Student Job Search
Ongoing maintenance and mentoring, supporting an in-house technical team.
- backend development
- processes and tooling
- strategic support
Student Job Search is a registered New Zealand charity with the goal to enhance student wellbeing through employment. After years of in-house development managing the website and surrounding technology, in 2019 we came on board to provide backend maintenance and development support of their systems.
Working with a complex existing system.
Since 2019 we have been working with Student Job Search to provide backend development support. Since then this has grown to include major software upgrades and feature development.
Steering application maintenance and development
As a part of this relationship, we have taken on the role of advising and steering the technical maintenance and development of the existing system. This has included the writing of options papers and attendance at internal workshops to provide technical guidance on the current state of the technologies in use.
Developing and improving tooling and processes
We have worked with the Student Job Search team to introduce processes that make routine development tasks more efficient and repeatable. This also included work to improve their development tooling and infrastructure. This has included:
Tooling and processes
- Assisted SJS in moving to the cloud version of Atlassian tools Jira and Confluence which are better suited to their needs.
- Supported SJS teams to create better structured Jira boards and more clearly define their project management and development processes.
- Introduced checklists to assist in the management and implementation of complex tasks.
- Introduced structure and templates for reporting and managing bugs.
- We audited the deployment processes and identified areas that would benefit from further documentation and streamlining.
- Over our first couple of deployments we documented the existing process and started making incremental improvements until we had an easy to follow deployment process that provided the team the confidence they needed.
- These process improvements meant there is no longer downtime when doing regular deployments.
- All of this resulted in there no longer being a reluctance to do a deployment, leading to more frequent deployments which comes with a multitude of flow-on benefits.
- Student Job Search’s previous VM was fragile and did not work well for remote work and switching locations.
- We consulted on modernising the VM set up to a better suited VM based on Docker to speed up development.
- This resulted in a smaller footprint by removing the need to download/access a sizable virtual machine that was a few gigabytes.
- To support some larger projects we also provided some workarounds for performance/usability issues on Mac and Windows.
- We have provided guidance on some significant clean up to improve the overall infrastructure of Student Job Search.
Mentoring and capability building
Due to the overall complexity of the systems, our partnership with Student Job Search has included providing mentorship to the organisation’s in-house technical team. This has seen us finding ways to use development work and interactions to mentor and build future capability internally amongst Student Job Search. This is being done in a variety of ways including one on one mentoring, providing support on training needs, and support in creating documentation.
As well as technical capability, exposure to new thinking and methods benefits not only the organisation but also their team member’s individual professional development. This aligns closely with our following values.
Belief in ourselves and othersKotahitanga
We are all different and we believe that everybody has something special to contribute. We will find ways to support and leverage what we each bring to the table.
Discovery and improvementTe kitenga me te whakapai ake
We will always strive for better in ourselves, our work and the value it delivers. This means investing in people, technology and relationships for greater impact.
Strategic involvement with the overall digital strategy
Given our background with similar systems and our familiarity with the Student Job Search platform gained during our engagement, we have also provided direction and guidance to Student Job Search’s leadership team as they plan the organisation’s digital strategy. This has included participation in strategy workshops with the team, providing written options papers and meetings to share technical expertise and institutional knowledge.