When we started building the HUK-Autoservice application — an online booking tool for reliable and binding auto service appointments, taking advantage of many available partner workshops around Germany — we approached the project not as “code pushers” but as co-creators. This is one of our fundamental understandings of successful projects.
Our main goal was to create a great product in a limited time, and we'd need more than just a board full of tasks and a few code guidelines. We wanted to be in the meetings, understand company values, and know the big picture, and only in that way could we do our best to make this software come to life.
That's how it's been for the last 12 months or so with the HUK-Autoservice team — a calendar divided between a first phase, until the product’s launch, and a second phase, comprising ongoing support to increase features. Instead of typical dev shops, we took part in the technical decisions that still make our software robust and trustworthy. Highly skilled people — on both sides, from HUK-Autoservice and foobar — still work together to build the best car-repair-booking application in the market.
We really adhere to our company values at foobar. This might sound like cheap marketing, but there are real-life examples of good collaboration between clients and developers that exist based on some keywords we keep close to our hearts. This project is a good clear example of putting those into practice.
We focus on people.
“We appreciate colleagues and customers, treat them respectfully, and strive to understand their needs as well as the needs of our end-users. Therefore we outperform expectations in the most relevant fields by listening and gaining deep and holistic insights into our tasks.”
We started HUK-Autoservice from scratch and decided collectively on the backend and frontend languages and frameworks. As a developer who joined the project later, I can see the care for not only the end customers — they can interact with beautiful, fast, and performant software — but also the developers. I was surprised by the thorough documentation and choice of tooling to make things easier.
Developers know that having the right tools make the job easier and more pleasant. This way, we could implement more ambitious features knowing that our tooling could help us debug eventual problems and test our application before it hits the hands of our customers.
With the focus on people, we can be sure that everyone — from the CEO to the final customer — can have the best experience with the software we are building.
We strive for excellence.
“We are not satisfied with “decent” and instead strive for excellence through continuous improvement. We work with passion, without overthinking but not too simplistic either.”
The tools that the team chose for the job — Kotlin in the backend and, in the frontend, NextJS with Typescript — are heavily tested and trustworthy, used all around the software development market, with tons of documentation and community interaction.
We can deliver the best product for the end customer with less possible friction: they don't even know things are changing on their end. We deploy updates daily, and bugs are found and fixed within minutes.
We follow the roadmap of the product — building step by step, using agile management, towards a bigger and better software — paying attention to only releasing high-quality results. We don't deploy anything without automated tests and human reviews; always looking forward to improving the current status and delivery. Quality is always a priority, and we're ready to defend it in any discussion.
We take ownership.
“We genuinely care about our company, our clients, our work and our decisions and want it to be a success. We are committed, confident and responsible for our actions.”
We don't see the HUK-Autoservice product as something foobar is building for the client. We are building this together, and co-creation matters. It's our responsibility to make it as if it was ours, caring for the project personally and not only acting as temporary contractors.
To have excellent results, we must have skin in the game. We went a few times to HUK-Autoservice's office in Düsseldorf to have important in-person meetings and workshops, and in the spring of 2022, we hosted their team at the foobar office for almost a week. We want to be part of everything possible.
It's not just about building software: we care about strategic decisions, team building, good people relationships, and straightforward, honest communication.
We act with integrity.
“We are loyal, honest and transparent. We create an atmosphere of trust and expect integer behavior in return. We don’t take shortcuts that sacrifice our values.”
Opinions can go in different directions — and this happens all the time — so we focused on creating an environment that allows debate. Taking part in meetings knowing we can act with honesty and transparency builds trust, and this is crucial.
We, developers, want to rely on everyone involved in the project so we can get realistic expectations. We will be honest and tell the truth. If we think an idea is not fantastic or when we disagree with a path taken, everyone can be sure we will be clear about this instead of hiding our feelings to avoid conflict.
This safe environment encourages discussion and brainstorming. The first draft of an idea can become a great feature if challenged instead of letting it stay barebones and malformed — and accepted blindly by everyone involved.
In HUK-Autoservice, we always thoroughly discuss the path we will take, being those broader discussions — user journey, user experience, customer flow — or in a molecular view — code writing, component organization, and API modeling. By working in an environment that encourages integrity, everyone is ready to be truthful and responsible for the application.
We believe in teamwork.
“We are certain that creating a familiar atmosphere and working together as a diverse team is the best environment for achieving excellence. We value team achievement over individual performance.”
It's vital: we need to behave as a single group of individuals. Even though I distinguish foobar from HUK-Autoservice in this article, we are one team in real life. We work together, tackle the same issues, and discuss in the same meetings, with the same weight in our opinions.
We care about our colleagues personally and help everyone that needs any assistance. It's not “us vs them”; it's we. By applying our values, we act as part of the entire process.
It's hard to give a concrete example of this value in the HUK-Autoservice project. It's abstract enough to be all around this article, from the beginning to the end. We are in this together, and we're making the best we can from both sides — actually, from the single side we have: the user’s side.
We are explorers.
“We care about improving our skills professionally and personally. We go beyond what we are comfortable today, support each other in growing, and create an engaging atmosphere. We embrace change and we desire to learn. We ratify new technology and find better ways to resolve problems.”
We are not only making original software for several different types of customers for our clients but also solving business problems by building innovative features for partner garages all around Germany. We are not afraid of tackling innovation and understanding the massive work around us to put new things on the market.
By going around normality to reach further, we grow as a company, as professionals, and as partners. I'm sure HUK-Autoservice will continue to be a great example of how we can achieve excellence by trying new things together.
We are not blindly accepting novelty, though. We are ready to test, try, bend and break new technologies if we think they do not meet our quality level.
HUK-Autoservice has been a great project for us — the kind of project we like to develop. It has been a great example of foobar values put into practice — we thank the HUK-Autoservice team for the amazing partnership. Not everyone is open to this way of working.
We will continue building the best possible application and being together as one team — bringing new features and improvements that will change how end-users book car services.
We are committed to doing this with quality, speed, and fun. In the end, everyone wins.