The One where I Revive an Old Application

History always repeats itself. The old application that our current application is based on had some features that were still in an early iteration and that were not really used (because they were not really useful at that stage, I guess). So when the team set up the new project, they threw away some stuff that was not necessary for the first big release. During our last branch visit and in today’s refinement some of theses things came up again as features our recruiters need now. But no one in our current team was involved in developing the old application. I however was, way back then, and as a tester in a student job, so I’m not an expert, but at least I know a bit. So I decided that my task for this afternoon would be to check out an old version of the application and show some parts of it to the rest of the team tomorrow.

Turns out I didn’t even need to go back through the git history to find a good place to check out because I still had the very last version of the old project before it was killed/renamed/changed on my machine. rails s did not work because I did not have the old Ruby version, but I didn’t expect it to work right away, for me that’s just an easy way to start an unknown project. Try to start the server and see which things fail and go backwards from there. After installing and setting the Ruby version, asdf kept telling me that I needed to set a different version which was a bit annoying because I remembered that I had this problem before and that it was something weird. I managed to figure out what was wrong though: I needed to install the correct version of the Rails gem. It’s just a bit annoying that asdf ruins my approach of working backwards by telling me weird things.

After installing Rails and bundling, I was able to start the server but I could not access the site. I knew that it had something to do with nginx and certificates though because I ran into this problem when I wanted to start our current application for the first time. So I asked the guy who helped me back then for help. I might need to figure what exactly happens there at some point, but I think I’ll postpone this a bit. Afterwards I only needed to configure the authentication client which I knew how to do but did not have access to the correct project for, but I got help with that as well. And then some more help with seeding the database because I could not find out what the parser’s problem was.

And then I could log in and revisit my old baby! This is the first application where I really feel like I took part in the development process. In my first job, I was mainly responsible for user support and a little bit of browser testing, but I did not have access to the code base and did not participate in any development-related meetings. In my second job, I was a little bit involved in planning, did more testing and wrote/translated a lot of content for the website, so I did have access to the code base, but only for editing some text and maybe adding a missing CSS class every now and again.

I started working on the application I revisited today 4 months after I started working for Studitemps and as an Agile Tester in a Scrum team, I was completely involved in planning, designing, implementing, testing and reviewing the application. I did not write a lot of code and most of it was (feature) tests, just a tiny bit of production code at the very end, in a pair with one of the devs, but I still know this application a bit: how it works, why it does things and how it is structured (no idea why it’s structured that way though). So it was kind of cool to bring it back to life for a little bit. And it’s nice to be the one person who knows stuff for once. I struggled a bit at the beginning of the week because I realised how little I can do on my own right now because Rails and this application (and Vue, wtf?!) are still so new to me. But I do bring value to this team. I just need to find ways to remind myself of this every once in a while.