The highlight of my week is working with SVPM and its Design and Development. I joined Silicon Valley Project Management (SVPM) in April 2021 and am starting my 3rd Sprint with this group. The Scrum development processes and the Agile framework have enabled a supportive, meaningful and nimble environment in our ASVPM village. Here, we all have input and mutual respect, and are enCOURAGEd to try new things as we develop our knowledge and skills.
An EPIC that I have been involved in for these sprints is the donation feature of the website. This is an enhancement to the website that is designed to allow supporters to easily make donations to this 501c non-profit group.
In the first sprint I participated in, a team of us researched whether we should use a WordPress “plugin” (a third-party software product that provides additional features for the basic WordPress website) or create this feature from scratch. In addition to the form that the user fills out, the donation feature also needs to integrate with Stripe or PayPal for the financial side.
After researching our options and talking with the founder of The Job Hackers, Larry Apke, about the approach their website uses for donations, we settled on the plugin “GiveWP” based on their ease-of-use experience in implementing it.
One of the Scrum Pillars is Adaptation, on which this feature had provided plenty of practice. We discovered that this plug-in wasn’t a smooth add-on for us. The donation landing page would frequently hang instead of loading, which isn’t a friendly user experience. Part of the user story is “As a potential donor to ASVPM, I want the experience of donating to work smoothly and simply, so that I can feel confident about my donation to support ASVPM”.
We went through lots of head-scratching, Googling, browser testing, and adaptation. Our team technical advisor Mohit Joshi discovered that there might be a conflict created by a feature of our DNS, CloudFlare. CloudFlare has a feature “Rocket Loader” which speeds up webpage loading by delaying the loading of some code. This was causing our donations landing page to timeout while trying to load its code. After disabling this feature in CloudFlare, the donation page loaded smoothly for an easy user experience.
The flexibility and adaptability of the team members, Scrum Masters, Product Owner, and Sponsors motivates us team members to work hard and creatively to achieve the goals we commit to take on.
SVPM provides an extremely supportive environment for practicing Agile and Scrum and getting real world experience in using these development frameworks. It is a tremendous pleasure to be a part of this organization and contribute to the group’s website.