Moderated user testing is something most traditionally done in person. The ability to read body language, recognise appropriate timing for follow up questions or probe a little further into something the user paused over, are all much easier when you’re sitting in the same room.
2019 has been a big year here at Springtimesoft, and so for the first week of December we all got together in Kawakawa Bay to reflect, celebrate and recharge.
Last week Ben and Laura attended NetHui 2019 — a gathering of people from industry, policy makers and community to discuss all things internet, with a specific focus on ‘Safety, inclusion and wellbeing on the open Internet’. Essentially, over two days we heard about and discussed some of the biggest challenges we face as not only providers of technology services, but simply as users of the internet.
In business we often find ourselves performing very repetitive tasks, especially when it comes to things like invoicing or year-end. Individual documents need to be generated for each client, personalised, stored for record keeping, and finally emailed out to clients. This can be done manually when dealing with just a few, however as that number grows, the system becomes extremely prone to human error - update the wrong information, save it under the wrong name, or email it to the wrong person.
We have been talking with some of our clients about upgrading their SilverStripe 3 websites to SilverStripe 4. For the benefit of others who might be investigating or considering this we thought we’d write an informative post.
This part can vary a lot depending on the project, however, our typical stack consists of Linux, Git, Docker, Nginx, PHP, and MySQL. This is often combined with Redis, RabbitMQ, Solr/Elasticsearch, Postfix as support. When in a load-balanced environment we often make use of Amazon’s S3 for file storage. This is all supplemented with the odd homegrown tool or script written in Python, Ruby, Golang or Rust.
Our servers all live in the cloud, a mixture of Digital Ocean and Amazon’s AWS depending on the project requirements. We use Linux heavily (mainly Ubuntu), and this is mirrored in our development environments, which are built around Docker, for quick repeatable environments. Some of our older projects still use Vagrant and VirtualBox.
The following outlines our experiences using the Common Web Platform 2.0 (CWP 2.0) during the development of the Practice Centre site for Oranga Tamariki.
We encourage using the best tool for the job, for heavy e-commerce projects this generally boils down to Magento, though for shops that don’t need all of the heavy Magento features, we have our own in-house solution built for the New Zealand e-commerce market called Shopalicious (built on the Symfony framework).
At Springtimesoft we’re a remote working team – spread across New Zealand through Auckland, Wellington, Gisborne and beyond – but in Winter 2017 I decided to take things a little further. With a firmly entrenched love of travel, a desire to discover more of the world, and finding myself in the peak time of the remote worker, it felt almost inexcusable not to give it a go. I booked an Airbnb on the outskirts of Barcelona, a coworking space near the beach, a solid mobile data plan, and off I went. Little did I consider the 12 hour time difference and my fairly abysmal command of the Spanish language, but we’ll get to that.