Tommy Lee Software development for everyone else

One Man Development Team

I recently picked up a small project over the weekend. With the promise to myself to launch an MVP by week’s end, I needed to have a solid system down that worked well enough.

It is a customer rewards tracking system, so that a business can keep track of customer purchases, and offer discounts at time of purchase. This is meant to replace their current Access database.

Organizing Thoughts

Tickets and feature management is a must. I’ve tried other ticketing systems, and I wanted a little more integration with Github or Bitbucket. From a recommendation from my coworker Brandon, waffle.io has been a very good choice. Tickets integrated well with Github issues, features, and pull requests. Progress of the ticket was tracked as I pushed changes to feature branches.

Some required features to emulate the current system:

  • Cashier Login
  • Cashier can add a new customer into system
  • Cashier can add a visit and add a new reward
  • A report to determine when customers at the month are

Some new features requested:

  • Rewards to show up at intervals of dollars spent
  • Rewards for frequency of visits
  • Alerting the cashier at time of entry about the available deal.

Make sure it works

Since this is a part time project, I need to make sure that it’s functional enough for people to use. While I’m doing some things from a TDD perspective, I didn’t want to spend too much time debugging launches.

After enough listens to the Ruby on Rails Podcasts, I checked out Codeship’s continous deployment service to keep my application recent and working. It’s a change in pace to how I’ve been doing my projects.

There were some growing pains setting up Capistrano to deploy on my own servers. I wrote up some steps and left it in my project’s readmes. Overall I’m pretty satisfied on how it works.

Keeping it small and tight.

I don’t want to mess around with small details, like User Authentication and Authorization. Using gems like CanCanCan and Devise speed up my creation process.

For the front-end sections, I’m looking to find a better way to build interfaces. Right now I’m just grabbing Javascript plugins for search boxes and autocompletes, and its working out okay for an MVP.

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