Sunday 30 November 2014

playing with meteor some more...

Continuing with the playing with meteor.
I've now deployed where I am to I had a bit of a problem with this as when you deploy to meteor you need you username.  When you login on the website you use your email address, however when deploying you need your "username" something I set up about a year ago and haven't used much since. I couldn't remember or find it on the website.
Eventually as is often the case stack overflow showed me the way.
It's slow going in between cinema trips (go and see Paddington, it's very good) and work, but I'm getting there and I'm really enjoying it.  I continued with the clean code book last night (there's that pay me money link again) it's interesting but I don't think I'm quite getting it yet.  I've also kept the github repo up to date if anyone is interested.
I've ended up creating a helper function in javascript (in the step_item.js file) that I'm really not happy with.  It works and so I'll keep it there for now with an eye to refactoring later.  There's a couple of ways I am currently thinking of doing that: Putting it into a global client scope or putting the logic into the template. I'm not over the moon about either of those and I'm hoping as I continue with the tutorial book ( I'll find a better solution.

I know that meteor does allow me to run unit tests, but I've not got to that point in the book.  If I'm still getting frustrated with the code clean book I'll start to skip ahead.  At the moment I'm doing this project for fun so I'm doing the fun bits, I'm a little concerned that I'm going to spend a fair chunk of time writing unit tests for existing code, something that I have depressing experience of and am not really looking forward to.

Saturday 29 November 2014

starting to build an app

I've started to go back through the meteor book it really is very good.  I've previously found a few youtube videos and some other bits.  The book is great and seems to have gone in a lot better. I'll have to re-visit the project I worked on previously as I feel I'm now a lot clearer with how this works.

If anyone is interested the github repo is here: I'll sort out that a deploy location at meteor later.

I've also started playing with some user stories if you're interested they're here: I spent longer looking for the cards (that I'm sure are somewhere in the house) than I did writing the stories.

It's been a fun evening writing some code or at least copying it and getting it going.

moving forward slowly, but in an agile way...

For a variety of reasons (mostly 2 that are small and under 4 years old) I've not been able to start on the guts of this.  So I've been continuing to look at the tools I'm going to use.
At my work we try to be agile (though not always as successful as we might be we're not doing bad). So having put together a wireframe (see previous post starting on christmas) I'm now looking at sorting out some user stories.  I'm not sure how I'll manage sprints and exciting things like velocity, but I'll try and figure out a way.
If you're not sure what the terms above are all about I'd recommend a couple of interesting books on Agile:
I've just started reading this and I'm finding it really interesting.  I'm not certain I agree with everything but will give it a read.
The other book is:
This is the book our head of development recommended for us to read just as I was joining so I did, I still find it useful to return to it and see how I'm doing.
Both of those links have my special amazon give me money code in them so if you do buy them I end up with some money...

So with all of that in mind I took a look through some sites about writing user stories, it's something that I feel we don't always get right.  Having read about 5 different sites this morning (there are thousands of them) I think my favourite was this:
The reason is the way it breaks down the acceptance criteria into testable pieces.  The other point, that lots of the sites mentioned was that it used pen and paper something as noted earlier I'm a big fan of.
When I've written a few I'll post them up here.

Thursday 27 November 2014

checking out some of the tools I'm going to use to build Christmas

So I've already said I'm going to be building this using meteor that's a javascript platform for building apps.  I've played with it a little before and am quite looking forward to the idea of building something using it.
I've been meaning to get my head around sublime text for ages, so I'll be writing things using that or brackets which I've played with before and quite like.
If I'm using meteor I'm going to end up with bootstrap which I've used a little before but as with the other tools mentioned never actually got something from start to end with it.  I'll also admit my wireframe was at least a little inspired by bootstraps panels which I'll be using plenty of I suspect and I think the panel with footer may solve my issue of showing which items need to be completed first.
That's all for now as I'm off out to see some Christmas lights after work.

Wednesday 26 November 2014

starting on christmas

I started on the Christmas dinner application (see earlier post)
So I have spent a couple of hours this evening putting together some wireframes...
I started with pen and paper
A very quick scribble
I've used a pile of wireframing tools at work, but for this I didn't have access to them without paying or turing on the work laptop and at that point I'd end up working.
So I thought I'd see what I could find for free.  Typing "wireframe tool" into google found me I played with this for about 10 minutes before I gave up on it.  I just couldn't get it to do things like adding text, so I looked for something else.
Here I found I really liked this, it was intuitive, easy to use and I managed to put together something that I'm quite pleased with.
Hopefully I'll be able to start working on this tomorrow night but realistically it will probably be over the weekend before I do any more.
Mouth watering

Here's a link to the wireframes in their current state:
If you can see anything that you think really won't work (or an obvious improvement) please shout below.

interesting things from the web

So I saw a couple of interesting things recently on other blogs:

1. Chrome's blackboxing:
A really interesting and useful idea for easing debugging.

2. It's not my fault

This was more to do with what's happened to me a lot at work recently, where I've been torn from project to project and have watched my productivity plummet. I'm sure no one's surprised by what it says, but I find it nice to read something that basically tells me it's not my fault.
I loved the user story builder that's there as well.

christmas dinner

So I'm cooking Christmas dinner this year for an increasingly large number of folks...
This is going to require a little more planning that a usual roast dinner, so looking for some help I sought out an app to help with the timing.  What I was after was something that I could put in a number of tasks into, how long they would take, when I wanted the last one to finish and it would provide for me a list of when to do everything.
Something like:
Prep Turkey                12:00
Turn Oven on               12:20
Put Turkey in Oven         12:30

Having searched through the google app store and Apple's and the found nothing that did this (I even looked at some project management things) I thought I'd knock something together in excel (I even looked for existing templates I could steal).

Then I thought well if I'm going to do this, why not have some fun with it...
I've been playing with meteor for a little while and although this isn't really something that it's meant for it's definitely something that could do it.
So that's my plan for the next few evenings or so, build something that I can use to project manage Christmas dinner.

Obviously I'll let you know how it goes.