I apologize for missing the last couple of weeks of blog posts, but I’ve been extraordinarily busy with product development on my side project. I thought I’d take a little bit of time to show off what I’ve been working on with my friend Matt Sanford.
To start off, Agulus is a platform for buying and selling agricultural products. Before showing any screenshots, I will point out that we haven’t turned a graphics designer loose on the system yet, so it’s more a display of functionality than beauty at the moment, but we’ll get there. We do already have clients that want to use it, spartan though it is.
Once someone has decided what sort of product they want to buy or sell, they can search for listings within a geographic area.
You can also view the available listings on a map, which is one of the coolest features, in my opinion.
Registered users can add listings to the system (it’s more complex that something like a craiglist ad, due to freight and other issues). Pay no attention to the bit about listings costing $1 a month, as that’s going to be changed.
While this doesn’t seem like the sort of project that really requires a tremendous time commitment from simply looking at the user interface, the UI is actually just the tip of the iceberg. There is a very large amount of business logic on the backend of the project that has (at this point) required a couple of hundred man-hours since October to build. In addition to having to make the system perform well, even when doing geospatial queries, we’ve also had to climb up a bit of a learning curve when working with google maps, and we already have some integration points with one of our clients (that we had to code up ourselves). The project is currently in beta, but is already highly functional. We do have a couple more large features that need to be polished up before release, but it is on schedule so far.
We both have been doing this project in parallel (after hours) with our full-time consulting work. I tend to hover right around the 40 hour a week mark on the consulting side, with this project getting 10-45 hours a week (yes, I’ve done a few 85 hour weeks in here, but I usually have a couple of shorter weeks after doing so). All in all, I think it will work out well, but like any side project, it takes a while to get to something that you could really call “done”.