We have been doing Developer Sprints at SugarCRM HQ (Cupertino) for a little over a year and a half now. The developers are allowed to work on whatever they wish to during the sprints as long as it is SugarCRM related. We have had everything from SugarCRM enhancements to SugarCon mobile apps built during these sprint. The best part is that a good chunk of the sprint projects get pulled into the SugarCRM product. Panels as Tabs and SugarFavorites are two of my favorite sprint items that were added to the product.
On the Monday of a sprint week, we throw up a list of all the ideas the developers are thinking about for improving the product- it is entirely engineering driven. It may be new features, usability enhancements, or re-factoring projects. After that, we pair up into teams based on which feature each developer wants to work on and code away for the next couple of days. We then demo on Thursday and Friday, and vote on the best feature created during the sprint. Of course, we always find time for fun during the sprint weeks.
Last week we held our latest developer sprint – Winter ’10, but this time it was a little bit different. We invited some of our premier partners to attend this sprint, and on top of that we also held 2 sprints at the same time one in Munich and one in Cupertino.
Epicom, Insignio, RedK, Ysance, DRI, Redpill, Synolia, and OpenSymbol all came out to join the fun from across Europe and the US. The first 2 days we had a lot of amazing discussions dealing with everything from directions the product should go in from a developers perspective to internationalization issues that are felt by Europe and the rest of the World.
We also covered a lot of training around GitHub, SugarCRM,Unit Testing, and SODA and received our first direct bug fixes/pull requests from our partners RedPill, DRI, and Synolia. You’ll be seeing these fixes in the next major release.
After the first two days, we got down to sprinting.
RedK went straight to work on improving the relationship handling in Studio. They added support for creating relationships to the Users module – very useful stuff. They completed this task in no more than 15 minutes. After that they followed it up with adding the ability to specify a one-to-many relationship as required from the one side through studio and module builder.
Insignio went for huge wins using SugarLogic to allow for automatically filling out the State and City based on the postal code and country of an address field.It would even be localized based on the language you had selected. They also created Country Fields as dropdowns – a commonly requested feature. The best part is that the continued to work on this after the sprint adding the ability for admins to enable/disable this feature. We just received a pull request to pull in the enhanced version of this feature a few minutes ago. Finally, they added the ability for core SugarBeans to be extended. For example if you wanted to customize the behavior of Accounts you could do so without changing the Account.php file. I am looking forward to getting all these great features into the product as they have been highly demanded in the field.
Ysance solved one of the major layout issues we see in SugarCRM – too much data in the rows of tables causing the page to become unsightly. They added the ability for fields to be truncated with a very simple yet elegant hover over that would show all the information, and they got it working everywhere – Lists, Sub Panels, Reports, Detail Views etc… It was very impressive to say the least.
There were several other great projects that came out of this sprint that I am sure you will hear about shortly.
Overall, it was a fantastic first SugarCRM & Partners Developer Sprint. I was very impressed with the quality of developers our partners brought to the table. They are truly top notch, and I look forward to working with and seeing everyone at the next Developer Sprint.
I want to thank all of the Partners who could make it. A storm swept through Munich and much of Europe covering it in Snow as you can see in the pictures above. It was a packed room and we had to squeeze to get everyone to fit. Thank You for making this Developer Sprint such a success!