MYD icon
Join the adventure
Decorative icon

The Longest Deployment

Paul Boger

As a creative firm, it is all too often the case that we can't talk about the work we do. This is a tale of one of our most prolific enterprise deployments that we'll never be able to show you. Disclaimer: we can reveal little to no details about this project. Enjoy!

It was January and it was cold as hell.

That's how the night started. We had been embedded with a small but highly dedicated technology team for over a year. Our role with the team was helping to modernize a long-standing enterprise application by introducing modern web platforms and tools to the existing workflow.

In the course of the last month the team had regained a project from years past. The challenge that was thrust upon us was a story we've all heard before; a partner had been dropped and the client needed us to parachute in, rebuild an enterprise application from the ground up, and deploy it in just over three weeks to several thousand stores across the nation.

No small feat, especially for a full-stack development, analytics, quality assurance, and project management team of eight.

Our contribution to the project was nothing less than critical - as was the case for our six compatriots. The main focus for the MYD team was to bring to life a full feature React JS application that would integrate into a complex Android APK. Alongside the application, we were tasked with designing and implementing a JSON data management system that could support the many experiential iterations of the application.

We worked tirelessly for exactly three weeks supporting every need that came our way: UX/UI solutions, a complex time-syncing video system, content creation, feature development, bug fixes, and more. As the deadline approached we knew things were going to get tight. The project had gained speed and scope as we navigated it in three of the busiest weeks we had seen.

And so the night arrived.

The deadline had arrived. We were scheduled to deploy this massive application starting at the close of business on a chilling Wednesday night. We loaded up on supplies and dug in for a late night in the office. Our teammates from the firm we had partnered with joined us for what would become our longest remote session ever.

Like any software built under distress, there were bound to be issues. We set off on the deployment and began receiving and closing bugs and updates in real time. Over the course of 8 hours we successfully deployed the massive project nationwide and closed over 100 issues / required updates in tandem with the launch.

And at 4:15 AM we were done. We clinked a pair of whiskey glasses and fell asleep.

The stores began opening on the east coast just a few short hours later and much to their delight they walked in to find the welcome screen of a brand new experience. We anxiously awoke and headed to the nearest store to observe our work in person. As we entered the doors a wall of devices, perfectly in sync, running the new platform was beyond beautiful. The bustle of customers interacting and experimenting with the application was only an added bonus. We'd done it.

Yet we were far from done.

The experience was a career-shifting moment. We had in what was ultimately a rapid period of time learned a great deal about ways to optimize and boost our development process. Likewise, our partners now had a rock-solid platform that would lead to influence the future of the product.

We continued to support, add features, and travel across the country for this project for nearly 2 years following the initial deployment. We were responsible for the implementation of dozens of unique solutions, technology experiments, and deploying dozens of new experiences to the platform. In our time on the project over 100,000 individuals interacted and experienced the work we contributed to.

A project of this scale is truly impossible without a strong and dedicated team. And more importantly, a team that trusts and communicates effectively with one another. We tip our hats to all who worked with us and supported us in this wild adventure - we could not have done it without every person on the team. Years later we are proud to continue partnering with many of these fine individuals.

Published 09.09.2020