Side projects keep developers and builders sharp and alive.

Depositphotos_62207591_l-2015-1-768x768.jpg I don’t know a single software developer who hasn’t thought of starting a side project. I, myself, have had many different side projects throughout my career. Well, I should be more clear by saying that I started many side projects throughout my career. To be honest, most of them didn’t get finished. To be honest, most them didn’t…

“Always have a side project” is something I have told every developer who I have managed or mentored.  “Make it kinda related to what we do” that way we get double the mileage out of it.  I have a lot of dreams, those projects you get caught up in preparing for and never finish or worse yet never get started.  I started a YouTube channel GeekMustHave as a side project with the goal of sharing experiences I’ve had with technology.  This is a side project that is never done but still has mini dreams I turn into video goals.

Pick a side project that is just a little bit more than you know how to do.  This way the amount of learning is possible in a short period of time.  One goal that has been achieved helps to give you the commitment for the other side projects you’re considering.

This article reminded me how much of a “Starter” I am and less of a “Finisher”.  It’s a great read for all developers.

via A Software Developer’s Guide to Side Projects — DZone Agile Zone

Progressive Web Applications – What?

Progressive or not progressive… If you have been designing or developing web applications for a while, you would have probably came across the term Progressive Web application a tons of times, and will probably do so for the coming years. You probably wondered what exactly is the definition of… Link: Progressive Web apps recipes for […]

Progressive Web Applications, this is not a new term or idea.  But, it has had a few different buzz words attached to it over time.  This article is good at defining this, even it is from a Java focused site 😉  It also has some awesome infographics about the mobile share of the marketplace.

Less is more is my motto when talking about technology.  If you use too many words, especially buzz words, to describe a technology you have failed in helping people learn about it.

  • It a single web application
  • It is NOT a mobile application (Apple Store/ Google Play)
  • It works everywhere on anything
  • Thay are designed for mobile devices first
  • Loads fast, runs fast, reacts fast, it’s fast
  • Can work offline or with shitty internet connections
  • Can be “Installed” on home screen
  • Looks like an “App”, behaves like an “App” but, it’s a web application
  • It’s just a URL that can be shared
  • Developed using some newer frameworks and development practices

via Progressive Web apps recipes for GWT — Techie.Buzz

Backlogger web app released to Github, it’s a Scrum thing.

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“Backlog” is one of those SCRUMmy terms used to identify features or functions that have been dreamed up or discussed for an application.   You collect these ideas into a list which is called the “Backlog”.  Then this list is reviewed (Sprint Review) and the ideas are refined (Groomed) and an estimate of effort (Story Points) is assigned to it.  Then folks get together and discuss which ones should be done in the next timeframe (Sprint).  To collect these ideas some companies use an issue tracking system or an off the shelf ticket system (Atlassian JIRA) and others just use a spreadsheet… gasp.

Sometimes all you need is a simple web application that all the participants can use to enter any ANY of the ideas that came up.  Even things like “The buttons should be colored blue.”  I needed a simple project to help me learn some technologies that are new to me.  Hence the “Backlogger” was born.  The whiteboard above shows the original concept.

Technologies used in Backlogger

  • JavaScript
  • NodeJS
  • Bootstrap
  • Mongo without the headache, neDB
  • jsGrid

Design Requirements

The design requirements were meant to be simple as possible to make this project something that could be done quickly.  They also needed to be flexible to allow for better learning.

  • Single Page Application
  • Open Source
  • No user logins, just a password, we are a big happy family
  • Self-contained application, no need for outside services or servers
  • Mongo database and Mongo queries
  • Allow for a maintainable list of people names who contributed ideas to the backlog
  • Allow for a maintainable list of functional areas to help groups the ideas
  • One time entry of an idea, no editing,
  • The editing of an idea will be done during the grooming
  • Filters that help find ideas quickly
  • Ability to backup and wipe the database (Mongo Documents)
  • Simple report that can be printed directly

GeekMustHave would like to thank Phoenix Learning Labs for the resources and funding to do this project.  GeekMustHave would also like to thank the MDHHS-DWIP team for the testing and feedback.

Open source, common components

What does it look like?

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Backlogger is an Open Source project available on Github.

https://github.com/GeekMustHave/Backlogger

Future

I’ve used “Backlogger” in one project so far but others who have seen it have expressed some interest in it.  That’s another reason why it’s Open Source.

Depending on the feedback I might do additional updates.  Maybe I need a “Backlogger” for the “Backlogger”?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Scrum Motivates People

2017-02-22_9-14-38.pngIn a lot of my Scrum training sessions, I show this great video of a talk given by Daniel Pink, the author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates People. Pink explains there are three intrinsic drivers for motivation: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. I think the roles in Scrum all nicely help in stimulating these drivers. Here’s how: Autonomy…

The SCRUM Master helps the team become self-organizing by letting them have a hand in deciding what needs to be done and then leaving them alone to do it.  Devs are the craftsman, and it’s not money as the primary motivator, it’s mastering their skills and learning.

via How Scrum Motivates People — DZone Agile Zone

Courage to Become Agile, being brave

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Being brave is about doing what is necessary, even when you are afraid. The single most important thing in agile is to inspect and dare to change things which aren’t working. You can start with small experiments to find solutions, and if it turns they do not work, then you can stop them. By Ben…

One of the quotes I love from this article is

Being brave is not about removing fear or not being afraid – it is about doing what is necessary even when you are afraid.

It is true being a developer is being a craftsman.  It’s a learn-code-adapt-repeat cycle, not just a code-repeat cycle.

via Courage to Become Agile — InfoQ

GeekMustHave is now on YouTube

Hello and welcome to Geek Must Have YouTube channel. Everyone once and awhile have you come across someone who you know, is going to try and build something cool… that’s me.  This channel is going to be the Geek’s musing about technologies like Electronic Gadgets that blink, buzz, talk, listen and keep you awake at night. Computers of all sizes from the tiny single chip ones all the way up to big servers in the cloud.  Coding from Cobol to JavaScript and everything in between.  Databases starting with the humble flat file, tried and true relational and Big Data, noSQL, REST and JSON.  Communications with wireless, GSM, Bluetooth and amateur radio.  Lots of cheap bits, bobs and do-dads from China.  This channel plans to have mailbags, project builds, deconstructions, reviews, recommendations, tools, and tips

Check out the champion blog at HTTP://GeekMustHave.COM

This a new channel and the Geek needs your help, please click on the subscribe button,
watch the videos and click on the like button, leave comments and questions.

The Geek is busy learning and building stuff, so don’t be upset if the response isn’t immediate.

Thank you and now ….“Let’s build something…”

Aren’t web designers and web developers the same thing?

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I have been asked this question, many times, “Aren’t web designers and web developers the same thing?”  Currently ing a web designer and formally a web developer, I can safely say, No!  This article from DZones Amaya Farkiya does a better job than I at explaining the difference.