KamaLabs

SVN

Dikti

Dekbed Expert

Enjoy Jakarta

dekbed-scrSoon after I close my own startup, Univind (web design agency), I got a job offering from a similar firm in Netherland: YaviDesign. They have office both in Netherland and in Bogor, Indonesia. They gave an option for me either to move to Bogor and work on their Indonesian office, or to work remotely from home. I chose to work from home. In there I was being tasked to handle several projects with their clients, one of the most prominent client was Dekbed Expert. It was all Magento based online shop. Below are some of my job responsibilities:
  • Design a Magento template to be used by their clients
  • Create proprietary template framework to be used company-wide on future theme design project.
  • Develop some Magento plugin
  • Do a test and some bug fixing to some of their templates / plugins

Project Challenge

All my work here was done remotely. We used SVN as the versioning control and Redmine as collaboration and project management tool. This was my first time doing a fully remote software development project. Initially, there were many mistakes I did here and there with the collaboration tools. But as the time goes by, I was becoming used to the whole remote collaborative project.
enjoy-jakarta-11 The client of this project is DISPARBUD DKI Jakarta. It's an abbreviation of "Dinas Pariwisata dan Kebudayaan DKI Jakarta". In English, it is translated loosely to "Tourism and Cultural Office of Jakarta". It's a local government institution which deals with tourism and cultural issue. My responsibility in this project was to rebuild their website. Their old website was developed using a custom built PHP CMS. Unfortunately, this custom built CMS has too many fault in it. It had too many bugs. It's slow and unsafe. The design was clumsy. The code was a mess. At first we planned to annihilate this old website and rebuilt a new on with better CMS, but then I ended up fixing it instead.

Project Challenge

In the middle of the project, there were a succession of the leadership in Jakarta. We were finalizing an election and just got a new governor in Jakarta: Mr Joko Widodo (Jokowi). Jokowi did some reshuffle to his officials, including officials at the Tourism Office. So, at that time, the PIC of the project moved to another person. This turned out to be a big dilemma for the project. We were halfway through our project and then there was someone new "in town" and she wants everything changed. The institution didn't have a good succession mechanism to make sure that the works which were still running, could still run smoothly. The new official demanded so many new things from us that we ended up being brought back to the beginning of the project. And all of a sudden, we were finally just brought back the old website and fixed what's wrong it instead of continuing to develop the half-finished new website. Of course we're familiar with the fact that fixing someone else's code is harder than writing a new one. But, in this case, where there's already too much miscommunication between us and the recently-changing client, doing whatever the client wants is better than just dumping the whole project. For the sake of our integrity and credibility, we chose the hard way to fix the broken web. Thankfully, we managed to finish the project with client somewhat satisfied (although I wasn't ;) ).
TUT WURI HANDAYANIDIKTI is an abbreviation of "Direktorat Pendidikan Tinggi". In English, it means Higher Learning Directorate. It is a subordinate body of the ministry of education, Republic of Indonesia. This government institution deals with any occasion about higher learning education in Indonesia. Prior to my entrance, their website is somewhat mediocre and obsolete. It's slow, lousy, not well-organized and resource hogger. My job was to fix it all.   The first thing that I did was to give several suggestion regarding what kind of modernization needed for DIKTI's website. I, mainly highlighted on the information architecture. DIKTI has distinctive type of visitor to its website, those are:
  1. Student. They visit DIKTI's website mostly to look for scholarship opportunities, either domestic or foreign.
  2. Professor. They visit DIKTI's website to find information about lecturer certification, international conference opportunities etc.
  3. University officials. They visit DIKTI's website to check on new regulations, registering for a new field of study etc.
Old DIKTI's website didn't have easy to navigate information architecture to accommodate those 3 type of visitor. They simply just threw out any so-called "important pages" to the main menu. I fixed it by reformatting the navigational structure of the entire website along with the development of the new design template. Another thing that I emphasized is the performance. It was so slow that the connection dropped most of the time. They had problem with their obsolete CMS, conflicting plugins, and un-optimized server configuration. I dealt with all those issue. I upgraded the CMS, re-arranged all the plugins and optimized the server configuration. Beside rebuilding their main website, I also developed two subsite: the English version of the site and one other site to unify all of their public service under one roof (SatuLayanan Dikti). Those two subsite were built using the same engine: Wordpress. While upgrading their Wordpress installation, I also configured their old Wordpress to have multisite functionality. The English version of the site is using the same template as the main site for uniformity reason. While SatuLayanan Dikti use another metro-style theme design to facilitate easier finding of their public service information by the visitors.