Eat your own dog food

https://bitbucket.org/gmcfalls/timetracker

We get a lot of questions regarding sample code and projects.  Most of our projects fall under some kind of corporate non-disclosure, confidentiality statement, so we created a sample project that we now use internally to manage our invoicing process.  If we are supposed to be good at custom designing solutions to help your business operate smoother, then we should also do this for ourselves.  We should eat our own dog food, sort of speak.

TimeTracker has proved to be invaluable for us in terms of accurately and easily tracking hours, projects, customers, and invoices.  We still have a number of enhancements to make, but we thought it was worth sharing what exactly we do.  Code is just a tool for us to accomplish our goal of improving efficiency and simplicity.  We use code, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, value stream mapping, kaizen events, good ole’ fashioned elbow grease – whatever it takes to help.  In this case, we looked at our invoicing process from start to finish and designed a solution that minimized the effort to get paid from our clients.  This has allowed us to streamline our overhead and provide a clearer billing process.  The PDFs are automatically emailed to the clients with receipts attached in chronological order.  Lastly, and most important to us, this solution is not like any other on the market because it is designed specifically for what we do.  This gives us a competitive advantage in terms of cost, transparency, and efficiency.  We don’t have extra features we don’t need, extra clicks that take more time, extra reports that no one looks at, or extra time spent navigating cumbersome screens.

It’s simple, easy, and it gives you a feel for how we structure code and projects.  The point of publishing this is not to get you to use TimeTracker.  It’s to show how we get stuff done.  Nothing fancy or weird – no proprietary technologies or complex integrations.  The main goal of our development process is to ensure we create packages that streamline the creation of new features while making the code readable and easy to follow.  This allows us, or whoever is going to manage it, the freedom to add new features quickly and easily.

You can view the solution at https://bitbucket.org/gmcfalls/timetracker.  This is an open source solution published under the MIT license.  Feel free to fork the repo or download the source code.  We’ll continue to keep this updated as we add new features.  If you have comments, we’d love to hear them.

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