CiviCRM Code Sprint

We'd like to put out a big 'THANKS!' to everyone who took part in our gruelling-but-in-a-good-way, four-day code sprint in October. It was highly productive – and so much fun; all because of the many sprinters who put so much effort into it.

We held most of the work sessions in our own home, the Create Centre, Bristol – occupying a meeting room and spilling out into the comfy-seating area and the cafe as the mood struck. We warmed up with some unit tests and webtests, and managed to clear much of the backlog of issues. It was my first experience of Selenium and I was hugely impressed with it; now intending to use it to generate webtests for bugs that crop up, which we report from time to time.

As well as getting functionality specified, code written and testing done, an important part of the sprint was the social aspect. With an international community, it's extremely helpful for the online communication to be supplemented by real-world interaction – during the cooking and eating and drinking and general chit chat. After the first day, we managed to find time for seeing some of the sites of Bristol, and of course, to introduce the team to some of the West Country's fine cider and perry before dinner.

For me, this added dimension makes a big difference; the next time I come across any of these guys on IRC there’ll be an extra level of understanding. While it's great to be able to organise people flying in from the US, India, Poland, France and Holland, it's even better to start discussions which involve the next physical meeting in perhaps Brussels or Bristol.

Yet before it starts sounding like we had a big party, I should emphasize the amount of hard work that went on. We developed the existing Gift Aid code from Millertech [link] into a new Drupal module, which you can see here [link] and is discussed here and here [links].

We also made additional changes to the core database structure to simplify the set up for both this and forthcoming direct debit code. The Gift Aid stuff should be a great contribution to the project and will be appreciated by many UK-based charities. So once again, thanks to: Dave J, Dave M, Deepak, Eric, Kurund, Lobo, Michael, Michal, Piotr, Rajesh and Xavier.

Watch this space for details of the next code sprint - we'd love to have you along. Next time, instead of accommodating the team in a converted barn, out of town, and travelling in each day - perhaps we'll base the whole event in a large house, and forget about meeting rooms and whiteboards! Who knows? We may aim for Yorkshire or the Lake District to satisfy the urge to climb hills that seemed only partially satisfied by our stroll in Cheddar last time.