The Marketing Technology Office

Perils Of Open Source Software

Content Engineer DJ Gilcrease

We here at Kanban love Open Source code and attempt to use it wherever possible. This is much easier on the frontend (HTML, JavaScript, CSS) than it is on the backend (Depending on your platform of course). In almost every frontend project we have worked on we have automatically included one Open Source JavaScript library: jQuery.

In a recent project, one of our goals was to speed up page load & rendering time on the product listing and detail pages (The product detail page used to take 15 seconds to render). One way to do this is to dynamically load in data/DOM only when it is needed. Doing so either required the backend to learn how to render data for each section separately, or to use frontend templates. With the particular backend system we are using, making it learn how to render each section individually would not be worth the effort, so we settled on jQuery Templates[1].

Even though it was in beta, it was being officially backed by the jQuery team and Microsoft. Though we understood that beta software would have bugs, it was an acceptable risk.

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The Marketing Technology Office

Delivery Best Practice: Single Comment Repository

This is Part 1 in a series on Kanban’s delivery best practices.

Content Engineer Karen PetersonMuch of a project manager’s job requires a wrangling of tiny details. The more complexity there is in the design, the more details will come out over the entire course of the project. Every touch point adds to our understanding of how the client expects their functionality to work.

Some project managers keep a record of everything that occurs in every meeting. This serves a CYA purpose, but it can create too much documentation to take action on. A comment repository only tracks decisions and remarks about the functionality of what is being built. We use it for creating and updating our functional specs and for refining our QA test scripts.

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Content Engineering

Maintaining Control Of External Sites

Content Engineer DJ Gilcrease

Many of today’s brands generally have a large number of external or partner third-party sites that should ideally maintain the same look and feel as the brand’s main site. The solution for many is to pull in the CSS from the main site to keep the style of each experience consistent.

This approach has two issues. First: if the main site restructures their DOM or CSS, it can break the external site. Second: content changes do not automatically get propagated to the third-party sites. This can lead to inefficiencies and extra costs in maintaining and supporting those sites. It can also cause a lack of brand control and an inconsistent cross-channel customer experience, which can erode site conversion and brand loyalty.

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Content Engineering

Content Strategy or Bust

Content engineer Philip WisniewskiMinneapolis, on any given spring or summer day, seems to be a great place to do just about anything. Add about 500 content-centric professionals to the mix and you quickly have the perfect environment for the exchange of ideas, best practices, and almost everything else related to content strategy. The 2nd annual event, Confab 2012, was again a smashing success, thanks to the organizers, Brain Traffic, and a number of highly accomplished and passionate speakers (Dan Roam, Ann Rockley, Jared Spool, and Karen McGrane, just to name a few).Confab 2012, The Content Strategy Conference, brought together a community of practitioners and evangelists with a passion for content strategy…which, if you have not been paying attention, is quickly becoming an over-arching discipline in marketing and communications departments to address the challenges of delivering content in a multi-modal, multi-device world.Part user experience, part editorial, and part content management, the practice of developing a content strategy is becoming a hot topic for brands and agencies alike.

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Insights, The Marketing Technology Office

POV: Six Principles of a Software Development Process

Kanban development process ensures that the enterprise software it develops is robust, reliable, and bug-free. The following six key principles of Kanban’s software development process are core to our engineering and software architecture philosophy.

Design Patterns and Object-Oriented Design

Kanban emphasizes the importance of solid object-oriented design though the implementation of design patterns. Object-oriented design helps architects to map a software system’s required behavior to structures or objects within that system and to define how those objects will communicate. This promotes greater flexibility and maintainability of the software. Software architects familiar with design patterns can easily identify recurring problems and their corresponding solutions. Object-oriented design and programming enables the reuse of those solutions and avoids the duplication of effort by system architects and developers.

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