OpenTable has been helping restaurants grow and run their businesses since 1998. It enables diners to discover and book the perfect table every time they dine.

Open Table’s network has more than 40,000 restaurants over the world, where diners have spent more than $16 billion USD.

Opentable + Nearsoft

Nearsoft started OpenTable’s team extension with just two developers, over the years the team now has eight members including software developers and testers.

The OpenTable Team has worked on,

  • Refactoring of old code
  • Customizable loyalty programs
  • Security of the site
  • Gift card issues
  • Quality Assurance
  • User profile features
  • Accessibility

In with the New

OpenTable’s main system had a very old technology stack, making the platform unreliable. So one of the first tasks for the team was to begin the transition to a newer tech stack to better its response time. Migrating the outdated frameworks to newer ones made it possible to integrate new parts of the system.

The main system is now ready for new features that can provide a better experience to OpenTable diners.

Life at Nearsoft

OpenTable Becomes Accessible

OpenTable’s Team at Nearsoft was involved in the process of making the app and website more accessible. They focused on retaining OpenTable’s great features, while opening them to a wider audience.

The developers followed the Web Accessibility Initiative – Acessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) guidelines to improve these conditions,

  • Allow keyboard navigation
  • Implement live-regions where the user is notified when a page changes
  • Make all the widgets accessible

Another big change was improving the color palette with more contrast for the visually impaired. These enhancements now allow OpenTable’s service to reach a wider audience and follow the US government’s Section 508 that obliges companies by law to become accessible.

Customizable Loyalty Programs

OpenTable was compatible with diverse loyalty programs but didn’t offer a personalized experience for every one of their clients. After developing new features, restaurants can now customize their loyalty experience to their needs.

They can set special points for diners reserving at specific hours or even specific tables. This allows restaurants a wider array of promotional tactics to offer their clients.

Region-specific Regulations

OpenTable’s service is widespread over the world. This represents specific challenges for the developers, since every feature must be compliant to local or regional laws. Nearsoftians are split between three different teams: North America, Europe, and Asia (which includes Australia).

All of the team is now proficient in the diverse requirements for each region, and can develop new features that can adapt to the criteria.

Test Like a User

Since Alma, the first Engineer in Test, joined OpenTable’s team the QA crew has grown to five. She was the first to set the tone for what testing would become, she calls it, “more than testing, it’s approaching things like a user would.”

The Test team has assured the quality of the following projects,

  • User login: anonymous, concierge and diner
  • Booking
  • Mobile web
  • Restaurant profile redesign
  • Loyalty Programs
  • Mobile apps

Now the dev team at OpenTable is fully covered when it comes to quality with a QA Team full of Nearsoftians.

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