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You Can't Engineer That

Ron Heywood is Senior Software Engineer on the Client Impact Team at Spektrix, working to make users’ work a little bit easier through the updates we release daily - from small tweaks and improvements, through to major system developments.

Last week, Ron reflected on twitter about the rapid creation of the Ticket Converter Tool in response to the spread of Covid-19. His thread provided a live insight into the process of developing a new feature, and he’s added a little more detail to that in today’s blog.

The best part about being employed as a software engineer is that I get satisfaction from solving lots of problems, and making the lives of the people who use our software a little bit easier. The less good part is that it can get a little frustrating. You’re not always solving the problem you would prefer to solve, and sometimes there is nothing obvious in the code that will make the problem go away.

We engineers need a team around us who can see things from the people perspective, beyond the numbers and the flowcharts, and get to the real measures that make software delightful. Recent events reminded me why engineers need to stay close to a team of people who know their users.

What’s an Agile engineering team?

Spektrix engineers use Agile methodology to create an evolving system that is constantly improved through cycles of development, testing and teamwork.

What do these concepts mean? 

A Minimum Viable Product is the bare essentials - a version which will do the job required without any frills, but could form the basis for future development in response to user feedback.
A Fast Follow is a quick fix to deal with a problem or bug; it’s usually a temporary patch whilst a long term solution is developed.
Nice to Have are the optional extras within a system or feature - these can be added iteratively to the Minimum Viable Product, and prioritised based on user feedback.

With this experience - understanding our clients and customers, we recognised that we should offer to convert the whole or part of the value of these tickets to donations in these cases.