You are working as a software developer in a team? So, the question is, how transparent is your development process?
At my current employer AOE – each team has its own Information Radiator with a custom dashboard. To get an idea of what an Information Radiator or dashboard is, read the whole blog post, there are some pictures which give you a good impression.
But it`s not my primary target to give you only an impression, I will also show you how you could build such awesome dashboards.
This post is part of a series called “Building an awesome dashboard“. We’re going to create a custom dashboard with multiple different widgets from scratch. It will be a six-part series, and in the first part I will give you a general overview, some motivation and the basic setup of all prerequisites.
The next parts that are planned for the next few weeks are the following:
Part Two: Create a custom dashboard
Part Three: Using the Jenkins Job widget
Part Four: Using the TargetProcess widgets
Part Five: Using the GitHub PullRequest widget
Part Six: Using the Meeting Reminder widget
Imagine you are working in a development team with multiple developers and each developer is frequently pushing new code or code changes.
Does everyone know what´s going on in the continuous integration pipeline at any time? Does everyone know if the code changes of a developer breaks the unit tests somewhere else? Does everyone know how long the current build is still running? What about the Selenium tests on the internal integration test system, are they green? And hell, which build number is installed on the staging system currently?
All this questions and more are answered with a corresponding dashboard. A dashboard gives your whole team a great visibility and insight. You know exactly what’s going on in all aspects of your development process.
The best place for such dashboards is an Information Radiator. Here you could see an example of one of our teams at the AOE Office in Krefeld:
After this series you could also have a dashboard like the following:
Open your prefered terminal and execute the following command to install Dashing-JS globally on your local or external host system:
$ sudo npm install -g dashing-js
Create a project
Create a directory for the new dashboard project:
$ mkdir /var/www/dashing/
You can also choose any other directory on your system.
Go into this directory and execute the “new” Dashing-JS command to create a new project:
$ cd /var/www/dashing/ $ dashing-js new dashboard_testproject
The output should be looking like this:
Every new Dashing-JS project comes with sample widgets and sample dashboards for you to explore. But most of them could be ignore or maybe delete – if you want – because we wouldn`t use them.
The directory is setup as follows, the meaning of each directory is discribed on the Dashing-JS website:
Last but not least it`s important to install all node dependencies:
$ cd dashboard_testproject $ sudo npm install
After that, you are able to start dashing with an example dashboard:
$ dashing-js start
Open http://localhost:3030 in your browser. Could you see the following image? Yes? Congratulations! This is the default example dashboard of Dashing-JS.
And that’s it for today, I will get back to you soon with the next part, which will explain the creation of a custom dashboard.
— Julian Kleinhans (@kj187) February 13, 2016