OSD700 Afterthoughts

Note: posted a little late but I wanted to wrap up the OSD700 conclusion

So we've finished the Winter 2022 semester and did I set myself up for a tough one. I have to admit it was underestimated my ability to keep up and a lot of things were piled up on top of school, it was a little hectic to say the least. Nevertheless, I still want to wrap up, and conclude my OSD700 journey.

Release 3.0.1 .... and .2, .3, and

so on and so forth. Safe to say we haven't 100% "successfully" shipped the release. But it's up and running okay on production.... at least it looks like it. Our Supabase migration didn't quite turn out as well as hoped, so we've got a major bug on prod right now and our feeds won't update with new posts. 

Tue really deserved credit for doing majority of the debugging and releasing, Duke also has been trying to come up with fixes for whatever's going wrong in prod. But right now I think everyone is trying to catch a break, the semester's just ended, everyone had a pretty heavy last 2 weeks and I'm sure some of us are slowly but surely monitoring telescope to eventually get this feature going right.

I hope that eventually we find that fix and get Supabase up and running on prod. That was one of Dave's last wishes coming up to the 3.0 release

OSD700

So we've concluded the OSD700 course and I want to wrap it up and share my thoughts on the whole journey.

Telescope

Telescope when I started working on it again at the beginning of this semester, was a far different web app then when I had worked on it 2 years ago in OSD600. It had all these new microservices, a new front end, satellite as well, it was overwhelming at first but eventually I grew familiar with Telescope and was able to contribute all the while learning new technologies at the same time.

It was great learning even more about Docker, especially considering the fact that contributing to Telescope 2 years ago in OSD600 was what taught me Docker in the first place. I had never worked with microservices before, so jumping into it in Telescope was such a great opportunity. Tools like pnpm were also really neat, since there's an insane amount of dependencies in our telescope monorepo. Then there were new technologies that the team have been implementing towards 3.0. There's Supabase of course, which is just perfect for this course so much since its Open Source!

It's always nice working on telescope because it's a guarantee you'll come out of it with learning something new. Something that was new to me this semester was also Sheriffing

Project Managing

Sheriffing was something I hadn't done before, taking lead in a team of really talented software developers and having a go at the wheel. At first you essentially keep everyone in check, know a little bit about everything, and help steer the direction to where the next release is heading. But nearing 3.0, Dave wanted us to prioritize different features than the previous releases, he emphasised on wanting new code, so the Sheriff's from that week onward had to help work Telescope towards that direction

It's funny seeing everyone take turns getting out of their comfort zone and see the different approaches in engaging with everyone and getting responses out of them. For Example, Alex would really take charge in her weeks as Sheriff. Although she might not have lots of knowledge on the different areas of Telescope, she tries to leverage her organizational skills to present the team with issues she's deduced as high priority. She's also been pushing the use of Github Projects, which is a kanban board. Meanwhile, someone like Jerry, who is a great programmer and has pretty decent knowledge on most areas of Telescope, makes it easier for him in triages to talk about different issues.

I enjoyed my weeks as sheriff, it helped me gain insight somewhat on what PMing is like, leading an hour and half long meeting (lots of talking), getting familiar with the different areas of the project, and really taking ownership of it. I've also got to hand it to my co-sheriffs, Kevin and Roxanne, they really carried the Sheriff responsibility in those weeks.

Blogging

I lacked in this area a whole lot and it was due to the fact that I wasn't motivated or had any inspiration to blog about the progress I had made towards telescope those weeks. And admittedly it's because I didn't spend enough time working on telescope to have anything of value to write about. My courses this semester were heavy and I had mismanaged my time. It's either that or maybe I was procastinating and making excuses. Regardless I still feel like I could've put a lot more effort working on telescope to contribute more significantly.

Despite that, I still want to say all I can about my favourite things about this course and not what I regret.

Conclusion

The too late didn't read version is OSD700 is an amazing course, and I'm sure most if not all my peers agree with this sentiment. Is it an easy course? Definitely not, but is it hard? That really depends on how much effort you put into it. There's no "assignments" or "marks" and it doesn't really feel like a class, it feels more like a team of software developers that need to come together and all bear responsibility in driving a project forward. It's a course that will give back as much as you work for it. But I think most importantly it gives you here a valuable opportunity to work on open source projects (Telescope in this case) with new technologies to learn and a chance to contribute to something. 

If I could redo this course I definitely would, I really enjoyed working with this semester's team of developers, everyone were really talented programmers and always seemed to know much more than me. But Telescope is an Open Source project after all, so I'm hoping I can just come back from time to time to see where it's at and have a chance to work on it again.

Lastly, shout outs to David Humphrey! An amazing professor and even greater mentor. The mastermind behind the course and the real Sheriff of Telescope. If you go to Seneca and have the opportunity to take a course of his (assuming it's related to computing) You definitely should and don't take it for granted :)

Thanks for reading

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