My¬†cooperaton with this law firm (which name I cannot reveal) started in october 2011, shortly after I graduated, and continues, in very good relations, till this day. I have created for them a system which provides ability to manage their clients cases. I was building it from the scratch but before I could start writing code I had to understand “the business”. It was really taught because I had practically no¬†knowledge about law firms and how do they¬†function. First couple of weeks it was time when we saw or speak with eachother more then I was with my family. As I can recall, it was endless loop which was going something like this: meeting, planning, then again explaining over the phone or if that was not enough (and trust me, it never is) another meeting,¬†planning, explaining and again and again and again. ¬†After thousands of meetings, thousands of phones and zylions of e-mails we established what is important and what are the goals to achive. I could finally get to work.
Like you can guess time was more than important. It is a “hidden” system, that does not occure on each and every google search result and it will not have milions of users from all over the world, so the look was not at the first place, obviously. Nevertheless it had to look AT LEAST decently because clients are going to be able to view it and do some limited actions. What I knew at that point of my recently started career that user interface is the most expensive, in terms of time costs, element to design and create. So waht to do in situation when you have not got time and you have to create time consuming user interface. Solution is only one. I have decided to use a template.
Adminica¬†was the choice,who would not buy it after this words ? Hmm ? Point me at least 10 000 people!
Even though I have “earned” a lot of time by not creating UI from the scratch I was not able to give the product on time. That was mainly because I was working on regular basis 8h / day and 5 days / week in the office and this, law case manager, was a project that I work on in my spare time. Although I have been working on it onweekdays after hours (till late) and all weekends for like 4 – 6 months almost constantly, still it was not enough. I overestimated my productivity, my bad.
I remember that it was really exhausting tmes. Of course it was not only the lack of time that was the issue but also some technical problems, lack of proper knowladge, new features that came up in the middle of work and last but not least business concept misunderstandings. These misunderstandings are the worst bacuase they are often destroying foundations that you have built whole application on and you have to refactor them all over again.
¬†Despite all the design and development problems I have made it. The law case manager is working! When I am writing this portfolio post it is working for over 2,5 years. Hurrray! It was my first commercial success! Hurrray!
Now, from time and what is more important from “more knowladge” perspective I can honestly say that this product is not for sure the best thing that came out of my keyboard strokes. However, it is something that I have worked really hard on, that I have learned a lot while doing it and what is most important that I have been able to deliver something that works, people use it and it helps them in their work.
Some technical information about this project:
Version control: SVN
Technology: C# | ASP.NET MVC 4.0 (Razor)
Database: MS SQL Server 2008
Database ¬ę¬†¬Ľ¬†Application: LINQ
Client ¬ę¬†¬Ľ Server: HTTP VERBS | AJAX