What were the results of the project?
It [website] didn’t perform at any level. It didn’t do any of the things it was supposed to do on any devices. Just nothing. The editing buttons don’t work. You enter information and it doesn’t appear. It changed when you go to different defaults when you close out. Things are missing.
Can you elaborate further about the gaps?
It seems they built everything custom and had difficulty integrating common plugins. We said, “Look, aren’t there any of the shelf solutions for this?” Their comeback was always, “No, that would be too expensive for what we’ve written. For example, they were going to do a photo uploader and we asked “Can’t you just use this photo uploader that’s already been built and just incorporate it in.” He responded, “No, it won’t work in our code.” “Well, can’t you use these different types of editing tools?” “No, they won’t work.” But, these components have already been invented and they should just lock into place. That’s what our new developer is doing.
So when you look back on the project, what are the key things that you feel that went wrong on the project?
I think the project manager on Zco’s side basically just left us in the dark. They didn’t have a plan. They were winging it and we weren’t experts, so we relied on them for guidance. They let the project just wander. The first draft of the project was a social media site. We clearly indicated to them we did not want a social media site. It took months for them to shake off the social media thing. We explained, “This is a tool, this is not a site to gather and chit chat. This is a tool for the working actor and professional to get jobs.”
Can you discuss performance to schedule?
It was supposed to be released in September [of 2013], and they got it on their servers in September, and it started to disintegrate. We had nothing but problems, and it was two months plus with the problems. Every time they would fix one thing, another thing would go wrong, and then they came back and started asking for more money. By that time, we had the code analyzed [by a third party] and realized it wasn’t going to work. There was no reason to continue because we couldn’t use anything they created either in the present or in the future.
Can you elaborate on the third-party testing?
Yes. We brought in a third party whose principal work is in writing code for bank security. He took us on as a secondary project. He looked at the code and it appeared to him that there was no way that it could be auto tested. It simply wasn’t built for auto testing. When my project manager and I saw the September launch, we were finding all these obvious problems: Misspellings, things not working, and so on. We were thinking to ourselves “has this thing been tested?” It didn’t appear that it ever had been.