The work this week was getting the website that calls Google PageSpeed to run using HTTPS. Organising an SSL certificate which is 90 days free was the easy part. Unfortunately, I found setting up an HTTPS load balancer on Google Cloud not so easy and after trying several different solutions, I found documentation that suggested setting up a NGINX server. That is a web server capable of receiving HTTPS and passing that on the traffic to the backend server as HTTP (a technique known as a reverse proxy).
It was a close call today, but for me, after the previous sprint experience I was not prepared to give up; failure is not an option. So on the afternoon of the sprints last day, actually having written those words down at lunch time, it was time to start thinking outside the box. I turned again to upwork.com and hired myself a DevOps engineer Asif Murad Khan who in one hour directed me through the setup of the server I required. I’m still pumped about the session and what I learned.
For the next Sprint, I want to work on the usability and design of the application (a 2 point story) and a nasty bug where users are actually overwriting each other’s data. This is working us towards the minimum viable product (MVP). The other stories in the backlog are not really needed for a go live.
My goal this week was to regain confidence by ensuring some success, so I focused on only one story, and, it worked!… I believe we reached the point where I know the idea is feasible and it is also no longer vapourware. Once I had got the button that checks the speed for all the websites working, I became confident again and decided to take on more items, first fixing the bug on the login, which now brings the customer directly to the site comparison table and since I was on a roll, I decided to put in a further story, to display the results in a table which I wanted to be sortable too. Thankfully it’s all done, which brings the velocity this week to five story points. The stories/features I’m working on sound simple and these always should be, but, if you don’t know the Ember framework, and I don’t, then that can take hours to figure out.
It might be worth also reiterating, that each sprint is just a week long and I planned to spend between 5 and 10 hours working. Looking at my accountability sheet, I see I am contributing a little more. The average is 13 to 18 hours per week which includes time on; research, programming, writing this blog, recording video for youtube and planning. It is not recommended you track time in Scrum for various reasons, but, if you’re following this project, it might be interesting.
The cost of the Google cloud services for the first 2-weeks operation is a total of about 25 USD. We only have about another 40 days of the 275 USD of free credit; I wonder if it will change much and will keep you posted.
For the next Sprint, I want to deploy a fully working version of the application. We require an SSL certificate on the backend service, which is the goal next week. I will either get the Google service working using HTTPS or get the web app to call the PageSpeed service directly.
It would be easy to spend the next couple of sprints working on the backend, but it would probably be a mistake to ignore the overall design. Having a nice looking tool is usually a substantial selling factor since many apps have similar features. Therefore I moved these items to the top of the backlog. Unfortunately, the total story points have only gone down 1 point, and we have 39 to go. The velocity will not be enough to complete them all. The project will conclude at the end of sprint 8, but that should suffice to get a nice prototype deployed.
The positive side of this I think is we can expect to have a functioning app which can measure speed and usability and compare several websites. It would allow early feedback to come in from potential customers. Who might then want it to have the comparisons automatically done every day, which could then be introduced as a paid service?
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