Known as the greatest technology sleuth in the city, Detective Dash has been hired by Legacy Bank to solve the mystery of its troublesome online banking portal. Follow the case by reading the next chapters in his story: Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7 and Chapter 8.
Chapter 1: A Portal Maligned
Detective Dash unlocked the door to his office, took off his coat and settled into his chair. As soon as he logged in to his computer, his phone began to ring.
“Hello, Detective Dash here.”
“Hello,” the voice replied. “I’m Money Meg, the CIO of Legacy, the city’s oldest and largest bank,” she said.
Dash raised an eyebrow. “You know, I can’t help you if someone has robbed your bank. You should call the police.”
“Our bank hasn’t been robbed in over 100 years, Mr. Dash,” Meg replied. “But as it happens, it appears our new customers are being robbed from us. We’d like your help to investigate who is responsible.”
“I would deduce that your competitors are responsible for that.”
“Yes of course. We’ve always had competitors and occasionally lose customers to them, but it seems to have accelerated lately. We’ve noticed that our younger customers seem especially difficult to hold on to.”
“We think the problem may be related to our bank portal. Younger customers use it far more often than our older customers.”
“A portal, huh? Makes sense.” Dash rubbed his chin and looked at the ceiling of his office.
“I sent you a link to access the portal. Once you’re there, set up a new account to test different scenarios.”
Dash logged in to the bank portal from his laptop and clicked around. “Looks fine to me. Nothing out of the ordinary. Seems like a perfectly normal bank portal.”
Dash paused to think for a moment. “Let me try something else.” He got out his smart phone and tried to access the bank portal.
After a couple minutes of awkward silence, Meg was curious. “Have you noticed anything?”
Dash had a very unpleasant look on his face. “I feel like I’m having a root canal.”
“Tell me more about the customer portal,” Dash continued. “How is it built, where is it stored. Be as detailed as possible, please.”
Meg sighed, then began.
“Legacy Bank developed the browser version of the customer portal first. All the code for the portal is on the central server. Whenever the portal requires an update or bug fix, the IT team must start from the beginning because the team wrote the entire browser-based portal into a single monolithic code base. Every time the team makes changes to the portal, they take the entire portal offline, identify the troublesome block of code and hope that the update doesn’t alter other functionality. They run through extensive testing processes to make sure they don’t accidentally break anything.”
Meg continued, “The mobile version of the portal came later, augmenting the existing application so it would work better on mobile devices. When the development team modified the customer portal to support mobile devices, they ran into problems. The easiest way to resolve their issues was to simply cut out pieces of code.”
“Who runs the development team?” Dash asked after scribbling furiously in his notebook.
“That would be Shrugs,” she said. “Shrugs is our development manager. He seems very cynical and frustrated lately. You may want to speak with him. Please help us get to the bottom of this!”
Dash pulled out his notebook to recap his notes from the conversation:
Poor customer portal experience, especially on mobile devices
- Monolithic code base
- Mobile functionality was “grafted on” to the existing web portal
In big letters across the bottom of the page, Detective Dash scrawled: “Shrugs seems very cynical and frustrated. Find out what he knows.”
Tune in next week to the adventures of Detective Dash as he continues his search for the culprit behind the poor customer portal experience.