All You need it’s a kid’s whiteboard, post-its and a lot of effort — Coding in a Weekend

I’ve never been that kind of person which learns a lot just reading and studding … I’ve been always that other kind of person, which likes to learn practicing. So in order to get more knowledge on Javascript language, creating a end to end app, using the power of Node.js, I’ve gathered some guys to do the same with me: learn coding.

these are some crazy dudes

And the consequence was a lot of hour spent learning how to use the tools and technologies, and being able to acquire more knowledge.
But, before I show you the final result, I’ll explain how I got this idea.

The Motivation

Dublin/Ireland it’s a awesome place for you(and me) who works as a developer. We have access to a large community which share knowledge and experience. It’s a so intense networking that you have to be aware about your work/life balance, and it is on this kind of environment that allows you to learn and teach technologies I’m involved … and I love it!

Since I arrived in this country, I started to be part of groups, mainly technologies meetups, but one in particular has always been my favorite, the Brazilian group called “It In Dublin”. It’s not only my favorite because there are loads of native Portuguese speakers, but it’s also the one that helped me keep my hopes of getting an IT job around here (and I got it).

But despite being a support group, it was noted that it didn’t maintain a good and steady base of older participants … and one of the complaints was the lack of ambition, being just a job board for those who recently arrived in these lands. Can you imagine a group with more than 4 thousand participants do not have any tech meetups/dojo? This is crazy!

So I’ve taken the opportunity to start a coding experience on this group, and the first one should be really small, to test if this could be successful. And for me it was.

What you would need to start a coding group?

Well, first you will need a whiteboard, you don’t need a fancy one, just this :

12-year-old whiteboard :D

and you are fine :P

post-its!!!!!!

A notebook!

wow! graphics!

and curiosity

yes! cats!

Let’s get start coding?

First Day

The first day was the day of the definition, as in a hackaton, we chose the idea of our project. We wanted something simple and very interesting to do, with few screens, little information in the future to generate a proof of concept. We chose to make a carpool application, nothing very original, but very useful for a first group.

After that, we thought: what would be the javascript framework to work on? What is the database? This part was very difficult to define. Everyone was very clear to want to use JavaScript, but Vanilla.js? React? VueJs ?

After spending a lot of time thinking, between drinks and food we defined using React and Firebase as our database.

Day 2

Matrix!

Defined what we wanted to do, the next step was to define the structure of the project. And for that, we use a lot, a lot of post-it’s :D.

And also we used, a lot, the whiteboard to make the project clear:

alsome design guys here

Once the project structure was defined, we begun the learning curve. Seen we are not all knowledgeable in React.js we spend some time between the old code, the reactjs documentation on Facebook, and a lot of try/cacht to make sure that everyone has learned a basic knowledge about the code structure. Then we start at least to code forms and produce a good and responsive code.

Of course we use a lot of bootstraps, witch the main one was the material-ui.

For the project “scrum” and organization we used Github projects, was a awesome way to push our codes and make the changes traceable.

And after a very productive day, we generated a good track in our repository, and we could say that we were able to generate two pages with form functionalities, waiting for integration with the database and google maps api.

Day 3

Firing up the database

Because this is just a POC, we didn’t was looking for a full finish app, but something that could use google maps api to autocomplete our fileds and be able to send this informations to firebase would be ok for us. And also, this is a learning group we wanted just to see a end-to-end app working… and it worked!! :D :D

The database accepting our push
Google maps autocomplete

And it’s responsive!

Opened on Iphone

But despite to almost finishing our coding, we saw that our backlog was continuous growing, so we knew we would need to separate the functionalities to another project(the version 2).

So we will push this card’s onto this new phase.

So far, the results generated was great.

Observations

Handling give ups

One thing I wasn’t expecting people could give up, but I should have expected because it is very difficult to do this type of activity for a whole weekend, you have to have a great willpower and free time to do so.
But fortunately, only 2 guys gave up, so we were able to accomplish a great part of the code I was hoping to finish.

What we missed

One thing we didn’t do was the unit testing. But since we weren’t doing pair programming, and this would be another learning curve, I thought it better not to practice this technique, mainly because we were only 3 dudes.

Where is the code?

Contribuitors!

Thank you a lot guys @Igfasouza and @AndresGrams which spent this weekend with me.

I think this weekend was a lot productive and a very good challenge. I would like to see everything set up now , but maybe we will continue contributing to this bunch of codes during the week. A lot of work to do!

Thank you for reading!

:D

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