Software engineering team project quickstart

One of the things I learnt during group formation is that getting all the information needed from a group of strangers is a bit of a pain. Slowly collecting information over instant messaging is cumbersome and annoying. A contact sheet shared between everyone is the way to go here. I’ve created one here that’s useful as a template for future software engineering teams.

Google Docs - Software Project Group Contact Sheet Template

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This contact sheet assumes everyone in the team is a stranger. Columns like photo and nickname can be removed if the team is at least a bit familiar with each other. Make a copy, then send this sheet to everyone in the team and ask them to fill up as much information as they’re comfortable with.

After that, it’s checklist time!

Here’s some of the very common tasks needed when forming a team. My preferred approach is to create a Trello board and copy this into a checklist, but any task management app (Wunderlist, Basecamp) will work.

  • Complete contact sheet
  • Create instant messaging group (eg. Telegram, WhatsApp, Slack)
  • Create task management group (eg. Trello, Basecamp)
  • Create shared folder for files (eg. Dropbox, Google Drive)
  • Assign team roles (eg. Team Leader, Technical Lead, Designer, QA, Integrator)
  • Create source repo (on eg. GitHub, BitBucket)
  • Set up bug/issue tracking system and workflow (doesn’t actually need to use an issue tracker, but decide on a system)
  • Set up build and deployment system
  • Confirm regular meeting times (can be physical or virtual)

Finish all these admin work as quickly as possible so that actual software engineering can happen as quickly as possible!