Your software developer is quitting: now what?

Matraex builds custom software applications for clients – and we often takeover (read “rescue”) projects started by other developers. I wrote this article to help business owners and software founders address an issue that they are often not prepared to address. When a software founder comes up with a software idea – often times they go looking for a developer to help them implement it. When they start the project – they rarely put any thought into how to set the project up so that it is “easier” to handle things when that developer quits one day. Most of the time the founder puts full trust and faith in the developer to set everything up. And now that the developer is leaving, the world seems to be falling apart. We have had dozens of clients looking to restart a project that stalled after their developer left. Often times those projects are disorganized and difficult to reconstruct. In some cases they can not be saved. This article is an attempt to help clients gather the project so that it can be restarted with confidence.

So the truth is out!  The developer that knows everything about your project is not going to be around to finish it.  

You may have cursed a bit under your breath and tried to quickly maneuver to keep them on board – however, you are reading this article because you now know it is up to you to confirm you have possession of your project.  It is up to you to take control of the software so you can direct it and secure the future of it.  Here is how you do it.

  1. First of all,  don’t freak out,  a calm and professional response to the news is the best way to encourage a smooth transfer of all project assets and assistance identifying ‘forgotten’ assets.
  2. Second, create a shared ‘offboarding’ document and / or folder where you can coordinate the process of collecting information about your project.
  3. Request information from your developer – Let them know that the most important part of their offboarding is to help you understand the project – so you can help the next person take it over.
  4. Confirm that you have the information you are looking for – it can be tempting to just assume you have it,  but by taking the time to verify it,  you will identify things that are missed and save headaches later.

Don’t Freak Out

Why is this a step? Because we have found that some of our past clients needed this reminder.  Too often we hear of hasty hire or poorly orchestrated offboarding while the manager spends time realizing that the project was not going to be done the way they had previously assumed.   Often, the decision will be made to try to ‘get it all done’ in the next two weeks. They drive the developer to spend every moment of their last two weeks getting writing code. This should not be the first priority!   The first priority should be to ensure that the possession of the project is fully in the control of your company and the company can continue development of the project in the future.

One of the reasons that we see managers ‘Freak Out’ at this stage is because they have not previously recognized that they should have set their project up in a way that made sure that the project was already in the possession of the company.   Ultimately,  any project that was going to be owned by your company had to be in company possession anyway,  right?  So this is a good thing – we are going through the process of putting your project in your control – so your project will survive this ‘developer change’ and any ‘developer changes’ in the future.

Your systematic and practical approach to offboarding your current developer will result in a strong understanding of your project and an improved ability to select the ideal replacement when you restart your project.  The possession you end up with will give you the confidence to restart and finish the project in the future.

Create a shared offboarding folder

Create a shared folder where you can work with your developer over the next days and weeks to collect information about your projects. You will want to create the area yourself and setup the structure to have the information you want.

I use Google Documents because the ability to collaborate is better than any other tool, but what is important is that it works for you and your developer and you are able to see each other’s work. Create several documents and give your developer access so they can make changes where you can see them. I recommend that you create the following documents at a minimum – be sure that each of the folders has permissions which allow your developer to make changes:

  • Document: Offboarding Checklist / Instructions
  • Document: Offboard TeamMemberName – MM/DD/YYYY – Projects / Assets / Credentials
  • Folder: Project Asset Uploads
  • Folder: Recordings

I have created an example (with some sample entries)

Request the following from your developer:

  • Fill out the offboarding document with credentials and links to each project and project source
  • List all code repositories and transfer ownership to me
  • Provide me with access to your workstation
  • Record a video of you working through opening, making a simple development change and then deploying
  • Record a video showing the workstation and development environment and configuration
  • Record a video explaining for each project what your next steps and recommendations would be

Confirm possession and control of your code

  • Understand and confirm your understanding of all project assets
  • Test credentials and confirm owner level access to all project assets
  • Confirm project source links and documentation, add notes and request updates
  • Review recordings and request additional recordings.
  • Time permitting: Request a review / audit of code / transfer confirmation from a third party

Note: The lists above are presented to identify areas that should not be missed – as time permits this article will be expanded to provide detail on each of these. Until the article is expanded please feel free to email michael@matraex.com with questions – I will answer and expanded this article at the same time.

Matraex Releases FrameTurn SaaS

Matraex Announces the Launch of FrameTurn Application to Improve Optical Frame Sales – for BridgePoint Optics

Boise, Idaho (28 July 2018) — Matraex, Inc. (https://www.matraex.com) announces the launch of FrameTurn (https://frameturn.com) a custom application designed to help independent optometry practices use data driven techniques to enhance their business. The app was designed for Bridgepoint Optics (http://www.bridgepointoptics.com), an optical industry sales and business consultancy for independent eye care practices throughout the U.S.

Adding an on-line application provides a Software as a Service (SaaS) that extends their ability to help the optical industry, giving Bridgepoint an additional, marketable service it can provide to its own clients.

Matraex has developed a powerful on-line tool for Bridgepoint Optics that provides their clients with information that can help them make purchasing decisions in a timely and profitable manner.

“Offering a Software as a Solution (SaaS) product to its clients provides BridgePoint with additional business opportunities,” says Michael Blood, president of Matraex, Inc. “Developing a tool of this type for businesses is what drives us. We are excited to see FrameTurn go live over the next few weeks.”

From Bridgepoint’s perspective, the FrameTurn application provides an additional tool in their existing tool box of services that they can offer. It also gives them a significant edge in marketing to the vision care industry. Most importantly, however, it provides a powerful analytical tool designed to increase their clients’ bottom line at a very affordable price.

“Independents have traditionally relied on their instincts, or even guess work, rather than data to make purchasing decisions about frames for their optical shops. We’re excited to end all that! With FrameTurn, these eye care practices will have the ability to record and automatically analyze past and existing sales in various ways to determine trends that can increase their profitability,” says Dr. Rook Torres, co-founder of BridgePoint Optics and FrameTurn.

About Matraex, Inc.

Matraex, Inc. (https://www.matraex.com)  is a Boise-based software and application development company. The company has served many local and national organizations for more than 15 years, including the Better Business Bureau, Hewlett Packard, Madison Square Garden, Penn State University and the Idaho Hospital Association. The services include custom designed mobile applications (iOS, Android, etc.), as well as website development and management.

About BridgePoint Optics

BridgePoint Optics (http://www.bridgepointoptics.com) is an optical industry sales and business consultancy. For more than 25-years, they have specialized in the growth and development of independent eye care practices throughout the U.S.

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New Group Sales Application for Bogus Basin

Boise-based MATRAEX to Develop New Group Sales Application for Bogus Basin

12 June 2018 (Boise, Id.) — Matraex, Inc. (https://www.matraex.com), a Boise-based software and application development company, announced its most recent project with Bogus Basin Recreational Association, Inc. (https://www.bogusbasin.org) to develop a custom website application for Bogus Basin’s Life Sports and School Night programs. The website application will help Bogus Basin coordinate and manage school group functions. The project is expected to be completed in September 2018 in anticipation of the 2018-19 ski season.

“We are thrilled Bogus Basin selected us to help streamline their processes as they move forward in their quest to be one of Boise’s premier winter and summer group destinations,” said Michael Blood, President of Matraex, Inc.

According to Molly Myers, Group Sales and Event Coordinator at Bogus Basin, the website and application will replace a legacy application they have used for more than 15-years. The new site will update and streamline the booking process by providing a single repository for group information and eliminating multiple communication channels where mistakes can occur. In addition, it will ensure that information flows to the correct departments for accurate fulfillment of each group’s needs.

“Having a streamlined system that’s uniquely tailored to our needs is very appealing,” said Myers. “Anything that supports a fun and efficient visit to Bogus Basin in the long run aids in our goal of making lifelong skiers and snowboarders.”

School groups that participate in Bogus Basin’s Life Sports or School Night must provide a lot of information about the students when booking, including:

  • Group size
  • Age, height, weight and shoe size of each participant to ensure sufficient, well-fitting rental equipment
  • Ski ability levels for each group member so that appropriate ski instructors are available
  • Special needs or requests

The website application will have additional benefits for Bogus Basin, including the ability to track, process and report financial information for internal use.

Matraex’s work with Bogus Basin will also incorporate other group offerings, such as bookings for the new “Glade Runner Mountain Coaster” attraction and other “Fun Zone” activities.

The Matraex website app is projected to go “live” in September 2018, just in time for schools and other groups to book their group ski trips for the 2018-19 ski season.

About Matraex, Inc.

Matraex, Inc. is a Boise-based software and application development company. The company has served a number of local and national organizations, including the Better Business Bureau, Hewlett Packard, Madison Square Garden, Penn State University and the Idaho Hospital Association. Their services include custom designed mobile applications (iOS, Android, etc.), as well as website development and management.

About Bogus Basin Recreational Association

Bogus Basin Recreational Association, Inc. is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to accessible, affordable and fun year-round mountain recreation and education for the Treasure Valley Community.

For more information, please visit https://www.matraex.com or call Michael Blood at (208) 344-1115.

Bridgepoint engages Matraex to create FrameTurn SAAS

Bridgepoint has engaged Matraex to build the FrameTurn SAAS product they plan to launch to the Optometry Industry.

FrameTurn is a dynamic product which helps small, medium and large Optometry clinics optimize the sales mix of their retail offerings to improve sales up to 30%.

Matraex, Inc is a Boise Idaho applications development company specializing in bringing custom business offerings to market.

 

Automate and Measure Everything

Humans introduce errors as we perform manual tasks.  The following list includes only some of the ways that human nature causes issues:

  • Communication: We describe something incorrectly or we interpret something differently than someone intended.  This applies to written and verbal communication
  • Input: We type something wrong and dont correct it (the “typo”)
  • Sequence: We forget,  change the order and add steps
  • Timing: We take longer or less time than we should have

Some people are excellent, others are average,  and some are downright horrible in some or all of the areas above.
Basically as humans our inconsistency leaves much room for improvement when performing any kind of task.   This increases as the complexity, duration and number of steps in a task or process grows.

Computer software provides solutions to those problems when the issues above are considered.

  • Communication: Software can formalize the exact messaging to and from humans, requiring communication to be explicitly acknowledge and sending consistent reminders if not.
  • Input: Both input and output can be formalized,   exact data is transferred between systems
  • Sequence: The order that steps are completed can be done in the exact same order, every time, without fail,   rigorous rules can be applied to ensure this happens without fail.
  • Timing: The exact same amount of time can be guaranteed between steps, consistently without fail

Matraex builds software to that automates redundant and error prone task and improves on these issues.

Even with software that addresses these issues it is important at some level that a human can confirm that items are being completed.   Our software typically contains reports and displays dashboards which gives managers and companies the ability to quickly identify that issues are dealt with correctly.  Our favorite dashboards give users the ability to see exactly what they need to do next.

If you would like to explore custom software that helps you solve any of these issues – call Matraex at 208.344.1115

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