This time we would like to give you a look behind the scenes – we spoke to two members of the development team. They give us some insight into their daily work, and also discuss whether the Eturnity Solution is literally more than just a tool in their eyes.

Developing for the user experience

The user experience is to the developer what customer service is to the utility. But not only that, our developers place a strong emphasis on vision. Two developers from our Eturnity team told us in more detail what is important to them when developing a new Eturnity feature – Benedikt Sutter, developer in the backend, and Aaron Enser, developer in the frontend.

As a backend engineer, Sutter takes care of the foundation that is needed to develop an application – the web framework is his main tool and in daily use. In addition, Sutter’s tasks include the care and maintenance of the various databases and the implementation of releases. His demand is for dynamism in the code: “In order to be able to react dynamically to future extension requests, we need clean and reusable code, with a view to the whole application,” says Sutter.

Aaron Enser works in the frontend, mainly with technologies such as JavaScript and develops everything that is visible to the user at the end in terms of data. Accordingly, the user-friendliness of Eturnity’s software is crucial for him: “It’s important that we develop our software in a way that provides the best possible experience for our customers.”

What is most fun about working on the Eturnity software?

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The successful go-live of a new feature. Especially when it’s a customer request or customization that I would have liked to see myself for a long time. That gives me the feeling that we are on the right track.

Benedikt Sutter, Backend Developer
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Working with the development team at Eturnity is the most fun part. All of the developers are motivated to help improve the renewable energy sector. It’s also fun to see the amazing results that our customers are getting due to our hard work in developing the software.

Aaron Enser, Frontend Developer

Daily development challenges

For a software solution with as many different functions as Eturnity’s, there is quite a bit to do. For Enser, this is a challenge on a daily basis, but doable: “Like with any small to mid-sized companies, we face challenges of finding the time to maintain and improve our current software while at the same time creating new features for our customers. It’s a challenge, but we are up for it.”

For Sutter, the right prioritization is crucial in order to cope with the bouquet of tasks: “My daily routine includes code reviews, developing new features, maintaining the infrastructure and a lot of preparatory work for releases. It’s enormously important to find the right prioritization so as not to block the work in the team.”

The work in the development team

In order to be able to cope with the workload together, it takes a lot of teamwork. After all, both the regular release cycle must be guaranteed and it must be possible to react to short-term support requests at the same time.

For this purpose, the Eturnity development team works with a mixture of Scrum and specially developed processes. In the morning meetings, it is ensured that all developers are informed about upcoming tasks and changes in prioritization due to support requests.

The daily portion of motivation the team gets from the mission: “Everyone at Eturnity is motivated to help to make this world a better place. We are fortunate that we can work in the renewable energy sector, because you can see the large impact that this is having on the world. Since we are all motivated by this positive impact, we are all eager to help each other in any way possible so that we can achieve our goals. This kind of collaboration makes for a great working environment,” adds frontend developer Enser.

According to the two developers the current home office situation does not disrupt the flow of work within the team, and that meetings and exchanges on detailed issues are easily possible digitally.

More than a tool?

When asked whether, from a developer’s point of view, the Eturnity Solutions are more than just a tool, we experience two different approaches from our developers.

For Sutter, the pure advantage that a tool offers is a strong argument: “A tool should fit ergonomically in the user’s hand and make work easier. That’s exactly what we try to achieve every day: To implement our customers’ needs and make tedious and time-consuming tasks as fluid, integrated and holistic as possible for them. We enable this tool function for our users with our software.”

Enser continues the thought: “I still find that anything that can help streamline a process for a company is more than just a tool. Our software at Eturnity saves companies a lot of time, which is hard to put a price tag on. The time savings allows companies to focus on things that are more important for their growth.”

In summary, Eturnity’s solutions offer far more possibilities than a mere tool, without losing the advantage of a tool, namely work simplification.

Favourite feature of our developers:

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Within Switzerland, the SwissTopo map material is available in the Solar Calculator. Here, the mouse pointer plays a big role. As soon as the user moves to a roof, it changes from its standard pointer shape to a pointer that can be used to click on the roof.

The difficulty is that this information is not actually available that quickly, but the user should not experience any delay. We, therefore, read the background colour of the mouse pointer and change the pointer as soon as we discover that we are on a roof.

Probably no one has ever noticed this as a feature or even paid attention to it, but it is a wonderful example of a small optimization that has quite an impact on usability.

Benedikt Sutter, Backend Developer
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Local Subsides is my favorite feature so far because it’s the first major feature that I worked on from scratch since working at Eturnity. It’s the first big task, and one you’re always particularly proud of. With the feature, local subsidies can be added to the simulations and offers in the PV and heating sector with just a few clicks.

Aaron Enser, Frontend Developer

What is currently being developed?

Finally, our developers reveal which projects they are currently working on and what our users can look forward to soon, among other things:

Benedikt Sutter: “I am revising the photovoltaic simulation in order to be able to correctly depict an aggregation of self-consumption (In Switzerland: ZEV). The ZEV model is the Swiss equivalent of the tenant electricity model”

Aaron Enser: “I am currently working on a big update to Recurring Costs. This will allow our customers to have access to a few more features that they haven’t previously had. This will help make their working lives just a little bit easier.”

With that in mind, we look forward to the next releases!

Pic teaser: © BalanceFormCreative – stock.adobe.com

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Bettina Enser

Bettina Enser is responsible for marketing and communications at Eturnity AG. She provides insights into topics related to the marketing of renewable energy systems. If you have any questions regarding the article, please contact bettina.enser@eturnity.ch.