Synteractive is a DC-based start-up that provides global strategy and business solutions to clients. As a member of the project team assembled by award recipient Smartronix, Synteractive participated in building the new recovery.gov web site. This online platform enables every American citizen to view how the spending (worth $787 billion) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), a.k.a. The Stimulus or The Recovery Act, is used to create jobs and reinvest in America.
In this interview with Zhiming Xue “Z”, several members of the recovery.gov project at Synteractive – CEO Evan Burfield, director of technology Diane Johnson, solution architects Michael Mendelson and Jason Turim, and creative director Heather Waterman – discussed the challenges they faced on the project, from assembling a comprehensive proposal with loosely defined requirements and competing with major contractors to building a highly scalable, secure online solution under an aggressive timeline. The project team passionately shared their experience in building such a large-scale web solution using Microsoft SharePoint 2007 and a mix of other interoperable web technologies and services such as Microsoft Fast and Bing search, Amazon Web Services, Google Translate, ESRI’s GIS mapping technology, JackBe’s Enterprise Mashups and open source tools. They also shared their experience in building several specific features and areas for the web solution such as interactive user interface, data and content management, search integration and multilingual support.