A multi-national professional and technology services enterprise serving a global audience.
Our client needed to consolidate thousands of job listings managed by a 3rd party platform. It was a task that seemed simple on paper but turned out to be far more complex in the actual delivery.
Essentially, Solspace did the work that the 3rd party job posting vendor neglected to do. This doesn't change our responsibility to the client, so our team needed to create a solution within the solution.
The job listing vendor's lack of an API meant if we wanted (and needed) one we were going to build it. So, we did. And this one works the exact way our client needs it to since it was built just for them.
Detectives. While we did create the code for the final API and ensure the data makes its way to the right place, the key work was acting as detectives to uncover where the proper data was and how to successfully map it.
Since our client is global they have multiple websites for different areas of the world. Good thing we developed the solution to automatically account for the time zone differences when displaying the available jobs data.
Bad tech is the enemy of good flow. Sometimes we encounter bad technology when building a new product for a client. And sometimes that technology is managed by a vendor who is supposed to be an ally but turns out to be an unintentional obstacle.
That’s the situation we found ourselves in when developing a new web presence for a client. And this client is big. Multinational enterprise big. They employ nearly 100k people and have more than a thousand job openings at any one time. Because of this they use a third-party job listing platform to help them manage that process. Our goal was to incorporate the job listings into the content of their new Craft website to provide a better user experience. Previously, the user was bumped out of the client’s site to the third-party website. The job listing vendor assured us we could simply connect to their pre-built API for that data. It was the positive, “No problem, right this way” response we were hoping for.
But unfortunately the “right this way” sign turned into a “dead end” sign. We were blocked.
The promised API didn’t exist. But we still needed to get that job listing data onto the new Craft website. The “easy” way to do this would be to just scrape all the content and data and push it to the pages of the new website. But that process would be messy, unpredictable, and against our philosophy of Web Reliability. Without having a solution provided, the lead Solspace developer on the project, Ivars, knew he needed to become the solution.
Ivars approached this challenge like a project within a project. He started with a self-contained discovery process to gather all the facts, limitations, and possibilities he needed to be able to build the proper tool. This included determining how the jobs were being created and presented, how the data fields were mapped, and some additional developer detective work.
The jobs platform did have a public endpoint to connect to, essentially a door that opens to the virtual warehouse of the jobs data. Now it was up to Ivars to build the procurement, storage, shipping, delivery, and presentation processes for that data. Easy, right? Well maybe not easy, but definitely something Ivars was the right person for.
Without getting mired in the details, Ivars was able to create a new API that performed each of those tasks and got the job listing content into the new Craft website as smoothly and predictably as possible. It recreated the complex sorting and filtering processes, adjusted for the multiple time zones involved with posting in different countries, checked for the creation and deletion of posts each hour and imported job posting data accurate to the previous 48 hours, just to be safe.
What we were able to deliver was an API-driven process that is invisible to the user and even to the client who manages the content through their Craft CMS. In addition to creating original code, Ivars also had to become an expert frontier guide leading the way into uncharted territory, as well as a logistics manager making sure the data got delivered reliably and smoothly.
This is the nature of Solspace’s work; this is the essence of creative development. More than just writing good code, creative development is detective work, inventiveness, calm courage, and optimism that a solution is possible, even if you have to invent something unique and new on your own.
The giant vendors that support giant companies can simultaneously serve as our greatest supporters and collaborators while creating roadblocks to our success at the same time. It’s why we’re glad to have folks on the Solspace team that can win the day, even if it all happens in the background out of view of the client.
We’re always eager to put another one in the win column for our clients.