First hustle at Ruby Rampage

Ruby Rampage brings about a challenge of building an application within the time span of 48 hours. A challenge that galvanized me into participation. It was my first experience. As the competition approached, my levels of excitement and anxiety kept scaling up.; not because I was creating an application for the first time, but it was the first time I had a tight time constraint to build an entire end-to-end application.

Questions like “What could be built?”, “Who should I team up with?” started storming in my head. Right when I was trying to figure out my ways, one of my colleagues approached me with an opportunity to be the fourth member in their existing group of three “Rampagers”.  There you go – problem-1 solved! Now, it was time to tackle problem-2; What should we develop?

During a gift exchange event in our office, the idea of GIFT GALORE had popped up. We realized how difficult it is to find the perfect gift for a person. Giving something that lies in their interest pool is very essential to build stronger bonds of friendship. Since there was a mutual consensus on the idea, we finalized it.

As we discussed the technologies that could be integrated, we listed some of our ideas:

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An Awesome UI

  • A Bootstrap related theme that could be incorporated easily with Rails.
  • A user friendly theme that gels comfortably with our idea.
  • A light-weight theme which could meet our time constraint.
  • Web responsive on iPad and mobile screens as well.

Suitable gift choices

  • Pick up items that are trending and unique.
  • Choices to be made in such a way that all age categories are given equal weight.
  • Images of gifts that are have no copyright constraint.
  • Attractive textual description that tempts the audience.
  • Add a price tag with the gift along with the link of the shopping store from where it could be purchased.

We also faced a dilemma of using AngularJS to build stronger and fancier UI components but because its integration can take a little more time, we decided to stick with only RoR.

“D-day” arrived! We, a group of four girls, ready to rumble for 48 hours, had decided to put all our energy and focus to achieve the best of our idea. We delegated our work based on the interests of each developer, put on some loud music and began the race. It started of by selection of unique and creative items or gestures that could fit the respective age categories. While one person began with the data collection, I started surfing for themes that would go elegantly with our website.  As we moved progressed, we could see a gradual implementation of our ideas become a reality. The subtle textures of our theme integrated well with the images of the different gifts.

With the time running , we increased our pace of work, trying to incorporate as many of the features as we had listed down initially. However, we could sense the shortage of time and as a result, few of our features remained undeveloped.  We didn’t find the time to make a fully responsive website and weren’t able to provide the Amazon link along with each gift item.  As I look back, figuring what plan of action could have been moulded to fit in all our ideas in those 48 hours, I realized that if we had spent some more time gathering the images of our selected gifts before the competition started, we would have had a lot of time in hand to implement the rest of our incomplete features. 

Lesson Learnt: Gathering of all assets should be done well before the competition starts, so that time could be invested productively on core development.

Nevertheless, we have decided to continue building the features left out and work positively on the feedback to improve our application.

Even though the rampage demanded rigorous efforts, we still had immense fun. We enjoyed each other’s company, got to know each other more than just colleagues in the same office, ordered BOGO pizzas, argued on the selection of gifts, which interestingly got in more ideas. Two of us even managed to attend our weekend dance classes as our absence was compensated by the other two. A strong mutual understanding has developed amongst us now.

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Ruby Rampage has given me the opportunity to work outside the boundaries and constraints of my everyday projects. It allowed to me make new relations and work in a different environment. Thus, refreshing my mind from the mundane routine. It gave me the liberty to build my true desires and explore new ideas. The challenge of 48 hours not only tests our capabilities and skills, it also tests our management abilities, thus encouraging us to be more responsible.

 

 

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