Wired has an interesting story about the web teams behind the United States presidential candidates. The story focuses especially on Hillary Clinton’s extensive digital team of over 50 engineers and developers building tools for the campaign.
“With the general election four months away, Hannon has assembled a team of more than 50 engineers and developers who left lucrative careers at places like Google, Facebook, and Twitter to help code Clinton’s way to more votes, more dollars, and, if all goes according to plan, the White House.”
Comments / take-aways:
- Clinton’s team is much more than just a “web team”. They build internal tools for the staff and volunteers as much as they build software for the websites and social media channels. Still, having over 50 people building and optimizing stuff is a major investment – and a benchmark for others, even for corporations that want to make significant online moves.
- Since fundraising is such a big thing in the US, their approach could perhaps be compared to an ambitious e-commerce operation. They probably manage their customers and optimize the web channel in a way very similar to top e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Zalando and others.
- Having a strong in-house operation is not the only successful approach. Bernie Sanders made an impressive run just relying on an outside consulting firm and an “army of volunteer technologists”. Still, the speed requirement of the campaigns is probably closer to competing startups than traditional companies, and therefore Clinton’s in-house approach feels justified.
- Also, doing things in-house typically builds culture and teaches more to other departments, and that also seems to be a stated goal for the Democrats. Smart.
Perttu Tolvanen is a Web Technologies & E-Commerce Expert at North Patrol. Perttu assists clients on early-phase service design, defining requirements, and in technology selections.