Useful Sticky Notes

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Brief Observation About the Modern Online Development Environment

I had been trying over the past few months to organize my thoughts around building a structured professional workflow template designed to mitigate one of my greatest professional weaknesses - memory.

To that end, my approach had evolved from taking brief notes alongside daily to-do lists (on paper.) While I still use a physical note pad for organizing and tracking daily tasks (I'm not sure why I am not comfortable using existing online workflow tools yet,) I had found that Google Drive offers me an excellent way to organize and track the status of my professional work in a hierarchical manner that I found hard with physical notes. This approach seems to work well with my current activities of building software stacks from source for experimentation purposes. Coupled with disciplined use of scripts to capture current progress, having an online structured scratch space that follows me around seems to help.

I imagine this would change as I try to reason about my workflow with respect to serious code development. I think that will have to include some effective way to quickly track bugs via a tool like Mantis (which I have installed,) but also ways to automate most of the work required to track the code base for correctness and performance regressions over time. A tool like Kitware's CDash comes to mind, but I'll have to see if this can be generalized without requiring ad-hoc meta-tool development the way most research groups do it.

On a side note - I found it interesting how the modern online infrastructure has changed to allow some of these features (like this blog!) to be available to anyone publicly and for free.

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