I'm working quite a bit with a development outfit here in Portland named Cast Iron. They developed the Hammer project, and we all decided we liked working together enough to try to keep each other busy. And why do I love Cast Iron? Well, let me tell you:
First and foremost, Zach, Lucas, and team are straight professionals. They are the first local shop where I looked at their first round of static builds and had very little to say. They not only nail converting comps into screens, they interpret the nuances with excellent reasoning. Sometimes I don't agree, but I appreciate that they are not automatons. This trait is rare in development shops and I wish it wasn't.
The ability to interpret and recommend solutions outside of the comps comes from real, live empowerment within Cast Iron. People do their jobs and know when to raise their hands on a sticky point. The decision making in regards to elevating something up to myself or the client is excellent. Everyone there is grounded and able to communicate with clients without non-programmer interpreters.
Cast Iron can scale from large web builds to full web applications. Again, they are pros at interpreting UX into functional product without a ton of hand-holding. It has been fun to collaborate recently on a new version of VOCAT. There were a number of tricky areas revolving around annotating video that have been dealt with better than I expected. They continue to surprise me!
The last trait that I find more important than any other is their integrity. Cast Iron does not sugar coat or sell things that they don't believe in. They say no to things more than most companies do, but it is always in the interests of everyone involved. What you hear is what you get.
I love working with them, and I can't wait to start on what's next.