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Development Cycle

We take an iterative approach to software development where we regularly deliver features and value over time rather than cook the app for years and release it all at once. This allows the client to get their core value to market within 6 weeks, on average, and get user feedback right away. This helps keep the product relevant and in tune with user needs. Responding to the market helps steer the priorities of subsequent features and saves the client time and money by making educated decisions right away.

We follow a two-week development cycle that includes:

  • Writing user stories
  • Sprint planning
  • Coding
  • Code review
  • Acceptance testing & QA
  • Client demos to show progress and receive feedback
  • Repeat until complete
  • Our clients are an integral part of the process and work as an active partner in making decisions, offering info when needed, and testing.

    We test features in a staging environment and once approved by all parties, gets deployed to the production environment which is available to the audience.

    Admin panel

    In most cases, we don't build a custom admin panel due to client budget so we use a third-party service called Avo. It has decent out-of-the-box features and then we customize it with a solid foundation in place. It essentially displays tables of info like tastings, bookings, restaurants, users, etc. It allows the admin to create cities, neighbourhoods, users, bookings, tastings, tasting times, and everything needed to create, edit, and destroy information.

    We are regularly adding more features to make the client's process of making tastings more efficient. As of May 2024, we are putting a bow on editing individual tasting times and will be looking into creating bulk tastings versus individually.

    Admin panel screenshot

    A screenshot of the admin panel in the staging environment.

    Project challenges

    While the general development went smoothly, the biggest technical turbulence occurred when implementing timezones. It is important that the admin is able to create tastings across all Canadian timezones (with more in the future). It is also important that customers are able to reside in one timezone and book a reservation in another timezone in the event they are traveling.

    Originally, the timezones would default to UTC and the timezone in which the booking was made in. The resulted in restaurants seeing the wrong time on their dashboard and customers getting texts at the wrong time.

    After a week of coding and repeat testing, timezones now display based on their timezone they're in. When the admin creates a tasting for 7PM in Victoria, it will now show as 7PM on its booking page no matter what timezone you are sitting in

    Project highlights

    Launching in the fall of 2023, Taste the City is one of the fastest growing startups we have worked with. With an initial focus on Calgary, it quickly grew to include Victoria, Toronto, and Winnipeg.

    In early 2024, it won the Queens Entrepreneurship award in Toronto, and was featured in Avenue Magazine in mid 2024. They have more pitch competitions coming up and routinely add new cities and restaurants to their tastings.

    Check them out at  www.tastethecity.ca  and book a tasting for yourself!

    Thanks for reading!

    If you want your own success story, give us a shout at hello@pixeltree.ca