V3Connect is a really cool platform based out of Southern Oregon, specializing in connecting businesses and organizations with vetted, reliable products and services. I’ve enjoyed being a perks member of V3Connect, as well as getting to know Dave, the owner of the V3Connect platform and V3 Consulting Services. When Dave wanted me to dive into some high-priority improvements for his custom platform, I was excited about the opportunity.
As a developer, stepping into a large custom project and getting your head around it is a skill in itself - one that I’ve developed from years of working in codebases of all shapes, sizes, and languages. It’s like a game or a puzzle, and I come at the application’s functionality from a number of angles until I understand the architecture and patterns. It can also be a little scary because you never know what you’re going to get with a custom project! As they say, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, and this is especially true for software development. Fortunately, the V3Connect project turned out to be a lot of fun!
One of the largest tasks of this project was familiarization with the project. But once I had my head around it, it was full steam ahead with some high-priority improvements. One of my first tasks was to mod the project to support “subcategories.” Members of the platform are assigned a unique category like “Graphic Design” or “Branding,” but there needed to be a way to show these members together in a top-level category like “Creative.”
To accomplish this, I created a parent category relationship in the database and added the ability to create the mappings to the admin dashboard. To save the client time, I also created a deployment script to create the mappings in the database. After that, I modified the query for the front-end category pages to include members from subcategories. Done!
One of the best parts of working on a custom web application is the change of pace. Things like Custom WordPress Themes are fun to work on, but it’s easy to get in a “comfort zone” once you get really good at it. The challenge of figuring out how to implement something new, or new to a system, is where it’s at!
If you’re interested in V3Connect you can check it out here.