Telescope 2.0 — Thoughts and Ideas

As we finally tuned our calendars to begin the new year, it has marked a year since I last actively involved with the Telescope project. I have spent a year learning and gaining professional experience in full stack development at my co-op placement with TMX Group. I am now ready to join back, for which I am really excited.

Thoughts

Unlike so many things in 2020, Telescope has definitely made a big step forward. It has truly transitioned from a ‘garage project’ into a full-scale modern web application.

Banff National Park — Photo by Anton Biriukov

This is one of the first drafts of the project (remember this one, Dave?) made back in November 2019:

A year later we are looking at the system encompassing such technologies as Node.js, Gatsby.js, Next.js, Redis, BullMQ, Ngnix, Elasticsearch and whole lot more. I am really excited to learn more about the tech stack and make a positive contribution to drive the project further.

Ideas

After recapping existing plans for the 2.0 release, I got inspired by the ideas of adding a social side to the platform. If we manage to find a way to run live video sessions and have them available recorded, that would be a great step forward. I think this might actually engage way more students from within and outside of Seneca, transforming Telescope into an open-source learning tool.

One great thing to add in the future could be an online embedded IDE, running on cloud container. This would allow site users to actually follow what is recorded on video sessions hand-in-hand right there on the website. It might be quite helpful for the learning experience. In addition, factor in the new normal…

Another thing that crossed my mind is the possibility of adding automated tests to the project with Selenium, Cucumber or some other alternative library. Since Seneca, unfortunately, does not offer any courses on testing strategies, this might be a great opportunity for current and upcoming students interested in this field to get involved. It might also help us ensure Telescope works as expected, which might especially become needed as we add new features and more complexity to the Next.js front-end.

Lastly, we should make sure that we pay attention to accessibility of the system. It should ideally meet at least WCAG 2.0 standard. This is definitely an area we should spend some time on to make sure we support each and everyone willing to access Telescope. It is also almost like a must-have asset for any web developer to have, so it would be a great learning opportunity as well.

Conclusion

To sum up, I will fully focus on Telescope project for the Open Source Project course. It has a really solid tech stack, exciting opportunities for further development and a great community of collaborators. Let’s get the work going and shape the future of Telescope together!

Enthusiastic Junior Software Developer striving for discoveries & curious about technology

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