Pet Package: A fun project

Well, we started with a grand thought. Alexa integration, voice technologies etc. Collaboration as they say! — we moved quickly to understand what complexities are involved. While Alexa skill building in itself isn’t that difficult, integration with other things we had in mind and meeting project requirements within the timelines could have been difficult. Hence, we moved to something relatively less complex and meets all project requirements. Welcome to Pet Package development!

To start with, what is Pet Package?

Too many websites out there with lot of content but not what I call “industry specific APIs”. So Taylor, Sajeel, Kevin and I said let us utilize couple of APIs and not storing whole lot, let us prove the point. See below:

Team work

I felt most of the project work is easy as we have star performers. When you have Kevin, UI will be A+ quality and he did an amazing job. Obviously with Sajeel around, start writing code and he will jump on it, break it (and very often fix it too) and challenge you with meaningful tasks. It was fun to do google maps API integration work with him.

Taylor took the Pet Finder integration completely on his own and it was good to see he delivered exact parameters that we needed for our integration. We got 70% of the project in the initial 3 days and later struggles were:

1. GitHub merges: I will have to read this again and make sure I get my concepts right. Sajeel worked extra hard to make the merges happen. He will be good release manager!

2. Google maps won’t show up properly. It is not really code issue (I learnt this in a hard way after re-writing the code few times). It is a matter of enabling few things on Google developer account.

Last minute addition

In the last minute, we decided to make some use of Firebase and so came up with a simplistic reporting kind of proof-of-concept. We used Fusioncharts for rendering charts. It is not integrated with main branch. We shall do so when we build more functionality. Screenshot below: