Today marks the ‘end’ of the Covid project. Whilst the project is never fully over as I am learning more and more React sugar with which I will constantly refactor in to the project. But with regards to large features, it is done…..for now!
I thought I would therefore take this time to reflect on what I have learned during this project, not necessarily on the tech front but more about my first post Makers project experience, and a remote one at that.
Firstly I have to send a huge shout out to Asia and Nic, my two partners in crime for this project. Not only did we get on well throughout the course (a love for table tennis may have had something to do with it), but they have become good friends throughout quarantine…even though I have never seen them once since graduating. I have to say it was seamless, and a pleasure to work with them. We planned the initial phases well, and had a clear direction of an MVP.
We worked well towards it with a collective enthusiasm. Everyone had a voice and everyone had the creative flexibility to take it in a direction on a “see what happens’ approach. i think the unique point of this project was that we have never used React before….so we all had the flexibility to research, try and try again to see what we could do.
We used Zoom calls , whilst collaborating on the fantastic VS Code Live Share plugin (for those who don’t know, it allows you to share the same text editor - you can literally edit code on the same line as you peers - at the same time!) so communication was good, bit for coding, but also for discussing ideas. We then used slack to send the endless stack overflow pages to each-other. This trio of communication apps was vital for the success of the project in this remote working style.
We always discussed the next phase of the project (if you check out the README of the repo, we have document the stages of releases) and were always aligned in what the next goal was. Every night we always had a 10 minute review of what we had done, and what was next to tackle. It sounds like butter wouldn’t melt, but honestly this was the truth. We were always aligned in our vision, we love data and stats, and wanted to make an app that simply displayed the current crisis that we were all going through, as a tool for everyone wondering about the day to day change.
We all wanted to use new tech (React seems to be a very popular requirement for most Front End Jobs, and as the course did not really cover front en at all, we thought we would try to up-skill this area of out programming) and all wanted to make something we were proud of. it also hi lighted many areas that were used in ‘real life’ professional development. We tested using Jest and Enzyme, we Deployed on Heroku, using Travis as a CI tool, and used a RESTful API structure for the app.
Most of all I learnt to trust my colleagues, and learn from them what I did not know and visa versa. Asia and Nic are two fantastically cited software engineers, I learnt so much, and great conversations, and had an insight into how I can adapt and use some of their techniques to improve my own skills. It was all helped by the fact that the worst disagreements we had )if you can call it that) was to do with what colour a line on a graph should be - it really was perfect.
So all in all yes, I built something i am truly proud of, and yes I learnt some new tech and skills, but most importantly I learnt how to work in a harmonious and open environment, where ideas and creativity was encouraged - All in my bedroom with ought seeing Asia or Nic in person!
With regards to my situation, I am still actively job searching, hoping this project on my CV will boost my chances. But for the time being I am continuing to learn, discover new tech and who knows…there are a couple of ideas floating about with Asia and Nic, let’s see where that goes for future ideas!
As always stay safe during these crazy times,