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My Dissertation - Week 4

The big task for this sprint was to sort out everything I needed for my mid-project demonstration. I ended up setting up both continuous integration and cloud deployment too, it made my demonstration a little nicer.

Next sprint will most likely end up being a code review and refactor, then I should be done with the server-side of my project (excluding the accursed pathfinding). We'll have to see how much I can get through.

Demonstration preparation

The main preparation I did for my demonstration was creating some brief slides using Reveal.js and wrote a bunch of speaker notes too using Overleaf.

Presentation points

This presentation was for my dissertation's second marker, they had no idea what my project was about and I was being assessed on the technical work at this point in the project. Therefore the main points I covered in my slides were:

  • What are the aims and objectives of my project?
  • How does my project aim to accomplish these?
  • What does the application do?
  • Project architecture
  • Code walkthrough and demonstration

After covering all of this in reasonable details I had written 6 slides in total (including a few of title pages) and made a nice diagram.

Wandr application architecture

The diagram shows how the /location route works and the speaker notes for this in-particular explain why the server is used as an intermediary for the FourSquare API instead of calling it straight from the client.

Cloud deployment & continuous integration

The technical work for this sprint was pretty small, I spent my time trying to keep my presentation down to 10 minutes with all my talk which left 5 minutes for questions. It was difficult but I managed it..

Heroku cloud deployment

So I published my server to Heroku using a remote git branch, whenever I pushed to this branch it would update the server running on Heroku.

One issue I had with publishing to Heroku was setting up my server's port. Heroku sets a port for each dyno (virtual machine) when it's created, in my code I was explicitly setting the port. Thankfully it was a relatively easy fix after a little bit of Googling, I had to use the environment port! My port definition ended up being:

const port = process.env.PORT || 3000;

Where the process environment had defined a port for me to use, I would use that. Otherwise good old port 3000 had me covered.

Travis continuous integration

The first step to getting my CI tool set-up was to get some tests ready for my server, so I set up JShint using the npm module (JShint package). It essentially lints your JavaScript for you, which is great for such a flexible language because you can often miss things. After some configuration settings were sorted out for the package, everything was fine. (Ecmascript 6 is best!)

After adding this to my test set in the package.json of my project, I ran the test command to see if I had any errors and proceeded to fix them (I might have missed a few semi-colons)!

Hooking up Github, Travis and Heroku

This bit took a while, lots of fiddly config. issues were had. But after setting up the options needed by both Travis and Heroku all was done. Now whenever I push to the master branch of my Github repo it kicks of Travis and if the build is successful it deploys to Heroku.

Latest Travis build

Leon Hassan

Leon Hassan

SAP Applications consultant, specialising in UI5. Avid fan of Fantasy books and dedicated comic collector. All views are my own.

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My Dissertation - Week 4
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