News

December Release

Bytemark

Posted December 10th, 2018

All 51 live systems were fully updated onto the r20181115 branch by the 27th November, and the first 3 contractors have automatically recevied the r20181210 branch earlier today. Since the summer we have been working on a new release cadence tied into our fortnightly sprint development cycle.

We haven't been updating this news page with every release this year, because mostly it is only of interest to us. Our customers simply receive the latest version automatically, and we liaise with them directly on all changes relevant to each of them. However, one thing that has caused us problems in the past is that we have no consistent time-frame between making a change for a customer, and releasing it. Obviously for 'important' changes, or paid work, we prioritised the release to include these, but at the expense of holding back lower importance changes. Our code->test->merge->release cycle had no pre-defined time scales built in - but since the August release we have worked hard to make sure that code completed in a sprint should be released no later than the end of the next sprint. We've kept to this, and so far no changes have taken more than 4 weeks to go from being worked on, to being released - and for a large number of changes we've got it down to two weeks.

Whilst every software company tries to down play their existance, the nature of product development means that bugs exist. By working to a tighter release cycle we have made it much easier for us to respond to bugs - both by fixing in a new release, and also by easily back porting fixes onto the previous release.

The unexpected benefit of this approach has been a massive reduction in our '20 day' priority issues - these are mostly embarrassing niggles, or minor changes requested in passing, and non-critial issues. We receive about 50 of these a month, and before the summer we were running around with about 150 open '20 day' issues - the maths on this isn't good. But since changing the cadence of the release we have worked steadily through this back log of low priority minor issues, and now have 26 of them. We weren't expecting this to happen, but it seems that once we were more focused on effectively moving fixes through the test/release process we naturally were able to start eating into the large historical back log of non-critical issues.

This release includes a new mechanism to push the mobile application to new devices to work around changes to Gmail that block APK files in emails. Apart from that there's about 1600 lines of code changed, in 96 screens, so if you want the full details or for progress on a specific feature and other changes in this release please Contact Us.

 

New Customer - Jackson Jackson

JJ

Posted November 23rd, 2018

We've just gone live with another contractor working for Your Housing Group. Once again this is a contractor who needed integration to Orchard, and we were able to put in place a full mobile-working and job management solution that met all of YHG's requirements. Jackson-Jackson are providing vital fire-safety work for YHG in the Stockport area, and fit nicely with the other two contractors we have who are working with YHG.

 

Infrastructure Changes

Bytemark

Posted September 20th, 2018

We have just moved all customers over to a new set of servers with Faelix. The new servers support instantaneous replication between nodes for immediate disaster recovery, along with improved hardware specs to better share resources between customers. The big changes that triggered us to move from our previous hosting provider is the ability to replicate between multiple data-centres, and the ability to easily add new servers to the cluster.

For more details on how our servers are configured for availability and reliability please Contact Us.

 

Apprentices Start

Programmer

Posted September 4th, 2018

We need to say a big welcome to our two degree apprentices. They are both starting out on a four year degree apprenticeship with MMU.

 

New Customer- GTD Maintenance

GTD

Posted May 10th, 2018

Once again we were recommended to a friend...this time to GTD Maintenance in Leeds. This is a fairly small implementation of our standard building maintenance solution - and I think Chris managed to get them live with just 3 visits to their office. This included all data setup, end user training, and mobile engineer training.

 

New Customer- Power Testing Limited

Power Testing

Posted April 20th, 2018

This is a slightly different sort of customer than either our normal building maintenane or refirgeration contractors. Power Testing use our asset management solution to control the work on some very specialised electrical equipment.

 

Apprentice Vacancies

Programmer

Posted March 6th, 2018

Apprentice vacancies

We are attending the MMU apprentice fair on the 6th March looking for a range of people to fill out our team. Follow the link above for some details.

 

New Customer Live - Parklands Services

Parklands Services

Posted February 27th, 2018

We are pleased to announce a new customer early in 2018. Parklands Services are a private sector building maintenance contractor based in Wigan. They are using our standard Building Maintenance and mobile working solution.

Working closely together their admin team and Chris, our implentation hero, took exactly 5 weeks to go from initial order to full roll out including customisations, setup, and training. As is normal for us, we made the first contact with Parklands when they hired a new maintenance manager who had worked with our systems before and they were happy to recommend us up to the MD. We think these are two of our USPs - personal recommendation from actual end-users, and short turn around for a no fuss go live.

 

News in 2017Previous