Joining Forces: How cove.tool’s Software and Mechanical Engineering Teams Take Projects from Ideation to Implementation

Joining Forces: How cove.tool’s Software and Mechanical Engineering Teams Take Projects from Ideation to Implementation

February 25th, 2022

This week, cove.tool is highlighting some of our most valuable team members – our engineers. From a small startup to a high-growth firm, engineers have been at the heart of our product development process. In an industry where the quality of products is so vital to successful operations, the work done by our engineers is much appreciated. 

Our team of engineers consists of two crucial groups – Research (Mechanical and Energy Engineers) and Software (Full Stack, Frontend, and QA Automation Engineers). They are both heavily involved in the design, development, and testing phases that go into creating each of our new tools. Here’s a brief overview of each step the Research and Software teams tackle throughout the development lifecycle:

It all begins with a standardized “R2D2” process made up of four steps: Read, Reflect, Display, and Do. Research starts with idea formation by asking two questions – who and what? Who will use the product and what does it need to do to satisfy user needs? After establishing a general product direction, Research makes mockups for design evaluation and generates “User Stories” that dig deep into the user experience. 

Research then passes the baton to the Software team in a “Kickoff Meeting” – a Q&A where Research explains the product idea and comes up with a plan of action alongside Software. This is the stage where ideas start to become reality. Software explains constraints, timeframe, and allocates engineers for the project. Research makes updates to the product plan based on software constraints. 

Then, through agile, iterative collaboration, the Research and Software teams begin the development phase. Software team leads break down the plan into 2-week “sprints” – this is where the legwork gets done. Software develops the product and reviews code internally. Once approved, the product moves into “staging” – a development environment where QA engineers can review for errors. Once all code is smoothed out, Software sends the product to Research for a final review, where they ensure that the product matches their initial design and intentions. Software team leads carry out one last review before sign off, and then the finished product is released!

Maintaining the cove.tool Culture During Rapid Growth

As cove.tool has grown, the Research and Software teams have grown as well, but they’ve also retained the majority of their original team members. Although our Co-founders have traditionally had a stake in the formation and development of new products, the Research and Software teams have been granted more agency in their decision-making processes. Despite the rapid growth of each team and the expansion of cove.tool, all team members still have access to the Co-founders whenever they need input or advice. The Research team often checks in with the Co-founders throughout the idea formation stage, and the Software team still gets approval on major UI changes. 

With larger undertakings, such as loadmodeling.tool, being developed at lightning speed, our initial product design and development process required a shift. On the Software side, a dedicated team solely worked on this project, so they were intimately familiar with the code. This proved to be a very efficient approach for large-scale products. On the Research side, a devoted team of engineers were assigned that completed a substantial amount of pre-work before their “Kickoff Meeting” with Software. 

When the idea for loadmodeling.tool was formed, the Research team was headed by one person. They needed to grow quickly to account for the size of the project, so they developed a new onboarding process, which got new mechanical engineering hires up to speed in around a month. After a loadmodeling.tool software engineer was promoted, Software also dedicated a new hire to this team. Onboarding was quick and they were proficient in loadmodeling.tool code in just days. Through this growth, and through constant collaboration and communication, Research and Software completed the project within their desired timeframe. 

If you want to work on new, innovative products with measurable, meaningful real-world results around carbon mitigation and the reduction of energy use, look no further. Our growing team of engineers at cove.tool is constantly trying to find new ways to optimize workflows in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) space. In a world where buildings account for 40% of all carbon emissions, this tool is not just a convenience; it’s a necessity. Come be a part of the solution – apply to cove.tool today!


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