Plusplus Case

Organizational knowledge made general with React and Django



PlusPlus CEO, Marko Gargenta, is from San Francisco. He was one of the founders of Marakana, a software training company acquired by Twitter. At Twitter [University] he had the mission of helping teams share knowledge. Now with PlusPlus, he wants to recreate the magic of peer learning in other organizations. Marko approached Vinta to develop the MVP of his project. MVP development is one of our most sought out services. Here at Vinta we understand the startup process and know how to adapt to its challenges. If the client needs the first version out quickly, we know how to help them. This goes by identifying features which are worth to have now and which can be left for later iterations.

The first challenge was to sum up learnings from Twitter University. They were adapted to became more general and fit other companies. The next step was to select the right set of features for the MVP and test then with possible clients. With a first version out, we then started working on the new release that was focused on improving UI. At this point, we started using React to deliver a much more fluid interface and better UX.

When building an MVP the client must have the final voice. Vinta's job is to help the client identify and organize blocks of small features. That done, a domain expert should be able to look and make the final call on how they should be prioritized. This process also involves a lot of adaptation. If we need something out quickly, the client must know which features may take longer to get done. This will allow for better decisions on whether a feature should or not be included in the first version. This process worked beautifully with PlusPlus.

Day to day communication is done through Slack. There we ask questions and provide daily reports on what is being done. We use Trello so the client always knows which features we are working on. Trello is also used to signal that something is on the staging server, ready to be reviewed. We have a very open relationship with the client. This way we are always aware of the business situation of the product. This is very helpful and allows us to better understand what's going on and to adapt. It's also worth noticing that we managed to deliver even with a 5-hour time shift from Marko. We do it by having a very clear and updated feature backlog. It allows us to move on to new features in case we get stuck in a moment when we cannot get a quick answer.

Both us and Marko consider the project to be a success. Due to his skills as CEO and our development process he was successful on finding his first paying client. On this project, we used several top notch tools, such as:

React: Facebook's' tool for developing fluid applications that respond quickly to the user;

Django: Python framework for web, ideal for "perfectionists with a deadline";

PostgreSQL multi-tenant schemas: allowed us to guarantee that each customer has it's data completely isolated in the database avoiding any possible leak.

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