[Update: Now that the Ship It Days have come and gone, we'll summarize the results below, while working on a few blog posts to expand on the most interesting lessons learned.]
Once again it is time for our twice yearly Ship It Days. As per usual, our management team has left the premises and our actual work has been put on the backburner, while most of our developers, project leads and team leads (and even our functional analyst) are working and playing hard on a number of projects they themselves thought up. The only conditions are that you can’t work on it alone, it has to be shippable in roughly two days, and it has to benefit the company in some way.
Our five (5!) projects this year, in no particular order, are:
1) Reporting On Tracker
Every hour worked is logged in our tracker, but getting that data out again is a lot of manual work. To improve the lives of everyone involved, Reporting On Tracker will track the tracker and visualize the data in comprehensible dashboards, both for the developers themselves, as well as for the leads and the salespeople.
Result: narrowing the scope somewhat, we’ve created several dashboards with extensive filtering that clearly summarize our company-wide data for use by our sales, admin, and management teams. All that remains is a little manual work to tag a single metric for use with certain filters.
2) Event Store
As the number of microservices within an application grows, so too does the number of requests these microservices sent one another. To streamline this, and reduce performance drag, we want to create an easily implementable event stream that can automatically send specific microservices the required data.
Result: Creating a full-blown Across module turned out to be too big a job for barely two days. However, we did manage to set up a small Event Stream and learned a lot in doing so. We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for opportunities to use it in a future project.
3) Read All The Books
A library is cool; an automated library is cooler. Read All The Books will (try to) create an application that allows for easy searching on authors, titles, or tags, in our ever-expanding collection, while streamlining the check-out and check-in process using a barcode scanner, a fingerprint scanner and a Raspberry Pi.
Result: pretty much what we envisioned, with a fingerprint scanner to recognize the user, a barcode scanner to check books in and out, and a back-end that automatically gets the info for books it hasn’t registered yet. The on-the-fly registration of new fingerprints didn’t make it in, unfortunately, due to time restrictions.
4) Goals, Goals, Goals
Having goals gives focus and motivation. Sharing goals improves cooperation. Our current ‘talent enablement platform’ wasn’t really cutting it for us, so we’ve decided to build a new system from scratch, that makes it easy to input, view and modify personal goals, team goals, and company-wide goals.
Result: a system that allows personal goals, team goals and company-wide goals to be added (as well as edited, and removed) and with the ability to mark the (partial) progress of each goal. While it has room for growth (by adding in notes, or sharing your goals with others), as it stands it is fully functional.
5) The Amazing Performance Monitor
Performance is an important metric in any application. The Amazing Performance Monitor will measure the most important performance metrics and visualize them on as big a screen as we can find. This will enable our developers to see the performance impact of new features and allow us to intervene and improve on short notice.
Result: a pretty dashboard that’s easy to plug into a web application and quickly gives you a general overview for the performance of your app (courtesy of Google Lighthouse), both at the current moment and over time. In the future, it would be nice if the possible improvements Lighthouse suggests could also be appended.
Stay tuned for [even more] updates in the coming days!