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The Joel Test
Joel Spolsky wrote a simple test to evaluate your software provider in 2000 - these questions are still central to the business today.

1. Do you use source control?

Yes, always. All projects are fully configured with git and stored securely in the cloud at all times. The software repositories are owned by the client and they have full access to the latest source code and change histories at all times.

2. Can you make a build in one step?

Yes - all projects can be configured directly on a new developer machine and build scripts exist to build local copies of the programmes. Dependency information, tooling, set up maintenance instructions are provided in the software repositories.

3. Do you make daily builds?

Yes - developer build are available at all times during an active project reflecting the current status of the project. Additionally UAT (User Acceptance Testing) build are always available for the client to play with which reflect the last stable, tested state of the development. Typically builds are automatically executed by a CI/CD pipeline in the cloud whenever source code is updated.

4. Do you have a bug database?

Yes. Development status including feature development, bug list and support issues are always tracked online and available to all team members and shareholders. Depending on the size of the project management is done using git issues, Azure DevOps or Atlassian Trello.

5. Do you fix bugs before writing new code?

All production code is fully tested, no future feature development is completed on production code before all reproducable bugs are resolved.

6. Do you have an up-to-date schedule?

All projects in active development have public, well documented and up to date time lines and costings. These are available online for all interested parties.

7. Do you have a specification?

No work is completed by elementalsystems without a clear feature specification that has been approved by the client.

8. Do programmers have quiet working conditions?

elementalsystems carefully protects developers from interruption and distraction in order to allow clear focused designs. Meetings are structured so that developers have large contiguous blocks of time free.

9. Do you use the best tools money can buy?

Yes, we use up to date hardware, software and online tools.

10. Do you have testers?

Yes. Depending on the project we have access to experienced dedictaed testing teams. Often these QA teams are fully intergrated in the design process to allow appropriate context and understanding of the requirements.

11. Do new candidates write code during their interview?

elementalsystems exclusively uses developers who are experienced both in business and technology. We only work with people with which we have done real life projects and whom have demonstrated their ability to work independently and professionally.

12. Do you do hallway usability testing?

Always - Quick and efficient UX testing is the basis of our design process. For larger projects full design testing from paper or prototype screens is usually executed before embarking on development.