Project week is upon us once again, and I do prefer working on projects as a team as opposed to regular workshop weeks. Teamwork is super important as software development roles are increasingly social as compared to the usual stigma of the awkward individual sitting in the corner all day long.The primary objective was actually to work together successfully using agile processes to recreate a clone of Facebook. For this particular project we would be using ruby on rails to develop the front-end of our application built on top of a ruby backend.

Everyone’s initial thoughts in regards to this project was that it wouldn’t take too long after some planning and diagramming. With our familiarity with Ruby already we started the week confident we would be able to nail down the core functionality by the end of the week. But when do things ever go as planned? We started the week on a real positive setting goals and targets along with estimates with how long we would expect each ticket or functionality to take to be implemented. This is supposedly a taster for what it would be like to work in software development field in little teams completing tickets for clients. In our first 2 day sprint I feel we managed to estimate and hit all our targets which was surprising and also very satisfying. However we started running into roadblocks, mostly with our understanding of Rails and how the MVC structure fitted into that. We were all very eager to get started and to learn and try things out with the code, which had worked previously but was far less effective this time around. As ruby on rails creates so much of the folders and files required for you it took time to get used to as it can make you feel like a passenger when you should be in control of the code. In hindsight this was a valuable lesson and a reminder to slow down instead of charging on ahead when you are unsure when working with a new framework or language.

You can’t build a house on shaky foundations and I feel we all had to learn this the hard way this week. We eventually made some headroom on the backend database portion of our project as a result of us all coming together to pool our understanding of Rails and hosting on Heroku.

On the whole I feel pleased regarding the effort everyone has put in and to not give up, we are all one team and while the journey was more bumpy than initially predicted eventually you will make headway. We also decided to do some diagramming of our project to help give us a better understanding of rails or the structure of our app. With a plan of attack, the group direction has been strengthened and we’re all pulling together as a team to help implement core functionality.

This week wasn’t all plain sailing but I feel optimistic for the second half of our project and to make up ground where we have been sluggish this week.

Makers Alumni