The CoachAccountable Blog

What's new with the CA platform, tutorials on using it, and customer spotlights.

Archive for March, 2013

Meeting CoachAccountable’s Customer #1

If you’ve been reading this blog a while, you’ve no doubt come across the words of Dr. John Kenworthy of Celsim Business leadership coaching.  Dr. John signed himself up for a CoachAccountable account on launch day back at the end of August, and since then has been the most publicly vocal fan of the system since.  Some days, in fact, I wonder if people think I contrived him as a character with which to have conversations in the comment threads on this blog.

He is very consistently pro CoachAccountable, after all.

But no, it turns out he is quite real indeed.  Despite the fact that we share the same first name, further supporting speculation that he is but a CA-promoting figment of my imagination, Dr. John lives in Singapore.

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Now Bigger And Faster

Well, technically speaking CoachAccountable is about the same size.  But the server on which it is hosted is bigger, and sure enough the CoachAccountable application runs noticeably faster.

On the heels of a pair of downtime issues with the previous hosting provider over the last 7 days, I decided CoachAccountable has outgrown its modest hosting home and deserves a little faster & more reliable hardware on which to run.  Just a few hours ago I switched things over during a maintenance window of just 12 minutes, and things are up and zooming delightfully faster than before.

The difference is most noticeable when you first log in!

Delightful Collaboration II – Externally Hosted File Sharing

A few weeks ago I reached out to a coach who was new to the system to see how it was going for him.

Though “so far so good” was the overall message, part the feedback was this:

There are a few issues. Can I send Audio (.mp3) or videos thru the system? It would be terrific to integrate links to sugar sync or dropbox folders so as to not get heavy on the files I send.

At first glance my answer was clear, of course!  I proudly began to type out my reply:

You’ve got a few options for sending audio and video though the system.  You can upload those files into your library once (My CA >> My Library) and then share them with clients with a few clicks on the Files tab of their respective client pages.  Or in your case (and this might be better as you’ve already got your files already online) you can share links to those files with your clients via CA in, say, a journal entry or as part of a worksheet assignment, or in a Stream comment.

As I wrote this I got to thinking this was actually a lackluster answer, and I was surprised to realize it.

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Delightful Collaboration I – Long Term Goals & Progress

As a single coach, my experiences can run a reasonable size of the gamut of all possible coaching scenarios, techniques, and structural setups.  Still, there’s no question that my familiarity falls well short of the 100% mark: there are a ton of ways of doing things that I’ve just never considered.  Thus it is delightful with other coaches share with me what they’re doing in their practice, insomuch as CoachAccountable might be able to help.

The Delightful Collaboration Series is accounts of when users of CoachAccountable reach out to me and say things to the tune of “Hey, this is nice but can you make it do…”.  On these occasions I get a glimpse into the coaching practices of others, and get familiar with [potential] uses for the software that I hadn’t considered myself but would be a big win for someone else.  I take these as suggestions of how I might tweak or build upon the current CoachAccountable.

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Coaching software, now a little bit zippier

A fast, responsive user experience is one of those things that never goes out of style in software.

The CoachAccountable user base and database are getting large enough that certain processing bottlenecks are starting to become noticeable, and thus the system is ripe for a bit of tuning and optimization.

After a fine session of profiling the performance of database interactions that happen with software, I’ve identified a number of wins.  It used to be that a coach with 10 clients would require about 190 queries for data from the database to render the dashboard screen (about 40 of them were to fetch, over and over, the symbol of the currency chosen by the coach–yeesh!).

Now it’s down to about 70.  About 0.5 seconds of total database work to load that page has been reduced to around 0.039 seconds.  Similar wins were reached for loading client pages.  Saving half a second in load time may sound minor, but this amounts to about a 10x increase in the capacity to comfortably and speedily serve users.

More optimization tricks up my sleeve to come over the next month.   Making the system zippier and more responsive is fun and super satisfying, and I know you and your clients appreciate software that is just plain fast.