Lesson Monday

Once you're done with instructor-led standup, it's time to find your dev group and take part in a dev team standup. You will be doing a dev team standup most days while you are at Epicodus. While it may feel like a novel concept at first, dev team standups are very common in the tech industry. Daily dev team standups at Epicodus are meant to help you communicate about things you've learned, issues that are coming up, and anything else you might need to cover to have a successful day as a group. They'll also prepare you for dev team standups in the real world, too!

Finding your Dev Team

At the end of standup, your instructor will give you a link to a spreadsheet that lists all the dev teams. Keep in mind that you will have the same dev team for the entire week, but for each day's pair-programming, you will work with someone new from within your dev team. Generally, each dev team will meet in the morning for a fifteen minute standup, though the length of standup may vary depending on what you have to cover that day. For instance, it's totally fine if your first day standup goes longer.

Dev team standups are held in voice channels in Discord. These channels have sound icons to their right to show that they are voice channels. Here's an example of some voice channels in Discord:

Image shows limestone-group voice channel and 4 limestone-pair channels.

In the image above, there's a limestone-group voice channel. This is the channel where the limestone-group's dev team standup will be held. You'll also see four limestone-pair channels. After dev team standup, the members of limestone-group will break up into pairs for pair programming. Each pair will take one of the limestone-pair channels.

To join a voice channel, simply click the name of the channel. Your name and Discord icon will be added to that voice channel and you will be automatically connected with anyone in the voice channel. In the image below, you'll see that Brooke, Travis and Veronica have all joined the limestone-group voice channel by clicking the name of the channel:

Brooke, Travis and Veronica have all joined the `limestone-group` voice channel.

Communicating with Members of Your Team

Once you are in a voice channel, you can unmute yourself and start talking!

This image shows the icon that you can use to mute or unmute your mic.

In the image above, there is a mic icon at the bottom of the image. You can click this to mute or unmute yourself. If there is a red line across the mic, you are muted. If there isn't, you are not muted. This is really important to keep an eye on. You don't want to be speaking when your mic is muted and you also don't want to inadvertently make noise when you think your mic is muted but it's not.

You can also click the headphone icons to toggle the Discord channel sound. Generally you should keep this on so you can communicate with your dev team and pair but there may be times when you'll need to turn the sound off.

To start a video chat, click the title of the voice channel a second time. Doing so will open up a new view in Discord where you'll see large icons of all of the members in your channel. See the picture below as an example:

Image shows three people in the limestone-group channel.

When you hover over the window with the large member icons, you'll see a menu pop up:

From left to right, the menu has icons for starting video, sharing your screen, muting/unmuting, and ending the call.

From left to right, these icons are for:

  • Starting or stopping video
  • Sharing your screen
  • Muting or unmuting your mic
  • Ending the call

When a member turns on their video, their icon will turn into their video stream. You can click on a member's icon or video to make it larger. You can toggle between Focus or Grid views by clicking the icon with 3 or 4 (depending on the view) white squares in the top right hand corner of the window as shown in the image below.

The focus and grid views consists of white squares in the top right hand corner of the window.

Finally, you will also want to set up a group direct message (DM) with the members of your dev team. This will probably take a few minutes as you'll need to friend each other and accept each other's friend requests in Discord. At that point, one of you can create a group DM following the steps in Direct Messages in Discord. Make sure that everyone in your group is included in this DM!

Dev Team Standup

The next step is to start the standup! Before you start, make sure that your entire team is present in the voice channel. If anyone is having technical difficulties with hearing or speaking in the voice channel, take a few minutes to help each other troubleshoot. It's your first day of remote programming and not everything is going to go smoothly. We recommend that everyone share their video streams but if your team agrees otherwise or it's not possible for some members to do video due to technical issues, a voice call without video is also fine.

Once everyone is present in the voice channel and ready to go, start doing the icebreaker! Each person should take a few minutes to tell the group about the following:

  • Your name, your preferred nickname if any, and your gender pronoun(s).
  • A little bit about yourself and a fun fact!
  • What would be your superpower if you had one?
  • Why do you want to code?

Wrap Up & Find a Pair

Once you've all had a chance to speak, you're ready to wrap up the dev team standup. The next step is to find a pair, and then move to a voice channel to pair program in. If there is an odd number of people in your dev team, there will be one group of three.

Before you break out into pairs, make sure that you have your dev team DM set up. If you and your pair have questions or issues with your code, you'll reach out to your dev team for assistance before posting any questions in the Discord questions channel or asking an instructor for help. Even if you aren't having any issues, make sure to keep an eye on the DM so you can help out others on your team as needed.

Other than reaching out to your dev team by direct message, another great way to communicate with other pairs is to simply drop into their voice channel. Always make sure to ask if it's a good time to interrupt before asking your question.

We also suggest using a direct message for written communication between you and your pair to share resources and links as needed.

When you've completed the steps in this lesson, you are ready to move on to the next lesson to do a second icebreaker using VS Code Live Share.

Lesson 3 of 60
Last updated January 4, 2021