How our agile team built a customized software development lab for a Canadian government agency
When tasked with building a customized software development lab with a tight turnaround, you need a closely aligned team full of technical know-how who can be flexible, agile, and make decisions quickly.
4th of October, 2023
At Akkodis, we have such teams. In late 2022, our team of experts was tasked with creating a bespoke environment to support software development efforts for a government agency. A tall order, but by late spring of 2023, with a facility and infrastructure in place, the team was up and running. The current team includes a project manager, business analyst, database administrator, software developer and software quality assurance tester. They’re looking to add a web designer and three more software developers before the year is out to be fully operational and meet the needs of the client on an ongoing basis.
Mitchell Burton, business development manager, says that he is “thrilled” with the “world-class IT team they have put together” and says our current capabilities owe a lot to “the experience and tenure of our IT Director, Franck de Fillipis.”
The team provides ongoing software support and development services. This means a continuous modernization of the agency’s existing suite of applications and new developments, including application redesigns and potentially new applications.
An environment to collaborate, code and test
A software development lab is a controlled environment. It’s in these environments that development teams can collaborate, code and test software applications. The team works in C#.NET, Oracle DB, nodeJS, MS Azure, and, he says, “some other languages in the mix including Java and C++.”
“The client has security requirements,” explains Mitch. “Even though we’re at our own facility, it still has to be secure - using a segmented network.”
What they will say is that they have experience in creating these environments. In developing software for another organization, you have to first be able to create and test it in an environment away from the client’s.
“We don’t directly work on the agency’s environment networks,” says project manager Rajdeep Raol. “We must simulate the same environment, so that we can deliver increments of the software.”
“The most important part is the database,” says Mitch. “This must replicate the same configuration and flavour of database software the client has. It has the same dependencies and set-up and must have the same configuration to accurately develop and test the software for implementation.”
Once developed, tested, and ready - the software is shipped to the agency where it’s tested on their platforms before it can be fully integrated.
“The key word is ‘agility’”
Within the space of a few months, the team were able to put the right personnel in place, source and secure office space, implement the infrastructure hardware, make customizations to the building and “set-up a new facility dedicated to serving the client.”
Mitch and Raj cite Akkodis’ reputation for allowing teams like this to exercise strong levels of autonomy as a catalyst for their success. On complex projects like this, it’s that autonomy that enables them to work without the office politics and bureaucracy that hamper many large corporations. “Akkodis is one of the strongest companies on the planet when it comes to autonomy and empowering talent,” they say.
This means that they are able to operate with speed and agility - indeed, Raj highlights that the key word is ‘agility’ when it comes to explaining how they managed such a feat in such a small amount of time.
The lab is built for growth
The five-year project is still in its infancy, but the team has already made huge strides forward. Yet you get the sense that there’s plenty more to come from them, as they build on these early foundations. As the project grows in scope, the lab they have created will grow with it.
“Where we were just two months ago is vastly different to where we are today,” highlights Mitch. “We’ve pivoted. We’ve had iterations in our development environment. We’ve had to shift and adapt. We’ve had two fundamental design changes after discussions with the client. When adapting to a client’s specifications and aspirations for future development, it’s all about changing technology. You’re never going to get it perfect on day one.”
Perhaps not - but with the team’s focused and dynamic approach, you feel that perfection is never too far away.
We work on all kinds of projects - from automotive and aerospace to defence and clean energy. To find out more about our first-class opportunities for career development, get in touch today.