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Passion for E‑commerce

Finding the cause of a persistent bug, nailing a complicated inventory issue or make a customer super excited with a new design. Those are the victories that make us happy. With a lot of coffee, nice consultation moments and wonderful results.

We sometimes write about these victories, new projects, results or modules, at out blog.

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Development without downtime

We develop locally, work with version management and make releases through automatic deployment services. Testing of new functionality can be done on the acceptance environment (DTAP). With monitoring services we keep an eye on the condition of the server and we can respond quickly to any problems. This way we limit downtime.

Smart collaboration with scrum

Software development is a joint effort of the client, developers and designers. The scrum process provides structure to this collaboration, so that we achieve results with every contact moment. You have direct contact with the developers and designers working on the project.

E-commerce is more than just a webshop

Design and technology are our most important disciplines, but e-commerce is about logistics, SEO, content, advertising, finance and data. For 10 years we have been working with the best parties on these fronts and we incorporate this experience into our daily activities.

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Magento Enterprise partner

Reach Digital is Magento professional partner, the required status for implementing Magento Enterprise. Magento Enterprise - the licensed version of Magento - offers solutions for e-commerce issues with high demands on performance, content staging and integration with retail.

Integration before customization

Magento offers a lot of essential functionality from the core for building a webshop. For example shopping cart and checkout functionality, an extensive catalog or order management. In addition to this core functionality, it is possible to add modules developed by third parties to the system. At Reach Digital we aim to use as much as possible the functionality that is already available, so that we do not do unnecessary customization. Our certified solution specialists are familiar with all core functionality in both Magento Community and Magento Enterprise. We check externally developed modules for quality before we use them and as a partner of the largest external developers we have good contact for reporting possible bugs in modules.

Quality code by certified developers

Code quality plays an important role in our daily work. Much of our work consists of solving error messages, debugging technical problems and optimizing performance. Wrong strategic choices in the development of functionality or lack of experience with Magento (2) are the reasons why a piece of engineering sometimes can simply go into the trash. Reach Digital invests in the continuous updating of programmers. We organize internal (lunch) presentations, workshops and study days. Every project has a lead developer, who is responsible for regular peer reviews of functionality. The certification of our programmers and Magento specialists is a confirmation of our knowledge and experience.

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Method and process

Better software through face to face conversations

Our process provides fixed contact moments for programmers and designers to come up with ideas, ask questions and discuss functionality together with the product owner (appointed person from the customer's team who bears the substantive responsibility for the project). We record an issue in the form of a story; a wish written from the perspective of a target group, for example: "As a visitor I want to be able to search the product catalog using an EAN number". Then we discuss the different solution directions that are put forward by developers and customer. Software development is human work, so we try to coordinate the assumptions of both parties. Everybody agreed? Then we estimate the issue and can be picked up in the next sprint.

Structure through version management and DTAP

At Reach Digital, we use GIT as our version control system. Programmers work locally on projects on a simulated version of the webshop. Changes to the code (including short explanation and issue number) are stored as mutations in a repository, an archive with the full source code. A new change is automatically rolled out on the test environment. The product owner and our developers continuously test during the development on the test environment. Upon agreement, functionality is then rolled out on the acceptance environment. After acceptance, functionality can be rolled out on the production environment. This controlled method of development eliminates all risks that arise when applying files directly to the production environment and prevents the manual transfer of files. The chance of errors due to human actions is much smaller. Should an error occur, it can be reversed via the version control system.

SLA and support

Issues can be registered with priority, or are classified by our support available during business hours in one of the classifications: Direct, 1 week or Sprint planning. Problems that immediately ensure that orders can no longer be placed are picked up with high priority. If there has been downtime, an incident report will be drawn up with the date, time, the alleged cause, reaction time, solution offered and the invoiced hours. Outside office hours a 24/7 crisis number is available.

Estimate with points for a realistic budget

To get an idea of how much time and costs are connected to a functionality or development, programmers and designers estimate issues on complexity. At the start of a project, a first sprint will be set up for a total of 50 points of issues. We initially take into account the ratio of 1 point is equal to 3 hours. An agreement is requested for 150 hours of development and a maximum of 150 hours developed.

After running the available hours, it becomes clear whether the ratio was realistic. If less time was needed for issues, for example, the ratio will be adjusted to 1 point is 2.5 hours. If not all issues are finished, the ratio will be adjusted to for example 1 point = 4 hours. Uncompleted issues are moved to the next sprint.

There is no real connection between points and time needed. Final invoicing is done monthly based on actual rotated hours. The estimation of points is meant to get a picture of complexity and in this way to be able to set priorities within the project. It is also intended to get a realistic picture of the development speed (development velocity) and thus the costs of the project.

To make good estimations, programmers and designers estimate using Sprint Poker. A system where each person individually estimates the complexity of an issue. Then the estimates of all those involved are compared. Large differences can be discussed and if necessary the final number can be determined.

E-commerce <3 Alphen aan den Rijn

Hard werken, dat is wat softwareontwikkeling en e-commerce in het bijzonder ook is. Hoge prioriteit bugs fixen, hackers tegenhouden, onverklaarbare verdwenen transacties weer terughalen; soms stressvol, maar het hoort er allemaal bij. We doen het allemaal vanuit Alphen aan den Rijn. Centraal gelegen tussen Amsterdam, Leiden en Den Haag is het zo’n gekke locatie nog niet. Het kantoor is goed bereikbaar en parkeren is gratis. We houden het interessant door regelmatig workshops en (lunch)presentaties te organiseren. En we vinden het mooi als programmeurs of designers opscheppen via de interne chat over de mooie dingen die ze gemaakt hebben.