Monday, September 11, 2006

Group Project for Ruby on rails Class

The good news is I am the project coordinator for the project.
The bad news: this job is eating up my free time. By free time I mean time to play video games, watch TV, movies and watch football. It's just more work than I originally expected. But it's fun, exciting and rewarded because I could apply some of the management skills I copy from my manager at work onto this project.

I'd always disagreed with my project managers at work (past and present) for their lack of coordinating among team members, assigning inappropriate work to the right persons (or vice versa I would add), and recently is the introduction of the notoriously time consumming, child-play *scrum* meetings methodology of the SCRUM process. Scrum meetings are pretty boring. Each person has about 5 minutes to sum up what he/she did yesterday and what is to be worked on for today. Normally, the same monotone is used everyday: "I fixed a bug yesterday, today I will create more bugs today!" as it is a complaisant prayer. And also normally, it would become a heated, prolonged debate on design and implementation issues in which only banging baseball bat against developers' heads may stop them from discussing.

There's even a school to help you earn some kind of scrum certification (which ranks somewhere between tying your shoe laces and not choking to death on your own drool in the universal spectrum of skills)!!!

But there are some good things about the process that I learn while being a project coordinator. Planning, you need a lot of plannings. Basically, you list out all possible tasks you could imagine for the project. The the team members estimate the time needed to complete the tasks. Then base on the estimations, we put a certain number of tasks into a timeline called sprint. Each sprint should last about 2 weeks for a small project like ours. So we keep defining the sprints until the project is done. It's that simple.

Secondly, developers most of the time know what they're working on and what they schedule is like in each sprint. Because they're the one giving the estimation so they could manage their time to work better instead of letting some bone-headed morons pull the estimations out of thier asses.

The last thing is each srpint is short. So we could focus more on a particular task. Make it simple first and then enhance it later on on next sprint. This is the way I like best about SCRUM: promote agile practice.

For the school project, right now we are busy defing tasks needed. I mainly spend most of the time now to write trackers and assign them to team members. Take a look at our tracker system. I created about 14 issues and look like I would do half of them. Robin, where art thou, I need your help man. Screw you...

By the way, UH football is doing very well. They beat up the Green Wave Tlane 45 - 7. I'll be comming to the home game next Sat when they play against Okahoma State. Go Coogs!


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