Last year I joined Code for Boston, a local spin-off of the bigger Code for America (CfA) group, when it was barely starting in Boston trying to get off the ground. After a somewhat rought start, trying to find a place for our meetups every week, the group leader did a good job at finding a nice place to hold a weekly meeting. We finally starting getting down to projects. After much discussion and multiple projects, finally settled down on one called Urbanite. This project was originally developed during a hackathon by the group leader and some of his friends, we liked the concept a lot and pushed somewhat further in terms of scope and we wanted out of it. It turned into a bigger project than we imagined. It transformed into something way more complicated than I had ever worked on, let alone anything that I had ever tried leading or taking a big role on. After multiple discussions we had originally settled with Ruby as the main framework for Urbanite, but the more people me and the other person leading the project talked to the harder it became to choose anything and be 100% sure that we were making the right choice. After a couple of months we settled with Ruby on Rails and MongoDB on the backend and a angular.js frontend.

At the beginning I was mostly focused on creating a self-sustainable open-source project on GitHub, so that people could freely contribute without having much of a background on the entire project and its history. Yet not knowing Rails, or any of the other technologies proved to be a challenge that made it really hard to stay focused, this and full-time work on top took a lot of the eagerness I usually have for being entertained in such projects. That and Visa Season creeped up from behind taking even more time. But finally after being done with all of that, and buying a little extra time, I think I finally ready to keep pushing on Urbanite until I can see its completion. Specially since we now have a couple of stable collaborators that have provided the expertise and knowledge to move on. Plus the enormous task of keeping the project alive for this last month.

Urbanite <>



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