an offer to fly to St. Louis and interview in person. After the initial tech call, this took me by surprise. I agreed to meet though, and they flew me out.
When I arrived, I actually met some really great people from the company before I made my way up for the interview.
I was shown the building, the benefits, the culture etc. Then this happened:
A team of lead developers came in and immediately let me know that they were not playing games. The attitude presented was one of dominance. I did not feel like I was on a coding interview. I felt like they immediately attacked my character and my knowledge for what I was applying for. The questions asked, were not beyond a basic skill level. They were easy. That wasn't hard. What was hard was watching these guys roll their eyes after every answer I gave, right or wrong, as well as snicker when I attempted to ask questions about the specifics of the questions that they were asking.
This lasted for a good 30 min. at which time, I was told that I would now be paired up with a dev for more coding.
That didnt happen. The tech team left, and 5 - min. later I was being escorted to the front door by the secretary. She also stated that my interview was over. This was fine, except for the lack of feedback that was given, or any concern with how I was returning to the airport.
I was left standing in front of the building, in the rain, 5 - hours from my return flight time with no way to the airport
At no point did this company consider any of this, or even inquire about my arrangements after cutting the interview short.
Very, very disrespectful people.
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