Developer needed for data-driven website project

I run a small web development business and need to assemble a small team to support the next phase of an on-going project for an existing client. Specifically, I need to bring on a developer with experience doing data-intensive sites similar to what is described below. Likely timeframe for this work is late July or August start. Project is expected to take 2-3 months to complete for initial launch. There may be follow-on upgrades and enhancements once the new platform is in place.

My client us US-based company that runs a health care site that matches independent caregivers with individuals who need in-home care. Sort of like an Airbnb for freelance home health professionals, but not so fully automated – there is a considerable interaction between company, the careseeker, and the caregiver in the matching process. Company admin, careseekers, and caregivers all interact with the site to do different things in the process of finalizing a successful match. As well, there are steps that take place off the site that lead to a completed match.

To date, we have built the marketing front end of the site in Drupal. We are now completing Gen 2 of this front end. Once completed, they are keen to get the ‘back end’ – i.e., the data-driven part for caregivers and careseekers – migrated to Drupal and upgraded to be much more effective in supporting their business.

Currently, the ‘back end’ is implemented by another company on a very crappy proprietary platform. The existing back-end site is very inflexible and has limited capabilities. It is very expensive to extend and make improvements to it and is an impediment to their future growth. Reimplementation in Drupal is intended to deliver much richer set of capabilities and serve as a flexible, scalable platform for growth going forward.

While there is an existing back-end site to work from, not much of it can be salvaged for Drupal implementation. Really the only things we get from the current site are the existing data sets and the current workflows. The data sets will come to us in the form of .csv files (or similar). The current workflows will need to be documented and then reworked/improved for the Drupal implementation (client has directly hired an analyst who will do much of this analysis, but we would be responsible for the Drupal specifications to deliver these workflows). There will be no direct integration or connection between new site and existing site. We don’t think any code from the existing site can be reused.

The existing website is integrated with Zoho CRM and the new Drupal site must be, as well. The company uses both systems concurrently to manage the business day-to-day. A subset of the caregiver and careseeker data is synced to Zoho. No data currently syncs from Zoho to website, but this may be a desirable capability to add in the reimplementation.

For the new developer, the place where we need special skills and prior experience relates to building the Drupal data model and functionality for two distinct user types (caregivers, careseekers), plus company admin. Each user type has distinct data sets as well as distinct functions they can perform. We want someone who has built something similar to this before who knows from experience how best to handle this kind of thing.

Here are some details on the two main user types and the data sets associated with each:

– Caregivers. Caregiver profile is quite lengthy with 60+ fields. Some fields are simply binary yes/no type fields. Some fields are complex – e.g., previous job history could consist of variable number of jobs with each job containing several fields (e.g., employer name, dates, job title, duties, etc.). About 20 of these fields are synced to Zoho. There is a workflow associated with Company Admin reviewing and approving Caregivers to be listed on the site. Once approved, ~20 of the fields are used to generate the Caregiver’s online profile. Caregivers can go into their profiles and edit/update the content (with moderation by company admin). Company Admin can also edit/update profiles. There are about 2,000 Caregivers in the database, but this is expected to grow significantly over time, so solutions must be scalable.

– Careseekers. Careseeker profile has ~20 fields available to be populated, but the vast majority of records contain only about 4 completed fields. Careseekers can search for Caregivers on various parameters/filters and can select individual providers to create a favorites list. The search capability must be improved significantly and allow for more flexible faceted search options. Company Admin also needs capability to add recommended Caregivers to the Careseeker’s favorites list as well as to generate a notification that sends this list to the Careseeker by email. There are about 1,000 Careseekers in the database and this is also expected to grow going forward.

It is important to note that much of the complexity of the day-to-day workflow and mechanics of the business resides in Zoho and not on the website. Among other things, there is no payments done on the website (although this is something that might be on a longer term development plan for the Drupal site).

While we will probably be making numerous changes/improvements to the workflow, we don’t want to stray too far from known procedures at the outset. However, the new platform must be constructed with flexibility in mind to allow more substantial improvements in the future.

In terms of what we are looking for…We would like to find a freelance developer to add to the team who has prior experience with site(s) similar this.

– We are primarily interested to hire an individual and not a company. We want to have a direct relationship with the developer with no levels of overhead or coordination.

– Developer would be responsible for coordinating and implementing the Drupal-side data model and functionality/capabilities for Caregivers and Careseekers. Developer will work with the wider team and especially with the client’s Data Analyst/Architect to do this. Client’s Data person is not skilled in Drupal, but can be expected to understand all the data and workflow issues associated with the business. Our job will be translate his outputs into Drupal specs and implementation. We are thinking that part of the data architecture solution is to use Profile2 and related modules to support multiple user types and distinct data sets for each, but we will look to the developer to analyze the options and recommend the most robust approach.

– Developer will need to coordinate with the client’s Data Analyst/Architect and the Zoho integration developer to make sure data model works across both website and Zoho platform. And may also need to develop a data import script that allows us to take data in .csv file from existing site, import to new site, and then sync to Zoho.

– Developer may also need to handle server/Drupal installation, version control and workflow, manage QA and user testing, develop/manage data import workflow (including go-live procedure to ensure we have up-to-minute data set from existing site at cutover), and manage go-live and site cutover.

– Developer will need to speak excellent English, be able to work effectively with a team working remotely, and get along well and professionally with others, including potentially direct client interaction.

If interested, please PM me with some info on your background and why you might be a good fit for this project. If any general questions about the work/scope, please post to this thread and I will try to address.

Note: This project was posted initially last year, but did not end up happening due to other priorities. Work is now squarely at the top of their priority list and is expected to move forward on a timely basis.

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