The year 2016 was a really vibrant and bit
chaotic first year for Peerwith, as it probably is for any startup. That however is the fun element too and the challenge that I like as CTO of Peerwith.
In my role as CTO I have pushed hard for
quality improvements, like we now have full continuous integration (CI)
facilities with automated tests. That was an important step, but so were the
re-factor activities of core components. Re-factoring is something that sounds
like a waste of time, but is a requirement when your platform doesn’t turn out
to be as flexible or scalable as desired. Of course, all these quality improvements
have to fight priorities against features and in our situation: client
As a result of that, looking back, we
didn’t come as far on the roadmap as we planned. We simply didn’t have enough
time, or should I say: enough priority, to develop features for the roadmap. So
here we are, moving into the new year. Let’s share the parts that we didn’t do,
that are basically still on the roadmap for early next year. I will focus on
profiles, or more specific Peerwith.Expert
One of the most obvious, still most
requested, feature is the ability to upload a profile image, overriding the
photo provided by the external provider (Google, Mendeley, ORCID). That is
actually in development, hopefully we can release that even in December.
Pretty high on our agenda is a feature that
lets you, the expert, set a personal message, so you can stand out in the over
750 experts that now have their Expert page on http://peerwith.expert/.
That feature should arrive early next year.
More strategic is our aim to integrate for
authentication and profiles, as described in my previous blog
post. We will add other external authentication providers shortly. Some
generic ones, others might be partner-specific, like we have Overleaf
authentication in our partnership
But authentication is just one end. Profile
data is the other. Shortly, we will offer the option to link your Peerwith
profile to external profiles like ORCID and Mendeley. What about your Vivo
profile? Google Scholar? Or others. At Peerwith, we don’t want you to fill up
“another” profile. Your publications are already there, your affiliations are
known, your education is also. We will simply “pull in” that data into the
Peerwith platform and display that on your Peerwith.Expert page. Once we have
done that with the two most obvious ones (ORCID & Mendeley, as being our
integration partners), we will soon add other external providers, so you can
rapidly build up the most complete profile on Peerwith, visible on your expert
page, without re-typing everything again.
If you are a Peerwith Expert, you may
prepare for this development by making sure these external profiles are
up-to-date. When the feature becomes available in Peerwith, we will let you
know. After that, it should be as simple as hitting a button.
Why is this important? Potential clients
that consider your services look at your Peerwith.Expert page. We know for a
fact that what they see in your Expert profile (like ratings, experience, affiliations), is the most important factor for a client to
pick an expert. So if your most complete profile is exactly there, the bigger the
chance the client picks you.
profiles is of course not the only feature on the roadmap, but certainly one of
the top ones. Follow us in 2017 and see how it develops. I am looking forward
to offer you the most complete profile, on the Peerwith platform and in our
Co-founder / CTO Peerwith