Issue 253

Posted on by Marie and Ines

Categories: blog and student posts

Our Project: in the Backend


A part of our great team after our first retro meeting, Photo by Daniel Temme

The Plan:

Before our Rails Girls Summer of Code started, we made a great plan what we will do:

  1. create Feedback field to Food Pickup ( Issue #235 )
  2. make trusted users/group admins
  3. create statistics for pickups that were done by users in kilograms
  4. build a quiz framework

Optional: Android App, shared food & other things


The Reality

We found out that we had no clue how difficult such an Issue can be! I mean like ABSOLUTLEY no clue. Coming from ‘Codecademy’, ‘Learn Python the Hard Way’ and some small pet projects we thought we would solve the first Issue within 1 week.

We needed 9 weeks until our first (notable) Pull request was accepted. So, how was that possible?

The First Issue

Our first task was to create Feedback field to Food Pickups. We spent a lot of our time learning about: Python, Django Framework, Django REST Framework, Swagger, how to troubleshoot our Git merge conflicts and how to solve our Docker complaints.

What We Have Learnt:

  1. There are no shortcuts - we have to do Django tutorial and Django REST tutorial first
  2. Working both on the same branch at the same time will not speed up our progress! We are going to have many merge conflicts instead and we have to solve them all. This takes many, many hours :)
  3. We know what is server, browser, database, models, migrations, HTTP requests, querysets, filters and all these fancy words around we did not know how they are connected before.
  4. And finally: This Issue is not as small as it looks like!

If you want to read more about this, go to the Foodsaving blog and read the Fairy Tale Version of that story.

Graphic by Ines D. Guett

What We Have Built (Status: 6. September 2017):

  • a new API endpoint Feedback with HTTP methods GET, POST
  • integration API tests for Feedback that ensure that the user gets the correct GET/POST output
  • validation for field about and set the field given_by as read-only
  • unit model tests for model Feedback

Our hardest part on the Issue was to fix this test:

    def test_list_feedback_works_as_collector(self):    
        Collector is allowed to see list of feedback.
        response = self.client.get(self.url)
        self.assertEqual(response.status_code, status.HTTP_200_OK,
        self.assertEqual(len(, 2)

This test should return two instances of our test object and check that there are exactly 2 instances in the test database. There is also a difference between a test database and live database. We discussed this many times until we could fully understand :)

Welcome: Your first project

What We Still Want to Do:

  • add HTTP method PATCH to Feedback
  • change field weight to FloatField
  • add filters to our Feedback + some other limitations
  • refacture
  • write a Foodsaving-backend beginner guide. We have already started here.

Hackathon & Community

We attended HackDays in ImmobillienScount 11.07.-13.07. and we got very motivated with Stefan: “We can make it!”

Foodsaving founders invited us to their Hackathon: 14.07.-16.07. We met here incredibly smart people - Tilmann Becker (@tiltec), Nick Sellen (@nicksellen) and Janina Abels (@djahnie) who put their time & energy into making the saving a food waste possible.

Hackathon in Berlin Hackathon in Berlin

Enjoying saved food and coding together at the Hackathon, Photos by Nick Sellen

And we want to thank our great coaches and mentor! Most of them already appeared in our first blog post – but Derek Tingle (@tingled) is new and we are very grateful that he spent a lot of time explaining many related technical topics we needed a help with. You should see how he navigates through the shell – it’s amazing!!! :D

SoundCloud coaching company was incredibly supportive work environment! We would like to thank SoundCloud for providing us a space, working software & hardware, motivational environment and good music! We had very nice time at SoundCloud and SoundCloud people demonstrated their passion for technology that drives them to achieve amazing results. Very enriching experience for us!!!

Soundcloud Soundcloud Soundcloud

SoundCloud is a really great place to work! Photos by Ines D. Guett


Our Calls for Papers for Codemotion Berlin 2017 and PyCon Germany 2017 were successfully selected! Yay! And we are going to have this talk: “A Summer of Foodsharing – Learn How to Code in an Open Source Project” in October 2017. We are going to talk about RailsGirls community, how to get into Open Source and we will present our project Foodsaving.

@ines will fly to Ghana and Kenya in the autunm and have a look on the tech scene there. Afterwards, she would like to become a Product Manager and help to prioritize coding tasks.

Marie says:

“Developers will realize how useful it is to sketch ideas to see with Ines if their ideas are totally awesome or totally unrealistic!”

@marie will get an amazing job as Backend Engineer in some country she has never been to.

Ines says:

“If you need a talented, very committed Python Developer: Hire Marie! She is great!”