PaySauce HQ has been full of activity for the last couple of weeks while we welcome three new interns through Summer of Tech.
These guys will be with us for the next ten weeks, and their job is to develop a completely new product for the PaySauce platform.
Last year, we did something similar, handing the same challenge to our 2019 summer interns, Paddy and Larissa. This worked so well that we ended up with not only a cool new product, Tasks, but also two new permanent developers. To share our excitement for round 2, we thought we’d give our customers a peek inside the development process, and walk you through how we conceive, build, test and share technology. So if you’ve ever wondered where software comes from, read on!
The first thing to do is pick a concept. We want to make sure we’re putting our time and effort into building stuff that’s useful and valuable for our customers. We set a few rules, including a deadline, resources available and the need we’re trying to meet. This phase requires research (seeing what other solutions are already out there, finding out what problems our customers are experiencing that we can help solve). For our interns, this is a chance to develop some savvy business skills on top of their technical abilities.
Senior members of our team help our developers pick the idea that best meets the needs of our customers. We get our newbies to come up with a few different ideas in the brainstorming phase and pitch them all to our wise leaders, who choose their favourite option. When this involves our interns, one of the key considerations here is whether the project is doable within the duration of the internship, which is only about two months.
Once we know what the project is, we drill down into the detail of exactly what needs to be delivered. For example, if we decided to build a calendar app, we’d consider:
- Does it send notifications?
- Do users need to be able to write messages to each other?
- Does it work the same way on a mobile vs. a desktop?
These are a few examples, but there are dozens of other details we’d need to settle about how any product looks and functions. Our developers work to plan the tricky mechanics of how this works. At the same time, our designer handles the visual side of things, deciding how to lay out our screens, the sizes and colours of buttons, and all the other things that make our software nice to look at and easy to use.
Now for the actual coding. To build software, developers need to be fluent in a few different coding “languages”. At PaySauce, there’s an added challenge because we have what’s called a “custom framework”, which means anything we write has to be tailored to the unique requirements of our one-of-a-kind system architecture. Our interns have the full support of our development team to help them work through any major challenges, and this also gives them a pretty rare opportunity to do some adaptive learning and build a new skill set.
One of the most essential phases of development is super thorough testing. The aim of testing your software is to try and break it! We test every possible series of clicks and actions to make sure that every unique combination works properly, otherwise one of our customers will end up breaking it for us. This is one part of the process that the original developer of the software can’t help with, so our interns step back while our team put the product through its paces.
6Share with everybody!
This is where we release what we’ve made to the platform! This bit is pretty freaking exciting for all of us, and we love getting feedback from customers. When we release something major, our team coordinates to publish release notes and inform all our customers about the changes with emails, social media posts, or sometimes a personal message if we know a customer has been really keen to get their hands on our new product.
Huge shout-out to Summer of Tech for helping us find another crop of awesome interns, and we can’t wait to see what these guys come up with!
To find out more about Tasks, our previous intern project, click here.
Got a great idea about what we should build next? Tell us all about it here!
About Summer of Tech
At Summer of Tech we believe the future of the country’s technology industry is in the hands of the next generation. We connect employers with top local students and graduates for paid work experience and graduate jobs. We help IT businesses get their hands on the best students for summer internships. It remains an industry led initiative focussed on meeting the real needs of students and employers looking for growth.