22 October 2014

Qoffee.io - 2014 Rails Rumble Project

If you don’t know it, the Rails Rumble is an annual 48 hour programming challenge for Ruby developers. A team of (up to) 4 can enter and gets 48 hours to produce any application they like, as long as it uses a Rack framework.

This year, the aTech team produced qoffee.io, an application to aid people in keeping on track with their meetings. You can watch a video explaining the application, but I’ll break it down here too.

The basic idea is to prevent people from getting too sidetracked by reminding them that there are other items to discuss. Often in meetings a couple of people may get involved in an in-depth discussion that doesn’t benefit the group as a whole, and may be better discussed at another time, without everyone else present. Qoffee’s audio cues are designed to break these in-depth discussion and return to the agenda as decided on by the group.

Qoffee is inspired by the Lean Coffee way of running meetups. If a person needs to hold a meetup, they can create one in Qoffee and invite the people that they want to attend. Each attendee can then add the talking points that they’d like to discuss in the meeting and vote on other peoples talking points. When the meeting begins, talking points will be ordered by popularity and discussed in that order. Each talking point is assigned an amount of time it can be discussed for (5 minutes by default). When a discussion exceeds that time limit an alert noise sounds to remind the meeting leader to either move the discussion on, or to extend the current talking point if necessary.

We’ll be posting an article on the aTech blog shortly about the build process.