Saturday, May 05, 2007

Weekend Warriors

Every weekend, guys get together to drink beer, eat food, and build stuff. Their efforts combine to tear apart automobile engines, construct tool-sheds, and wire up home theater systems. I wondered if this might be possible to do with a bunch of developers/designers. This spawned several conversations over lunch at Xerox and the idea of a weekend warrior development project came about.

The goal would be to create something from nothing in one day. The result would be something that we could possibly use in our portfolios and/or contribute to further if we so desired. Ultimately, the idea is to see what kind of problems, solutions and interactions we might experience in a small team with a small turn-around time.

Today, myself and two other developers (Glenn and Rob) set out to accomplish this goal. We started at 10:00 AM, broke at around 4:00 PM, and deployed the project around 8:30 PM. The project involved creating a simple, serial blog application. (For the moment, the blog is to remain anonymous). In the end, we produced only the front page of the blog and had the basic scaffolding for creating, updating and deleting posts. We had intended to flush out the full system, but got caught up getting comfortable with our working environment. Although we might not have accomplished as much as we wanted to, we kept our focus on maintaining deployable code and were successful in deploying a working website by the end of the day.

Tools/services we used:
* TextDrive
* TextMate (Mac)
* InType (Win)
* Subversion
* Tortoise
* Ruby On Rails
* Transmit
* Campfire

Things we liked:
* Time flew by
* Everyone was actively participating and sharing
* Learned/expanded our knowledge of Rails development
* Learned Subversion
* Enjoyed the Soundscapes music channel
* Plenty of relevant books and reading materials
* Collaborating/tracking ideas in Campfire.
* A sunlit environment.

Things we need to improve:
* Prepare our tools better ahead of time.
* Have a deeper blueprint of what the project will entail.
* Have the deployment environment configured fully prior to start.

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