This article was written for our sponsor, Software Development Europe, Inc.

While Agile Scrum may sound like a cleaning product, it is actually a type of software development process that is based on iterative development methodologies. In fact, it served as an impetus that led Donnie Goins to his current position as CEO of Software Development Europe, Inc., a Raleigh based software development firm with labs in central Europe.

“There are two reasons we do Agile Scrum,” Goins explained. “One is [that] it’s a great way to deliver new software projects that are not well defined. Reason two is since we’re an outsourcing/co-sourcing company, it gives us a process to work with existing customers on a daily basis.”

Agile is a series of values that teams put stock in, like prioritizing working software over documentation and responding to changes nimbly with a plan for continuing work. Scrum is the organization method that makes abiding by those principles easy, and results in a positive experience for both clients and software engineers.

The basic setup is simple: a Scrum master facilitates and manages a Scrum team made up of software developers or engineers. That team then works in sprints – short periods of time with defined goals that usually last two or three weeks.

Every day there’s a short check-in, and then at the end of each sprint, the client is presented with that sprint’s successes. This process gets the clients involved early and often, gives the teams control over the timelines and goals, and creates a tighter relationship between the two.

“The primary benefit is for the customer,” Goins said. “The customer gets involved much earlier. They get to play with and touch it. All the engineers I know, they love the process. They get to make the choice of what they get to work on and how long it’ll take to do.”

With the Scrum process, clients are getting continuous updates, and the software engineers get to define their workload and timetable. Working together, the teams face less-intense crunch periods and are invested in the project they’re working on.

“It was really nice to work with a contractor that had that same focus,” said Tom Rouillard, a senior software development manager who worked with SDE while at ARCA, a cash automation technology company based in Mebane. “We integrated several SDE team members onto our development teams. Every morning, we would Scrum for about 15 minutes. We would use Google hangouts — what’d you do yesterday, what are you going to do today, have you encountered any blockers?”

Working together was successful for Rouillard’s team because SDE clearly stated in its contract that there needed to be a focus on Scrum. The Czech Republic developers worked with the team, communicating on a daily basis and avoiding an overnight code dump with no context.

Working together, even remotely, both Rouillard’s team and the SDE team came together for each project.

“I know we brought some engineers over in the U.S.,” Rouillard said. “Every day we looked at each other on screen. We never had a team where they would throw code over the wall at us, which is often what you get with overseas teams. With the integration that you had with SDE, it was perfect. These guys bought into what they were building. It was almost as if they were employees.”

Agile Scrum has shown its benefits time and again, and Goins is happy to promote its versatility for both in-house and outsourced projects.

“The reason my team and I push for Agile Scrum is it gives us a great way to connect to the customer on a daily basis,” Goins said. “It gives us a mechanism or process that increases the chances of succeeding with the customer.”

Goins, who is also an electrical engineer cum software developer in addition to his role as CEO, struggled with overseas development issues while working on an MBA at Duke University. So, he did what any good student would do and wrote up a proposal advocating for the utilization of European software developers as a way to ensure a higher level of quality control than the traditionally Asian-based partnerships allow.

SDE was born, and Goins utilized its services and resources for 19 years before purchasing the company and taking over as CEO in 2014.

Now, Goins speaks from experience, touting the company’s tried and true utilization of Agile Scrum as the premier way to get your software delivered on time and as described.

For more information on Agile Scrum, visit or Goins will be speaking about the benefits of Agile Scrum on November  29th at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in RTP.

If you are interested in attending the free seminar, please email or contact Nick Ferrara at

This article was written for our sponsor, Software Development Europe, Inc.