What we learned from Azendoo Summer of Code
Last week the Azendoo team organized a great "get together to build something new" event at the office, called: The Azendoo Summer of Code! Our objective was to develop 1 new product in just 3 days… Quite a challenge right?!
A Coding Camp has a few objectives: to get out of the routine, to do something different, to learn new skills, to create a product from scratch and finally to have fun together!
The concept is quite simple, the day before the Coding Camp started, each team member pitched their product idea (4 slides/5min pitch). Then the team selected one of the projects (under one condition; the project must be doable in 3 days). In the end, we chose Marie-Aline's project: A web (and mobile) application that localizes all the food trucks nearest your location.
The morning of the first day, we chose the teams: Product / Back End / Front End. The purpose of a coding camp is also to change the team's roles, so that everyone can do something different from his/her usual job. The Back End dev guys did some Front End and vice versa, the Product Guys did some dev, and the Marketing peeps did some Product. One moto: mix and match the team's skills!
It was quite a challenge, but we did our best to learn our new jobs.
The first day was mainly about defining the features and building the architecture. Unfortunately, the Front End lost a lot of time trying to build a new front environment, and the Product team did not segmented and divided the tasks well enough. So it was a bit confusing…
Plus, the whole team spent a lot time trying to decide on a name. In the end, we came up with « StreetCuisine » but we weren't really satisfied…
The second day was an intensive coding day. People worked in pairs, learning from one another, and it worked really well. We built an API for the food trucks and defined a front style guide.
Our main error on Day 2 was organizing a barbecue/party at the end of the day. As you can imagine, we were not very fresh on the morning of Day 3…
OK so the third and last day was not the most productive… We tried and finally succeeded in having the app in prod! I can't show you the product although it is not yet finished but we'll keep on working on it during our free time, and I'll let you know if we come up with something great!
We learned a lot from this experience. It was the first time that we tried this type of exercice and the whole team felt really great about it. Not only did we learned new skills, but it was really interesting to see how people were taking their new roles very seriously, and wanted to push the app on time. Unfortunately, we were not able to release the product, but now we are even better prepared for next year's Azendoo Summer Camp!
Every startup team should defiantly try this exercise!