having switched to agile development and Scrum at ownCloud some time ago, we are still amazed just how much optimization comes out of this transformation. It may seem faddish, but it actually did improve internal communication as well as productivity and makes processes much more transparent. Going agile also brought some growing pains of course, having required quite a few cultural and operational changes: One of the ways we ritualize this new internal transparency is by holding bi-weekly sprint reviews on Fridays at the end of our, you guessed it, 2-week sprints, in which our engineers present the progress they’ve made to the whole team. It’s a great way to end a week – being brought on the same page and being recognized for the strides made in the last couple of weeks.
For example, just to name a few achievements in the first half of October from last Friday’s reviews, we have done a lot of frontend work on ownCloud Web, the new generation Web App for ownCloud Infinite Scale. Regarding the inner workings, we also finished the scalable account service which handles user metadata. Like all of ownCloud Infinite Scale it runs database-less, thereby boosting performance and scale. Apart from that, we’ve started working on deployment scenarios with Docker Compose, and from now on, we will be documenting our progress here: https://owncloud.github.io/ocis/deployment/. For example, we try to work out how to offload SSL with Traefik, and how to set up a bridge mode of ownCloud 10 and ownCloud Infinite Scale in parallel, enabling the migration of users to ownCloud Infinite Scale and the use of the new ownCloud Web with ownCloud 10. Of course, we still work on improving ownCloud 10: In this last sprint, we’ve redesigned notifications and worked on expiration in federated cloud use cases. For the iOS app, we’ve fixed a number of issues and improved photo metadata handling.
As the end of something is always the beginning of something else, today begins a new sprint. I’m excited to see what will be presented in the next review We’ll keep you posted.
Since a lot of you probably also work in software development and are familiar with Scrum or comparable frameworks, we want to ask you: What are your experiences with shifting to agile? Are there elements, processes or rituals that were particularly helpful in your transition?