Real Plus

Dedicated Team to Develop B2B Real Estate Web Portal for New York Real Estate Agency

Founded in 1990, our customer is an American real estate agency that provides an exclusive web portal in the New York City area. It’s a subscription-based solution with an average number of daily visits between 15-20k (peak value was 35k users).

Industry

Real Estate

Model

Dedicated Team

Team size

31 specialists: Client and Backend Developers, Full Stack, QA engineers, BA

Tech stack

.NET Core (C#), Angular 4, React, Node.js, MS SQL Server, Less, WebForms, WCF, NHibernate, Telerik, Elastic Search, Amazon Web services

CHALLENGE

Founded in 1990, our customer is an American real estate agency that provides an exclusive web portal in the New York City area. It’s a subscription-based solution with an average number of daily visits between 15-20k (peak value was 35k users).

The agency’s business was growing fast, so there was a need to speed up the development and push their software to a higher level. Their outsourcing vendor of the time couldn’t provide that.

In spring of 2014, the customer decided to find a new vendor with a more senior level of expertise. That’s when our collaboration started. We were supposed to take complete ownership of the code and handle HR and team management issues.

 

Brightgrove had to accomplish the following goals:

  • Set up a consistent and stable Agile Scrum development process.
  • Boost the performance of both the in-house and Dedicated teams.
  • Take care of the technical debt accumulated by previous vendors. The customer had worked with many remote teams from China, Vietnam, India and Russia, which led to more than a million lines of old legacy code we had to clean up.
  • Improve the overall quality of the code as the customer had no QA engineers.
  • Fix the product’s security issues.
  • Assign the dedicated Product Owner to reduce the workload of customer’s Product Owner.
  • Upgrade the portal with new functionality and further improvements.

SOLUTION

Boosting Customer’s Development Capacity

To avoid delays in the development process, we assembled the dedicated team in the shortest possible period of time. After analyzing the code and business rules of the portal, we determined the initial number of professionals needed to start the Agile development flow.

In 42 days, our Recruitment Department hired 4 .NET developers and 2 QA engineers to review the old code and plan sprints together with the client’s architect. The team grew to 10 specialists by the end of 2014.

 

Cleaning Up the Legacy Code

Our 2 senior QA specialists started with the creation of very detailed and descriptive pages based on business rules, main user stories, and possible outcomes of different behavior in Confluence.

It took 3 months to document most of the business rules and positive test scenarios that users do on an everyday basis.

So, for code cleaning, we hired 2 senior architects to re-write the core functionality of the old features and improve the overall quality of code.

Over the first 5 months of the transition period all the code had been re-written. Then we introduced Migrations, got rid of stored procedures, and substituted them with C# code plus Entity Framework Queries.

 

Implementing Scrum

We hired our own Product Owner and project manager to relieve the customer’s Product Owner of unnecessary workload and set up a strong management and administration process.

The dedicated project manager selected the team leaders for QA, design, and front- and back-end development; these team members were facilitated and mentored to develop their sustainable skills.

RESULTS

  • Implemented Agile Scrum methodology, including the 2-weeks sprints and 3-weeks release cycle are supervised by the Scrum Master.
  • Reduced the overall amount of code to roughly 140k lines, as opposed to the prior 1M+ lines.
  • Implemented the Test Drive Development (TDD) approach, which allowed to cover 80–100% of the main product and subprojects with unit tests.
  • Utilized Amazon Web Services as a cloud solution.
  • Achieved the portal’s compliance with the latest security standards.
  • Optimized the database requests and replaced Win-Forms with latest MVC framework, using Angular instead of jQuery.
  • Reduced the costs on third-party services such as PayPal, NY API and Google Maps by developing and integrating our own solutions.
  • Developed all supporting technical documentation like user and development guides, use cases and unit tests examples.
  • Sped up the website’s response time from 35 seconds to less than a second.
  • Developed a new open-source B2C online platform for the customers and released it in March 2019.

They help us evolve. We don't have to fully specify functionality because they understand what it is we need to have and do.

Eric Gordon CEO Realplus
Eric Gordon

WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW

Our dedicated team of 16 senior professionals works for the client since 2014, and we’ve retained 90% of them. During the time of that partnership client’s product became number one in the New York area, and we’re not stopping there. We’re continuing to expand the team by hiring top-notch professionals. Our client has big plans for the next year: developing a new mobile application and rewriting parts of the legacy code.

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