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The Research Before The Research: Crafting A New Learning Management System

  • Post published:April 30, 2015

Research and development (R&D) is a massive part of what we do.

Prior to beginning any project, no matter how many times we’ve successfully completed software just like it, we’ll spend hours investigating the various nuances of each situation, optimizing for unique stipulations and circumstances.

When one client asked us to dream up a learning management system for their company, we had a lot of work to do. We knew we wanted the application to come with a multitude of modules and features; a blog, communities, surveys and wikis to start. We’d develop it using Zend Framework 2, MySQL, AJAX, jQuery, Web Services, AWS (S3, Glacier) and MemCache. We were set, so we thought.

Our developers tackled the application head-on. As with most projects, we provided updates at a frequent pacing but these updates were eventually so frequent that we were asked only to update the firm every month.

We were ahead of the game, and this was when research became even more key. In order to maintain our strong jump on the project, we created dummy data for each version ahead of schedule, developing four sets of database-related files in SVN. We outlined database structure, compulsory data and an automated data generator.

This worked out so well that we established a precedent for placing this dummy data within our upcoming software versions, ahead of time.

As the result, our data was safeguarded and quality (as well as accuracy) ensured and our client was able to run the latest version of his shiny new application at his own pace, on his own computer at any time, all included features properly representable.