Squadly Dev Post #5, Finishing Touches, Pair Programming

Our final presentation is due in a couple of days so we've both cleared our schedules to spend the weekend on Squadly. We've been focusing on making changes related to feedback gained from the usability testing.

One thing that we did very recently, albeit unintentionally, was pair programming. Throughout the semester we rarely worked on the application at the same time, and instead had consistent meetings to discuss progress, tasks, and issues. Recently we decided to work on the application at the same time. We determined a bare minimum for the dev session and got to it. When Mike ran into a problem, I stopped what I was doing to help him out. When we were unsure of some details or issues, we discussed it right then and there. Needless to say, we got a lot done.

In retrospect we probably could have gotten just as much, if not even more done, just by working in pairs. Having more than one mind actively tackling an issue can mean the difference between solving it within ten minutes or being stuck on it for two or three. It definitely says a lot about the capabilities of individuals and companies that work remotely.


  • Cartodb is in the works for a map API. At this point no other API is being considered.

Interesting Finds & Challenges


  • A column should NEVER be named 'type'. It's reserved, but a workaround exists. Source

  • Since we did name a record field 'type', we had to rename it through a migration. In the change method, add column_name :old_column_name :new_column_name and make sure to run rake:db. Source

  • Use the column_names method of ActiveRecord to retrieve a list of a record's columns/fields.

  • Use the attributes method of ActiveRecord to view the fields of an object. Here's one way to display them.

Things we're looking into

  • Right now a user's page is not restricted by anything. If I know the user's ID, I can get to the page. We're messing around with an admin feature and blocking pages that shouldn't be accessible / are invalid. Here's a link on one way of adding an admin feature.