Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Time shared development Part II - or Project H?

A little bit more than 6 months ago I changed my daily work to "time-shared-development".

Spoiler: This was a good idea...

But as I mentioned, I do not use any software or website to track my projects. Ok - JIRA as a bug-tracker for my two main projects...

There are so many "new" words and websites to handle your agile programming, your development team, and your projects. By doing some googling, you really get overwhelmed by the different approaches. Some are looking not so bad, but most of the systems are much too big for some little project tracking. Most of them have no detailed information on the workflow and of course, all systems/websites want your money as a monthly fee. 

I really, really dislike the tendency to do everything in a browser on a website. No, I hate this! That's why I always use an App if it is available. 

The question is, do I need this? I think the "time-shared-development" is still a very good idea, so let's compare the pros and cons.


  • Work did not get boring
  • Every day a new task in a different environment
  • If I get stocked on a problem, I could work on a different project and wait for a new idea
  • Other projects are not sleeping and are still improving
  • No induction period in projects that have been dormant for a long time


  • All projects take more time to be completed
  • The progress (next step/problem) of every project has to be kept in mind.
  • Shared code that has to be used or could be used in more than one project can easily be overseen 
  • Problems can be too simple be pushed aside (see Pros)
  • Progress-points of projects could easily get mixed in mind

So two cons depending on keep the progress and/or the actual problem of every project in mind. For two projects it is doable... But how many projects could you keep track of, without any todo-list? At this point, I'm still not 100% happy with this kind of workflow. Should I start project H and start coding software for this task? How long would it take to develop a usable software? Which are the necessary main features to start with? Is a simple text file on the desktop enough? Or an Excel sheet?

OK, perhaps first take a look at the problem. Of course, I use me FDK for every project and as my MVVM-Plugin is nearly ready, I will use this also for my projects. Some projects must be refactored to this new version of my framework. For new features I always decide if this is a feature - only for this project - or should I write this as a generic Class/Unit for my FDK. Many projects have a partial feature that is similarly usable in other projects after minor changes.

For example, many mobile apps storing data into a local database, if no internet connection is available and after a reconnect the database has to be synchronized over a REST Service. This is - of course - included in my FDK (Client and Server). Most of my projects are using this implementation as a start and doing some improvements on top of it. That is fine for Project A, but it would be nice if Project B could also get the benefit of improvements in Project A? But how to code special and also universal for more than one project? Maybe this is possible, but not if you have to keep everything in mind. And here comes project H into play.

I need a perfect representation of all project states and progresses to get an overview at which point I need to developer feature A because Project A, D, F are at a point where no progress could be made without this feature. Because all three projects a evolved as far as possible to the point where this feature has to be implemented, it must be easy to find similarities and every project could use the same improved implementation and only have to do some minor project specifications.   

hmm... if this is not the case I spend hours and hours in developing project H (my version of agile software developing tool, if you did not read part I) without any benefit.

At the moment I have not made a decision. Perhaps you have also some ideas - I would love to read your comments. But don't try to convince me for a web service... ;-)

I've made some POC's how to drag and drop "Features" from a backlog into a sprint, show sprints and points, but I've not tried to draw any Gantt, waterfall or whatever the name is of my final graph...

Of course, if I start project H, it will be FMX to be able to do everything on the road over a mobile device. Did anybody else need this kind of "simple" software? Should I do my first open-source project or try to sell this software? Perhaps it depends on how many developers what's to help me with this project. So again please leave a comment or give me a call...

btw. Happy x-mas

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