Last week I asked project members to brainstorm tasks we might do over the course of the project, and last night Sean Sada (our project manager) and I onboarded folks onto our GitHub team and organization. Sean gave the team a great overview of how we are going to use GitHub Issues. I then worked with the backend team to show them Ruby on Rails and how we’re going to setup our Postgres database. Overall, a productive evening!
One challenge of spinning up a new project at Code for Boston, especially with this much interest, is figuring out how to divide and conquer. Initially I thought each team would organize itself and tackle their individual missions, but quickly learned that folks needed and wanted a larger assembly before breaking out. We agreed as a group to meet in a main breakout room briefly every week before splitting into our five teams.
Another challenge is we lack the bandwidth to have someone to onboard new members. I tried something new and made an onboarding video. We had some pushback from new folks who wanted to receive more individual attention. They would prefer to have a conversation, be interviewed, and then told to join a team based on our assessment of their skills and interests, then to make that assessment themselves. Unfortunately, I had to leave them with our apologies. I am hoping to improve the onboarding video when I have time and maybe another team member will step up to onboard new folks in future weeks, but interest so far has been light on that front.
Despite these small hiccups, we have twenty or so volunteers engaged in our project and are starting to make progress. The data analysis team has output some tasks and questions. The app development and front end team has also created a bunch of action items. Our vision is turning into a plan!