Makers weeknotes (16 Part Series)
Week 6 was our first group project; our first opportunity to organise our stand-ups and retros, plan a project from a 'client' spec, and implement it however we wanted. It's been a liberating task!
We worked in teams of four. My teams' approach was to have daily stand-up and retro meetings, gathering at points throughout the day to give and get feedback on our status. We started by writing user stories for a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and deciding what technology to use.
We chose to use JS for the learning opportunity, but decided mid-week to pivot and switch to a more familiar Ruby tech stack. As a result we were able to build a working web-app much faster, but due to lost time our approach was rushed and the final product was much simpler than hoped. Laughter is a meter of success at Makers, we joked about seagulls a lot and got through disappointment together.
💡 Pivoting is normal! It's often done where there are gains in cost, maintenance, or speed to be made.
How do you decide to fail fast?
- clarify the approach early and often - is there useful info missing or unknowns that will affect your progress?
- collect as much data as possible, as quickly as possible, and decide what 'good' looks like - don't think about perfect.
- Make a team decision, and come to it ASAP!
XP means extreme programming. With it comes a set of values aimed at helping dev teams produce an improved quality work in a better environment (compared to non-agile, not-XP programming teams). If you haven't heard of XP before, you may be disappointed to learn it's not related to thrill-seeking.
Simplicity. Do the minimum! Get to your MVP quickly.
Communication. Meet daily face-to-face, work as a team on everything, and make decisions together.
Feedback. Demo early & often. Listen to suggestions and make changes. Adapt your process, not the project. Deliver working software.
Respect. Everyone has value! Respect the customers expertise and, be good to each other.
Courage. Give truthful progress reports and estimates. Plan to succeed, and adapt to change without fear.
💡 Identifying the MVP can be tricky. Look for those items in the specification that have the highest impact and those which are urgent - these should be prioritised first. Make something that works and can be used and understood by the clients.
Makers held the first She Made It event, where attendees heard from three women on the topic of changing career.
Here are some of my takeaways...
- coaches help you develop self-awareness/coaching lets you hear other voices.
- Unusual career paths have unseen benefits (such as knowing how to be in uncomfortable environments - and to avoid working in them).
- Learn from other's experience by speaking to them, asking deeper questions can build stronger friendships.
- Have conviction in interviews; clear doubt before stepping into the interview room.
- It's OK to outgrow something that was once interesting!
- Weak connections in your network will provide work opportunities - friends of friends, and acquaintances.
☕ Shout out to Hanna who asked me to be her mentor at Makers
💒 Took some time away from code this weekend to attend a joyous wedding and recoup
🍪 Proof-read a new chapter of Learn Go With Tests for quii and he accepted my PR
👀 Passed an eye-test, feel irrationally smug about it