Four Projects Started at Developer House

Stay tuned here and to #devhouse on Twitter for all of the latest

Developer House is underway!  We have four teams working on four different projects.  Each of us have the same goal: We will have fun developing these projects and we will have working code to demonstrate on Friday morning.

The projects are:

  • Expose relevant items that were not initially exposed in the patron's first search query
  • Advanced type-ahead search using multiple entities
  • Build topical searches using third-party APIs
  • Continuing work on integrating VUFind and the Worldcat Discovery API (More info on this coming soon!)
How did we figure out what we're working on?  How did we get started?  After a whirlwind of activity on Monday, we relaxed in the late afternoon with a small reception amoung the trees in OCLC's atrium.  Then we took a shuttle back to the Developer House and jumped into a working dinner.  We discussed our goals for the week and our ideas for projects over pizza, and we worked through several aspects of our ideas to determine whether they were doable, sharable and enjoyable (would we have fun working on them).
We started with each person writting down a number of ideas and then editing those down to just one or two that they felt they would really want to work on.  Each of us shared what we felt what was our best idea (or at least the most doable) and we talked about the whys and hows as a group.
With that we ended up with 13 ideas ranging from some interesting approaches to collection analysis to alternative ways of conducting searches.
A few of the ideas that didn't make the cut:
  • Record data and circulation data used to inform future searches
  • Combine FAST and DPLA
  • Display a list of recent additions to a local catalog
By 9 p.m. we had four projects and team members joined which ever project they were interested in.  Then we defined the project and acceptance criteria we would use to know when we were done.  We defined the project in terms of who we were building it for, why they wanted it and what it would do for them. We stressed the importance of acceptance criteria to focus our efforts on getting working code that could be demonstrated.  A couple of our projects may be too large to be realized in the short period we have, but we defined steps along the way that would show progress toward the project goal.
12 hours later we were back at it!  This morning we got all of our environments up and running and made sure we had access to the services we need.  So where are we now at 3 p.m.?  Coding away and occassionnaly shouting out "Success!"  (And grumbling a few times when something doesn't work.)
Stay tuned here and on Twitter (@devnet, #devhouse) throughout the week to see what’s next!
[Note: Bob joined our team a few months ago as a Senior Product Analyst, working closely with Karen. Though he's been at OCLC for several years, this is his first post on Developer Network. Welcome, Bob! -Shelley]