Housing Partners

Dev week round up

This week at Housing Partners we’ve been holding Dev Week in celebration of the life of Alan Turing, whose birthday falls on 23rd June. The father of modern computing, Turing helped to invent the concept of Artificial Intelligence, and also the concept of a programable digital computer. He is said to have shortened World War II by two years by inventing the machine that broke the ciphers in the Nazi “unbreakable” Enigma machine at Bletchley Park.

We have spent the week showcasing the development team at Housing Partners and acquainting the rest of the business with our software development lifecycle. At the start of the week we called for volunteers from throughout the business to lend a hand building an app that would solve our parking woes. Along with this, we held dev-themed competitions daily in an effort to give the wider team an insight into some of the development work the dev team undertake on a day-to-day basis.

Here’s a rundown of how the week went…

Day 1

We kicked off with a coding meeting for those that had volunteered to throw some ideas around and begin the development of our app. Three of our team worked on changing the plain text emails into well-styled HTML emails. While Director of Finance, Lesley and HR Advisor, Olivia worked with Junior Developer, Mitch Cooper to add page titles, favicons and lock down the site to our internal IP address.

Monday also saw the Codebreaker Challenge – a company-wide quiz to be completed for a prize in Friday’s award ceremony.

The second competition of the week also opened; the naming of the parking app in development.

Day 2

We started the day by announcing the winning app name: ‘Parkin’ Hell’ from our Management Accountant, Alasdair McGillivray!

With a name decided, it was time to open up the competition for the design of the logo for our Parkin’ Hell app… By lunchtime we already had a good start on designs:

Throughout the week the office voted for their winning design, which would be announced in Friday’s award ceremony.

More good progress was made on Parkin’ Hell; Sales and Customer Ops Manager, Lynn Darling and UX Designer, Rob worked with Developer, James Brettell to add a copyright notice to the site and to include sounds when a car has been parked. UX Designer, Jack and our Implementation Manager, Zoe worked with Developer Team Leader, Sonia Kurian on adding popups to the site. Finally, Management Accountant, Alasdair worked with Developer, Nigel Rutter to add database auditing to emails, so the volume being sent out could be tracked.

Day 3

We opened up some games on Day 3 of Dev Week, where the office paired up to play Scrum Values. Teams had to match the scrum roles with the values – the fastest team would be announced in Friday’s presentation!

We also tested the office with a quiz; entrants were tested on their dev knowledge and how well they knew the team.

With the end of the Parkin’ Hell development sprint fast approaching, the app was progressing well. IT Systems Administrator, Ollie Barker and Help Desk Support, Abi created a stats page to calculate how full the car park is. Product Owner, Ollie Florence and Technical Implementation Analyst Ant Garratt worked with Developer, Matt Kopacz to add a manifest file to the app to specify landscape mode.

Finally, Director of Product, John Carthew, Business Development Manager Jono Proctor and Help Desk Team Leader, Nirvana worked with Developer Team Leader Anna Davies to add a user’s favourite quote to the bottom of the email when they block someone in.

Day 4

Day 4 kicked off with another challenge. Participants were given 15 minutes to show how good their testing skills were with the God Challenge:

All app efforts came to fruition on Day 4, as Help Desk Support, Tammy and Compliance Manager, Jason worked with Developer, Andy Davies to style the SVG car park with CSS, while Implementation Manager, Jennie Atkins and Help Desk Support, Dot worked with Lead Developer, Dan Jones to insert all the real cars into the database.

Day 5

It’s been a pleasure to work with all the volunteers on our app-building project this week and to see the office get so involved in the development cycle. The app is complete… here’s a first look:

And the winners are:

Codebreaker Challenge: Business Analyst, Gareth Evans

‘Name the app’: Management Accountant, Alasdair McGillivray with ‘Parkin’ Hell’

Scrum Values: Management Accountant, Alasdair McGillivray & Product Owner, Ollie Florence with 2 mins 17 seconds

Dev Knowledge Quiz: Director of Finance, Lesley Westwood & Developer, Andy Davies

Logo Design: IT Systems Administrator, Ollie Barker

God Challenge: Developer Team Leader, Anna Davies

Best Coders: Implementation Manager, Jennie Atkins & Help Desk Support, Dot Eriksen

Congratulations to you all and thank you for getting involved in Dev Week!