As mentioned in our previous post, five Koombea teams participated in the RailsRumble 2012 resulting in some really awesome apps you can now test run: QAid, Tourlett, EarthNeeds.me, TravelMemories, Washa.tv. All the hard work proved to be an extremely rewarding experience.
Looking back on that weekend, we wanted to share a few things we learned from this year’s contest:
1. Know when to rest
A lot of first timers think that staying up all night is the best way to go. Experience has proven this to be wrong. You’ll get burnt out before the first day is over. It is very important to take breaks and get some sleep to clear your mind and your energy levels fresh.
2. Have a mixed team
The more skills; the better! Make sure you not only have Ruby on Rails programmers but also front end developers and designers. Otherwise your app won’t be a cool as you intended it to be. Having a good UI/UX is as important as your awesome functional tests and code.
3. Find other teams in your area
Despite it being a group based contest it helps a lot to have other people hacking nearby for support and constant feedback.
4. Big vision, small goals
Having a big vision for your app and only 48 hours is frustrating. It is critical to keep that minimum viable product extremely clear and condensed, otherwise you’ll get distracted with unnecessary optimizations or adding half baked features that will render a poor user experience.
5. Know when to blow off steam
You and your teammates enjoy building apps, and being surrounded by the same people 24/7 can get a bit overwhelming. From time to time things can get rough as people get tired. Don’t forget to play music, bring snacks, code from a comfy couch and some toys(Wii, in our case) to blow off some steam every once in a while.
And here it is, your moment of zen…