Virtual hub questions

The Virtual hub is a suite of web applications with the EDUCATE website at the core. See staff page for details.

The WordPress website was in use from the early days of EDUCATE, and continued as a good choice in being powerful and flexible but relatively user-friendly.

The current developer’s approach could be characterised in ‘manifest’ form as:

  • Agile over project-managerial
  • Sustainability over speed
  • Centralised over distributed
  • In-house over outsourced

The major features in the Virtual hub plan are outlined on the roadmap. This reflects the original Virtual hub vision:

Virtual hub vision

Current requests are queued in the roadmap and requirements are noted.

The estimated turn-around times are based on the time to complete recent past Virtual hub jobs.

These factor in business-as-usual, system administration and miscellaneous work, and may shift depending on future conditions. A broad definition of ‘done’ is used, to include iterative development, and beyond development, to account testing and review time and integration into Virtual hub provision.

The size of jobs is currently estimated broadly as small, medium or large, based on estimates of the size and complexity of the task, comparing to previous work.

Focused Virtual hub development started in Dec 2017, with one developer.

Early background work included reviewing technology options, negotiating roadmap and setting up development systems and operations. There has been more focus on back-end feature development than front-end interface, with some design focused on Bett 2018.

These service arrangements are intended to facilitate the work going ahead.

Business-as-usual is managed with the aid of email/tasks and the SpiceWorks Cloud job logging system. Projects are managed using Trello boards with kanban-style columns.

Basic processes for behind-the-scenes operations such as systems administration, documentation, configuration and knowledge management are in place, although subject to prioritising of user-facing feature delivery. These aim for scaling and continuity.  These are guided by standard ITSM best practice ideas, but very adapted with a small-scale, lite and lean orientation.

In computing, this refers to programming/coding to build or configure applications and systems.

In web development, “front-end” normally refers to developing (programming) the interface and “back-end” to developing the underlying application infrastructure. This is distinct from “design” which generally does not include development.

See: Wikipedia

WordPress training is planned, to include the role of WordPress in the Virtual hub. See training notes.