Meet the Development Department!

19/08/2021
  • How many people currently work in the development/engineering across Europe , and do you see this expanding in the future?

There are currently 8 people working in the UK team. Paul, leads the team as the Development Manager, Kamil and Jordan are front-end developers, Chris and Dave are the team’s back-end developers and Liam and Sylvia as the QA engineers.

In terms of the expansion globally, the team now has colleagues over in the US and the Netherlands as Collabco merges into Ready Education. Paul also has high hopes of the UK team expanding to accelerate the development process, due to the growing customer demand.

  • What are the main responsibilities in the development/engineering department?

The skills and expertise of the team could be utilised for a wide variety of projects, however the two main areas of work the team focus on are feature delivery innovation and platform stability and performance.

Feature delivery innovation involves working closely with Kate (Forknell, Product Manager) and the product team who feed the information over to the development engineering team, about what they should be building and what type of feature the customer will find the most effective.

When it comes to platform stability and performance, making sure myday is up to date and running smoothly is important. The development team need to make sure that myday can be trusted by customers. myday needs to be secure, reliable and highly available. It’s performance needs to be excellent not just here in the UK, but also globally.

  • As a team, how do you work to Collabco’s values?

The Collabco values fit really well with the methodology that the Development team use. They work with a process called SCRUM, this is a term borrowed from Rugby and refers to Agile software development. This approach is about tackling the software as a team. The Development team are encouraged to challenge each other and to give critical feedback on the way they operate as a group. They avoid working in isolation and collectively review ‘user storage’ stories’ and have a group conversation about what the impact of them are.

  • Future plans for the development/engineering department?

With the new transition into Ready as a bigger company and larger customer base, from this the amount of customers and demand may increase. Paul hopes for a steady growth that keeps up to pace with this.

  • Biggest challenges the development department face?

Prioritising time in a busy schedule for the team to do enough personal development and learning activities to keep up to pace with the ever changing industry. The team use a variety of software programmes to help them however there are constantly new versions being released. New tools, frameworks and approaches. So the team have to find time for new learning activities.

  • How do you collaborate with other departments?

The Development team mainly work closely with the Product team and the Customer Success team, Kate (Product Manager) will regularly share with the team any new work that needs prioritising and meetings are arranged regularly for group calls, this is also similar with the Customer Success team, staying in touch through Slack and holding regular calls.

  • Three words to describe the development team?

Paul describes the Development team as committed, knowledgeable and a great team to work with!

  • What does the general process of developing a new feature of myday look like?

Kate from the Product department will know what customers are asking for so generally the first step is to find what will add the most value to the customers.

Once a decision is made here, the next stage is to prototype this, so get together an idea of what they think the customer is asking for and put it in front of real users, before its actually developed so they can receive some quick feedback on whether the particular feature was what they wanted. This approach is much more effective than building a feature and hoping it is right.

Once everyone is happy to go ahead with the idea, it is then added to the development backlog, this is where the team will get to work on building the feature itself.

  • How do you work closely with customers to ensure customers/clients implementation of myday runs smoothly?

The development department do not have too much customer interaction, but when they do it will usually focus around a detailed technical issue where they require 1 to 1 developer support. The most effective way the team make sure they can service the customers is to be available to Kate (Product) and Phil (Customer Success). So at any moment they know where to find Paul and the rest of the Development team who are always happy to help.