Future First is an NGO from the UK providing educational institutions with a web platform for building and managing alumni communities. They work in close collaboration with school staff, students, employers, and alumni in order to achieve the sustainable development of those communities. Their mission is to see every state school and college in the UK supported by a thriving and engaged alumni community.
The platform provides a two-fold experience, one directed towards alumni and one towards schools/universities. The schools can use the platform to manage their teachers or alumni, send and respond to emails, create and manage activities, view different kinds of indicators or statistics.
The alumni on the other hand can add more details about their education or employment, update their preferences (like notification frequency), create inspirational alumni posters, and so on.
We initially started with 2 developers in order to provide the capacity needed to finish their backlog of functionality, before the new school year started, back in July 2017. Since then we have been active in the development of the alumni platform both on the programming side but also on the UX/UI side. We are also very invested in providing advice on architecture changes, technology, and technical approach.
We collaborate as an augmented team working in 1-week sprints, our responsibility is mainly the updating existing features of the platform but also developing some new functionality as well. We also provide UX/UI support on-demand and recently we have also started to involve our cloud specialists in updating the portal infrastructure to a more scalable setup Kubernetes.
We usually have a small core team, up-scaled based with temporary capacity on the needs assigned to handle the day-to-day work and involve other specialists as needed (WordPress, docker, and Kubernetes, UX/UI).
The portal was built using Meteor.js and it's based fully on ES6 and Typescript. It uses salesforce and a separate MongoDB for handling the data persistence layer, the portal also relies on Angular and the compatible material-UI library for providing the layout and user interface.We were not involved in the initial development of the portal but we did leave our mark as we have determined that it would be a good idea to move towards DDD and a layered architecture approach on the API side and rely the Redux pattern and (web) component-based architecture on the client-side. We also were involved in migrating the existing infrastructure towards one based on Kubernetes.