How we helped today’s parking demands with software engineering, CTO in residence, and technical consulting.

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What happens when a service company (BePark) wants to transition into a software company (Izix)?

The challenge was overwhelming so BePark reached out to madewithlove to understand how it could be done.

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Madewithlove helped us by providing a critical eye for our situation then got their hands dirty — got involved to fix problems — to put us on a better path.

Dorian de Broqueville, General manager at Izix

Where did we start?

Initially, madewithlove completed an audit and delivered our findings. We found a team that was good at shipping features but was struggling to keep pace with the volume of requests and simultaneously manage technical debt. The team also lacked proper product management practices.

First up was improving the release cycle and developer speed. Releases were scary, time consuming, and error prone before madewithlove joined. Our team pushed for a proper continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline that allowed for faster release cycles.

The senior engineers at madewithlove were essential in not only giving a diagnosis but also being involved to help deliver solutions

Dorian de Broqueville, General manager at Izix

Implementing best practices

Instead of waiting weeks or months for code changes to reach production, the team could create changes and ship them in minutes.

They had the confidence to do so because of other best practices introduced including test-driven development (TDD), domain driven design (DDD), and a new design based on hexagonal architecture.

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From microservices to monolith

The team had previously explored a microservices architecture but it didn’t work as expected. One major change was switching to a modular monolith organization so that, instead of three or four pull requests per feature, a single one could be made.

Our team also helped to identify aspects of the code that were problematic then fix them. Parking lot occupancy is a core calculation needed for Izix. This functionality was rewritten from scratch, resulting in accurate computation results that were ready in a magnitude shorter time than before.

  • Auditing
  • CTO in residence
  • Software engineering
  • Recruiting
  • Engineering management

Madewithlove also helped to restructure the product team throughhiring. We helped interview and source several positions including Product manager, (Senior) Software engineer, VP of engineering, and UX designer.

There were many process changes brought to the engineering team in order to improve their communication and the developer experience. Madewithlove also supplied an engineering manager to help keep a pulse on the human side of things.

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The transition was not easy for everyone, but people could see the point and get onboard because of the good technical and human leadership provided by madewithlove.

Dorian de Broqueville, General manager at Izix

Getting the processes right

By introducing a team working agreement, a definition of done, regular 1-1 meetings, an improved retrospective format, and semester reviews, developers were finally receiving clear expectations and getting the feedback they needed.

Engineers from madewithlove also employed pair and mob programming to shorten technical feedback loops as much as possible. And when deeper research was needed, the Izix team used Friday afternoon 10% time to close the gaps in their knowledge.

Time will tell if we succeed but now, after working with madewithlove, we can focus on the right things.

Dorian de Broqueville, General manager at Izix

Making them stand on their own

The team was now ready to stand on its own and the rebranding could occur. Madewithlove supplemented a CTO in residence to help guide the team on both the product and engineering side.

With daily mentorship of product managers, the team was able to adopt good processes to perform product research and discovery including customer interviews, roadmap and prioritization planning, and shaping functionality using feature passports. The work continues with our sister company, Smooth Sailing.