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Codurance proved to be the ideal partner to help us build our event website in a very demanding timeframe. Their expertise of the AWS stack and knowledge of Serverless Architecture was in parallel with our Solution Architects.

Startup & Developer Marketing Manager, UKIR & Nordics at AWS

About AWS

Amazon Web Services, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, offers a suite of cloud-computing services that make up an on-demand computing platform. Amazon markets AWS as a service to provide large computing capacity quicker and cheaper than a client company building an actual physical server farm.

The Challenge

AWS wanted to create a custom event registration system for their Pop-Up Loft event series in the UK, since existing third-party solutions compromised on the overall customer experience. This system would include a fully-functional event website, real-time data reporting functionality and an on-site event check-in system.

AWS saw this as an ideal opportunity to create a brand new system on AWS, using the internally developed ‘Gold Standard’ serverless architecture design and Amazon services such as Amazon Lambda, CloudFront, API Gateway and Amazon S3. The front end was developed in Angular JS and Clojure was used to build the backend.

AWS had limited internal resources to develop the project and needed a partner with expertise in both their technologies, security requirements and Agile methodologies.

Our Software Craftmanship Approach

The project needed to be completed in a 6 week timeframe. We therefore spent the first week working closely with the AWS Product Owner to define the backlog of features for the system and to identify the critical MVPs that had be completed ahead of the event launch date.

During the same week, we worked with AWS’ technical team to understand their infosec and architectural best practices requirements for the project. Since AWS have strict security requirements around the handling of customer data, a full programme of security checks and penetration testing phases needed to be adhered to.

We assigned a Principal Craftsman and an Apprentice to complete the UX, development and infrastructure work, which was conducted using a Scrum based methodology in 1 week sprints.

Work was conducted at our offices, with a regular channel of communication to the Product Owner over Slack. This was particularly effective in providing real-time feedback on design choices for the front end and for user testing. Features were pushed directly to a staging environment using continuous integration, with regular product demos and retrospectives at being conducted at AWS’ London offices.

Part of the feature set included a reporting tool to provide the business with detailed reports on the event. We spent time to help train the AWS marketing team on how to use the system.

Outcome

Given the tight feedback loops and real-time interactions with the Product Owner, we were able to deliver both the MVPs for the project and several additional features ahead of the deadline. The event team were able to respond quickly to demand via the real-time data analysis (for instance session scheduling, staff rotas) and report session take-up and popularity to stakeholders.

AWS invited Codurance to add additional features to the system so that it could be used at future events. Our team also gave a talk on Software Craftsmanship at the AWS Summit London 2016.

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