This year, I’m involved in a club called JumboCode at Tufts. It’s a club that spends the year building a web or mobile app for a non-profit for free, and at the end hands it off to them.
I’m a tech lead for a team that consists of:
- 1 project manager
- 1 tech lead
- 1 designer
- 11 developers
How I got to be a tech lead without having previously been a developer in JumboCode is mostly luck, and a story for another time.
Here are some documented thoughts I’ve had recently that I wish knew earlier in the year:
- You should have your team work in pairs, from the beginning. They will get to know each other better a lot faster that way.
- Don’t leave it up to them to choose. That’s awkward for them.
- They will figure out how to work together. That’ll be okay.
- Two one-hour meetings in the week is better than one two-hour meeting.
- Two hours is a long time. People will leave early anyway and then it’s basically a one hour meeting.
- Many people will not come to the mid-week meeting, and that’s okay. It can be a nice time for more one-on-one help.
- Ideally, schedule the other hour-long meeting before the hour-long all-club meeting. That way, you get roughly two hours without having it feel like two hours.
- Recognize that React has unintuitive fundamentals. Try to teach the fundamentals of state, components, etc. and continue to explain them when it’s appropriate.
- JumboCode is a club whose main output is exposure to the wonderful world of making apps (I say that unironically; I personally love it). The app you make for the non-profit is a fun means to that end.