We have completed our first ‘sprint’! Although we were unable to make any sensible estimations, we had a goal, to have a set of APIs created and a means of delivering data to the front end.
Thanks to the hard work of Jake and Riaz, this has been achieved except for the delivery which I have been grappling with for a while now. We have all learnt a huge amount and these is a lot to feel confident about. We start our second ‘sprint’ shortly after the new year.
Jake has brought some very useful skills to the project and, in the absence of a professional developer for the first part (our developer pulled out) he has led the development. Riaz came to us with less prior experience but has demonstrated all the qualities we could hope for, including resilience, persistence and hard work, as well as some really good communication and employability skills.
We were very grateful to Skillsmatter for donation of workspaces at CodeNode. We had a table in the Escape area on two evenings and their Backspace room for the day on one Saturday. With good wi-fi service, tea and coffee, inspiring workspaces and some real opportunities to network, this was a good place to be for the start of our project. However, as we have got going it is good to have our own space and the ability to bring clients into our space for meetings. We found some affordable office space in Clapham through the Vrumi website and we have a very helpful host and what feels like our own space.
We look forward now to a successful push to a final ‘product’ with some professional help after Christmas, and we are all confident about meeting our deadline.
This project, to develop an app to help GCSE and A level students to plan and do their revision effectively, will be our initial showcase project, which I will be showing at pitches for funding and at talks to colleges, schools and employers.
We have hit our main goals:
- to give real work experience to interested, full-time college students (we recruited three but, sadly, one only attended the first evening). We have touched on software craftsmanship features and an objective for our second sprint will be to follow the processes of test-driven development, code review, pair programming and clear documentation, more closely
- to produce good quality software at low cost for charity/non-profit clients (in this case a community client and no cost. We have more projects in the pipeline
- to provide opportunities for our students, on completion of a placement. We have an employer looking at offering further work experience for one of our student developers and I will be encouraging them both to consider degree apprenticeship schemes such as that offered by the BBC, Goldman Sachs, Thales and others.
We have been well supported by Skillsmatter, Microspot, Tengio, Acorn Aspirations and the parents of the Base2 teams whose app we are developing. We look forward to our second and final sprint for this project in January 2017.
– KAREN SCOTT