The Big Picture

The year is flying by. Sprint 2 is done and suddenly it is time to get everything ready for SyndCon 2017. Our last sprint was a roller coaster ride, full of mission critical Product Backlog Items (PBIs). On numerous occasions we asked ourselves “are going to get enough done before this year’s SyndCon?”  Fortunately, we applied all of the lessons learned from previous sprints and delivered exactly what we needed to lock in the v0.4 design. And I am happy to report we are ready to share our progress with our fellow guild members in August.

How We Did Last Sprint


As we shared in our last sprint kick off post, the number one priority for Sprint 2 was to implement the HID keyboard interface through an Arduino based board. We worked hard in planning to ensure we would be successful. One key to our planning was breaking this PBI down into smaller bites.  Thanks to the smaller PBIs we made slow, steady progress.  We also more quickly identified when and where things were not working. Thanks to this planning, we have fully demonstrated the architecture and implementation we will be using for the v0.4 HID keyboard.

It is worth noting another key to this success was our willingness to adapt our implementation to suit the technology stacks the rest of the CHIP Pro community is adopting. It turns out our initial implementation plan had some hits and misses. For example, we correctly identified Docker as a useful technology for the CHIP Pro, but it is lacking in key documentation. On the other hand, our initial decision to go with Node.js was not sustainable. There is just not enough community support for the combined CHIP/CHIP Pro platform for Node.js related projects. So, we have moved to the language of CHIP IoT development, Python, for the v0.4 firmware.


Overall we had a very good sprint. We accomplished what we needed and demonstrated an improved level of teamwork. That does not mean the sprint was without its challenges. Both Bryan and I had outside blocks at the same time due to work and family demands. This led to our missing several stand up meetings in a row mid-sprint. And, despite how well the sprint ended, the implementation details for the HID keyboard interface looked like they would not be completed as late as week 6 of 8.

Yet, as we noted in our retrospective meeting the theme of Sprint 2 was recovery. Unlike past sprints, we recognized the pattern of missed stand up meetings and immediately resumed meeting. Further, our improved teamwork helped us identify the sticking points around the HID keyboard research.  We were then able to select the proper path forward, leading to a surge in productivity the last two weeks and the successful completion of the sprint.

Bryan and I also identified a new lesson at the close of Sprint 2. The two of us have reached the limit on how much work we can take on in any given sprint. If we want (or need) to take on more work than we have been doing, we must bring in outside resources. These outside resources can include volunteers or contractors.

What We Are Doing This Sprint

The Sprint 3 plan can be summed up in one word, SyndCon. Every PBI is directly related to getting ready to demo and present our progress toward v0.4 at SyndCon. This includes:

  • implementing the new sensors we have selected
  • upgrading our demo hardware to showcase improved sensitivity and packaging
  • creating a professional, scripted demo process (complete with signage and dedicated demonstration games)
  • bringing Holoseat swag to give out at SyndCon
  • creating our presentations for SyndCon

In case this looks like a lot of work for 7 weeks (yes we are running a truncated sprint), that is because it is. Based on our final lesson from Sprint 2, the Sprint 3 plan includes calling on outside resources to help us get the job done. And, the good news is they have all accepted.  You can see the full list of PBIs on our Sprint 3 plan (click the Sprint 3 tab) and our complete backlog (click the Backlog tab) in our 2017 planning document.

As always, be sure to sign up for our newsletter to keep up on all things Holoseat.  And you can follow the week to week details of this, and future sprints, on the Holoseat project News page (Atom feed).