I am now entering the senior phase of Hack Reactor. This second half of the course is focused on developing projects in (Agile-guided) teams.

Last week started off with a two-day solo project. The goal was to build a minimum viable product (MVP)— an app that works; something we could show off to our classmates on the second night. I built Mealy, (Mealify was taken :), a little app for streamlining the meal reservation process where I live. I didn’t have time to implement all the functionality I wanted to (user profiles, authentication, a billing system) but I made sure to build an the MVP first and add onto it in little chunks, right up until presentation time. I used the full MEAN stack — Node.js, Express.js and MongoDB on the back-end, AngularJS (and Bootstrap for styling) on the front-end. I learned a lot, about these technologies and also about scoping, pacing and workflow under pressure.

After MVP, we launched immediately into Greenfield. We were put into randomly chosen four-person teams. Our mission, again — build something, anything, from an entirely blank slate. And learn git, because merge conflicts are no laughing matter!

On Saturday we had our final exam as juniors, a full-day-long test called the summary assessment. It consisted of four mini-sprints, each lasting about two hours. Each challenge involved building out features of one aspect of a full-stack project. It covered almost everything we’d learned in the past six weeks. Big landscape features: Mongo and Mongoose, unit testing for database functionality, building an AngularJS front-end to interact with an API, building out a RESTful API, data structures, subclassing, and node.

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