8/30/13

Daily Scrum (2013-08-30)

Last week:

Last Friday I made moderate progress on Moneylender 3.  I “finished” revising the code that draws the loans into the List of Loans.  I rewrote the routine that fixes Multilender (when a lender owns all or part of a loan at a discount) records where the associated lender record was deleted.  I rewrote half of the dialogs in the Borrower wizard.  I started to work on the replacement code for storing the Borrower images.  MLP3 has a huge overhaul to how it stores images.  It’ll shrink the portfolio files significantly, while allowing larger, clearer pictures and images.

This morning I published three articles; one on the Moneylender blog that I wrote, and two on TrailsWeb’s “newest website” blog written by the talented Angela Sears.

This week:

I committed to spending today doing development for a client’s website so I won’t be working on Moneylender today.  I hope to add pages to the administrative section of their website to allow them to set advertising preferences, location information, and similar for new and existing advertisements.

I am also forming a new corporation as I begin the process of relocating to a community rife with brilliant people ready to work.  That transition should allow me to hire talented programmers and support personnel to take our products and services to the next level.  But, for now, it’s one small step at a time.  Today I hope to complete some of that paperwork.

Roadblocks to accomplishing those goals?


None really.  I’ll probably need to make a few phone calls here and there to get answers to questions, but that’s about it.

8/23/13

Daily Scrum (2013-08-23)

Back on Moneylender today!

What I did last week…

Last week I worked on a website for a customer, fixing a bug and furthering progress on an advertising system.  Little progress was made on MLP, save a few replies to customer service emails.  I added a couple new items to the Moneylender Product Backlog (a list of features the program doesn’t have yet but would be awesome if it did) thanks to the inquiries of a customer and a prospective customer.

What I hope to do this week…

I’d like to continue work on how the list of loans is drawn.  Specifically, I’d like to have the selected columns from the options dialog appear in the main window and I’d like to have the code that loads each item in the main window be rewritten to match the new data structure.  I also have to post six articles (already written by the stellar Angela Sears) to various other blogs for some of our other clients.

Any roadblocks in the way?


I have to do some research about corporations and filings for a few states in preparation for a change that will happen in about eight months.  I need to make a return phone call to a customer that called earlier this week, and a final call to a non-paying client before turning off their website.  Other than that, it should be smooth sailing.  I’ll use time-boxing to make sure none of these things erodes the amount of effort I give to Moneylender’s code.

8/16/13

Daily Scrum (2013-08-16)

What did I do last week?

  • I got a Wiki set up for the MLP 3.0 help documents.  I added one page about the List of Loans to verify the system works properly.  It’s still the default colors, which will need to be changed at some point, but at least the technical challenge is over.  
  • I rewrote the code in the Moneylender Settings dialog that displays the available columns that appear on the List of Loans with checkboxes to enable the fields you want.  You can display any field from Loan, Borrower, Lender or Extended Loan Notes on the main window.  
  • I wrote an article about funding sources for lenders for the Moneylender blog.

What do I want to do today?

I have to make several edits and additions to a client’s website today.  It’ll likely take up the whole day.  I have nearly completed an ad rotation system that balances ad rotation between global and regional advertisers to a geolocated audience.  There are also bugs in the code that have been popping up and need to be fixed.

Any roadblocks in my way?

This other website will be taking my full attention so I won’t be able to commit to doing edits to Moneylender today.  If, by some miracle, I finish the ad rotation system and can complete that project, I’ll switch gears and begin designing a new list of loans.  The the list will get a visual and functional overhaul to provide greater flexibility with what's on the main window and provide more intuitive feedback to the user.


On a side note, the wheels are slowly turning to relocate to upstate NY.  It’ll probably happen in about eight months.  It’ll mean some very important changes at TrailsWeb.  We can go back to providing phone support Monday through Friday, and there will be an abundance of talented people looking for work to help with development and documentation of the software.

8/9/13

Daily Scrum (2013-08-09)

Ok, let's get this day started!

What I did last week:

I wrote an article with a couple bits of info for potential lenders to help them get started.  I helped a couple customers with their various needs.  I finished up the new portfolio, open portfolio, and close portfolio code in Moneylender's main window and started revising the refresh routines that draw the loans in the portfolio onto the main window.

What I hope to accomplish today:

I'd like to update the Moneylender Settings dialog to allow for all the fields in a loan and associated records (Borrowers, Lenders, Additional Comments) to be added to the main window.  The new file structure has a convenient mechanism to automate the list of what can be displayed.  While some of it might not be pretty, most of it should show up nicely without additional coding.

I'd like to also continue work on the code that refreshed the main List of Loans.  My hope is that I get to a place where the code that displays the loans is more or less complete today, but that's being a little ambitious.

I'd also like to set up a wiki on the Moneylender Professional site for the MLP 3.0 User's Guide.  Since I'll be referring to specific section of the program in these daily scrum posts, it'd be helpful to link directly to the content which describes the features under development.

Roadblocks that might prevent me from completing my work:

Setting up the Wiki might take too long or I may have to try multiple products before I find one that suits my needs.  I have to make a few billing related calls to clients, and (hopefully) set up a project with a freelance writer.  I would like to write another article for the Moneylender Professional blog, too.

Thanks for checking in, see you next week. :)

8/2/13

Daily Scrum (first one!)

Now that TrailsWeb is a one person shop, it's hard to stay committed to specific goals amidst all the distractions of running a works worth of business in a single day.  I work four tens at the State of South Dakota making websites with maps on them.  That leaves me Friday to work at TrailsWeb all day, servicing the rest of its customers in one day each week.  I tried working Saturdays, too, but I burned out so hard I didn’t even want to think about coding after my forty hours at the state.

At the State of South Dakota, I was lucky enough to be the very first programmer to ever implement Scrum development.  Thanks are due, in large part, to my manager Adam Emerson who facilitated as Scrum Master.  The benefits of using Scrum on a large and complex project continue to emerge and I want to bring that same focused progress to my Moneylender Professional software.

A core part of scrum is the fifteen minute “daily scrum” meeting where these questions are answered by each member of the development team:  What did I do yesterday?  What do I hope to do today?  What roadblocks might prevent me from achieving this goal?

When answering an email asking about progress on Moneylender Professional 3, it occurred to me I could kill three birds with one stone.  I could write a “daily scrum” blog post every Friday morning with the details of what happened last week, what I’m working on now, and what might slow me down.  Customers can see the progress being made on the software and keep up to date as changes take place.  And the content I write will help Moneylender’s online visibility!

So, today’s daily scrum:

What did I do last week?
Last week I wrote an article for my Moneylender Blog about profitable outcomes with tailor made loans.  The week before I continued restructuring work on migrating MLP2 to the new file system in MLP3.  The new file system is a huge leap forward but requires system-wide rewrites to the application.

What do I plan to do today?
The main window of MLP is about 4400 lines of code.  Large parts of it must be rewritten to use the new file structure.  I would estimate that about five hundred separate revisions will have to be made application-wide for the program to compile so I can even begin to test it.  In the main window, the first batch of revisions involve create-, open- and close-portfolio code.  Today I would like to complete revisions on that code.

What roadblocks might prevent me from achieving this goal?
I have two phone calls to make to various clients that may lead to an hour or two of unrelated work.  One MLP customer is experience problems and may require ongoing support.  I want to write another article (albeit not as long as last week's) for the Moneylender blog.

That’s it for this week.  I’ll check in with updates and goals on the 9th.  Feel free to contact me with suggestions for features for Moneylender.  I maintain a “Product Backlog” now, which has a long list of desirable additions.  I order them based on the value they add to the whole user-base of the software.  All suggestions are welcome and will be recorded on the backlog.