Wang Xia and I have been on RapidFTR project in these two weeks (Nov. 22 ~ Dec. 3).
We kept participating in the standup meeting at 11 a.m. every day. We picked the stories from both the Blackberry side and web application side. We often worked as QAs too, testing the program and reporting bugs in the group.
We have been kept a good relationship with other collaborators. We discussed the tech problem with other Devs(like Zabil) and acceptance criterion with the BA/Customer (like Jorge). We believe they have got a little impressed by our voice and serious work.
In this two weeks we learned a couple of things from this project.
Collaborators from different countries have their own situation every day and can't have a tight connection with others. In addition, the project happens to be a social one, and team members usually did not promise their velocity in iterations. So, we have been used to notice someone "disappeared from the world" for a long time, and sometimes with bad luck, we happened to need them at that moment but couldn't find them in any way.
At the beginning, we should introduce the tech level of ourselves to the team and announce which kind of stories we can do. That's important for team to know each member. The second is the skpye standup meeting. Everyone should tell his comments to the work he did yesterday and let others know his plan which story would be picked. The customer will concern based on one's story and the pm will know how it is going on for every contributor. The last thing here is the most common one, communication. Ask your questions, tell your concerns or comments and listen to other peoples' saying. Do these in time, professionally and friendly.
We learned how they organized the source of the project. They put a resource list on the github, telling where we can get the instructions for setting up environment, code repositories and Mingle site, etc. That's really helpful; As developers, to edit the code is the basic thing we must do to make the contribution. They use github as the code base which is quite popular in this kind of open-source project. There are two ways for us to check out and in the code. One is to ask the code owner to add our github account as a "collaborator" in his repository. Then we can get the read+write privilege to his code repo. The other is more common. We can fork a repository for us on github from the owner. Every time we update the code from the owner's repo and commit changes to our own repo. Then we send a pull request to ask the owner to fetch our revisions and do the merge.
This project has two parts. One is for Blackberry using Java language and BB simulator, the other is for web application using Ruby on Rails. We learned many tips of writing Java code under the specified JDK by BB, and how to test and debug the app with BB simulator. We also increased the knowledge for the environment and development of Ruby on Rails. Especially, we learned some new things, like the test with Rspec and Cucumber, which is related to Behavior Driven Development (BDD).
The project will have a release after this week and many teammates had announced their leaving. Maybe we will leave too, or maybe we will stay. You never know it when you are in ThoughtWorks. :]