This category contains 42 posts

An ABC of R2: K is for keyword component

…which was the first visible feature we released as part of the R2 project. That was way back in May 2006, and it appeared on articles in the Travel section. The keyword component was simply a box listing keywords associated with the article, but to get even to that modest point was a long journey. … Continue reading

An ABC of R2: J is for JFDI

…which stands for “just do it”, and was the unofficial name of one of the development teams which sat alongside the R2 teams. One key principle we had from the start of the project was that other development work couldn’t stop for the sake of the site rebuild. There might be less of it, but … Continue reading

An ABC of R2: I is for iterations

…which lasted two weeks and culminated in a full new release of our software. I’ve written elsewhere about what happened in one week of a particular iteration in June 2008. However, our R2 iterations didn’t just involve implementing software. At the same time each team was also working with a business analyst and end-users to … Continue reading

An ABC of R2: H is for home page

…which was launched in May 2007 and incorporated a huge amount of flexibility to tell the day’s news in different ways. There are two major aspects to the home page’s flexibility. The first, and most obviously, is a variety of templates. In our previous system the home page had almost no flexibility at all, which … Continue reading

An ABC of R2: G is for Guardian America

…which was not part of the project scope when we started R2. It’s fair to say that when we began implementing in February 2006, the idea of a Guardian America launch was not on the radar. Yet by the middle of 2007 it was being talked about very seriously, and increasingly so. How did we … Continue reading

An ABC of R2: F is for flexible advertising

…which was one of the key goals of the project. This exposes one of the significant aspects of R2: it was neither editorially driven, nor technically driven, nor commercially driven. It was driven by a unity of needs right across the company, and it needed to be successful in all these areas. There are a … Continue reading

An ABC of R2: E is for education tables

…which is one of the features central to the Eduction section. An example is this page of GCSE results. Education tables are a great example of how one specialist requirement can reap rewards for so many others. We decided the Education section couldn’t be launched until we had created the ability to display and manage … Continue reading

An ABC of R2: D is for domain driven design

…which Mat Wall and I have written about extensively before, However, for this piece let me say this… When you have a huge number of people for whom you are building software (1500 staff, 20 million unique users, and an entire wired economy influencing which way you should go next) then simply following instructions is … Continue reading

An ABC of R2: C is for changing requirements

…which are a fact of life — certainly if your life revolves around developing software. During R2 there was a 40% churn on requirements. That means by the end of the project 40% of the work we had done had not appeared in our initial plan — some things were dumped, new things were introduced, … Continue reading

An ABC of R2: B is for business analysis

…which means different things to different people. In our case it meant extracting requirements and turning them into something that could be implemented. Business analysis is often misunderstood when it’s used in an Agile context. Agile people often think it’s not necessary — after all, they say, the analysis is best performed by the developers … Continue reading