It’s that time of the week again, so get ready for a piping-hot Dev Diary fresh out the giffgaff oven. Serving it up today will be me. For those who haven’t seen previous Dev Diaries: I’m Harry, recent Uni of Loughborough grad and graduate software engineer in the Community Platform team. Since being at giffgaff I’ve learnt a lot, and as of yet I’ve been primarily working on front-end (UI, UX) improvements. Recently I’ve been learning more about back-end development, and hope to contribute more to the Community in this way in the coming year.
This week has been all about making what we already have just that bit better. This includes bug fixes, speed improvements, UI changes, and some UX changes focused on creating a better understanding of how Community works for new members.
Member Research & UX Improvements
@annesolano has been working with members and gaining their feedback on their experience with Community. One thing that stood out was the options available for the discussion filter - we realised we could be making the wording of these clearer. We’ve looked into doing this along with the valuable research carried out to best update these, and @ianmorland has completed and pushed these changes to main Community.
Updating Main Community
Several improvements we’ve made over the last couple of weeks have spent some time on Preview; now it’s time for them to spread their wings and fly over to the Main Community, so we’ve pushed these over. Updates to main Community include:
- Excerpt UI update
- Best Answer updates
- Improved tracking for reactions to be used in the Stats page
Our updates to main Community will soon be mirroring the weather outside - frozen. On Friday 20th December we will be freezing updates to main Community until the new year. We’ll be spending this time working on some behind the scenes changes, such as bug fixes and minor improvements brought to our attention by our members. The aim of this is to enter the new year with as few existing issues as possible, so we are able to focus more on bringing you lovely lot some new and exciting features as we move forward.
This week @tariqthedev has been working with our SRE (Site Reliability Engineering) team and Tooling (who develop solutions for other teams in the business to use, such as automated code deployment) team to give us better insights into the Community Platform’s performance profile and where we can best target to make improvements.
The first step in this process will be to enable Amazon’s RDS performance insights, which will allow us to look into what database operations are expensive and what we can do to optimise them. This is now live in our staging environment, next step will be to push this live into our production environment.
We’re also looking at ways of profiling our production environment without impacting on performance. We are waiting on further guidance from our SRE team on where we can store profiling data so that we can perform the relevant analysis on the codebase. Watch this space!
@ianmorland has mainly been focused on getting this month’s payback data extraction compiled and over to the calculation team in good time for the December payout.
That’s it for this week, so it’s bye-bye from all of us here, and as always feel free to leave some feedback over on preview.
Have a great weekend!