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Consulting and Staff Augmentation

Consulting and Staff Augmentation

to : We ran all development and engineering for more than two years, leading up to Circle Street's acquisition.

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Problem

What was the problem to be solved?

Circle St. allows retail brands to drive store-level sales while maintaining brand control and consistency.

Example: Big rain storm expected to hit Los Angeles later this week.

Circle Street notifies Bloomindales' local field marketing manager of the upcoming event/opportunity.

They immediately sign on to Circle Street to launch a local "Marc Jacobs Umbrella" campaign targeted around all stores throughout Los Angeles.

Circle Street syndicates the campaign across targeted local ad networks.

Circle Street was founded by two people in Los Angeles. The CTO and co-founder was an engineer who began building the vision of the other co-founder and CEO.

Unfortunately, the CTO became seriously ill and had to step away from the company for personal reasons.

This left the CEO dead in the water in terms of getting the product launched.

Solution

What was the proposed solution?

The CTO began the app in Ruby on Rails, so we took over his role and oversaw the entire product development from prototype to acquisition.

Challenges

What challenges arose during the project?

This was our first major Staff Augmentation project and we were the entire product development team.

We were also under pressure to come up with creative solutions that wouldn't "run the clock" but still deliver on a tight schedule for investor meetings and product demonstrations.

Technical

What was the technical approach to the project?

We really made use of the "Wizard of Oz" approach to product development.

As we were trying to Secure funding and later acquisition, we were under pressure to develop features that investors, clients and other companies wanted to see, but we didn't have time to build.

So we became very nimble at coding in half-working code that would demonstrate these features but wouldn't work in Production.

If a particular client, investor or company came on board, based on that feature, we would then have to scramble and implement the feature for Production.

Management

What was the project management approach to the project?

We ran an Agile Scrum approach with one-week iterations and deployments going out prior to each week's IPM

Lessons

What did you learn from working on this project?

As this was one of our first big-time projects, we learned so much about product development and project management, there's too much to list here.

But I think the most important lesson was that investors, clients and companies will say a lot of things and swear up and down they'll commit if the product has feature x, y and z.

However, you can't run off and build out those features because they may not commit, so you have to find a way to show them what they want to see and then quickly build it out if they do commit.

Benefits

How did this project benefit the client?

Circle Street was acquired by Valassis in 2013 for an undisclosed amount of money and stock.

Why Gunner?

Why was Gunner selected for this project?

Alex Nocifera was CEO and we promised him two weeks of free development just to see what it would be like working with Gunner Technology.

After those two weeks, he hired us on retainer.

The Team

Who worked on this project?

Proficiencies

What tools, techniques and methodologies were used on this project?

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Agile

Agile software development refers to a group of software development methodologies based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams

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CSS3

CSS3 is the latest evolution of the Cascading Style Sheets language and aims at extending CSS2.1

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Git

Fast, scalable, distributed revision control system

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HTML5

HTML5 is the 5th major revision of the core language of the World Wide Web

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JavaScript

JavaScript is the world's most widespread programming language, powering the Internet.

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Ruby

Ruby is a dynamic, interpreted, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity.

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Ruby on Rails

Rails is a web application development framework written in the Ruby programming language

S

Scrum

Scrum is a framework for project management that emphasizes teamwork, accountability and iterative progress toward a well-defined goal.

WO

Wizard of Oz Prototyping

Wizard of Oz prototyping (WOZ prototyping) is a design methodology used in rapid product development to improve the user experience (UX).