Thursday, June 3, 2010

How to develop software in a team

     When a team comes up and decides to work on a software it is very important to know how to work and how to synchronize with each other. The size of the project is not important in fact, what’s most important is the way the team members communicate socially and professionally. Below I will show a strategy which is from my experience and my researches, and of course I’m giving this strategy based on my opinion.

     In fact, to work successfully in a team there are many rules which we need to follow, but in this post there will be just a strategy for software developing. As a sample I will take the windows platform.

     Now, let’s get started in the first step. We need to have a network connection between the team mates. If they are not found in a room, we need to set a Virtual Private Network (VPN) using internet. A free for non commercial use is Log Me In Hamachi. Using this software you are given an IP and you can invite your team mates so you will create a virtual network to communicate with your team mates. In this case you can even share your database server and make this work on a single computer.

     The next step is the platform where you will deposit your codes, so in this case I chose Visual SVN Server which is again free and you can easily install and manage it. In your Visual SVN Server manager you can set users which can access your repository. I recommend that you use HTTPS access in order to make it more secure.

     The third step is to install a SVN client which in this case can be Tortoise SVN and you can connect to the created repository. The database server and the Visual SVN Server can stay just at the computer that you chose as a server. Instead, the SVN client should be installed in all computers that want to connect to the repository on the server.

     Finally let’s mention the steps one by one:

      1. Install Hamachi in order to create a VPN
      2. Install Visual SVN server in order to create a repository to share your source codes
      3. Install Tortoise SVN or any other SVN client that you may want

     As you see this was really easy, but remember that this was just your environment setup. In order to have success and finish without having problems there are more advices that you need to follow.

 
Work with Diagrams

     Before starting to develop your project, you need to spend time on designing it. Diagrams are very helpful in making you understand the current status of the project. Also, you may need diagrams later in order to check if the planned ideas are being developed well.

 

Always use TO-DO Lists

     There are two kind of to-do lists that you may use: a short term and an long term one. The long term to-do list will help you understand the current status of project completion. Instead, the short term to-do list will help you manage time and work better in a weekly based cycle. So, each week assign tasks to all the team members and make a check about this tasks at the end of each week. By writing everything the possibility that you forget something decreases to zero percent.

 

Write down your ideas

     Always write down your ideas that you may have in any instant. From daily stress and work you may forget things that may be precious for your project.

 

     This was all I could give you as an advice in a wide point of view. Comments, suggestions and critics are welcome in order update this post and make it more valuable. I wish you luck and a happy team work!

 

Links:

https://secure.logmein.com/US/products/hamachi2/

http://www.visualsvn.com/server/

http://tortoisesvn.tigris.org/

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