Fire Engine RED: Building a Stronger Foundation While Innovating With New Features


Fire Engine RED is a fully remote marketing, data, technology, and consulting services company that puts its clients first. With a solid portfolio of products and solutions for the education industry, Fire Engine RED has established a fast-paced innovation process, based on feedback cycles from its clients. This has helped the company build easy-to-use products and services for over 300 educational institutions across 20+ years. Programmers’ subsidiary Actminds has worked alongside Fire Engine RED since 2018.

The partnership between the two companies started as a small engagement, supporting Fire Engine RED to quickly ramp up its product development teams. This expansion allowed them to accelerate the development of product improvements and new product features. The success of this strategy led to a more long-term partnership. Today, Programmers’ development team members are considered a true part of the Fire Engine RED team.

Carlos Cardoso, Programmers Operations Manager, says the partnership embodies “a combination of elements – from Programmers’ software development expertise, to the way we work closely with our clients, by allowing them to focus on the things that matter most to their growing business which demonstrated the value that Programmers delivers.”

Building a Stronger Foundation While Innovating With New Features

This partnership enabled Fire Engine RED to execute different strategies and shift development efforts as needed. According to Katrina Masiak, Vice President of Projects at Fire Engine RED, the company has developers who focus on scaling the software platform and improving performance. Meanwhile, other teams focus on building out MVPs (Minimum Viable Products) quickly and efficiently. This dual capability allows the company to get brand new features out to clients in a timely manner, perfectly showcasing their fast-paced innovation process. “At the same time we are focused on making our foundation better, we can also have small teams designing and implementing new product features to exceed our clients’ expectations and to attract new clients,” said Katrina.

Cartoon image of a rocket ship launching off into space above information about Fire Engine RED in text: student search and data services

Programmers provides continual strategic support focused on strengthening Fire Engine RED’s current technology and software products, as well as the ability to efficiently explore new initiatives and implement MVPs without needing to switch gears and reassign current teams. In addition, the partnership also brings value to defining product architecture and planning. That’s why Programmers stands out as a strong software development company to help Fire Engine RED achieve its goals and help its clients.


Programmers brings to the table deep technical knowledge in modern digital applications that helps Fire Engine RED shape the direction of how we’ll be upgrading and evolving our digital solutions.

Katrina Masiak

Vice President of Projects, Fire Engine RED

The Rise of Remote Teams

Today, because of COVID-19 restrictions, most companies must learn how to work with distributed teams. For Fire Engine RED, this is no challenge; the company has been fully remote since it was founded in 2001 and has achieved outstanding success with this model. Shelly J. Spiegel, CEO & Chief Creative Officer of Fire Engine RED, even wrote a book on setting up, leading, and managing a 100% remote company.

Among the many reasons to operate 100% remotely is the ability to attract and retain top talent. This is becoming harder every day, as companies compete to find and keep the right employees. Programmers’ ability to sustain a low turn-over rate and its strong culture and practices to find, retain, and help develop talent, are key value propositions as well.

“Programmers is very proud to be featured as a trusted service provider and to have such great success stories to share with Fire Engine RED,” concludes Carlos.

About Programmers

Programmers is a software development company based in Chicago, IL. With 30 years of experience, 250+ specialists, professional certifications, and industry awards, Programmers is the technology solution provider that enables digital transformation in companies of different sizes and in various fields.

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