This Is Not the Sprint You’re Looking For

This Is Not the Sprint You’re Looking For

March 15th, 2020

This sprint hasn’t really been a sprint, more of a really long refinement and retrospective.

When I  came back from Prague, Corona was starting to get more media attention with speculation of a recession so I decided it was time to start looking for work. 

I spent some time getting my CV together and tying up some loose ends, like end of year accounts, paper work, my tax return etc.

Remarkably, I actually secured a contract very quickly and so today as you’re reading this, i’ve already started!

What does this mean for SoSa?

Most of the work i’ve done to this point has been laying foundations to make development faster over the long term so that means I can now continue working on SoSa at a decent speed during evenings and weekends.

My plan is to focus on features during the week and the harder stuff during the weekends, you’ll still get an update every two weeks and the alpha / beta track is still progressing.. 

I might even outsource some of the work to people inside the community.

The company I’m contracting for is modern and going through a growth period, so I will be working with a lot of similar technologies. 

I need to work with what’s in the best interest of the client but there will be a lot of cross over that will benefit both SoSa and my client.

What about James? Your weight loss? This is a lot of work!

My mental and physical health will be taking priority over SoSa and I’m returning to the schedule I was on during the last contract.

5am start, Gym, Shower, Work, Dinner, Work.

I’m also trying to get do a DnD night in Bristol once a week to give me more variety, if I can’t achieve that then I’ll be gaming or meeting up with friends.

Anyway… enough about me! Let’s talk about SoSa! 😊

  1. Precursor
  2. Sprint 1 – The Foundations
  3. Sprint 2 – The ummm Foundations?
  4. Sprint 2 – Nerd Ramble
  5. Sprint 3 – Cooking with matches!
  6. Sprint 4 – Now We’re Cooking With Gas!
  7. Sprint 5 – Robot Uprising
  8. This Is Not the Sprint You’re Looking For
  9. Sprint 6 – That’s a Weird Looking Patronus
  10. Sprint 7 – Corona Stole My Title
  11. Sprint 8 – Adventure Time!
  12. Sprint 9 – Now In Technicolor
  13. Sprint 10 – Refinement
  14. Sprint 11 – Motion In The Ocean
  15. Alpha Release 1.0.3
  16. Sprint 12 – No Rest For The Wicked
  17. Alpha Release 1.0.4
  18. Sprint 13 – I Need a Break
  19. Alpha Release 1.0.5
  20. Sprint 14 – Just James Things
  21. Sprint 15 – Wearing My Heart On My Sleeve
  22. Alpha Release 1.0.6
  23. Sprint 16 – Warm Up
  24. Alpha Release 1.0.7
  25. Sprint 17 – Coffee’s back on the menu!
  26. Alpha Release 1.0.8
  27. Sprint 18 – We’re on fire!
  28. Sprint 19 – Slowly fast
  29. Sprint 20 – Let’s get Nerdy
  30. Alpha Release 1.0.9
  31. Sprint 21 – We’re back!
  32. Alpha Release 1.1.0
  33. Sprint 22 – You Look Cute Today
  34. Alpha Release 1.1.1
  35. Sprint 23 – Sausage Smuggler
  36. A SoSa Retrospective
  37. Sprint 25 – I am SoSa and don’t call me Shirley
  38. Sprint 26 – The best laid schemes of mice and men
  39. Sprint 27 – Vogue, Strike a Pose
  40. Sprint 28 – a New Hope
  41. I Couldn’t Think Of a Title
  42. Guess who’s back, Back again!
  43. Demolition Man
  44. Squid James
  46. We Didn’t Choose This Life, We’re Just Living In It
  47. Let’s go!


LinkedIn grew from 115 to 125 followers, 
Instagram stayed steady at 74 followers
Beta list also grew from 245 to 250

I’ve not really been talking about SoSa the last 2 weeks, this has been organic and I’m still happy with the progress. They’re not big numbers but it’s still progress and that’s important!

Facebook reach is down from last period
Facebook down from last period

Facebook post reach is down significantly, and I need to understand better how I improve that. Although I haven’t posted as consistently the last few months so that could be a contributing factor. Expect to see more posts from me here!

Total links grew another 5k, and our Total Linking domains stayed the same.
Total links grew another 5k, and our Total Linking domains stayed the same.

Whilst I was in the airport I did swap over the old discussions to the new domain. This is where most of our Search engine traffic is coming from on the old domain and I was hoping it would help build awareness and domain authority over time.

Unfortunately the old site wasn’t particularly SEO friendly and well… you can see the results

Opps! Total issues up by 1.8k!
Opps! Total issues up by 1.8k!

I have fixed most of these now so hopefully that will drop down when Moz rescan the links! And it definitely had the desired results.

Webmaster Tools generally painting a positive picture!
Webmaster Tools generally painting a positive picture!

Average position dropped from 57.8 to 28.5, 
Click through grew from 1% to 5.4%, 
Clicks grew from 2 to 24 and 
Impressions grew from 203 to 443

Traffic has also been pretty steady

Game Night / Help

A few people have asked about the game clips and videos from our game nights and honestly it takes so much time to just watch the videos and then break them up into quality content that I need some help.

If you’re interested in helping (paid of course) please email me at [email protected]

Our next game night is Sunday 22nd March 1900-2100 GMT / 1200-1400 PT / 1500-1700 ET
Our next game night is Sunday 22nd March 1900-2100 GMT / 1200-1400 PT / 1500-1700 ET

Our next game night is Sunday 22nd March 1900-2100 GMT / 1200-1400 PT / 1500-1700 ET

We’ll be playing Jackbox Party, you don’t need to buy the game you just need a web browser / phone and the ability to watch a stream

There are limited spaces, so If you’re coming along please grab a free ticket from event brite:

Mac Pipelines

If you’re building an app for iPhones or iPads – you need a mac. 

It doesn’t matter what framework you’re using or how you’re building the app, you just need a Mac!

Usually, I use Windows and remote into a Mac for Maccy type work but this causes a problem for release and testing because it’s always going to be an additional manual process and I want to automate as much as I can!

App Center costs a small fortune!
App Center costs a small fortune!

My first thought was to use Microsoft App Center, I’m using it for deployment and it’d be great to integrate it into my workflow so I looked at the pricing.

£103.59 per month (£29.81 + £73.78)…

To put that into context, if I want to build the app and then test it with a single device that will cost me £103.59, I then have to wait for testing to finish on a single device before testing another. 

A test suite can take 10+ minutes to run properly, so if I want to test on 20 different devices, I have to wait 3 hours to run all the tests for each change.

Alternatively if I want to run 5 devices at a time, that’s £398.71 per month. That’s just not scalable for a startup. I’m not even paying that for the servers to host it!

There has to be a better way!

In Sprint 2, I set up pipelines for the chat server and client using Jenkins! These both run from a linux box in a data center. Jenkins is the perfect solution but I still need a mac to do all the build work!

So I started researching either putting Jenkins on the Mac and found that Jenkins supports Mac slave nodes so after a lot of fumbling about with janky Jenkins and MacOS sshd documentation I managed to set it all up and even restrict the SSH server to only respond to my Jenkins server.

Jenkins, whilst janky is an awesome piece of software!
Jenkins, whilst janky is an awesome piece of software!

But it didn’t quite end there, I needed to run some build steps and build the APK / IPA before I could use it effectively in Appium or another test suite. 

So I spent some time and a lot of trial and error getting a Jenkins file specific for this working.

JenkinsFile showing build code
JenkinsFile showing build code

For now, it only works for Android, but I’ve also worked out all the commands I need in IOS to build an IPA via command line.

Later down the line I’ll be able to setup separate Mac Mini test benches all with physical devices attached and have Appium run multiple concurrent tests for as many devices and simulators as I need.

Anyway! That’s it for now!

Thank you for reading and looking forward to the next sprint 😊