I was hired by Brian Reed to develop a dealer side API for his provider network. Brian had built a network of F&I product providers, served by his own rating and contracting application. A dealer facing API would allow Brian to market his network to a variety of dealer system vendors, notably Dealertrack. This is the PEN business model which relies on cross-side network effects.
I designed the API and then stayed on for its development, implementing scrum in the process. For the design, I delivered data flow diagrams, interaction diagrams, a database design, formal use cases, a test plan, a lengthy prose specification, and an integration guide. I also wrote the schema, roughly 1,800 lines of XSD code.
This design improved upon my earlier work in the field, adding a pre-rating call, a supplemental data call, and support for dynamic surcharges. I had the advantage of Brian’s network, where I could survey all of the provider side interfaces and select the best techniques.
I played a dual role in the development project, serving as product owner but also training a new scrum master. Crystal and I led sprint planning, retros, standups, and workshops. I used JIRA to write and groom a hundred or so user stories. I also coordinated sprint planning with the offshore team in Krakow. In this photo, we are sorting out our development pipeline.
At the time I rolled off the engagement, the new API was in use by three dealer systems, and my client became the exclusive source of product integration for Dealertrack. This led to their ultimate acquisition by Cox Automotive. Brian retired, moved to Colorado along with Crystal, and lived happily ever after.