There were a number of challenges we had to overcome, but there were two major obstacles:
Lack of hardware
The biggest problem to overcome was how best to resolve the technical hitches that come with working on hardware belonging to a third party. From our previous experiences of working on a number of connected hardware projects, we knew the importance of getting our hands on a device as early as possible. However, Depict’s frame was a unique and bulky piece of kit, which the client was unable to supply - so we couldn’t physically work on the frame during the initial phases of development.
This threw up a number of complications, as we carried out device specific tasks and testing. We managed to solve these issues by coming up with two workarounds. First, we set up emulators for all the distributed teams so they could start on the first few development sprints.
When we finally did receive a device in London, our next solution was to set up a live webcam stream with lighting rig, which enabled our developers in Mexico to immediately see the impact their code updates were having on the London device – which helped ensure their development work was far more accurate and efficient.
With the Depict team in San Francisco & Austin, and Novoda working out of Mexico City, London, Berlin and Barcelona, this might have added additional risk to the project. However, with our tried and tested remote approach to engineering excellence, we took the time to develop a bespoke strategy and process, that enabled high performing remote teams.
We developed clear channels that kept everyone communicating and in the know at all times - enabling agile practises and continuous learning amongst the project team, which reduced the time from ‘idea to impact’. Ultimately by putting these processes into place, we were able to operate a seamless high-performing project, with teams dotted all over the world.