Sprint 1 Retrospective

I think the most important lesson I learned this past week was that front end development can be extremely annoyi– ahem. Particular. Yeah, that’s the word.

In all seriousness, for our sprint this past week we were given 5 tasks. We needed to create an organization for our team in capstone, fork & clone the ng2-amrs repository from AMPATH’s GitHub account, read through its’ README.md file, set up the development environment, and then learn about testing with Angular. As it turns out, this was a whole lot more frustrating than we originally anticipated. When setting up the development environment using the ng2-amrs repo, the entire class got errors. People had issues with sass, issues with CSS packages, issues with typescript and issues with javascript memory management. Thankfully having the slack was an extremely helpful tool because not only could we offer catered help to our individual team channels, but the entire class was working together in order to get things up and running. As it turns out, there are a lot of ways that an angular/node project can encounter errors purely based on the environment that you’re running it in.

By FAR the most difficult thing was getting the development environment set up for everyone in our team. I was running on Mac and everyone else was running on Windows. The common issue amongst us was an issue with the styles.css or styles.scss file in the /src folder in the project. For the windows users, the specific error they got was “Node Sass does not yet support your current environment: Windows 64-bit with Unsupported runtime (57).” Professor Wurst found that it was a problem with sass, which required them to run npm rebuild node-sass. After this, it seemed to fix that issue. Since I was the only one who had a mac, that was not an error that I got. When I got my error, it included “Can’t resolve ‘ion-rangeslider/css/……’. After a big of digging, it seemed as though there may have been a package I was missing regarding the ion-rangeslider, and so I found the tool npm-check, which allows you to check what packages you have installed in your project and what version is the most recent one. From there, I discovered that I didn’t have the ng2-ion-range-slider package, and after I installed that, my styles.css issue was resolved.

Once past the styles.css issue, it seemed like everyone encountered an issue when trying to resolve a .ts file. My teammate Harry emailed AMPATH directly about this, and they told him that he needed to run ng build –prod in order to get the production build of the server, as opposed to just running ng build. This worked perfectly and solved that typescript issue for everyone who encountered it. However, the very final error that most people were getting was an issue with the javascript heap running out of memory while building the server. Upon a little bit of googling, Harry also found the solution to that issue on this Stack Overflow post. Finally, the server ran and built as it was intended to — but not after much trial and error.

Along the way, there were constant issues with angular and npm versions that needed to be resolved. I can’t even tell you how many times I ran npm clean cache –force, rm -rf node_modules, rm -rf package_lock.json, and npm install@x.x.x just trying to figure out if the issues were a version or installation problem. I actually do feel like I learned a lot about the environment that Angular and Node need in order to run, just from digging through files and trying to see if all that was necessary was a small change to a .json file. There was a lot of reading, exploring, and self-development involved in finding changes for the issues, especially since we haven’t had a tremendous amount of front end development experience yet.

Currently, we’re all working on understanding testing in Angular a bit better and we still have one group member encountering technical difficulties. His seems to be partially related to his actual physical laptop which is hindering his progress, so that will likely get sorted out with time. Overall I think this sprint was really great way to kick off the projects. I enjoy my team and think we all work well together. Excited to continue onwards!

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