KNOWD: Scaling an in-house team with external developers for a faster development process

How we quickly provided a perfect team extension match for an educational web app?

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Summary:

  • Country

    Canada, Toronto

    Technologies

    JavaScript, React, Redux, Ant Design

  • Client

    KNOWD

    Work duration

    Nov 2019 - May 2020

  • Industry

    Education

    Team

    1 front-end developer from Ideamotive, and 3 developers from KNOWD.

KNOWD is a leading educational platform that promotes value learning on the internet. This platform was founded by Dr. Jordan B Peterson — a psychologist, professor of psychology, and author of the multi-million copy bestseller, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. With KNOWD, users can find helpful learning resources online and run their essays through the text editor following Peterson's rule.

Challenge:

Our partnership with KNOWD started in Nov 2019. They came to us with an existing website that was developed in-house. KNOWD's goal was to:

1. Add more functionalities to their website
2. Develop a browser extension, and
3. Create an essay editor app.

They needed a front-end developer to join their team: a developer who would not only speed up development but also meet their very specific requirements and high expectations. 

Apart from the need for a very specific type of hire, we had to face complex product requirements set by the Client and the outdated and misconfigured API which had to be fixed.

The best features I implemented were rewriting/reordering paragraphs sentences algorithms according to Jordan Petersons's instructions that used nested drag & drop mechanisms and displayed important visual feedback for the user.

Justyn

Justyn Jóźwiak

Front-End Developer, Ideamotive

Process:

We first gathered information on the project requirements and then recommended a developer with the right skill set for the job.

After the first days after the initial onboarding, we realized that this particular developer wasn’t the best fit, as communication issues arose. We decided to act quickly - we went through the matchmaking process again and found a perfect replacement.

Scaling up the website and developing the browser extension was paused to a later date. So this project was primarily on developing the Essay Editor App. 

We introduced solutions such as:

  • Guaranteeing the exchange of developer(s) that do not meet client's expectations
  • Rewriting the proposed application from scratch
  • Establishing detailed communication while implementing specific features due to the complex flow of the application.
  • Using JavaScript, React, Redux, and Ant design which the client is familiar with, to enable them to subsequently maintain the platform in-house.

We ran our first user test, and the software performed great. Even the undo/redo functionality. We're going to run more tonight. I'm really impressed that you were able to bang out all that functionality in the last couple of days. Thanks a lot.

Dan Lyn Kew

Fullstack Developer, KNOWD

Outcome:

As a final result, we delivered a perfect team member to our Client, who not only delivered the functionalities required in the product development brief, but also proposed a series of improvements. Now, KNOWD has a text editor app that checks the essay structure level of users, following Peterson's rule. 

After delivering the product we have proposed a series of improvement recommendations, including intruding a new API version alongside some additional features.

The collaboration has really been perfect. We needed to check two boxes — communication and development ability — and they have checked both.

julianpeterson

Julian Peterson

President

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