Our business ethos

We like to think that our personality as a company sets us apart from other more traditional consultancies.

Why hire a software developer?

The difference between software development and web development is a subtle one but an important one.

If you’re looking for someone to redesign your brand or present your static content on the web, we can point you at some awesome web developers and design agencies.

If what you need is something that does stuff, either to automate or improve an aspect of your business or present a technological solution to a problem you or your customers have, then we can help!

Spirit of collaboration

We’re huge fans of the Agile Manifesto here, because believing in it really does produce better software and happier users.

The most important thing to us is communication and collaboration. Software development works best when all the changes are being made out in the open. We like constant communication and sharing of ideas, rather than disappearing into a black box for several months and emerging with something completely different from what you were expecting!

This has to extend to contracts too, and we like to present all our contracts in Plain English so there are no nasty surprises. And while we like to be very clear about what’s included and what will cost extra, often we can sneak in a little change at no charge if it’s not a big deal for us.

Iterative, fixed-price development

We prefer to work in an iterative way when developing software. This means that instead of deciding all the requirements up-front, we can work through multiple short phases, designing the requirements at each step.

We’ll deliver something that works at the end of each phase, and then give you time to play with it to decide what is missing or needs to change in the next phase (as well as reasonable time to find bugs or issues).

Each phase will be something you can put in front of your users: we’re not in the business of delivering empty promises.

After we’ve decided between us the requirements for a given phase, we will estimate the number of hours it will take to deliver and fix a price. Working with a fixed price means that if we find we underestimated the requirements or we get stuck on a specific problem, you’re not paying us extra for that. Our rate varies, depending on the nature of the work and the client: a phase will typically cost less than £3000+VAT.

Behaviour-driven development

One issue that people commonly experience in this kind of work is that the client and the developer have very different ideas of the requirements.

For this reason, we employ a behaviour-driven development approach. If it works for you, we design your acceptance tests using Gherkin: a simple language that can be understood by developer, client and machine alike.

These acceptance criteria can normally be tested automatically by a machine, so they also function as regression tests: they help everyone to be sure that as requirements are developed for later phases, they don’t inadvertently break the earlier phases.


Knowing when to be serious and when to have fun is essential to the way we operate. I promise we’re not going to show up with 50-slide PowerPoint presentations, dense Word documents and a collection of buzzwords.

If you’re more comfortable having design meetings in the pub or the park rather than here at Duke Studios or at your office, we’re up for that!

If you’re in need of puns or unnecessary references to Twin Peaks or Kate Bush songs, we’ve got plenty of them too.

Like our approach to development?

All consultations are free, always. Please get in touch to book yours!

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