So I like systems and routines. They are consistency. They are things that I can count on. I used to wait tables and tend bar. It could be good, quick money, but it was not predictable. You never knew if you were going to have a busy night or a dead one. I did have a lot of fun and it has helped me with soft skills as a programmer. I am, however, glad that I don’t do it anymore. I have really grown to enjoy things like weekends off and sick days. Working as a contractor, I only have one of those two right now, but I digress. For me to get this Project TMD rewrite moving at a consistent velocity, I need to get some organization and systems in place for it. This post is about me making that a reality. If you haven’t read my other posts about this project you can find them here.
The Project TMD V2 is going to be happening in steps, so now is probably a good a time as any to go ahead and put the code into a GitHub repo. This is going to allow me to have a good history of my changes that I am making to the project. I also will be able to branch and add other features that may be just experimental and never get fully realized. And if I really get it set up properly, maybe someone reading this will be able to help me out or add some functionality that I hadn’t thought of.
I already had some code written and I needed to figure out how to get that up into a git repository hosted on GitHub. GitHub is the largest online git code repository and was recently bought by Microsoft for a great deal of money. You find a great deal of open source projects are hosted here. If you have been programming and used a third party library, chances are you have used something that is has it’s source code on GitHub. Starting this year, they have begun offering unlimited free private repos with up to three contributors. There are other online git repository sites such as GitLab and BitBucket, but GitHub is what I am most familiar with.
One of the neatest things that they do is Hacktoberfest. This past October, my buddy Schuster Braun got me to take part in this, and I made my first commits to other open source projects for people that I didn’t know. I have used many open source projects over my development career and it was nice to get involved and give back. Oh, and for making 5 accepted commits, I got a T shirt and some stickers! Not too shabby! But you don’t have to wait until October to get involved and commit to some open source projects, go ahead and find something out there now!
As I have covered in my other posts, I have some code already for the project. So first I needed to create a repository on GitHub through their website. There is a good walk through on the GitHub site about how to go about this and it is super straightforward.
My next thing to do is to set up tasks for exactly what features and functionality that I want to add to this project. I could have used the boards they have added to GitHub to track these, but I decided to use Trello. Trello is a nice tool that allow you to set up lists with cards in them that you can easily drag and reorder or move to different lists on your board. There are other projects out there like Jira, but I felt that was overkill for this. I really love Jira for other things where you have more regimented collaboration. With Trello if I think of something on the way home on the bus, I can just pull up the app and add a new task or add a note to a card already on the board. I also can see what kind of things they have added to Trello recently. In the past year or so, they were bought by Atlassian, who also owns Jira, so I am interested in seeing what changes have been made. And lastly, I was able to add a cool photo background to my board to give it a little pizzazz! His name is Benjamin Suter and you can check him out on Unsplash. That is also his picture at the top of the post, really good stuff!