CoolBasic Classic DevTeam is up!

Yeah! Over 2 months in the making, all necessary arrangements are finally done to bring the development team up and running. During this period I’ve been documenting, and documenting, and.. umm.. documenting some more. Less time coding, I know, but it’s better to have well thought-out plans before we start implementing anything. The biggest time-sink has been writing down most of my ideas for CoolBasic Classic so that every member of the DevTeam is aware of and understands them. For now, I think there’s about 200 pages of text if printed. The management has decided to let the newly selected members to have some time reading the important contents from the hidden forum and from the document storage before assigning the first tasks to everyone. We’ll be having our first welcome meeting soon, too. I was happy to see both technical and design-related discussion about various topics within the same evening I promoted the members. I look forward to have rich brainstorming for the few future-coming weeks, too.

I and the managers interviewed all applicants. These sessions were about 45 to 50 minutes long discussions where the candidates were tested against their applications, and their motivation, skills and suitability were evaluated. Those chosen, I believe have true interest in developing this remake of the current, oldish CoolBasic, called CoolBasic Classic. Generally speaking, all interviews were pulled off during one week. There were 4 to 7 interviews per day, and they took place after normal business hours. It was exhausting for me to tailor the questions and the frame for each interview separately (in addition to executing the actual interviews), but I think we did a very good job at it. Having chosen managers beforehand definitely helped, and I’ve had support from them in many aspects how to organize the team efficiently – among other things, we now have an SVN in the works.

Every member was promoted to the Dev forum group, and they now gain access to the hidden development forums. The devs can be recognized from their bright yellow name color. They also received a email address as well as the login credentials to the internal website wherein the document storage is found, too. Tech Developers also get a free PureBasic license for 12 months. We ended up to 12 members + management, and I feel that we have a good team that has expertise from various areas of IT. The reviewed organization chart looks like this:

Now that the launch is behind, I can continue my work on the CoolBasic Classic compiler. It’s top priority because we cannot really start with the CoolVES engine until we have some byte code to feed in. Soon there will be various other “projects” launching in parallel, including code editor, internal DevTeam web services and experimental code for CoolVES. In a nutshell, all team members (apart from music artists) should soon have something to work on. Also, we have code quality checks, regular development meetings and branching. Once the compiler is at a certain state, I’ll start writing its technical documentation (internal) along with a public byte code documentation for CoolVES. Yay, I so love documenting *cough*. Right now I’m working on function overload resolution and optional parameter fill-in. When that is completed, only statement-specific validators remain for Pass#2. And when Pass#2 is finished, it’s time to implement the actual byte code synthesis (at that point, I will start specifying its exact command set). The compiler is already lexing and parsing all language features.

2009 Wrap-up

So the world has now entered a new decade. Let’s summarize what happened in 2009, and also peek into the future a bit.

For me, the year 2009 was pretty solid all the way. I developed CoolBasic V3 compiler, and managed to finish it. Well, nothing is perfect the first time you do it, so I’m still going to have to rewrite parts of it in order to improve performance in certain situations. However, as I got this idea of complete rewrite of the current CoolBasic, V3 will have to wait. There are number of good reasons why it’s smart to finish CoolBasic Classic before continuing V3 development. Being such a gigantic project with a whole lot of things that can ruin it all, CoolBasic V3 will definately need a development team. The contrast between current CoolBasic and V3 would simply be too much for the current community to handle, making it very hard to establish a competent DevTeam. CoolBasic Classic is a step to that direction, and it gives me an opportunity to test the idea of a small (yet fully organized) development team as well as some of those technical solutions already implemented in the new V3 compiler. CoolBasic Classic should provide a smooth step to V3’s direction, but it’s still going to be mainly procedural language. With CoolBasic Classic I hope we can increase the size of user base, resulting us better chance to find willing and competent people to develop CoolBasic V3 – when it’s time.

The last quarter of 2009 went on me planning this CoolBasic Classic DevTeam thingy as well as writing the Classic compiler. I must say time has wings and has flung by. It’s almost as if it just was autumn. I spend several hours a day working on CoolBasic Classic and its DevTeam launch, but due to big plans I need to study a few areas of interest regarding a few technologies I’m going to utilize in this project. It’s too early to tell publicly what those would be, but if all goes as planned 2010 will be a very interesting year for CoolBasic community. We’re definitely going to launch this year, and CoolBasic Classic will also be available fully in English! As a side-note, the Finnish community has grown vivid after the announcement, and there’s a lot of excitement in the air. I’m very happy to see an increase in the forum’s activity.

So DevTeam application period has now closed which means I’ll start studying those applications and then assemble the team. I was wondering if 31 days was too long a period to accept web form applications, but they came in pretty evenly throughout entire December (with slight front-load, though). I received 29 applications in total which I think is quite good considering how strict and demanding the requirements were. All vacancies were fulfilled, including the superior layer. The organization chart shown in the previous blog entry, will be changing a bit, but its reviewed version will be made available not until the team has been finalized. All in all, I think we’re going to have a solid team consisting of different areas of competences – even at a professional level. That being said, there will be interviews, to be held soon enough, based on which I’ll make final decisions about the composition of the DevTeam. DevTeam website has already been set up, necessary documents have been written (and will be available to DevTeam members through internal document service website), initial assignments have been formalized, and the forum now has additional hidden sub forums the normal users cannot see. I’ve spent countless of hours preparing the DevTeam launch, and the material they’ll have to read in the beginning, may feel a bit overwhelming.

There are quite a few topics I’m going to discuss with the DevTeam, and as things get decided, I’ll be newsing about them in this blog. Even with 15 people plus me, it’s still going to take months until we can launch CoolBasic Classic. Yeah, it’s THAT big of a project.

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