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Red-Fern Media: A look into our development department

As technology continues to develop at a rapid rate, businesses are continuously looking for ways in which they can rise above their competitors. Bespoke platforms and B2B apps are continuously increasing in popularity, allowing these businesses to reach out to their audience in their specific way and leave their mark on the industry. 

However, you can’t hire any old agency and expect them to produce a groundbreaking app or business platform. Plus, the level of depth your project can go into depends on various factors from your side. For example, if you’re not willing to invest a realistic amount of money into bespoke system development, you can’t expect industry-leading app design.

That’s where the development gang at Red-Fern comes into their own! Our team of coding gurus are experts in various types of bespoke system development. Not only are they a well-oiled machine in all things coding and system builds, but they know what it takes to delight our partners and exceed all expectations. 

So, this post keeps a close eye on our development team and outlines how they can help you achieve your overall business goals. 


We’ll cover: 


The initial onboarding process

When we welcome new partners, the first stage of the project is the onboarding phase. This stage is crucial as we need to understand specific goals - both project related and wider business objectives too. That way, we can fully understand everything that our clients desire and can set about planning how we’ll meet their requirements and needs. 

First things first - no two partner businesses are the same. That means that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach that works for our partner onboarding process. Larger businesses and projects are usually heavily bespoke, so they’ll be introduced to a developer who’ll lead the project from day one. That way, they can be hands-on throughout the scheduling and quoting process for the benefit of both parties. 

With a lead developer taking a more interactive approach, they’ll be massively involved in the discovery phase. It’s at this stage we’ll get to the bottom of what the main goals of the system build are. Plus, what does it need to achieve? Who is it built for? And what are the different user stories? In-depth answers to these questions give our development team the information they need to build bespoke solutions tailored to our individual partners’ needs. 

Red-Fern Dev team Wilson

Smaller projects are typically design-led and our development team are introduced to the project at a later date when bespoke functionality is required. At this point, our devs will work with the project lead and our partners to gather everything required to meet the specification. 

And the onboarding process doesn’t stop there… we frequently hold internal team meetings to discuss the project, supportive technology and generate extensive ideas to ensure that we’re taking the right approach. We then plan our development sprints accordingly to make sure that we’re delivering the project in the most efficient way possible around current workloads and partner expectations. 


What does a typical system development project look like?

Not the most helpful answer to the above question, we know but, it depends. Helpful, right? Don’t worry, we’re not just going to leave it at that. The cost of system development is dependent upon several factors, including size, features and time required to carry out the project. 

One of the main attractions for our dev team is that no two days are the same in the role - and that’s largely down to the fact that we’ve never come across two jobs that are the same, especially in size. At Red-Fern, we’re committed to helping our partners with any development work that they may require, whether that’s a small, medium or large project. 

Small projects are usually one-off little jobs that the partner may need a quick turnaround on. In our experience, we’ve helped businesses with alterations to existing site functionality, including: 

  • Adding custom discount information to an Ecommerce website.
  • Building custom search results pages. 
  • Widgets to display unique information - special offers, key changes to business and more.

red-fern development team alex coding and dev work

Medium projects require a little more attention and time than smaller jobs - obviously. Whether that’s a pair of devs collaborating to get the job over the line quicker, or one of our expert team looking after the whole job on their own. The different types of job that medium projects usually entail are: 

  • Building custom functionality to existing websites. 
  • Custom payment gateways. 
  • Pages on websites with custom functionality tools. 

Some development projects are that large that there’s no scheduled end date for them - at Red-Fern, our devs are used to working with ongoing projects and delighting our partners throughout the process. Larger projects see a close collaboration between our development and design team. 

Full website builds with complex requirements and functionalities aren’t easy to deliver. However, with the depth of experience and knowledge our development team has, we welcome these projects as an opportunity to show our partners exactly what we’re capable of. Whether it’s sites with mass numbers of use cases, advanced functionality and search options or a completely tailored system, we regularly produce industry-leading sites, platforms and applications. 


What supportive technology is used to assist day to day operations?

Our systems are all built test-driven. As each section of a system is coded and implemented, we’re forever testing it with data. That way, we can be sure that extra functionality we’re adding into the code isn’t actually breaking the rest of the job. If we didn’t do this, we’d get to the end of the job and then have to figure out where in the code the system was falling down - rather you than me dev lads, my head hurts just thinking about that. 

Not only does it allow us to see if the system is broken, but it also tests if everything is working as it should be or not. Once we’ve found out whether or not the system works, we can then deploy it to a client-facing server. These tests are all run before deployment and they prevent upload if they fail. After all, the last thing we’d want to do is send a system to a client that doesn’t work - that wouldn’t impress anybody, would it? 

When it comes to support, we use various platforms to keep in touch with our partners and organise issues raised internally. We use Basecamp to control client communications, that way, we have every conversation in one place and should one of the team be out of the office, another can easily pick up the conversation and see previous messages. Using Jira allows us to log tickets and mark jobs as complete - that way, nothing slips through the net.

basecamp development support

Image Credit: TechCrunch

Our development team also uses support software that informs us of issues before our partners raise them. That way, we can resolve the issue or start working on the problem before our partners get in touch. 


How do Red-Fern always delight our development partners?

Trying to delight our partners with page after page of code is quite a hard sell, as you’d imagine. We can (and often do) write the most elegant and complex back end there is but as it’s just code, it’s hard to follow if you’re not up to speed with that level of knowledge - let’s face it, not a lot of people are. 

It’s the interface functionality that delights clients time and time again in development. Clients aren’t bothered about elegant code, they want to know whether it works. If the front-end is easy to use, plus, makes a complex problem for the user simple, that’s what delights partners in development. 

As with anything, meeting tight deadlines and going above and beyond for the client is something that we uphold at Red-Fern. After all, there’s no point in being extremely efficient in one part of the business, if another department is going to let it down. That’s why at Red-Fern, we take great pride in everything we do - whether it’s a small development job or a large ongoing project, our partners can rest assured that their needs and expectations will be exceeded. 

Delighting our partners is something that we hold with great importance. As the experts, it’s one thing keeping our partners sweet and appeasing them with our compliance. However, it’s our responsibility to take this to the next level and always better ourselves. Constantly trying out new approaches and striving to be the best we possibly can be is a certain way that we work towards delighting our partners. 


Never overpay for your system development needs!

As with anything, in system development, you get what you pay for! When researching the perfect agency to partner with to create your bespoke platform, application or website, if the deal seems too good to be true - it most likely will be. Cheap price points can connote a poor standard of work and service, which is the last thing you want when developing your system. 

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the most expensive option is always the best one. You need to make sure that you’re choosing an option within your budget and what suits your working styles too. Naturally, a lot of businesses put a huge onus on the price factor, but it shouldn’t be your only consideration. 

To ensure that you never overpay for your systems, we’ve created a free guide that outlines just how much your bespoke system development should cost. Unfortunately, it’s not quite ready yet - but it will be soon. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. One of our expert team will be on hand to help answer any questions and queries you may have. 

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