FireBootCamp Sydney – And the winner is…

By May 15, 2014News

(This post originally appeared on AdamCogan.com)

As you may remember from my last blog post, the 3 teams were having their solutions critiqued by a panel of judges with extensive experience in building software. Today, I am excited to announce which team our judges picked as being the most successful (giving the most business value). The voting was tight and I think it’s fair to say that all the judges were impressed with the level of output in just 9 weeks. Some of the judges were tougher than others. I’ve included some of their comments below (I haven’t included all the judges and all their votes below).

I’d love to hear what you think too. Watch the videos below or try the applications at scrumcommitments.com and sugarlearning.com

ScrumCommitments.com Part A – The Product Owner marketplace, developed by the Scrum Eagles – 3rd place

  Tatham Oddie, CTO Readify, FireBootCamp Mentor (AngularJs and JavaScript):

My vote: Scrum Eagles.

Everything’s happening at once: filtering, paging, favorites, AJAX, highlighting, tabs, etc. Sure, I expect there are a lot of higher level controls in play here, but that’s proven to be a good choice of investment. The end result is smooth, functional and fast.

Paul Glavich, Chief Technology Officer, Saasu.com, FireBootCamp Mentor (AngularJs):

The Scrum Eagles have my vote.

Nice search – lots of functionality wrapped in a nice, usable UI – very cool. Favorites is great, tabbed interface good. Overall solution is quite usable and well ordered – search is a standout though.

SugarLearning.com, developed by Scrum Central – 2nd place

Scott Stanfield, CEO/founder, Vertigo:

I toss my vote to Sugar Learning.

I really like the induction process, so I think that piece of software really worked. I didn’t like the fact that I had to register for the website to see it, but I like the workflow.

Troy Hunt, Software architect and MVP (Security), FireBootCamp Mentor (Security):

I really liked SugarLearning.com.

This is primarily from a usability perspective, I just found it easier to find info and immediately understand the context of what I was doing. (ScrumCommitments is also very good, but a little more cluttered.)

What I really like about both:
1. Lovely design, great responsive implementation
2. Maximum usability, it’s very easy to get to grips with what’s going on
3. Really good use of native ASP.NET constructs (membership, request validation, etc.)

As a security guy:
1. Would be great to see SSL on logins and for auth cookies (there are free certs from Start SSL)
2. Love the option for both local accounts and OAuth
3. Sugar Learning never set up their custom errors

Andrew Brust, Research Director for Big Data at Gigaom, ZDNet, Microsoft Regional Director:

My winning vote is for SugarLearning.com.

I thought the interface was clean and yet not spartan. The functionality looked really helpful, with a UI that made it easy to use. I also thought it was the best video of the three, by far. Maybe that’s irrelevant to this competition, but I think presentation is an important part of a product.

Craig Bailey, XEN Systems, FireBootCamp Mentor (SEO):

My pick was Scrum Central with SugarLearning.com.

The site has a good flow, and feels uncluttered. The implementation of functional areas such as the gamification (leaderboard) work well, and don’t complicate the experience (rather they add to it). The basic processes are simple to follow, and it is intuitive to use. …the team executed the business goals the best, and as such would be the team I’d want to hire.

Scott Cate, CTO EventDay, Microsoft Regional Director, ASP.NET MVP:

Scrum Central’s SugarLearning was my winner.

This site felt a lot simpler than the other projects, but the team have done a good job of producing a polished experience – better UI, easy to navigate, and it just got it better.It was also great to see solid multi-tenancy support; something that is hard, but often the downfall of any identity approach. However it would be nice to see things like the ordering done via something more intuitive, like drag and drop instead.

ScrumCommitments.com Part B – Developed by Scrum Stars – the Developers Portal – 1st place

  Brian Harry, Owner of Team Foundation Server (TFS and VSO), Microsoft Technical Fellow and Product Unit Manager.

I liked the Scrum Stars solution best.

1) It seemed like a more involved app. I particularly liked the attention to detail/design.
2) The integration with other services – email, TFS (or VSO), etc was pretty impressive.
3) They solved some complex scenarios: creating projects, with nested sprints, and popup details, all in one screen.

TFS iteration path

Figure: selecting iterations underneath releases

Scott Hanselman, Principal Community Architect for Web Platform and Tools, Microsoft

First choice for me was the ScrumCommitments.com dev portal by the Scrum Stars.

Clean, fresh design. Great use of client side controls, tag text box, filtering. Impressive. Solved some complex scenarios, a solid foundation.

David Burela, Solution Architect, SSW.Melbourne, MVP (Azure), FireBootCamp Mentor (Xamarin Mobile):

My vote is for the ScrumCommitments.com Developers Portal.

Although they lost some points on design compared with their competition, it was the most functional and immediately useful. ScrumCommitments.com had useful hooks into TFS. It outputs emails, it completed the scenario.

Daniel Smon, Solution Architect, SSW.Europe:

I really liked the Scrum Stars ScrumCommitments.com Developers Portal.

All three teams did a great job. What really stood out was the TFS integration that Scrum Stars managed to achieve. This was on top of a number of data management pages, the ability for the application to send out email reports, and even Google, Facebook and Twitter based authentication!

Damian Brady, Solution Architect, SSW.Brisbane, MVP (ALM):

My vote: ScrumCommitments.com Developers Portal by the Scrum Stars.

Wow, you guys got a *lot* done. There were clearly a lot of features implemented. I particularly love the TFS integration! In your video, it was great to hear how you vastly improved with your burndowns and process as you progressed. I’d be confident as a Product Owner that you’ve learned from your mistakes and would be highly effective.

The prize:

Telerik provided licenses of “The Telerik Platform Business Edition” valued at $1,788 to each member of the top two teams!

Conclusion

I’d like to say congratulations and goodbye, and mention a few things I’m proud of:

  1. Everyone’s communication improved substantially. Much of it starts from little things: Mohammed couldn’t give me a proper handshake, now he nearly rips my hand off; Jai, who was always full of enthusiasm, initially gave me a lot of mumbo-jumbo instead of getting to the core of the answer straight away
  2. Focus and preparation for each sprint improved every week and every sprint got better. We saw “Forming, storming, norming, and performing” in action with all teams hitting the “norming” stage by Sprint 8
  3. Bootcampers, you didn’t just build a successful application, you built an enterprise-ready solution by successfully implementing the Onion Architecture, Dependency Injection, and many other best practices
Well done to all the teams, and thank you to all the judges. I know that wasn’t easy – but nothing great is.
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