February 10, 2011

As I've been researching how to find a ruby on rails job, I've come across one standard requirement in the industry: a GitHub account. Now, I've had a GitHub account for over two years, but I had never stored anything there. I simply used it to keep track of gems that I use in projects. I had also never known the proper process of using and editing gems. So when I needed to edit the content of a gem, I downloaded it as a plugin, did my editing and moved on. I had no idea that I should have forked the project, made my edits and then pushed them back for everyone else to see and use. 

So when I learned what I should have been doing, I went back to that gem, only to find that someone else had already made similar changes. Since I wanted to have some code viewable publicly I glanced through the todo lists of some other projects and ended up deciding instead to build a simple app and share that.

So I built a small app for captains of adult league sports teams. I play on three different indoor soccer teams and at one point got suckered into being the captain of one of them. The problem is that every so often we would have to play a game shorthanded or with no subs because I never knew who was actually coming to the games. I looked into a few different ways to manage this and found a great program called Orange Slices. The only problem was that the reminders didn't work and nobody appeared to be supporting it (or at least responding to support emails). So then I looked at using Facebook's private groups and adding events that way, but not everyone on the team was on Facebook. As I have a tendency to do in these situations, I came up with the idea to build my own solution.

A weekend project that overflowed into the week became AlfiesTeam (soon to be at but Armenian registrars take a little longer than most). I know, the name is ridiculous, but: (a) I figured that I'm probably the only person that will use it; (b) it was mainly built as an example app; and (c) if anyone else uses it, I'll become famous (well maybe not, but it worked for Craig Newmark - okay, he had an arguably better app).

The site is live and the code is on GitHub. I'll gladly take feedback if someone actually reads through it. I'll be updating the README file to better explain how I built it and why I did what I did.