Team Popcorn says Tschüss
We spent our summer of code working on the Nextcloud contacts app. Originally built with the Angular.js framework, we supported app maintainer John to migrate it over to Vue.js. With the date for the Beta release now approaching we can report our work has been successful and provided us with a lot of insight and knowledge along the way. Some of our work has also made it into the official NPM package for Nextcloud vue components
Team Popcorn’s top 8 highlights of the summer of code
- Coding in person with app maintainer John
- Docker workshop with coach Victor
- First PR merged into vue branch
- Social gathering with coaches and mentors
- Learning Vue.js
- Team meetings on the train
- Trouble shooting issues together
- Meeting contributors and our mentor John at the Nextcloud conference
🎶 Finding our Rhythm and getting Agile
Team Popcorn was committed from the start to creating a work environment that would allow both of us to maximise our personal growth and enjoyment of the summer. We held weekly meetings on Mondays which we ran in an Agile format. Its purpose was to refactor our work flow and analyse how we could increase our productivity, but also to improve our experience and allow for personal growth alongside contributing meaningful work to the project.
One thing we found was that by splitting tasks up into manageable and clear goals we felt a lot more satisfaction and less frustration with our work. At first we started working on our own fork of the project but we quickly moved over to our own branches in the master repository so we could keep our work closer to the master branch. We went further still and created issues and made branches for smaller parts of code so we could make more regular PRs.
We also had to address that we both work differently, have different knowledge areas and have different lives outside of the Summer of Code. Communication has been key and talking openly about our feelings has given us the chance to approach subjects before they became issues and ensure we were both getting what we needed from the programme.
As the RGSoC is about learning the skills for working in the tech industry, we also set up knowledge share sessions with some of our coaches to gain more knowledge on topics ranging from Docker to BEM and CSS structuring. We will also be running a few more before the end of the programme.
Team Popcorn’s update titles
For our daily updates we decided to create a format for our titles and turn them into popcorn flavours. We asked our coaches, mentor, family and well whoever was around to give us three things. The base of our question was a food, a colour and an adjective but we changed it around a little each week
Here are our top 6 flavours
- Flaming Pink Spaghetti Popcorn
- Pipoca brincalhona de Paçoca Amarela
- Tired Grey Croissant Popcorn
- Königsblau Reggae-Feverish Watermelon Popcorn
- Lime Green Glamorous Praline Pecan Popcorn
- Thankful #0082C9 Kumquat Popcorn
On this September day, with no distance from the program to provide perspective, I can safely say that the summer of 2018 is going to have repercussions on my work and life for years to come. Though I may not be able to articulate all the changes I have gone through, the degree to which I have been challenged is undeniable. One of the greatest benefits I have observed so far is that RGSOC has helped me become familiar with unfamiliarity.
Exhibit A: our first week of the summer of code. During this time I was introduced to Vue.js, the offices of Absolventa, working with a teammate (the indomitable Jessica), German keyboards, our wonderful contingent of coaches, RGSOC communication requirements and a gruelling schedule that would hopefully enable me to continue my new job as a full-stack developer while participating in the program. This is without mentioning the changes that were still to come. Having to juggle two remote repositories, a million local ones, strange forks, branches, trees. Vuex. The work process of the app maintainer (yay skjnldsv!) and collaborating remotely. Linting. Getting uncomfortable with CSS, up close and personal with git. What it means to migrate a project.
This constant exposure to novelty has proved to me in a clearer way than ever before that the strangeness of a new beginning doesn’t last. I can now much more easily see past my comfort zone to the day when it turns into a skill or an insight that I can call mine. This is how I was able to quickly fix a branch at work by cherry picking commits even though I had never done it before and to impress my boss along the way. The most significant aspect of the incident was that I sought out the challenge and I did so with confidence, i.e. feeling completely lost for much of the past six months, surviving and realising that coding is not nearly as fun when you know what you’re doing.
Team Popcorn’s top resources
- ohshitgit (Helpful git commands)
- Vue-multiselect (Multiselect component for Vue framework)
- Bem 101 (Article about CSS Bem (CSS structuring))
- ohmyz.sh (framework for managing Zsh configuration, particularly useful because of autocomplete!)
- Code Complete (book given by coach Lora)
- Dev.to (blog about software development/watercooler)
I have certainly learned a lot about programming and contributing to Open Source during the summer, however what was perhaps less expected is that I have also learned a lot about work flows and team work. Our weekly agile meetings and talking with team mate Arati about how we could streamline our workflow gave me a lot of insight to how this may work in a future position. Something else that was new to me was working in an office environment. Both my previous jobs were more physical and in varying work spaces. I have really enjoyed working at our coaching company ABSOLVENTA’s office and I am incredibly thankful to them for providing us not only with computers and workspaces but also a safe, friendly environment to work in.
During the summer of code I was successful in finding a position as a software developer at Ecosia (the search engine that plants trees 🌳). I am so happy to be able to continue my journey and thankful to RGSoC which has helped me so much to prepare for this next step.
I am also inspired by all our coaches, mentors, supervisors and the RGSoC organisers to give back to the community. I am already actively involved in the local chapter of PyLadies and as part of my new position will be able to take time to lead community activities. I hope to be able to participate in future RGSoC sessions as a coach or supervisor and support others on their journey into tech!
We definitely could not have done this without the support of the following people. Thank you for making our summer of code inspirational, productive, and most of all fun!
- Our fantastic coaching company Absolventa
- Our amazing team of coaches: Lora,Markus,Camila,Kaja & Victor
- Our supervisor Neta
- And the one and only @skjnldsv for his patience, guidence and friendship!
- Nextcloud community, espcially Xheni, Jona, Jos and Jan
- Our friends and family for understanding and support during some challenging times
- Arati’s work for being flexible with her schedule so she was able to work and participate in RGSOC at the same time
- RGSOC and the broader community for giving us this opportunity
- And let’s not forget our brilliant mascot Popcorn 🐾
Over and Out!
Arati & Jessica AKA Team Popcorn @TeamPopcornBer