The online, remote pair-programming service isn’t just for people learning how to code, it’s also for freelancers, startups, and experts, because not everything is Google-able. An analogy for Codementor is CTO-on-Demand. Often, developers aren’t facing a problem—they just need a second opinion. They might have an architectural problem, want to do peer programming, or need a code review with another developer.
The need for implementing an upload tool like Filestack happened organically. When a user had an issue about an app, and wanted someone to review their database structure, they would post this request. Codementor would broadcast the request to its experts in this category. The user then got a message featuring mentors who expressed interest in helping them, and could start a live session with an expert developer right away.
Codementor found that it helped if users got information to experts prior to the session, so they’d have a lot more context. Initially, Codementor just had a text area where users could type information, but they received an overwhelming number of requests from users asking for more upload features. Since they were still an early-stage startup and had tons of work on their plates, they started thinking about the quickest way to do that.
Filestack came to mind, because the Codementor team was already familiar with it. They spent a total of 1 hour of engineering time, and implemented Filestack just like that.
“Our users are impressed and very happy that we implemented Filestack. Our mentors are happy. We’re happy, because Filestack gives us super high ROI,” says Weiting. “As a matter of fact, Filestack was implemented by one of our interns.”
Codementor’s front-end developer took 2 hours to ensure that the Filestack UI worked perfectly. Their front-end code is starting to get complex with AJAX and AngularJS. Their front-end developer customized it to work with the messaging system that Codementor uses on their platform that was built internally.
“Our front-end developer integrated Filestack, so users can attach files when sending out a message via our online comment platform,” explains Weiting. “Our dev team thought everything was a breeze, and we’re super impressed.”
“So far, so good!” Weiting says about feedback on Filestack from Codementor’s customers. “Users have been uploading images, charts, text, XML files and more.”
Another reason Codementor decided to use Filestack was that they had some assumptions about what kind of file formats users might want to upload. One of their earlier thoughts was that they’d implement something to upload images and only images, but then found that idea extremely limiting. Another idea they had was to integrate GitHub, so users could link to a Github repository through the system, but they realized that was another huge assumption of their users needs.
“In order for us to do that, it would have taken much longer than 1 hour,” Weiting Liu adds. “Using Filestack takes a shorter amount of time than normal for an MVP feature. It’s a complete feature set. We’re great fans of Filestack.”