Our client AppsAnywhere Limited started out as a two-member company in the North of England operating out of a small pub. Right from the beginning, the founders had one goal: to facilitate the provision of education software apps across higher educational institutions. Their product, AppsAnywhere, utilises cutting-edge technologies to deliver key EdTech software applications used by university students and staff. Today, AppsAnywhere Limited serves 150+ universities in 20+ countries, and over 1.5 million users benefit from their groundbreaking contribution to the education industry.
There were two key problems that needed to be addressed.
The first issue that our client faced arose when they realized and recognized the pathway that they were on, moving rapidly to further growth. Their previous software partner was unable to provide full-time dedicated resources in accordance with the client’s increasing needs for the augmentation of their development staff members.
The second issue was purely technical in nature, also something that they were unable to resolve while working with their previous software development partner. There were certain gaps that our client identified in their development process – pertaining mainly to release management and security – which they wished to address. They also wanted assistance and support with development in terms of incorporating the continuous requests sent in by their users.
To address the first problem, our client chose to go with our IT staff augmentation services whereby we provide dedicated resources to work in collaboration with the client’s existing development and IT teams. Having pre-existing knowledge of how this type of engagement model works, our client knew exactly what they wanted, and we delivered. At the start of this engagement, our client chose four of our best experts to join their team. More recently, two additional resources have been welcomed on board. This was a game-changer for our client, who now had the freedom to scale this “extended” dedicated development team up or down depending on their changing business and tech requirements.
The other item on the problem set was ingeniously handled by our development team. Right at the start, they were able to expertly tackle the security challenge pertaining to API keys, which established our client’s trust in the team’s abilities. We then set out to address the other technical obstacles that our client wanted to overcome. After augmentation, the new staff members familiarized themselves with the elaborate code and app architecture, and then got to work!
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AppsAnywhere is a large-scale product with a highly complex code base incorporating extensive levels of abstraction, making it quite difficult to decipher and understand. Therefore, the initial post-augmentation knowledge transfer phase for each of our resources who were onboarded by AppsAnywhere Limited took a sizeable amount of time and effort.
Given the nature of this particular arrangement, our team follows the agile development methodology where weekly meetings are held between the client and development teams. The participants discuss the progress that has been made from last week’s meeting and come up with task lists for the upcoming week. As new project requirements or change requests and their respective tasks come up, they are added to the dedicated development team’s task list.
The project is proceeding in 3-week sprints with regular periodic meetings and calls between the project manager and the developers. Apart from these, there are also daily standup meetings held internally for progress tracking.
For better collaboration and coordination and to make sure that the project is moving forward as intended, the team uses tools such as Jira, GitLab, Bitbucket, and Confluence for task assignment, issue-tracking, and code review.
Initially, the scope of the project required the involvement of three senior software engineers and one senior quality assurance engineer. Two more resources – PHP development specialists – were later added to the team owing to the broadening project scope. The development team now comprises a total of seven people and is headed by the project manager.