May, 2016

DPP are an independent creative agency based in London. Multiple States have collaborated on several website projects for real estate developments across London.

Kevin Beck talks to Will McLean about collaborating with in-house teams over code and good deployment strategy.

What exactly do you do for DPP?

We are an overflow production studio for DPP’s web projects. This means that when their in-house team is too busy to handle the build of a site we will take it over. For this type of project to work well we require regular consultation throughout the design process. DPP is always happy to engage in this consultation and they always provide well planned and executed designs. This makes the process an easy one for us. We build straight from those designs and handle the deployment of the sites.

Who owns the code? You or DPP?

DPP are owners of the Version Control repository (a place online where we store the source code) though we maintain responsibility for its maintenance. This means that we manage the addition of any future updates, whether those updates are actually done by us, in house at DPP or by a freelancer.

How are updates to the projects handled?

We require that all code updates go through the Version Control Repository and are in keeping with our code standards. This provides DPP with total security but also a great amount of flexibility. If we don’t have the availability to make the updates they do not have to hold off their clients till we are ready. Any developer of a certain standard can come into the project, submit changes to us for approval and then we can approve and deploy. Every project build is heavily documented to ensure that this is a smooth process.

How do you deliver these sites? Do you deploy them?

If we are handling the deployment then we use Deploy HQ (https://www.deployhq.com/). It is a deployment system that links to our Version Control service (we use BitBucket). It makes deployment very secure by eliminating the human error involved in uploading files via FTP. It also allows for very easy rollback to previous versions of the site.

Sometimes DPP already has their own deployment setup for a project. In that case they simply download the site from the Version Control repository.

How does this fit into your workflow? Don’t you normally merge design and development at all stages of the project?

Yes, this process of receiving designs and then building is a little out of our normal workflow. However, it works well because DPP trust us to adapt the designs during the build if we see fit. The consultation on the designs early in the process really helps to make the development process efficient, requiring little back and forths after the initial build.

What is the latest project you have completed for DPP?

The latest project was a one-page site for a property development in London called 78 Whitfield. It was a nice build because it broke the usual mould of template looking one-pagers. It had a much more challenging layout. This layout allowed us to play with some nice css transitions that made the project really good fun.