Nothing's What's Up: The Technical Details

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After the first post on the gamified time tracker over at Nothing, we can now present the follow-up that deals with the technical side of the undertaking.

The short version? They are using Trac to organise their projects, and through some plug-in, also track the time from within Trac.

Our tool in the planning called was to blend in with our existing work-flows that are Trac and Inside. We’ve been using Trac for years as project/issue management tool. Enabled by a third-party extension it tracked estimated and total hours among other data.

Through some clever scripting, this connects with the version control system (in their case Subversion): whenever a commit is made, it can both address the issue that was resolved (hopefully) as well as indicate how long that took to fix.

These messages are then projected onto the status board for everyone to see and like.

Especially the last part is interesting, since it implements some low-level gamification and adding a very easy way to express appreciation. After all, everybody knows that well appreciated workers are motivated and happy workers … ;)

Head over to their blog to get all details about their system.

And of course: the knowledge that Trac can do time tracking, given the right plug-ins suddenly makes it clearly more interesting in my book as well. It’s well possible that we might use that in the future. As long as my co-collaborators agree with it, that is …