iHub Consulting launches developer-on-demand service, Ongair as the first client

By Kennedy Kirui
iHub Consulting
  Published 18 Mar 2016
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It started as a simple conversation. Trevor, Ongair’s CEO, just needed to move a bit faster. Ongair is a service that enables businesses to engage with their customers on instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram and WeChat. They have worked with brands like TecnoBuy (Costa Rica), Zeker.ME (Denmark), Petsy (Mexico), CoreFone (Uruguay), Navitas global, AMREF Health Africa, Cheki Africa, Chase Bank (Kenya), JamboPay (Kenya), OLX (Kenya & Nigeria), and Heineken; among other clients in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. The tagline “Innovative companies are already using Ongair, From Australia to Zimbabwe and everywhere in between” doesn’t lie.

Back to our simple conversation: Trevor’s team was overwhelmed and couldn’t execute the move he wanted as fast as he wished. Recruiting a developer of the caliber the company wanted would have taken even longer. Could we help?


The challenge

As a startup that is growing quickly they needed two blockers resolved so that they could move faster:

  • Automated server configuration & deployment - Ongair manages a large number of servers running their service. They needed a way to automatically push updates and orchestrate new servers for new clients
  • Whatsapp module improvement - the core Whatsapp module needed some work in order to reduce the amount of time it took to get a new client onboard

We broke the project into two phases. The first phase involved a deeper analysis of the challenges faced and the second was to implement the solution developed from the first phase.


Understanding the project better

The first phase involved analysing Ongair’s needs. James Mwai, a DevOps specialist in our team, spent a day studying their deployment infrastructure. From that exercise, we came up with a detailed plan to tackle the issue. Kenneth Kinyanjui, a Django developer from our team, took a week to analyse what needed to be done for the module to work better. He spent most of that time between our office and the Ongair office. The first phase was complete. We then moved into the implementation phase.



After 55 hours, 26 commits, 4 branches and 1 release from 2 contributors we had a script that completely automated the server orchestration process and update management of all the servers. The Whatsapp module required a bit more: 206 commits, 12 branches, 24 pull requests and 7 releases from 2 contributors over a period of 20 days to get the module finished. The second contributor for each repository was the ever-smiling Ongair CEO. He truly knows his stuff! It seems we were the right people to complement his skills. We could help after all!

How about you?

Do you need a highly skilled developer to complement your team or get your project moving a bit faster? We think we can help you. With a team of 16 developers (Python/Django, PHP/Laravel, Ruby/Ruby on Rails, AngularJs, HTML5/CSS3/SASS, frontend design, DevOps, Android) that uses modern development practices we can easily plug into your existing team and get things moving faster. You don’t have a team yet? We can create one for you too. Our SCRUM masters will coordinate the team to ensure the project is delivered well. Feel free to drop us an email (consulting[at]ihub.co.ke) for more information.

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