Working in groups is an unavoidable aspect of life and work and it seems a truism issues commonly arise. For people experienced with group work a lot below may also seem like a truism but I am really happy to recap one particular thing I observed and learned from a recent group project using Ruby on Rails. You can see the ReadMe for this project on the GitHub at that link.
TLDR: Don’t take for granted having a simple system for dividing tasks (or ‘tickets’ as commonly described) and having it viewable for all to see. Trello Boards or whatever people decide to use can save some real headaches and misunderstanding.
If you have to clarify what each person is doing such as by asking or repeating yourself the potential for miscommunication increases greatly. Agreeing on a simple (even if it seems cheesy) system such as a Trello board that people can refer to really is an investment, even if it can seem tedious at times. This really came to my attention because one team member had previously worked in a group that didn’t do this well and the difference in stress levels was very evident.
One of my fellow developers in this project expressed the difference to us as we began using the Trello board. She described some miscommunication that had occurred in their previous project simply because they weren’t keeping a better track of who was doing what- one team member quickly began to feel like others were doing the work they had claimed, or that their proposed ‘tickets’ were not being acknowledged.
Other things that really stood out from this project was really reaping the benefits of dividing tasks. Early on one person took over the realm of designing the platform- as a result they were able to experiment and make decisions that resulted in a really consistent and quite polished look for a week sprint of a project.
I am really happy with the experience I had overall and look forward to being able to discuss this group experience as I seek new opportunities in web development.