After failure of the first development start from 2008 – 2009, I decided in 2010 to go again on agency search. Now even more critical than before.
The search turned out – as in the past – difficult, that interest in larger contracts with agencies in Germany was very reserved. So I decided to turn my gaze abroad. Under the heading „Offshore Software Development“ I came across the company DRC Systems from Ahmedabad in India.
Software development from India
Although I had already proposed a CMS (Content Management System) in the first development start, I was advised against it in 2008. In 2011, the CMS Typo3 was on everyone’s lips and therefore it was also good that the mentioned software company was or should be a specialist for Typo3.
The Indian agency had called me reference projects. These projects were not perfect, but they had already done a lot of work.
At the time, the company probably had about 50 employees and so I was able to offer a whole team right away. These included project leaders, team leaders, senior developers, and someone who was supposed to oversee the quality. The whole thing made a professional impression until then.
At the first attempt in 2008 we had a very short specification booklet. However, this turned out later as a mistake.
In 2010, I prepared a detailed list of functions for the request. Over a period of several months, I created just over 180 pages.
The agency from India checked the function list very precisely. After that I received an offer. After examination, we concluded a 200-page contract.
Project start: 15th January 2011
Project target date: 30th August 2011
Latest target date: 30. November 2011
In about 7 months, the project was to be developed on the basis of Typo3.
Project history 2011 – 2017
When it finally started – in the second attempt – I was excited and was happy that the dream APOOS would finally be realized. Punctually and highly motivated, the developers started with the first work.
Unfortunately, it soon turned out that the concept had not been understood. So everything was implemented cheerfully, what you saw on screens. Unfortunately, this only referred to the design and not to the features. Furthermore, hardly any relation between functional description and screen was made.
After I placed the order, I thought I could focus on other things. Unfortunately, the developers from India did not work without detailed screens. The project manager hardly cared. The team leader was busy with other projects and therefore had too little time for APOOS. So I should make screens that the developers can work on.
At this time, I originally wanted to expand other projects. Now, however, screens had to be created. What you do not do everything for the fulfillment of a dream. I created more than 60 lists, all with screens and explanations. Altogether it was about 400 pages and hundreds of screens.
The work dragged on and we were fast in 2012. So we had an overview of the work progress, there were on each list fields for „done“ and „not done“.
Despite this extensive support, there were problems. So I got lists back, in which are 100% Dones stood. Initially, however, 70-90% of all „Dones“ were not done.
It’s like that the Indian developers always wrote „Done“ if they did not understand it. When I wrote back „not done“ I often heard „Not understand“ despite screens and a detailed description are there. Partly I am desperate about the poor comprehension.
The lists were sent back and forth a number of times. For a small function with two buttons, I had to write four times until the button finally had all four functional states. So even little things became a very intense work unit.
After two to three years, the project should finally be completed. Reason enough to test the functions on the development server. Unfortunately, I realized that many features were not working. Even the user registration was incorrect.
In the development time there were different personnel changes. So I had the hope that everything had gotten better. I asked the current team leader if everything was tested and if the registration would work. He confirmed this, although it did not work. In addition to the numerous bugs, the system had been implemented on Typo3 version 4. At this time, however, there were no more security updates and a new version was already on the market.
Again from the beginning
Unfortunately, I realized that the project was not executable. One problem was the mutual overwriting of content. The admin area was almost completely missing.
But everything should get better. All the bugs should be repaired. Typo3 be updated to the current version. This process should be completed in a few months.
After about a year, at least the upgrade to the newer Typo3 version should have been finished. The further development was continued on a Github, which I could not see. This is how progress has been made in 2016, but they have not been uploaded to the development server. I was always put off.
After several requests to deliver the project, there was no response. Finally, one developer told me that the work was discontinued in early 2017.
A sad result after spending around 4,000 to 5,000 hours of my time and the money I invested here. Since I feared this in late 2016, this result was not completely surprising, the disappointment was still great.