Creating Software Is *Not* About Planning

What portion of your team’s time is spent planning vs. designing and writing and testing software?

Even when you did a great job in planning, how often is your plan exactly on target?

When you hit the target of what you plan after 3 months, is that plan still the right thing to solve?

My team recently had an idea for a metasearch engine. We had a vision document, explored different options to solve the problem, and then did a 2-day hackathon. With zoom audio, 4 engineers, and 43 pull requests later, we have a working prototype that answered these questions.

  1. Is this a viable solution? – YES
  2. What are the major components?
    1. React Front End, Vault security key storage, API multiplexer, Express routing server.
  3. What are the unanswered questions?
    1. How does frontend filtering work for content? Does this really work to filter content?
    2. How does the UX work when thousands of content pieces return?
    3. How do we add analytics to improve the search results?

Our hackathon’s team outcome was that we learned to work with each other much better, intensely with 43 pull requests. The 4 people have a better sense of ownership and understanding of the technical and product vision. The team is much more excited to move forward with the next steps.

What we need to solve?

  • How much to plan
  • How to replicate the energy we had during the Hackathon
  • How do we allocate more time for intense working