Spherical has created a platform for distance one-on-one video learning
and launched Confident German, a German-language learning school.
Our task was to elicit business requirements, design architecture and build an online
school of German. The school was founded by a sole entrepreneur with a teaching
background; she managed to combine various online services to take care of
student acquisition, retention, scheduling and payments. Her school was a
clear business success, with students from all over the world flocking in to
get inexpensive, efficient, customized and fun learning experience. Our main
tasks were to help scale technical and logistical arrangements; automate scheduling,
billing and employee relationships; and make the school user-friendly and
An online school is a business with many obscure particularities. Elicitation of requirements and finding the right technical approach to hit as many customers as possible under a
tight budget was the main challenge of this engagement.
Students want to study; instructors want to teach. This is the way it should be, and the rest
of the school business should be as invisible for the users as possible. The school is
completely online – students and instructors live all around the world, in all possible
time zones: synchronization in time could be a challenge. Beginners may not have
sufficient command of German, so the system should be multilingual. Accounting between
the school, a few retained instructors and hundreds of students may become tricky.
A large custom system was not affordable for a small business, so maximum use of
available free services had to be made.
Our technical approach
It was clear from the very beginning that we were not building one school; we were building
a platform to build schools and Confident German would be the first school built on
that platform. The "productizing" of the platform allowed us to create a
franchise and offer quickly.
We used Flask as the web framework and integrated Google Calendar to do the
heavy lifting of scheduling classes. We implemented a simple internal closed-circuit
accounting system based on an "internal currency" equivalent to a 30-minute instruction
slot. When the students purchase the slots, these are transferred from the headmaster's
account to the account of the student. When the student is booking a class, the slots are
transferred from the account of the student to the account of the instructor. Finally,
balances in instructors' accounts are transferred back to the headmaster's account when
instructors' salaries are paid, closing the loop. We integrated Stripe and PayPal for
payments and Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and GitHub for social
Confident German features web design from JetStyle.
The project was managed according to PRINCE2
methodology with a custom, formally approved tailoring statement. Task management
and project tracking was done in JIRA, code collaboration in GitHub.
Collaboration on design between the client, developers and designers was organized
Spherical hat herausragende Arbeit geleistet! Ich bin sowohl mit Planung, Design und Umsetzung, als auch mit Kommunikation, Service und Hosting absolut zufrieden!
"Spherical hat herausragende Arbeit bei der Umsetzung meines neuen Internetauftritts
und der Programmierung des Buchungs- und Abrechnungssystems geleistet! Die Planung vorab war
präzise und die Kommunikation unkompliziert und zuverlässig.
Meine individuellen Wünsche und Bedürfnisse wurden sowohl was das Design, als auch
die Programmierung betrifft, perfekt und professionell umgesetzt. Ich hatte zu jeder
Zeit einen Ansprechpartner und ich fühlte mich hervorragend beraten.
Auch nach Fertigstellung des Projekts habe ich rund um die Uhr einen professionellen
Ansprechpartner und bin absolut zufrieden mit Hosting und Support!"
Founder, CEO and Headmaster, Confident German
Spherical has done an outstanding job! I am absolutely content with planning, design and
implementation, as well as communication, service and hosting!
Spherical has done an outstanding job implementing my new website and the programming
of the scheduling and billing systems! The advance planning was precise and the communication
easy and reliable. My personal wishes and needs were perfectly and professionally
implemented in both design and programming. I had access to an account manager at
all times and I received excellent advice.
Even after the launch, I had constant access to a professional account manager
and I am absolutely satisfied with hosting and support provided.