Platform API weeknotes, 13 May 2020

What is it?

The platform API project is part of an effort to separate the end-user interfaces, business logic and data of the various databases used by Hackney Council to deliver services to residents. 

What have we done?

We’ve had our first “proper” sprint, though it was only four days due to the bank holiday. We still got a lot done in that time, however. Our focus remained on building our foundations, and following the previous sprint’s workshops we had a number of tasks lined up and waiting. We wanted to test what we had agreed on the Mosaic social care database. 

The first thing was for Ben R to update our base template repo to use .NET Core 3.1, as pretty much everything depended on this. Mirela set up Terraform for the base API; Terraform is an infrastructure-as-code tool which allows us to create our infrastructure quickly and easily in AWS. She’s also used Terraform to automate setting up data migration. 

The developers had some more short workshops and discussions to agree rules on linting and testing style, which then led to work to set that up as part of our continuous integration process. We agreed to add a couple of tasks coming out of these discussions to the sprint – normally this is frowned upon in Scrum, but my take on things is “what works for this team in their circumstances”. If there is work we didn’t foresee during planning, we should take it on if we can, especially if it’ll unblock other work. 

We didn’t manage to start work on migrating the Mosaic data. The system owners, entirely properly, asked for additional information on what we were doing, and it took a couple of days to agree access to the data and the approach. On the positive side, we’ve done a lot of good work on data protection up front which we can reuse with other data sources, and the business areas are really interested in what we’re doing. 

Early sprints can often feel slow, with not a lot of work done, but in just seven working days I really do feel we’ve done a hell of a lot – this will really set us up to move quickly in the coming weeks. 

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