Matt Hoskings, Senior Developer at Agrantec, has played an integral role in the development and evolution of NotaZone. Many-a-times, the work in the backend is often forgotten as we strive to create a platform that is intuitive and attractive.
Join us as we explore the world of our developers, their task lists and their unique perspective on the workings of NotaZone’s weekly development.
The NotaZone system is ever evolving and continually being enhanced. Here in the development team, to fit this need of a rapidly expanding product, we adopt an ‘Agile’ methodology approach to allow us to be flexible and adaptive to change. We break tasks into short phases of work and this allows us to have constant reassessment of development changes and allows us to adapt quickly to change.
The key to making this approach work is great communication; not just within the development team, but with everyone involved, all members of the company including the developers, support and testers but mainly our customers.
One of our key strengths is the strong relationships that we have with our customers. It gives us the ability to stay close in contact, to listen and understand how they use the system and what they require from the system; this helps us shape the system better for their needs.
We develop in short agile ‘sprints’ which allows us to adapt quickly to our client’s needs. We keep our sprints to usually one to two weeks long but these can be longer if a larger module is required.
Sprints are made up of a set of tasks to be completed. Tasks are constantly being created in NotaZone and these can be where an idea for the system gets raised or an enhancement to a existing area of NotaZone is required and also when an error in the system is found. Tasks are written with as much detail as possible and where tasks are large they broken down and divided into sub tasks. Frequent assessment of the tasks and weekly company meetings aid in their prioritisation, which in turn shapes the sprints.
With a sprint defined, each task in the sprint is discussed amongst the development team so that everyone has an understanding of the changes required and then tasks are assigned out to developers. Every morning the development team have a meeting with each team member discussing what they have been working on, what they are currently working on and if they have any issues. Having this level of communication is invaluable as it strengthens collaboration, design practises and also encourages the team to regularly show off their work to gather feedback daily.
When the development work for a task is complete it gets integrated into the testing system where it can be reviewed, analysed and tested. This is an iterative process by repeating rounds of analysis and testing operations until each task is passed. Once passed they get included into the final build of the system which in turn gets tested as each task is added.
At the end of the sprint and once the final build checks have been completed, a meeting is held amongst the developers, testers and support teams to ensure that all parties are satisfied before the live NotaZone system is updated.
Once live, we engage with our customers to understand their feedback and respond to any requirements, questions or suggestions to ensure the final development meets their needs. Once these have been addresses, we move to the final step.
Now the sprint is complete, the cycle of development returns back to a new sprint and with it new enhancements for the NotaZone system.
Explore what NotaZone and our team can do for you today!