In July 2012, One Big Switch had a problem most companies would be envious of. They had incredible media coverage over the previous months that had resulted in tens of thousands of users signing up to be part of their launch.
But with the fixed launch date rapidly approaching, they needed some serious application development firepower to get in some urgent application requirements to ensure a successful kick off of Australia's largest consumer based electricity campaign.
To help with this, they contacted reInteractive.
Rapid Development Support
The most important thing over the first weeks was to implement the key requirements as fast as possible. reInteractive made available some of our best developers to dive in and get the application working as intended.
Working hand in hand with the One Big Switch developers and infrastructure support personnel, we were able to give our advice when asked and implement new features when needed in a very rapid manner. The flexibility of the reInteractive team really helped in getting the key application components written as we happily worked alongside the existing One Big Switch team.
Another key component was setting up web application monitoring via our StillAlive service. This provided the One Big Switch team with the knowledge and peace of mind that the crucial path through the website, used by new switching customers to sign up, was working fine, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
With all of this in place, we helped One Big Switch launch to massive media coverage, rapidly rising to over 230,000 customers signing on to be part of Australia's largest electricity switch.
Refactoring and Code Cleanup
After the launch date came and successfully happened, reInteractive were retained by One Big Switch to continue cleaning up their code base.
Like any rapidly developed application, code style and test coverage had been sacrificed for making sure the application launched on time with the features needed. One Big Switch saw that this was technical debt that needed to be handled and decided to attack it with a two pronged approach.
Firstly, our designer was called in to consolidate and clean up the various style sheets and markup in the application, ensuring cross browser support and better accessibility of the application. This process also helped simplify the application and provided a strong foundation for One Big Switch to upgrade in the future.
Secondly, some of reInteractive's lead developers met with the One Big Switch Technical Director and lead developer, to identify a road map to clean up and refactor the application, with the goal of providing a stable base for future expansion. Once identified, a plan was drawn up, utilising both the internal and external resources available to One Big Switch, to complete the required work in the most cost effective manner possible.
Now that One Big Switch has gone live and is the talk of the Australian press, reInteractive are there, on call, to help them handle the complex development challenges they face as their business expands.
We were one week out from the biggest campaign launch of One Big Switch's year-long life, the Big Electricity Switch.
There were still numerous high priority bugs and a number of key features that still needed to be implemented. I contacted reInteractive to get some assistance and they threw absolutely everything they could at the project. I was amazed to see even the Founder himself jumping in and writing code until almost 3am. Even though deadlines were tight, no shortcuts were taken and code quality was never jeopardised.
It was this kind of professional support and dedication that has led me to view reInteractive as of One Big Switch's most important technology partners. We now work extremely closely with them as they provide guidance on improving the code base, thought leadership on many technical decisions, and top-class manpower in extending our application.- Ronnie Kessler, Technology Director
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