Capstone: Sprint Reflection 6

Sprint 6 was the final sprint of the semester. We rounded up this sprint with an unfinished solution to issue APTS-254. Over the course of this sprint, we were feeling really good on our understanding of this issue. We required quite a bit of clarification from the Ampath team. After getting some really good clarification we found that the code we needed to work on was in an entire different directory from the one we had been previously working in. Once we finally found where we should be working, we began digging in deep into the issue. The first thing we noticed is that this issue was associated with their ETL server implementation. None of us on the team had previous understanding of what an ETL server was so we I did some digging. I found a few resources online (Here’s a good brief description) that I summarized for the group. The idea was fairly simple, except the way the Ampath team was using ETL was basically by skipping the Load portion and just passing the transformed data to the end user as a notification.

I had a really good understanding of the issue at this point and even began writing some code that I thought might work for this specific issue. Part of the major issue that stopped us from being able to test this solution was the fact that we were unable to test that our solutions actually worked before committing changes. In order to test our solutions we were going to need a running ETL server. In the end I was kind of bummed we weren’t able to resolve another issue before semester’s end. But I felt good in the things I learned from trying to resolve this issue.

I would love to continue working on these issues in the future but with all my personal projects and the fact that I will be starting a new job (as a Software Developer) on the 22nd, I don’t plan on having a lot of extra time. All in all I really enjoyed working on Angular 2 and seeing how a large scale project like Ampath was built.

Capstone Project: Sprint 2 Reflections

Another sprint down! This sprint was much more exciting then previous sprints. This sprint we were finally able to get OpenMRS and Ampath running locally on our machines so we could fiddle with it! I have a tendency to probe things I don’t understand until I either 1, understand them or 2 break them. Luckily this time was the former over the latter. Part of our previous sprint was to re-write an Ampath module, specifically the authentication. This was to help us learn how the REST API works and to generally learn how Angular works. We broke our sprint down into a few steps.

  1. Remove all traces of an authentication module from the Ampath directory tree.
  2. Attempt to rebuild a basic html/css of the original Ampath login page.
  3. Creating the Authentication routing so when we visit localhost it will successfully show us the html page we had just created.
  4. Make sure the login button successfully authenticates the user.

These four basic steps were what we felt as a scrum team, each individual could finish in the time we had for the given sprint. Unfortunately for me, because I enjoying coding and learning new things so much, I finished this by day 3 of our approximately 8 day sprint cycle. This left me with nothing to do, but plenty of time on my hands. I took that time to start researching TDD inside of Angular and how to write Karma tests. I really like the Karma framework and the way you simply declare what a test should be doing. I feel that it makes your testing output extremely easy to read, which is especially nice when you are showing it off to your wife who is by no means a software developer. But in the case of the real world, it gives someone A LOT of insight into what your code is supposed to do by them simply running test.


Tomorrow we start Sprint 3. From my understanding we are going to become familiar with JIRA and Ampaths issue tracking, so we can start (hopefully) resolving some issues for them! I am very exciting to be finally diving deep into this project and I hope to make some significant changes!

The Clean Coder: Chapters 9 & 10

The Management. Such an interesting topic for a book dedicated to becoming a professional. What Uncle Bob is talking about here is two distinct forms of management; personal management and business management. Interestingly enough, these two topics become intertwined quite often. The first instance in which this appears in the book is when he talks about meetings. When the section starts on meetings Uncle Bob stated something I’ve been saying for years now.

There are two truths about meeting.
1. Meetings are necessary.
2. Meetings are huge time wasters.

My current position requires me to attend an occasional meeting, typically conference call style. The one thing I have found is that these meetings are very important to keep people up to date on whatever the contents of the meeting are and it helps get every one on the same page. However, every meeting I have been apart of was by no means short. I believe the shortest meeting I was ever apart of still lasted 45 minutes and by the end I walked out with no more knowledge then I had gone in with. Having had these experiences, when I saw Uncle Bob’s statement about the two truths of meetings I felt relieved that I wasn’t the only one that felt this way. Uncle Bob went on to talk about the different meetings that are had in a Scrum methodology of software development. Reading his thoughts on how these scrum meetings should go is very interesting. Currently with the Capstone class at WSU we are using Scrum and I can see how some of these meetings could go very long. I believe my team and I have done a good job and avoiding wasted time during these meetings, though.

The rest of chapter 9 covers ways to stay focused. Fortunately for me, most of these methodologies or theories appear to be common sense to me and I didn’t take away that much new information from these paragraphs.


Chapter 10 talks about estimates. Interestingly enough, I’ve had to create a few estimates in my line of work. Granted these were extremely small scale and usually completed in under an hour. The thing I learned from creating those estimates was, it’s incredibly hard to estimate time for when things go wrong.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post I listened to a podcast (You can find it here ) on software estimation a few months back. This chapter from Uncle Bob felt like a refresher on the things talked about in the podcast. What I find most fascinating about this subject, is that in my field an estimate is occasionally taken as “set-in-stone” and “done-deal” type of artifacts. However, that’s what business has turned it into and that was never what estimates were intended to be used for.

I don’t have too much more to say about estimates for software, seeing as I haven’t had to ever create one yet. However, I know when my time comes to finally use this information, I will be referring back to Uncle Bob!

Capstone Project: Week 3 Reflections

Yet another week here and gone. This weeks reflections will be fairly brief due to it being the end of our sprint and having a weekend with nothing to work on. However, we did have a sprint retrospective this week due to our sprint completion! The retrospective went well. Our team has really great communication and that has helped us, so these retrospectives are just re-caps of things we found during the week.

One of the major issues we discussed was with our daily stand-ups. Due to us having to all do them remotely there leaves a lot open for loosely worded statements. We were using a lot of “I’ll try” or “I might get it done” and we wanted to clear up this language and be more precise. We found that two things happened when we became more precise.

  1. Others trusted what we said and knew we were going to get done what we said.
  2. We held ourselves personally accountable to truly get the things done that we said we were going to.

These two things I feel are very important for any scrum team!


We did our first real sprint planning today and I am very excited to start working with the AMPATH code and seeing what true professional software looks like!