Neos Codesprint February 2013

Categories: Development Created by Robert Lemke
For almost a whole week the Neos core team met in Lübeck for planning the next steps toward the 1.0 release of Neos and implementing some features right away. With, at times, 17 people, this was an intensive sprint with some great results.

Work Packages and a Roadmap

Sebastian Kurfürst and myself spent most of the week with creating work packages, user stories and prioritizing them. Together with Christopher Hlubek and Jürgen Egeling, we figured out the path towards a Minimum Viable Product and planned in various features for the 1.0 and the 1.1 release.
The first batch of work packages were sent to the TYPO3 Association's Expert Advisory Board as a proposal. During a Google Hangout both, the EAB and Neos team, discussed the details of each package and shortly after the Jan-Hendrik Heuing could confirm that the TYPO3 Association will sponsor these first projects.
Sebastian will come up with a dedicated article about the idea behind the work packages, the procedures we follow and how you can help the team getting things done.

Team Culture and Visibility

As a side track, I brought up topics like the team culture, attracting new contributors and make the past achievements and current progress more visible.
Throughout the years we were able to establish a strong team culture with shared values and a specific way to approach the day-to-day work. While you need to keep a team small in order to create such a culture, it is now the time to turn team members into mentors and evangelists.
The team was always open to new contributors and took their time to introduce them to our working mode. But since one-on-one tutoring doesn't scale that well, we need to figure out new ways for new contributors to "do the right thing" intuitively. One approach we'd like to try is coming up with a product mission statement (for each of the products, Neos and Flow) and create a introduction page along the lines of the Making GWT Better page from Google.
With a new metrics-powered page neos.typo3.org/progress we'd like to visualize what happened recently, in terms of code, discussions and decisions. If you are familiar with Flow coding and like to play with metrics, we'd love to brief you on the ideas we have and help you creating some tools and plugins to make progress visible.
Another step towards making the behind-the-scenes work more tangible is the idea to post a short summary of all relevant discussions and decisions which have been taken during IRC discussions or online meetings. Watch our mailing list to see if we can make this happen …

Team Roles

During the sprint I also took some initiative to clearify the team structure and putting the work and responsibilities on more shoulders. As a first result, we new now have new roles assigned to some great people: Karsten Dambekalns will take the "official" roles as the head of quality assurances and release process. Since he already earned the (very positive) position as our chief-nitpicker, we can't think of a better person to keep the quality of Neos and Flow high. Sebastian Kurfürst showed a lot of energy while bundling and assigning the work packages. That makes him the ideal release manager for Neos 1.0! In this role Sebastian will keep an eye on the timeline and the progress of the work done by our contributors and coordinate the communication with the work package sponsors. Christian Müller has, since he joined the team, been the friendly ghost of the Neos and Flow team. Chances are high that you find Christian answering questions (again and again) in our IRC channel or our mailing lists. Christian will take the role as our community relations manager - although he's not that manager type of guy ;-).
By chance, a Github's Mike Adolphs, working at the co-working space we used for the sprint, discovered that an Open Source team was in the house. So we took the opportunity and let him give us a guided tour behind the scenes of Github. We went through notes which have been taken last year by various members of the TYPO3 community about the pros and cons of Github and nailed Mike with our questions. You can find a short summary in the mailing list.

Coding

With so many people in one (small) room, we didn't stick to discussions only – most of the time everyone was busy with stabilizing and extending Neos for the next alpha release.
We focussed on content editing, performance and the plugin / content repository system. With a minimum of YAML and TypoScript configuration you will soon be able to create some blog or news functionality based on Neos' content type and REST support. The proof of concept I started earlier this year was refined and will soon be published as its own package for Neos.

Sponsors

Several people and companies made this sprint happen. The TYPO3 Association sponsored travel expenses and accommodation for the team members. Simon Browning from SeeThrough Web was our first lunch sponsor on Tuesday. Jochen Weiland donated a batch of fine espresso which kept the team awake (and happy). Github invited us for lunch on Wednesday and Thursday. The Brazilian based agency Apimenti invited us for dinner and the Danish TYPO3 veterans at MOC followed suit on the next evening.
Last, but not least, seventeen individuals took up to a whole week off their day-to-day job and sponsored their time for making Neos a great product:
Thank you to everyone involved!