The publiq platform is where organisers and audiences find one another.

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Where organisers and audiences find one another

With publiq, local authorities and organisers gain a better understanding of their audience, people who want to participate in leisure activities.

At publiq, we value sustainable and stable software and that is exactly what the engineers of madewithlove provide. At the very start of every project, we involve the madewithlove team — with product managers and developers — so we can search for the real added value.

Sven Houtmeyers, Technical Lead (CTO)

Trial and error

When it was time to build their new application, publiq decided to partner with a development agency. To manage the complexity of the business requirements, the team smartly chose to use event sourcing, an advanced technical solution. The project was a success and the platform grew.

The initial partner was able to lead the project for a handful of years, adding additional systems over time. Then, unfortunately, they went bankrupt. At this point, publiq was in a difficult position.

They had a complex solution. The ecosystem itself had a large code footprint and several applications were in dire need of upgrade. And worst of all, publiq did not have enough internal knowledge to fix these problems.

Call in the reserves

Madewithlove joined the team in a hybrid capacity, knowing that mentoring publiq's engineers would be essential to their long-term success.

A hybrid team consists of both internal and external developers working together on a daily basis. This process is guided by an experienced CTO in residence or engineering manager so common mistakes are easily avoided.

With this approach, publiq is closely involved with every decision taken and grows in-house expertise on the system being built and the supporting processes. Knowledge sharing is part of madewithlove's DNA so they naturally take on responsibility and learn how to make better decisions.

At first, the hybrid team of our organization and madewithlove was a little bit strange for some of our own team members, but when they realized the extra value of it, our employees really understood why we work together.

Sven Houtmeyers, Technical Lead (CTO)

Learning how to ship

A common problem we encounter is that it's difficult for teams to ship new functionality. Usually, we find lengthy review processes, a lack of confidence in shipping the product, and gatekeepers at every step. This is why update the continuous integration and continuous delivery pipeline is one of the first priorities for our team.

The major change made was to convert the system from a Travis CI setup to using GitHub actions. With this, the existing tools were evaluated and supplemented. A newly configured PHPStan module provides static code analysis and style checks are applied consistently.

Upgrades

Two major areas that needed attention were the authentication system and the antiquated front-end of a system called UiTdatabank, a centralized activity database.

The upgrades to the authentication were a no-brainer but technically challenging. With the guidance of madewithlove, the system's authentication protocol is now using OAuth 2.0, the industry standard.

The transition of the UiTdatabank front-end to ReactJS took time. Rather than freeze delivering value to customers, the team opted for a slower transition. In this way, product updates arrived alongside the refactored and robustly tested code. Now, the system is much easier to build upon and maintain.

We now have stable and performant products that users love, so the impact of the collaboration is well proven. In addition to these successful products, madewithlove introduced some frameworks and tools that we use in a lot of components of the publiq platform.

Sven Houtmeyers, Technical Lead (CTO)

Event sourcing and the ecosystem

To accommodate the broad ecosystem and create a tight connection between the different components, event sourcing is used. This helps to minimize and manage domain complexity found in the code.

Publiq is built around three main pillars: accessible information, broadening tastes, and involvement through inclusion. This results in multiple applications with specific user needs. It's essential to connect those applications and that's where event sourcing comes into play.

With our knowledge, publiq engineers could continue building on the system they had while avoiding an expensive rewrite. Over the past 2 years, knowledge about how to work with event sourcing has steadily transitioned from madewithlove to the internal engineering team.

Together with madewithlove, we created a high standard of quality which includes consistent, readable, well-documented, and tested code which we would like to keep for years 😉.

Sven Houtmeyers, Technical Lead (CTO)

The story continues

For many years, madewithlove has helped publiq to expand, maintain, and improve their extensive ecosystem to make it easier for organisers of events and their target audience to find one another. We are happy to say the partnership continues and we've signed a longer-term contract to keep the collaboration going.

Hopefully, our products keep growing, so for us, it’s a never-ending story, but when we look back, the team definitely succeeded.

Sven Houtmeyers, Technical Lead (CTO)

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