A few days ago, a wannabe customer came to us to get a quotation for his startup project. Our analysis went straightforward for the most part, and we could get some numbers in front of the customer’s expectations. However, for one key piece of the webapp, the customer wanted a precise experience for his users. The page is full of AJAX call to external APIs. Of course, planning is guessing, but for this tricky part, we wanted to be as accurate as possible and to be sure that we could achieve the experience the customer wants.
That’s why we go for a spike. In the agile and eXtreme Programming world, a spike is a very small program or webapp especially designed to leverage solutions for a tough problem and just the solutions to this specific problem. Usually, from this spike you can guess the correct design or technical solution and thus, estimate how long it will take to really build them and integrate them in the final live app.
In that specific case, of course, it’s dangerous on the business point of view. We’ll spend a few days and we’re not sure we will get the contract. But we think it’s definitively worth it: at the end of the day, we will get clear answers to our questions and we can even show this specific prototype to the customer and hope he will choose us.
Furthermore, this type of experience is really good to build our team spirit and be sure we keep being on the edge!
So tomorrow, we will be two, coding in the Ruby War Room at our coworking space :)comments powered by Disqus