Core Contributors Sprints

Hi all!

One quick note from inside edX/2U-land: We have our first internal all-hands engineering meeting with the rest of the 2U engineering organization on Friday at 9am in the exact same time slot as the sprint planning meeting. :weary:

I feel compelled to attend that so that I can learn more about the rest of the org and start understanding how we (edX and the rest of the Open edX community!) will start interacting with them as the companies start working together.

That said and double-booking aside, I dig what I’m hearing in this thread, and reading everyone’s updates is a great reminder of all the awesome work happening out there. It’s important to note all that and celebrate it! Practically speaking I’m not sure what capacity I’ll be able to participate in the sprint, but would like to stay involved and informed to see where I might be able to help.

I’ll note that the Frontend Working Group has a pretty full backlog which hasn’t quite been groomed into an approachable, parallelizable set of tasks, unfortunately. Most of it doesn’t feel directly applicable to/blocking of the release of Maple, so for the purposes of this sprint I think we can ignore it as a source of possible tasks.

For my part, I feel like I have a bunch of irons in the fire at the moment:

  • Shepherding along our node 16 and npm 8 upgrade, working on IE 11 deprecation, and eslint 8 upgrade, which are all related, sadly.
  • OEP for Micro-frontend customization
  • OEP for Micro-frontend plugins, implementation of iframe-based plugins in frontend-platform
  • Helping to define the problem space for improvements to our developer experience. This includes developer onboarding, product alignment and process, risk mitigation around deploys as our project’s topography starts shifting, and long-term decoupling and modularity of edx-platform. This is just getting started.
  • Reviewing PRs for moving the Learning MFE header into frontend-component-header
  • Trying to be a resource for BTR where possible.

Something like that, anyway. Not all of it can get brain space at the same time.

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Past projects

  • Django 3.2 Upgrade

In progress

Current blockers

  • The BTR group needs more people from the community testing Maple so we can spot issues quickly
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Past projects

  • BTR chair for the Lilac release cycle
  • OEP 45, ADR 1
  • Small fixes and code reviews

In progress

Not much. I’m going through a transition period, and have had other priorities for the past few weeks.

Hi everyone!

I just recently became Core Contributor and am still onboarding, getting familiar with the processes, and trying to organize my time for future sprints.

Thanks for the updates! :smiley:

For maple @BbrSofiane do we have assignees for all the blockers for the maple release which needed help, currently? If not, given how important this is for the project, it would be worth considering switching some of the work we planned for this month?

@djoy @nedbat Sorry about the conflict :frowning: Given the number of people who needed to attend, I had to go with the majority’s availability on the choice of slot, but hopefully on the next meeting the conflict won’t be there? It’s important to be able to involve both of you in this I think (and other upcoming core contributors at edX, maybe? :slight_smile: ) – so let me know if that will still be really blocking, we can try again to find another slot for the next meetings.

For Jan 4 vs Jan 11 – both look fine. Personally I’ll be off on Jan 11, so I would personally prefer Jan 4th, but I see how more people are likely to be off on Jan 4th. So no objection on my side either way.

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Here is my update:

Previous work

  • Open edX hooks framework (events and filters)
  • Doc-a-thon reviewing and merging
  • Python 3 update
  • Django 3.2 upgrades
  • Overall bringing the technical team at eduNEXT closer to the community
  • Arbiter of OEP-45

Work I expect to push forward during the remaining of the year

  • Getting filters over the line to master
  • Investigating and solving issues for ecommerce in the Maple release
  • Participating in the contributors regular meeting


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One thing I’ll add here is that I got involved with the project back when @Felipe first put up the proposal, because I believe that it’s a critical capability for the platform to have. I’ve tried to review PRs like these from my perspective as someone who’s dealt with operational and long term maintenance issues. But as I’ve repeatedly noted in various places, I am not the target audience for this API. I think that this group is especially well qualified to review the work happening with events and filters in general, and that you might find a lot of value from doing so.

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Here is a proposed agenda for the planning meeting tomorrow - this is a draft (like everything else), so don’t hesitate if you see things to change:


1) Introductions

  • 2-3 sentences to introduce ourselves

  • Answer a question: “What made you make your first contribution to Open edX?”

2) Priority tasks

  • Review boards & tickets blocking the maple release (CC @BbrSofiane @regis )

  • Find assignees for each of them

3) Sprint updates

  • What did we do recently as core contributor?

  • What will we do during the upcoming sprint?

  • Any blocker?

4) Retrospective

  • What went well so far?

  • What can we improve?

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Since I won’t be joining the sprint later today, I thought I’d add a quick summary here.

What did we do recently as core contributor?
I met with Mike Leary from Open edX to discuss my role (I’m going to send a follow up on the Core Contributor epic as there are still a lot of unknowns. Xavier, I’ll @ you there).

What will we do during the upcoming sprint?
Go on holiday! I’ll be back early January to meet with Mike (again) to decide which projects I should work on. Hopefully this time we can figure it out and I can start putting my hours to good use! :muscle:

Thank you for a productive meeting on Friday! Here is the recording & chat log.

For the next meetings, we’ll hold them every two weeks at the same time (Friday @ 2pm UTC). I’ll update the meeting invite to make it recurring – given the number of people involved, it would be important to prioritize it in case of conflicts, as they are really hard to reschedule.

That said, with the coming holidays:

  • For the meeting to end the current sprint next week, since the meeting would end up on Christmas eve (Dec 24th), we are going to try to have it earlier in the week next week. Please fill this poll by tomorrow Tuesday Dec 14th at the end of the day. Thanks! (The results will be available there.)

  • Since the next two weeks are Christmas/New Year, we won’t try to plan a sprint there – only debrief the results current sprint, and do a retrospective. The next sprint will be planned on the following sprint planning meeting, on January 7th (also at 2pm UTC).

NB: I’ll be off on January 7th, so is there someone who would be willing to handle the sprint planning meeting that day?

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And also posting a screenshot of the meeting recording that I linked to above – it was really nice to be together in the same (virtual) room like this! :slight_smile:

Screenshot from 2021-12-13 15-36-34


@antoviaque From next year, I will be working a 4-day work week instead of my current 5-day week. I’ll be taking Fridays off, which means I won’t be able to attend these sprints. But I’ll watch the recordings and take a look through the chat log every two weeks so I’m up to date with what’s going on. I’ll also keep in touch with the team on the forum to let them know what I’m up to, and that I’m available for UX help if they need it.

I’m on leave from tomorrow so won’t be able to make this either. Sheez, this post is making me seem really lazy :upside_down_face:, but I’ll be back fully refreshed and ready to go next year!


Next meeting time

The results give Wednesday December 22nd 5pm UTC as the best slot for next week - so I’m moving next week’s meeting to that time.

End of sprint async update

FYI, for sprint updates, to keep them async and help structuring them, I’m thinking of experimenting with using Friday to post them. Any objections to that? If that sounds good, I’ll use it for the retro / end of sprint checkin, by posting a form for it there on Monday, ahead of the meeting on Wednesday.

Tentative list of questions, in case you have suggestions:

  1. How did you feel about the sprint? (1-5 mood scale)
  2. How much of your sprint goals did you complete (1-10 numerical scale)
  3. Checkin - What did you accomplish this sprint? (free text)
  4. Retrospective - What went well with this sprint? (free text)
  5. Retrospective - What should we improve with contributors sprints? (free text)

It would look like this:


I have just done that – I’ve added all core contributors to it, and sent the first checkin – you should have received a notification in your emails. If not, you can add yourself by joining the checkin via

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Thanks @Felipe @BbrSofiane @gabrieldamours @pdpinch for answering!

To the other core contributors – please take 5 minutes to post your update for the sprint! Especially if you can’t attend it tomorrow due to the holidays. It will be important to use the feedback in there, to know what to improve, and what worked/didn’t work.

Responses so far (I’ll update it shortly before the meeting tomorrow with the rest of the answers sent in the meantime):

Hi all! As discussed at our meeting today, I’ve made a thread for us to do intros. Looking forward to hearing from you. Core Contributors Introduction Thread!


And here is the recap, including the action item you just completed @sarina :slight_smile:

Improvements we’ll make

  • Allow everyone to add a list blockers to the sprint planning meeting’s agenda, and focus the meeting on this, the rest being done more asynchronously (assignee: @antoviaque )
  • Spend less time on intros during sprint planning to focus on the rest, by moving the introductions to a thread on the forum (assignee: @sarina )
  • Collect more insight into each others work to be able to collaborate more. Be familiar with other contributors’ areas of knowledge to get a sense of what they are working on and where they can help. This is going to be done mainly by continuing to do formal sprints like this one, but also by collecting areas of expertise and interest in the intro thread @sarina is collecting (assignee: none needed)
  • Discuss how to have better testing and sandboxes when preparing new releases, shared with the whole community (assignee: @ghassan )
  • Clarify the question about points to improve in the retrospective checkin, to also list what went wrong during the sprint, not just what we need to improve in sprints management in general (assignee: @antoviaque )

What went well

  • Collaboration with BTR and core contributors
  • It was good to meet everyone for the sprint planning, and hear about what everyone is working on. , The Remote working session for the upstreaming course produced a lot of work — it also energized the contributors community around that project.
  • Maple was released
  • Translations
  • We started having sprints and we are starting to communicate a lot better among the CCs.
  • Got prompt review (< 48h) when needed
  • Pretty much everything :smiley: , Quick reviews, nice communication, friendly and smart people
  • Able to complete goals
  • Scheduled effort and hours planning for Transifex Working group
  • We found an XSS vuln. and working with
  • we started pacing the work more coordinatedly

All the details are in the retrospective spreadsheet and in the video recording of the meeting.

Next sprint

Given that we are now getting into Christmas and New Year, most people are away, so we are not doing a core contributor sprint.

The next sprint will start with the next sprint planning meeting, on Friday, January 7th at 14:00 UTC. It will be held in this Zoom room.

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Here is link for thread where I shared doc Testing open edx release

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Happy New Year everyone :partying_face: :champagne:

Next sprint planning meeting this Friday

Reminder! The next sprint will start with the next sprint planning meeting, on Friday, January 7th at 14:00 UTC. It will be held in this Zoom room.

Sprint checkin

To save time during the meeting, the introductions have been moved to this thread Core Contributors Introduction Thread! (post yours if you haven’t already!) and I’ll send a sprint checkin form via (make sure to monitor notifications from there). It will contain the following two questions:

  • What will you work on in the upcoming sprint, starting next week?
  • Any blockers, or anything that could help you?

I’ll post the results here in a spreadsheet, and the “blockers” will be what is being discussed during the meeting.

Updated agenda

1) Priority tasks

  • Review any urgent or important community task which are missing an assignee
  • Find assignees for each of them

2) Blockers

  • Review the list of blockers mentioned in the sprint planning checkin by anyone

FYI I’ve posted the updates so far at Core Contributors - Sprint Planning & Retro - Google Sheets

We are still missing a lot of updates – so core contributors, please search your emails for an email from “Friday” titled “Core contributors - Sprint planning: please add an update”, and submit it today so we can compile the list of topics to discuss at the planning meeting. Thanks!