MIÀM - Overall project
- Developing responsive interfaces
- Working as a team
- Leading a team
- Making code architecture choices
- Prensenting advancements during committees
- Helping developers achieve their tasks
- Using V-model as a development process
I participated (along with 45 other students) in building and managing the final annual project at Institut G4, which took more than 1.000 man-days to complete. I held the role of front-end technical manager.
Context & project aim
That year, the project (named MIÀM for ‘Mon Intranet À Moi’) consisted in building an app that would help NGO Entrepreneurs du Monde in managing their ICI programme. The app needed to support management of training, hindrances, contacts, documents and more by the entrepreneurs participating in the programme and the Entrepreneurs du Monde staff, and to have built-in permissions, calendar and notification systems. The app also needed to be available both using desktop and mobile.
These final projects exist in part to teach V-model to Institut G4 students so obviously that was one of the constraints. And most of the project was (sadly) done remotely due to Covid.
It was a great experience to work on this project with my whole year group, especially since we were building software for the greater good! The system is still used by Entrepreneurs du Monde to this day so it’s always good to know you did something useful :)
We chose to build a web app because that would allow us to develop once and deploy on all platforms, and the back-end team chose Laravel + Orion as their framework.
Angular made sense since the app would be complex and require a lot of shared context and processes, in addition to a strong components system. We also liked that it encourages a lot (and even forces, sometimes) to use best practices because most developers on the project didn’t have an extensive experience with front-end development prior to it.
We leveraged Nextcloud and its API as the document-management system of the app. We also made an extensive use of GitLab’s CI/CD pipelines throughout the project, and that made us save a lot of testing/merging time and complexity.
Problem solving strategy
Of course we ran into a lot of bumps throughout a big project like this, but one of the biggest bottlenecks was probably the time it took to measure quality.
Our response was to integrate SonarQube to the CI/CD pipeline so that it would generate a report each time a developer pushes on his branch. This saved us a lot of time because most of the issues were detected by the system and didn’t require any human input.
We kept a human review process because the automated system didn’t catch all the issues, especially architectural issues or those more specific to our project, and ignoring them wasn’t compatible with our quality standards. But this review process was made a lot faster and easier for everyone!
- You have to really design how the different participants in a project should communicate (when and using what tool depending on the kind of information) for it to be really smooth, and I think we found a good balance in the context of remote work
- It’s really important to ask the person that will eventually perform a task to make the estimation, and to stick to it even if you have doubts
- I think this project helped to solidify a lot my ability to review other developers’ code and specifically to select the most relevant feedback to give