Railsware Team perfoms a Code Jam to build the first ukrainian highly usable real estate webapp

Today ( October 30 2010) and tomorrow ( 9 railswarians ), a partial of Railsware team, have joined their forces to create a first usable real estate webapp for Ukrainian users.The product goal can be expressed by a story :
i as estate renter/buyer want to EASILY be able to find estate, review it and organise it so i can pick which one to rent/buy
There’s a lot of websites in the area that give you an option to find real estate. But they ain’t easy and they are highly unusable. True saying they all are crap ( complete list at the bottom ).We think that two days of our effort can result into a product that can save lots of time and mental energy to our community. So we got our hands dirty.Ruby 1.9.2, Rails 3.0.1 and Yandex maps ( hoping to use panorama feature, as google doesn’t yet have content for it ) are going to be used.Everything will be hosted on a free micro AWS instance.PivotalTracker, the lately belowed tracking application by railswarians building by our friends at PivotalLabs, is used to track the stories and chorse for the product, so we are highly focused.Here is a homepage sketch for the app.I have a made a short video of the team.List of ukrainian real estate property websites
realt.ua aviso.ua fn.ua dom.ria.ua neagent.com.ua www.house-ua.com www.domik.net www.baza555.com flatfinder.com.ua r24.com.ua www.toprealty.org.ua neplati.com.ua meget.kiev.ua/member megamakler.com.ua www.realdruzi.com.ua www.expressrealty.com.ua www.blagovest.ua/realtysearch/saleflat.lisp www.prostodom.kiev.ua www.parklane.ua kvartmarket.kiev.ua nedvizhimost.bezgazet.com.ua kvartiri.kiev.ua keystone.com.ua www.dom2000.com address.ua lun.ua neposrednik.com.ua meget.kiev.ua www.first-realty.com.ua mirkvartir.ua slando.com.ua
update – end of day October 30
11 hours later – WOW what a day – the team has finished quite a big chunk of work.Selected and completed the stories for the code jam days.Design the main four screens ( see below )Picked up Postgres and Postgis, due to better geo functionality.Connected Pivotal with Git. Picked up the website for the data source. Spidered and imported the data. Added GA. Initialized wiki. Created deploy tools. Set up staging environment.Displayed the items on the map and implemented a grouping algorithm.We have spotted lots of little details on both designers and our current implementation. It will still take lots of time and UserInteractionDesign to get the product to a state we will be proud of. But hey … we are not going anywhere
update – October 31
The Day 2The good night sleep gave the team even better understanding of what we are building.We had a morning stand-up.Reviewed the flaws of yesterday. There were two of them : to-much-talking and issues with hosting schema. Both were resolved.We have stated the design comments, updated the stories and added required chores. Such as updating the setup and functionality documentation.Up until now we have finished 3 chores.The team is focused, positive and eager to finish a goal to finish all 10 stories worth 15 story-points. So hold on to your hats boys and girls !
update – Nov 1 – after the nightly fixes
Ohh woow … what a weekend. Especially the night.The team has done an incredible job.The application is now actually usable. I have reviewed the cost of appartmenrs in the region i live in. Before it was taking me forever and a hundred clicks. Now i did it in 45 seconds.The progress.7 stories worth 10 story-points were accepted and 2 stories (4 story-points) in progress. 5 chores done and 2 in progress. 11 more to come (14 story-poinst). Most were created in the middle of discussions or were a split of a bigger stories.More updates will be posted here.But the most important. We have come to a point where the user interaction design of this application is almost done.There are lots of details. But the main focus of the application, the main features and the main way to iteract with it is designed and almost implemented.The video demo can be found here