Monday, 11 September 2017

Makers Week Six: NP Just Making a Website w/ Database in Five Days

Another week passes at Makers and its crazy to think that we're half way there wtf! What a shock to the system!


Sounds ez right? Especially with limited experience! lol

Last week we did our first project as a group, and with our weird prime numbered cohort my group became a five, whilst all others were put into fours. I'm not sure if that gave us a significant advantage, but it was a bit of a hindrance splitting the group up, it was either a 3 - 2 or a 2 - 2 - 1 formation. But like any football manager (I assume?) we were flexible according to what was needed on the "pitch".

Our first white board! Tons of planning and working out what to research.

The task was to build a replica of an Air BnB website. This meant having a sign up/login page, and once in users were able to put up their room for rent, and book existing rooms on the feed.

We had a choice to use Javascript or Ruby, and surprisingly only two people wanted to use Ruby. So far we've had 9 weeks of using Ruby, one week of Javascript, and it seems Ruby didn't stand a chance. For me Javascript is very familiar to me, and I like the flexibility it has with the web, so its popularity surprised me.


Right from the get go our team was super organised, we were very open to the morning stand ups, and the retros. A stand up is a reflection on the previous day, a plan for the current day, and a way to bring up any concerns to the group. A retrospective is a meeting that happens at the end of the day to write on the whiteboard things that were good, bad and confusing.

Our first retrospective!

Spending some time put aside for these things really made things clearer for the group. It was also a great way to make sure that we had good communication.

Early on we identified the things we needed to do, and delegated other things we wanted to research. A priority was working out what we needed to use, then set up the environment with those softwares, and then set up a skeleton file structure that can be pushed to github that everyone could access.

File setup planning

Page direction planning

It was clear that we needed to have a database for our users to sign in with, as well as for the rooms to be rented or put up to rent. We already has used Postgres for database stuff before so that seemed like a good obvious choice. However, we had heard bad things about the ORM, which is used to link the database to our website. I had heard the name MongoDB floating around and after some research we realised that it works with hashes, which makes it more adaptable to Javascript (which is essentially hashes).

Using Trello is a great project management tool


As well as having meetings at the beginning and the end of the day, we also chose to do one after lunch. This was to check in on everyone and see how things were going. On multiple occasions we decided to switch strategies from looking at one thing, and then prioritizing something else. Or if a group member wanted to change up and get more stuck in then we would mix it up. Our group was fantastically open about being flexible which was awesome.

Major points of contentions;

The Lows;
  • First day is naturally a lot of reading, watching tutorials, and research. Very little coding!
  • Still getting stumped by the most basic things, like setting up the environment.
  • Taking ages to know that we had to run a server for our headless testing framework.
  • Learning Zombie, feature testing seemed to take a long time.
  • Getting our router forwarding to work which took ages. But so essential, as once this was done we were able to split up the work much more effectively without having to worry about it effecting each other because it wasn't all in the same section anymore...
  • Linking the sign in page to the database took a looot longer then expected, probably a day or two then what we set the goal out to be
The Highs;
  • Getting the router forwarding to work!
  • Having the sign in page and the rooms page functionality working both pretty much at the same time with different teams within our group.
  • Amazing team spirit, the highs and lows were experienced together.
  • Hanging out together, table tennis and a great final day lunch.
Here's some totally unimpressive (aesthetic-wise) pictures of our fully functional website! I'm super happy with our progress and it was probably my best week at Makers so far.

Signing in page

View rooms available, but can't book any until signed in

Filling in a form to advertise room, when signed in

Even though my other cohort members were in the same room, it did feel as if I didn't see them much. It was an amazing experience to see it all come together on the Friday.  My cohort was a dream to work with, so patient, so open and fully adaptable! This gave me a taste of what it was like to be in a development team and I loved it.

The last retro w/my anime wannabe style faces!

This week we get a choice for groups or pairs and I choice more group work. I think it will be groups until the end now, apart from Tech Test week.

Today my mentor got a job! Its pretty incredible considering that she just graduated two weeks ago. Its very inspiring and I hope to be as successful as her when I get to that stage. She has been really supportive to me and it helped me tons. Congrats! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment