Welcome to our blog
One lovely Saturday morning (yes, 11am is still considered “ morning ” for us developers), I met Éric Araujo (merwok) at TP1. We were both still a little sleepy when we officially met in the front hall. Although we had already heard the other speak, we had never had a face-to-face before then.
For the last few weeks, the people at Montreal-Python - namely Éric and Mathieu Leduc Hamel (mlhamel) - had been organizing this event to rally the local community around a specific project. To be more precise, Éric’s “ adopted ” baby, distutils2, which should be included in the next version of Python (3.3). On the agenda: working together to finish up the addition of important functionalities and delete any remaining legacy codes before official release.
We were expecting 10-15 people for this code sprint and luckily, space is not an issue at TP1. It took us a good 15 minutes to figure out where to set up though. With every corner of the office filled with light, it was hard to decide which section should welcome Montreal’s best programming talent, representing a wide range of skills, experience and ages.
The others began arriving shortly before noon and a magic feeling immediately began to spread. Introductions were made, computers were plugged in and everyone started to go through the distutils2 code, making sure to install the right dependencies, create Bitbucket accounts and sign the agreement respecting contributions of code before diving in.
Although the pizza arrived soon after - courtesy of TP1! - we were all too preoccupied with the tasks at hand. We did, however, take a break at 1pm to eat and charge our batteries for the day ahead. Our sprint was scheduled to last until 7pm.
Once fortified, we called a meeting in the TP1 “ war room ”. Éric quickly explained how distutils2 works, various possible controls and how it’s different from its predecessor, distutils.
We started working using the test driven development (TDD) method. This technique consists of writing tests that will, from the start, fail. Once the tests are written, we then start fixing the code. This approach makes certain that any modifications made to the code will successfully resolve the problem and not cause bugs in other parts of the library.
Our maestros Mathieu et Éric coordinated members of the team, checked code sent to the repository, and congratulated successes... and even the occasional failure.
At about 7pm, the sprint started to break up. Everyone was proud of what we had accomplished and pleased to have learned so much about the project. Some bugs were fixed and others discovered, but at the end, we added a lot of value to the code and created an experienced team that’s always ready to work together. Despite the beautiful weather outside, we spent a great and productive day working on a compelling open source project together. May seem a little crazy to some, but it was a very gratifying and fulfilling day for everyone.
See Montreal-Python's article to meet the whole sprint team.