PlayWithMagic – Reflections on Milestone 3

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PlayWithMagic.org fosters an online community around an online tool that allows amateur magicians to post renditions of well-known routines and get feedback from their peers as well as professionals.

PlayWithMagic.org also allows magicians to post their routines as sets. Once the set has been posted, PlayWithMagic.org will automatically process the saved set and suggest improvements to refine the set based on the venue, type of magic performed, and duration of the set.

PlayWithMagic.org also allows other magicians in the community to comment on the sets that magicians have created to suggest additions and refinements to the sets that have been created by amateur magicians on the website.

This PlayWithMagic.org milestone brings together Authentication, Tests, and Image Uploads. We are edging closer and closer to a project that can be distributed to other developers to update and refine our initial product.

  • The deployed instance can be found at https://www.playwithmagic.org (as of 5/5/2015 at 8:54pm we are working on a few issues with our last merge)
  • PlayWithMagic.org can be accessed on Github here.

Project management is the process and activity of planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals in scientific or daily problems.

The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals and objectives while honoring the preconceived constraints. The primary constraints are scope, time, quality and budget. The secondary — and more ambitious — challenge is to optimize the allocation of necessary inputs and integrate them to meet pre-defined objectives.

– Wikipedia.org

The time constraint on this project was palpable. Our frequent meetings on Skype have, by far, been the best way the PlayWithMagic.org team has communicated. Being able to meet on Skype has really allowed us to keep the momentum going.

Here’s a video I put together of our tests running on PlayWithMagic.org:

I really would have liked to be able to code while we are all coding online but I found that I do my best coding when I have complete silence (or classical music).

Working with talented and driven developers is making me a better developer. Having standing weekly meetings has worked well. I never feel like we’re at a loss for which direction to go. When I have a question about the tools  we are using or the code that we are building I am confident that one of my collaborators will have an answer.

Having finally fixed the bug that didn’t attribute my commits, my commits are finally showing up in the Github graph so my contributions are noted.

In the final milestone I’d like to see our “secret sauce” (Set Style Checker) implemented and providing constructive feedback to our community of amateur magicians.

At this point I feel like we’ve built a beautiful building, but it’s empty inside. It’s got air conditioning, it’s locked down with round-the-clock security, and it has a fresh coat of paint. But we are still waiting for the tenants to move in and start building cool things, having cool experiences, making friends, networking, and stepping up their magical game.

Author: David Neely

Professional Software Developer. Technology and Web Coordinator at the University of Hawaii's Manoa Career Center.