Getting Started

Welcome to the LiteFarm team! We’re so excited you’ve decided to join us!

LiteFarm is a free and open source AgTech app tailor-made to help small-scale, sustainable farmers make the right decisions about the health of their farm, their livelihood, their community, and the planet. We’re currently rolling the app out in a half dozen countries across North and South America and we have ambitious plans to reach more than 10,000 farmers in the next 3 years. The core of our philosophy is building software farmers will actually use. This https://lite-farm.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/LITEFARM/pages/78905350/Paradigm rests on 3 core tenants:

  1. Build functionality farmers need behind a clean, accessible UI that farmers can pick up and learn (e.g. Simplicity > Robustness)

  2. Help our farmers make a living!

  3. Give farmers the access to expert knowledge and tools they need to run a successful farm!

These approaches serve the multiple purposes of incentivizing adoption of sustainable land use practices through the provision of evidence-based decision support, and significantly increasing the amount of data being collected by diversified farming operations (and analyzed by researchers) around the globe. It was developed with farmers at the centre of the design process and built from the ground up with accessibility and approachability in mind. We are proud of our https://lite-farm.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/LITEFARM/pages/43712527/Mission+Statement :

To meet farmers where they are and equip them with the tools they need to make informed and responsible decisions about the health of their farm, their livelihood, their community, and the planet.

Secondarily, LiteFarm was born as a student developed project and we maintain this commitment to promoting ongoing learning. Every single “permanent” member of the team is willing and interested in helping you to become the best possible professional you can be. We want you to know this a space for learning and experimenting, where making mistakes, asking questions, and saying “I don’t know” is completely fine. As a matter of fact, the greatest “sin” is not getting the help you need. We hope you leave your term, two terms, or ten years with the project confident in:

  • The good work you have contributed to the LiteFarm project

  • Your ability to operate as a team member in a professional, high performing agile environment

  • Your knowledge of the PERN stack

We encourage you to tackle every day as an opportunity to learn something new and stretch yourself. Once again, welcome to the LiteFarm team!

Team

This is a directory of the extended LiteFarm team. The list is roughly ordered from top to bottom in how likely you are to work with an individual on a regular basis. We’ve also outlined working hours, who can help with what, and the best way to get in contact with each person. Please actively reference this if you’ve got a problem and you’re not sure who to talk to.

Name

Role

Approximate Working Hours (PT)

I can help you…

Preferred Method of Communication

Name

Role

Approximate Working Hours (PT)

I can help you…

Preferred Method of Communication

Kevin Cussen

Product Manager

M - Fr: 10AM - 5PM; 8PM - 11PM (as needed)

  • Understand why we’re building what we’re building

  • Understand the strategy, direction, and roadmap of LiteFarm

  • Understand the needs of the user

  • Learn more about scrum and teams in general

  • with administrative questions about hours, paychecks, etc.

  • Slack @kcussen for most day-to-day things within the team

  • Tagging @Lite Farm on Jira for any questions about implementation of that story

  • Tagging @Lite Farm on Confluence comments for any questions about a guidance document

  • Email @ kcussen@litefarm.org for anything administrative

  • WhatsApp @ +1 206 604 4209 for anything urgent when I’m not responding on Slack

@Orangel Marquez

Sr. Software Engineer.

M - Fr: 5AM - 9AM; 10AM-4PM. (if you need to reach me outside of these hours just send me a message through slack)

  • Technically approach tasks you are blocked or are having issues with.

  • Learn about any particular framework/library you hadn’t had the chance to learn.

  • Asking and explaining required changes on your PR when needed.

  • With anything that relates to the project codebase.

  • Slack for urgent and not urgent things (just write Kike and my name should come up).

  • Tagging @Orangel Marquez on any question on code related issues with a particular task.

  • Whatsapp +592 92998855 if for some reason I’m not responding on slack.

@Sasha Avrutina

UX Designer

M - Fr: 6AM - 2PM
Can reach me outside these hours if you send a message through Slack

  • with everything related to design in general and user experience and user interface design in particular

• Slack: @Sasha Avrutina
• Email: savrutina@litefarm.org

To be hired…

Support and Quality Assurance Engineer

 

 

 

Jasmin Senghera

Research + Communications Assistant

By appointment (via Slack)

 

  • Slack @ jasminsenghera

@Crystal Arsenault

Organic Farmer subject matter expert, UX Designer, and liaison with the Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia (COABC)

By appointment (via Slack)

  • Understand designs I build

  • Understand the farmer’s perspective if you’ve stumped Kevin

  • Slack @ Crystal

Hannah Wittman

Professor, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems

By appointment (via email)

 

  • hannah.wittman@ubc.ca

 

Name

Role

Approximate Working Hours (PT)

Particular skills / expertise you can share…

Preferred Method of Communication

Name

Role

Approximate Working Hours (PT)

Particular skills / expertise you can share…

Preferred Method of Communication

@Brandon Tai

Coop Fullstack Engineer

MWF: 6AM - 2PM

TTh: 6AM - 8AM, 10AM - 4PM

 

  • Slack: @ btai

@Kaavya Lakshmanan

Coop Fullstack Engineer

MTWThF: 8:30AM - 5PM

 

Slack: @Kaavya Lakshmanan

@Yu Tian

Coop Fullstack Engineer

MTWThF: 8AM - 5PM

 

Slack: @Yu Tian

Sprint Flow

Subject to change: https://lite-farm.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/LITEFARM/pages/59179015

 

Tools

Here’s the list of tools you’re likely to use, including descriptions, where you can access them, and whom you should speak with to get access (if you don’t have it).

Tool

Description

To Access..

Administrator(s)

Tool

Description

To Access..

Administrator(s)

Slack

Primary communication tool

litefarm.slack.com

  • Kevin

  • Orangel

Jira

Tool for running stories and communicating about stories. Our sprint workflow is described here: https://lite-farm.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/LITEFARM/pages/31096833

https://lite-farm.atlassian.net/secure/RapidBoard.jspa?rapidView=1&projectKey=LF

  • Kevin

  • Orangel

Confluence

Confluence is where we document overarching guidance documents.

https://lite-farm.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/LITEFARM

  • Kevin

  • Orangel

Github

Where our code lives

https://github.com/LiteFarmOrg/LiteFarm

  • Kevin

  • Orangel

Git

Distributed version control system

https://gist.github.com/derhuerst/1b15ff4652a867391f03

  • Orangel

Figma

Tool for building and sharing UI

View-only access will be embedded into Jira stories

  • Crystal

productboard

Roadmap

https://litefarm.productboard.com/roadmap/1624448-release-roadmap

  • Kevin

LucidChart

Tool for creating flows

View-only access will be embedded into Jira stories

  • Kevin

Heroku

Tool to host the production and integration environments

beta.litefarm.org

litefarm.org

  • Kevin

  • Orangel

Gitlab

The CI/CD process for LiteFarm

https://gitlab.com/LiteFarm/LiteFarm

  • Kevin

LastPass

Tool for sharing credentials

https://lastpass.com/misc_download2.php

  • Mollie

  • Kevin

EngageBay

LiteFarm CRM

N/A

  • Kevin

Auth0

Tool for automating authentication

https://manage.auth0.com/dashboard/us/litefarm/

  • Kevin

  • Orangel

 

Communications best practices

We’re a distributed team, so communications are both super-important to getting work done and maintaining a strong team culture. These are a few best practices we can recommend!

Tool

Description

Do

Don’t

Tool

Description

Do

Don’t

Slack

We use Slack for 90% of our team communication. It’s nice for discussing topics or jumping on a quick call. Note - we are using the free plan, so if you need to screen share use Zoom instead. If you’re not a pro today, you will be soon!

  • Use Slack liberally to contact people one-on-one

  • Use the “sprint-team” channel for communications about stories in the current sprint

  • Pause notifications for an hour or two if you need to concentrate on something

  • Use Slack calls for quick chats where you don’t need to screen share

  • Search keywords if you’re trying to learn about something

  • Suggest integrations if it could be helpful!

  • Keep conversations one-on-one if the whole team could learn or gain context from the discussion; instead go to a team channel

Jira

Jira is where we keep track of stories from sprint to sprint. Conversations specific to a particular story should take place on that story in the comments.

  • Add comments and questions to stories you’re working or can help with (this keeps the conversation contextual to anyone that is trying to learn about the functionality moving forward)

  • Assume someone sees your Jira comments contemporaneously - notifications go to email which many team members don’t check regularly (follow-up on Slack if urgent)

Confluence

Confluence is where we document overarching guidance documents.

  • Add comments to guidance pages if you have a question or comment about that particular guidance document

  • Use Confluence for really anything else…

Zoom

Need to screen share? Use Zoom. All our sprint rituals take place on Zoom. Kevin and Mollie have full Zoom accounts they can share. Otherwise, feel free to use the free version (limited to 45 minutes) for quick calls.

  • Get comfortable with screen sharing

 

Email

Email is best for communications that will eventually exit the team, e.g. a question about payroll where we’ll need to cc an HR person.

 

  • Take engineering discussions to email

WhatsApp

Is someone out of the office, you can try WhatsApping them

  • Verify someone wants to be WhatsApped before you reach out to them via WhatsApp

 

First Week Reading List

These documents will prove useful in helping your orientate

 

Other things you should do as you’re coming up to speed…

Take 2 - 3 hours to build the latest version of the code and explore functionality (farms, fields, crops, logs, shifts, users, etc.) in the app so you have a baseline on what it looks like now
(Individually) schedule 30-minutes with Kevin to create your learning plan
(As a group) schedule 1-hour with Kike to discuss the overall architecture of the application
(As a group) schedule 30-minutes with Kike to level-set on using Git