Releasing and developing the GoPlatform

"With codeshift, we found an efficient and communicative partner that helped us relaunch our new platform seamlessly while developing additional features." Leif Lobinsky, Head of Product GoVolunteer
Python, JavaScript, React

The company

GoVolunteer is Germany's biggest online community for volunteering. The social startup matches volunteers with non-profit projects and organizations. The platform lets interested parties search for opportunities to get involved and contact projects and initiatives directly. In addition, initiatives can present charitable projects on the website and thus address potential volunteers. More than 2.200 organizations are offering 4.200 projects on the platform.

The challenge

GoVolunteer needed to relaunch its platform, which has remained untouched since 2017. The NGO spent nearly two years preparing this project and saw it as one of its most important milestones. 

They were looking for an agency that would allow developers to work directly and personally with their product team and meet high-quality standards in software development.

We got in contact with Malte Bedürftig, the founder of GoVolunteer, at the beginning of 2021. After some talks, GoVolunteer had initially decided to go with a cheaper outsourcing agency but came back to us after two months because they were unsatisfied with the performance and did not feel they were in good hands. 

Structurally, it is difficult for organizations like GoVolunteer to find a reliable software development partner. For one thing, long-term collaboration is essential. Developers are needed for months or years. On the other hand, the financial situation depends on funding, so building a team in-house is out of the question. The organization needs capacities with a high degree of customization. This mix of flexibility and long-term engagement takes work to find.

Technically, GoVolunteer had just launched a second platform, GoNature. Yet another agency had developed this project in a completely different stack and with its own data model. The plan was to merge both platforms into one codebase and migrate the data to reduce the development effort. 

In addition, various extensions and improvements to the platform were planned.

The solution

Our technical lead's more than 12 years of experience were essential to implement the merge and the complex data migration without data loss and downtime. Before founding codeshift, Eleasar Werbitzky maintained and developed systems managing millions of routers for the largest telecommunication companies worldwide.

The successful merge cut the development effort in half and thus the costs. GoVolunteer now has a configurable platform for both projects. Improvements to the CI/CD pipeline mean we can deploy to both platforms daily. 

We have also greatly simplified the onboarding of new projects and organizations and developed a new search with complex filtering capabilities to find projects quickly. In addition, creating and editing projects have been simplified and supplemented with a component system.

Another point is the possibility of highlighting content flexibly. This feature allows GoVolunteer to react quickly to current crises, such as the war in Ukraine. 

To simplify internal processes, we have integrated a flexible external CRM, an improvement that saves numerous work hours every day.

For us, a customer like GoVolunteer is unique because, as an impact-driven company, we naturally enjoy working with other social startups. After more than 18 months of collaboration, there is no end in sight.

GoVolunteer Website

GoNature Website

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