Tech the halls!

As 2014 comes to an end, we have taken a few moments to reflect on some of the highlights and changes to the way we work, from a tech team perspective.

Tighter development practices

As our codebase becomes more feature-filled, we’ve been busy evolving our practices and processes to match. We now know a lot more about the finer points and murkier corners of Jira,  Git and our own stationery cupboard.

We’ve also been fine-tuning the way we run agile and sprints, embedding pair programming and code reviews, sprint retrospectives and other such goodies.

More monitoring

This year we brought in more and better monitoring of our systems, including the scripts that generate reports and keep track of custom geographies such as stock groups. Each day we get an update highlighting problems and speed issues, that we investigate to check everything is running smoothly. “We’ve also been getting down to business properly with automated testing processes, and will be doing more on this across our applications in early 2015. ”

Scaling for users across 100s of organisations.

Over the last year we’ve seen lots of new users on our subscriber tools such as Community Insight (URL) and Value Insight (URL). This has brought new challenges in ensuring that all our features are scalable and work across users for 100s of organisation – and we’ve built our own speed testing libraries for all aspects of our tools. The end-result has been our systems work faster than ever despite the increased user load.

Upload your data

Value Insight has had the ability to import data for a while, but we’ve now brought the same (but different) functionality across to Community Insight as well. We upgraded the functionality to allow users to define their own datasets as well, all through an interface that keeps the process simple and easy-to-use. It’s great to see lots of users getting to grips with this feature and thinking about the ways they can visualise data from their own organisations.

Hon Mond and his Mice

Early in the year we welcomed our fourth developer to the team Hon Mond Ng. Hon Mond has a history in fluid physics modelling and crowdfunding an #indiedev game, and has been impressing the office with his use of three mice (as in computer mice, not the fluffly white kind). We’re still looking for a way to bring water physics into our websites any ideas?

Working environment

A tidy desk is a happy desk (resulting in a more productive person). This year we’ve improved our working environments by adding monitor stands, more ergonomic mice and keyboards and cable management, allowing us to clear our desks and minds.

 

We’re now wrapping things up ready for the Christmas break; getting things ready for 2015. Next year we’re looking forward to seeing the release of a whole host of new features and services, along with our much-anticipated, brand new website!

And one final note from the devs: Merry Christmas and have a happy new year! It’s been a busy year, and it’s great to see our work make it to you! We love to hear feedback, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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