Client services coach, Dave Martin, sat down with our VP of Engineering, Corey Weidenhammer, to learn a little more about how the TigerLead tech team innovates and develops with the help of our clients.
Stream the interview here:
Intro: Welcome to another edition of TigerLead Talk! Nice to have you all with us again. My name is Dave and I’m from our client services team, I’m one of our coaches, and today we’ll have a TigerLead tech talk Q & A with Corey Weidenhammer. Corey, can you tell me a little more about your position with Tiger and how long you’ve been with us.
Corey: Absolutely! I am our VP of Engineering and I’ll have been with Tiger for five years in May.
Dave: This is going to be a sneak peek– we’re going to be revealing a lot of big things at the TigerLead Success Summit from May 27th-28th at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Just for now, how is TigerLead developing new features faster than ever?
Corey: We’ve really kicked our development efforts into high gear in a couple different ways. We have an incredibly talented team that we’ve been expanding, but we’ve also adopted a series of practices based around something called Scrum. Scrum is an iterative and incremental methodology. It’s applied by companies all over the world because it’s been shown to be tremendously effective, particularly in software development. At its core we work on delivering usable enhancements or updates in short iterations, usually in two week blocks. Each iteration we adjust and re-prioritize our backlog of work, we aim to release usable functionality that users can provide feedback on, and we evaluate how well we’re functioning as a team to deliver value to give back to clients and consumers. So Scrum is really a team effort across TigerLead. It’s allowed us to be more nimble and effective and it’s made a huge difference that I think the Tiger community will notice soon if they haven’t already.
Dave: I know we’ll need to wait until Summit to hear the full story, but what kind of features will we be seeing?
Corey: I won’t give everything away just yet, but there’s no doubt that we’ve been laser focused on delivering as much as possible. Hopefully everyone has noticed the recent updates made to TigerLead search sites which we’re actually continuing to improve on a weekly basis, so those are already out. You’ll also see certain updates very soon providing consumers with additional neighborhood data relative to their listings of interest. You’ll see changes soon that add capability around follow up, and more flexible tools for organizing leads, and more. We’ll be announcing this all in more detail shortly, at the Summit and through our normal announcement channels, but there’s certainly a lot of exciting stuff coming!
Dave: I’m glad I’m going to be there! What’s the typical process to get a new feature live?
Corey: I’m glad you asked. New features typically come about either through requests sent to us by the TigerLead community, or research performed by one of our product managers, who are constantly looking at how we can improve the product in talking with clients about their needs.
Each idea goes through a vetting process with one of our product managers and the greater team. If it’s something that we can pursue, we work with our design team to scope out something, provide mock-ups, along with getting early input usually from our engineering team. This is usually the stage where we’ll take the idea back to clients for feedback to make sure we’re building the right thing at the right time. Once the feature has been prioritized and it’s ready to be developed, that’s when our engineers sink their teeth into it in earnest. Depending on the size of the feature and the number of people working on it, development can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. After the developers have finished their work, they pass the feature off to our quality assurance [QA] team which performs extensive testing to make sure everything works as intended, and when QA gives the green light, we coordinate the release with our product, client services, and marketing teams.
Many features will actually be beta tested with a small set of clients before we launch it to everyone, and again it’s really to ensure that what we deliver was on target and does what our users needed it to do. It sounds like a lot of steps, and there are going to be steps in there, but we can actually move through this process in a couple of days for smaller features.
Dave: So you mentioned beta testing with clients. If one of our clients wants to be on a test in the future, how would they let us know that?
Corey: Any tigers who are interested are able to participate in beta feature testing which is really exciting. All you have to do is let our client services team know! Your client services concierge or coach will be delighted to add you to our list of beta testers.
Really the most critical aspect of participating in such tests is providing us with feedback, so we really want to know what works and what doesn’t so that we can make changes as needed to deliver the best system possible. If you’d like to be involved, please reach out to us, let us know and make sure you can carve out a bit of time to provide us with feedback as you’re testing new features.
Dave: Speaking of feedback, if any of our clients have any suggestions for tech features they’d like to see, what’s the best way for them to let us know about that?
Corey: This is another example of where our client services team is ready to assist, so you can email in your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can give us a call [at 888-844-3744]. It’s important to note that every idea will be sent through to our product and technology teams. I see every single one that comes through, I love reading these, and this kind of engagement from the community really helps to drive our continuous improvement of the platform and make sure that you have the best possible system! So please, absolutely send us your thoughts, we’d love to hear them!
Dave: Thank you so much for your time today Corey, as well as any Tigers who are out there listening. We’re looking forward to the Success Summit from May 27th-28th at Caesars Palace. To register for the conference, get more information on our schedule, speakers, lodging, etc., check out our website at Summit.TigerLead.com, and keep an eye out for our Weekly ROI newsletters for tips, strategies, articles and even contests leading up to the Summit!”