If At First You Don’t Succeed… Sprint, Sprint Again! (Sprint 1 Retrospective)

INTRODUCTION: Looking back on this sprint, I can say that our group has performed quite well. better than expected, honestly. Perhaps I have an irrational fear of “events always going haywire”, but at least this phobia keeps me well aware of the situation (“on my toes”, you might say).

Considering the activity found on our group’s gitlab project, we can see that this sprint has consisted mainly of research write-ups, alongside some minor work for the frontend, backend and API of the IAMS.

POSITIVE FACTORS: Here are some factors of the sprint that I believe went well:

  • Our group had satisfactory distribution of work.
  • The group was able to present a “proof of concept” demo that met specifications for the current sprint. Examples include a basic frontend/backend/API system.
  • A lot of research was done during this sprint; our group was able to learn a bit about Kubernetes, VUE, Node.js and other software that is crucial for the IAMS.
  • Keycloak has not been set up, but a plan has been made to get it running by the end of the second sprint.

NEGATIVE FACTORS: Here are some factors that I believe can be worked upon:

  • The group seemed to struggle with suggestion a proper amount of weight for each issue. Specifically, we seemed to “underestimate” the difficulty of certain issues (such as setting up a Kubernetes distribution). In short, the group often weighted issues as easier than they actually were.
  • I feel as though having “more concentrated roles” within the team would be beneficial. While we had two teams (coding and research) led by a scrum master, I feel as though we can have “individual” roles. Applying roles such as “Quality Assurance”, “Presentation Director” and “Merge Coordinator” would help make a better team.

TEAM IMRPOVEMENT SUGGESTIONS: In order for the team to improve, some suggestions that I would improvise include:

  • More communication. While our group had used discord and gitlab to an impressive extent, I feel as though there can always be improvement. Additional communication can give us a better idea of our current position in the project, as well as create solutions for the next steps forward.
  • Enforcing the “Scrum Structure” more properly. This is an extension of the previous criticism (“More Communication”). In addition to standup meetings, the group should be engaging in a “Daily Scrum” meeting every day, (regardless of class)

SOLO IMPROVEMENT SUGGESTIONS: Personally, I feel as though my team worked spectacularly. If anything, I believe that I was the worst one on my team (following the Apprenticeship Pattern: “Be the Worst”). In order to improve upon my own performance, I believe that I should look at the following shortcomings:

  • Dedicate more time to the work. Unfortunately, while I am busy with other factors (such as work, other classes, and so on), this is not an excuse. This project is meant to be treated as though it is a paid job; the performance delivered should reflect a similar quality.
  • I would also like to reach out to LibreFoodPantry staff, as well as other groups, more often. Communication and cooperation are key factors to creating this massive project; each group creates their “piece of the puzzle”, and then it will all be fit together towards the end.
  • Finally, having a greater understanding of my role (such as “Coder”, “Quality Assurance”, and so on) would be crucial to future work. As of this sprint, I seemed to dabble on various topics without concentrating on anything in particular; this can lead to messy, unfinished work.

Most importantly, I would like to point out that this retrospective blog was posted late (it was meant to be done before the start of Sprint 2). This, in itself, is an error that needs to be rectified in future sprints – timeliness and containing work within the sprints is essential in order to keep the project from falling apart. It’s okay if work carries over to another sprint, but that usually needs to be planned from the get-go.

All in all, the first sprint never goes perfect. No matter how hard one tries to make it go right, something always goes wrong. The point of this lesson (and by extension, this class) is to ensure that we look back on these errors; we then perform research on them so we can modify our work habits. All of this is done to ensure that the mistakes don’t occur again in future sprints. As I look forward, I will do my best to enforce these new policies.

GITLAB Activity Links:

https://gitlab.com/LibreFoodPantry/common-services/identity-and-access-management-system (General and Documentation Repository Creation)

https://gitlab.com/LibreFoodPantry/common-services/identity-and-access-management-system/general/-/tree/APIDev (APIDev Branch, Frontend/Backend/API Creation)

https://gitlab.com/LibreFoodPantry/common-services/identity-and-access-management-system/general/-/tree/APIDev (Example of Finished Issue – Keycloak Authentication Research)

Published by Mike Morley (mpekim)

Current student at WSU. Knowledgeable of C/C++, Java and Python. Always interested in learning the basics of as many languages as possible.

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