Codefests should also accelerate in-flight projects

Prototyping new technology is exciting and important but speeding up current projects is equally valuable to business.

A colleague emailed me this week about the next FNB codeFest which is being held 28 Sept – 2 Oct. She explained her team was keen to get involved but it would put strain on a big release that was due two weeks afterwards. I replied that her team could work on their release at codefest and use it as a 6 day sprint to help achieve the deadline. [paragraph 1 of 5]

Our expanded 6 day format includes sufficient ideation before the actual 24 hour coding marathon (read here about how this avoids too many hammers and not enough nails). We also have a full day set aside for technical setup and team presentations. Teams can already start work during these two days and only need to declare to the judges at what stage they were at when the 24 hour coding marathon period starts (read here about codefests and prizes). [2/5]

A full day just after the coding marathon is for planning the implementation of the prototype. The “SDLC Factory” ensures that when teams get back to the office they have a plan for taking their project live. This makes the event much more than a lot of coding and drinking coffee, it creates tangible value for teams who use the 6 days as a sprint for their project and walk away with a big step forward in all aspects. [3/5]

Quickly getting to working software in a project is difficult in complex environments where there is a tendency to over-analyse. This is not unique to waterfall projects and neither is it always solved by working Agile (read here about how Agile sprints help your project). If the dev team knows the basic requirements and work in a room with 200 other programmers, no meetings, plenty of coffee and prizes for collaboration it is highly likely they will get some real work done! [4/5]

The FNB codeFest doesn’t require teams to work on something new and this increases its value for business. I’m thrilled that my colleague’s team have now committed they will be at the next FNB codeFest and I am certain it will be useful for their project. They may even win some prizes for innovation and collaboration – these elements are crucial for all software development; whether new technology or in-flight projects. [5/5]

Read this article on LinkedIn.

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