Not Invented Here syndrome (NIH) is the guilty pleasure that tempts engineering teams into creating bespoke approaches to problems that have already been solved. Even having your eyes opened to the temptation doesn’t immunize you from it. So, how do you know whether a bespoke solution warrants the effort or if it’s just plain hubris?
Welcome to the new version of AlleyInteractive.com, and to our new brand identity. This site is the product of a growing need to provide prospective clients with a guide to our capabilities and ideas, and a desire to share our discoveries, interests, and opinions with the rest of the Internet.
We founded Alley in January of 2010 to serve a single client, The New York Observer. Our work with them quickly turned into work with others, and we launched our site in June so that when clients visited the domain on an email address, there would be something credible to see. We also debuted a logo made by the multi-talented Dan Lurie, which has served us really well for two years. We are really proud of how much we’ve grown on the basis of connections made through our clients and friends, but our successes have only increased our need to market ourselves and our ideas. A web development firm with an online blog and portfolio is certainly nothing new, but we hope you will agree that we are a little different.
Alley is built on the idea that programmers and clients should talk together directly from sales to delivery. We believe that the inherent unpredictability in software projects can be solved by honest, open communication rather than high-overhead project management. The results are delivered faster, cost less, scale better, and are much closer to the vision of the client. Rather than allow projects with many moving parts to expand over many months with interlocking timelines and complicated dependencies, we break them down into manageable pieces. This improves predicatibility, and can cut costs significantly.
About the Site
This site is built in Django, a choice we made so the project could double as a learning experience, which it certainly was. We run the site on a single production server which also hosts our project management software. The Django stack uses Varnish, Nginx, Gunicorn, and Supervisor. Learning about Django was great, and it taught us a surprising amount about the work we do in Drupal and WordPress.