Agile Ventures experience

I have been meaning to write this blog for about an year now. You know this habit that most of us have that u put a blog in your week’s to do list and slowly prioritize the rest of the technical stuff and its left undone week in week out. Enough of my procrastination stories this blog ain’t about me, well it is somehow because I will talk about my experiences in agile and open source.

It was three months after the code9ty bootcamp when my mentor, @sigu introduced us (my bootcamp colleagues and I) to Opensource . He gave us hundreds of reasons why we should get involved in open source. After a bootcamp what next? If you don’t keep coding you will forget the stuff you learned during the bootcamp. Open source projects help you be able to keep coding and understand the technologies you learned during the bootcamp more, through implementation. You also get to learn agile behaviors and good practices. If you are lucky enough to get a community that supports their contributors then thats a plus for you.

So, I was introduced to Agile Ventures by sigu. Agile Ventures is an official UK Charity dedicated to crowd-sourced learning and project development. I went through the installation process using their github documentation which was clear and easy to follow. I had an OS related problem during installation period and the community was so supportive I remember there was this guy who installed Linux OS in his machine just to help solve my problem. They even have a channel just for installation and on boarding. I remember there was a time StellaMaris Njage and I were so frustrated with the installations and tansaku the project manager spent like 2hours on a video call with us helping with the installations until we were all set. The solutions we found in our installations were added to the on boarding documentation for future reference.

Installations were done and I was all set… so the next thing was to contribute. And here came the confidence crisis… I felt I was not ready to start contributing yet. So for about a month I could look at the tickets and feel am not up for the task. And I have come to learn that this is a common feeling among junior developers. But what Agile Ventures has, and I believe many stable open source communities have this, they have a ‘beginner friendly’, ‘newbie’ or ‘first-timers-only’ tags for junior developers just starting to contribute to the project. @tansaku went further to help me choose my ticket that required some refactoring… It was a friendly ticket with a few lines of code to be written but it helped me understand the project more and most important the process of contribution, refactoring and reviewing. After that first pull request was merged I was super excited and that motivated me to pick another issue.

I was also lucky to get a sponsorship to Agile Ventures premium thanks to tansaku again which provides private sessions with mentors among other benefits. Through Agile ventures, I have learned writing user stories and ticketing with pivotal tracker and waffle, scrums for progress reviews, updates and pair hookup, pair programming, slack communication for projects, ticket voting, Travis CI and Code climate technologies, pull requests reviews among other things. These are some of the technologies used in agile development of open source projects. These routines which seemed strange at first have became a norm. The Agile Ventures community is really supportive and comes in whenever needed to lend a hand and caters for all levels of developers. From junior developers to intermediate to full stack developers.

One of the many things that I really love about Agile ventures is it gives you a place to learn at the same time as you are helping build a project. If you get a ticket with a technology you have never used before, you learn a new technology and learn how to implement it into a project which makes you understand it better. In short, Agile Ventures developers provide their services for free in order to further develop their IT skills and contribute to the greater good.

One of my exciting moments at agile ventures was when I got to attend a scrum where @dhh was one of the participants. Yes, the one and only Ruby on Rails father. He was answering any questions the members had about rails. It was a breath taking moment for me. So yeah, Agile Ventures have really shaped me career wise and given me the sense of belonging and continuous learning. I can keep going and going about things I have learned at AV but then this blog might turn into a book. So I will stop here. Feel free to check out Agile ventures at github and probably start contributing to any of their many projects.

* Sips coffee*

*Picks another ticket *