Projects & Time Tracking
This is a video exploring GitHub Projects & Clockify Time Tracking for Spring 2023
Hello, in this video, I’m going to talk through a bit of the process of doing time tracking in CIS 598, as well as doing some project management using GitHub, through the GitHub projects interface. First and foremost, what I’ve pulled up is Clockify, I’ve invited everybody in the class to Clockify this semester for our time tracking. Clockify is a free application that you can use to keep track of what you’re working on. And I think it has some really useful features that will make this class go a lot faster. So when you first log in to Clockify you’ll be able to select both the timesheet and the time tracker. The timesheet is pretty simple. It’s a traditional timesheet where you list all your projects, and then list how much time that you spent on those. If you want to do that, that’s fine.
However, I really recommend that you use their time tracker, in the time tracker, you can say exactly what you’re working on. So I can say I’m working on CIS 598. And I can put just about anything here, I’m going to say that I am recording a video, I’m going to select a project, I’m going to put a task, I’m going to say this is for learning. So I’m going to choose that project, choose that task and hit start. And now Clockify is tracking my time. So as I record this video, you’ll see that time probably jumped around because I’m going to have to make edits later.
So what I have done is I have populated this with a single project called CIS 598 Spring 23. And then I’ve added a few tasks. My goal for this semester is to limit it just to this project in these tasks, we’ll see how that actually works. In practice, I may change this in future semesters. Basically the tasks, we have development, which is where most of your time is going to go, we’ll have some tasks for creating your final presentation and final artifacts for creating the initial artifacts, which is mostly what you’re doing this week, we have a time specifically spent on learning. So if you’re doing any playing around with tutorials, reading documentation, things like that, you’ll probably want to do learning, we have time for preparing presentations one and two. And then we have some time for testing your project. I’m going to try and keep it to these few tasks. If you have a really good idea for a task that we should be tracking, let me know I can add those into this list. But for the most part, we’re going to stick with just these tasks for now. Hopefully everything works like I’ve configured it. But if you have any trouble accessing either the projects or the tasks, let me know. And I can work on that.
So we see here that it’s still tracking my time. And the nice thing about Clockify is it includes a few other features that are really useful that you might want to check out. First and foremost, it has a browser extension for just about any browser. And you’ll notice that the browser extension is synced with the website. And so if I start tracking something on the website, the browser extension, also notice that I’m tracking that and so you can control them both places. There are also desktop applications that you can get for Clockify. And so once again, they’re pretty much kept in sync. So if you start something somewhere, you can then access it somewhere else.
The other thing that you can do with Clockify that I will briefly show you is you can actually go in and install the Clockify extension in Visual Studio code. So if I search for the Clockify extension, I can install it in my Visual Studio code. And then once I’ve installed it, I can click over here on this Clockify Explorer, and it will show me all the information, the only thing you need to do to get this to work is to get an API key, and then input it into the extension. To do that, and clarify, if I go back over here to my Clockify, I can go to my profile settings. And then if I scroll down toward the bottom, I can see this API key, which is the one I’m using, don’t worry, I’m going to regenerate that after I record this video. But this API key you can put into Visual Studio code so that you can track your information here. The tricky thing about this is the only way to start tracking time that I’m aware of is to actually go to the command palette, which is Ctrl+Shift+P and then you choose Clockify: Start Tracking. And then it will have you go through the process of choosing your workspace, a project, whatever task you’re working on. So if I’m working on learning, and then I can say, testing VS code, part two, and then I can choose either billable or non billable, it doesn’t really matter. I can enter any tags by once. And then it will say tracking started. And so then in Visual Studio code, I can start tracking right there. And you’ll see that it keeps track of those time entries and projects and everything here. Unfortunately, I don’t know of a way to go through this explorer and actually start tracking via this. I think it’s something they’re working on adding to this extension, maybe but it’s not there right now. So that’s one option if you use Visual Studio code to track your time. I’ll also show one more through GitLab or GitHub here in just a second.
The other thing that I have done is I’ve had you all sign up for GitHub classroom, which will get you all a GitHub repository. That is under the ksu-cs-projects-2022-2023 organization, and then it should be spring2023-yourID. I’m using a test account here so it’s dash russfeld-student I’m actually just going to be dash your GitHub ID not your eID. And so this is where you’re going to be storing your code throughout the semester. Hopefully, you’ve got some experience with GitHub by this point. If you have any questions about using Git or GitHub, let me know.
There are a couple of things that we want to use on GitHub to keep track of things. First and foremost is the Issues tab on GitHub, I really encourage you to keep track of not just your to do list. So any entries on your feature lists for the MVP, 1.0, and 2.0 should probably be entered here as issues. But I also encourage you to use this to keep track of your to dues, your bugs, anything that you’re working on, this becomes a really great place to keep track of the to dues that you have in this project. The other thing you can do is click this button over here to switch to milestones. And so you can create milestones a couple of different ways. One way that I like to do milestones is based on my sprints. And so in this class, we’ll have Sprint’s that end on the odd week, so we’ll have a sprint for week three, week five, week seven, and so on. So you can create those as milestones. Those give you those nice two week Sprint’s that you can show to your advisors and keep track of what you’re doing. You could also use the milestones for MVP, 1.0 and 2.0. And break it out that way, you’d have a little bit longer amount of time to work on those. But that may make a little bit more sense to you, depending on how you’re organizing your project.
So what I encourage you to do first is to go through and create issues and then also create milestones for everything. And if you want, as you’re creating your issues, you can add them to the milestones, but I’ll show you this projects interface, that’s actually where we want you to keep track of stuff. And it makes a lot of this really easy. The one reason I really like putting things in issues, if you have the Clockify browser extension installed, it will add some information right up here at the top of an issue so that you can start the timer. So if I’m going to start working on test issue 123, I can click Start Timer, and it will start the time. And so once again, I choose my projects. Here, I can choose the task. So I’m doing project development, I can add any tags I want. But as soon as I hit Done, clock, if I will start tracking that. And of course, if I check the Clockify app, I’m now working on test issue 123. And it’s been tracking for 20 seconds now. So it’s a really cool way to keep track of what you’re doing. But now the timer started on that. So that’s one thing that you can do.
The other thing I have done is I have gone in and I’ve added a project for everybody, the project is based on your eID, that was the easiest way for me to generate those actually had to write a bit of code to automatically generate these. And then I’ve added you to the project, what you’ll probably have to do is link your project to your to your repository. If it’s not there already, I went through and linked most everybody’s last night. So if it doesn’t show up, let me know. And I can help you do that. But I’m going to look at this project, I recommend opening in a new tab just so it’s easy to keep track of. And so I’ve got this project open up here. By default, this project will probably use the table view which looks something like this, I prefer the board view. So I can choose that view. And then I may have to go down here, when I change the view, I may have to click save changes so that it stays that way. But in the board view, again, you can create these boards, this is a standard Kanban or Trello, or whatever you’re used to board. And so you can add issues here by just typing in items. Or what you can do is hit this plus button and add items from your repository. So if I find my rust felled students repository, I can choose that repository, it will show me the items that I have that aren’t on this list. So I can just check mark on my items, hit Add Selected. And now it’s going to add all of these items to this project board. So now I’ve got my issues right here in my project board, they’ll come in on the to do, I can move them over to either in progress or done.
And again, if you want, you can rename these to say I’m going to do this week three, I’m going to do this week, five, etc. And so I can reorganize things pretty quickly. I can also click on these to go into the issue itself and do things such as add milestones. So I can add things to the week three or the week five milestone, but you’ll notice that the boards set the status. And so what I’m really recommending that you do is use the milestones to keep track of what sprint you’re on, and use the board to keep track of the status. And so if I go back to where I had these, I can say this is in progress. And then this is done. Then whenever I look at the issue, I can see that it’s in week three, it is an in progress issue, and you’ll be able to track it right here. You can add comments to it to keep track of things, you can close the issue here, you can also close it through your GitHub commits. If you haven’t looked that up, there’s a really neat way that you can type in your commit message, something like closing number one, and it will close that issue for you. When you make that commit. It’s really cool. So there’s lots of things that you can do here, but this is kind of what I recommend. So again, the best way to keep track of this is to go through and add your To Do lists as is.
So hopefully, that covers most of the information that you’re going to need about using Clockify in this class, as well as using GitHub trackers, and using the projects in GitHub. It’s a new system that we’re trying to share. But the goal is to try and keep this so that we can easily see what you’re working on. And it also is supposed to make it easier so that at the end of the semester, you don’t have to make up your time schedule. You’ve been keeping it right here in Clockify. You’ve been keeping track of your project in GitHub projects, so your advisor can always pull it up and look at it. Hopefully this works out really well. But it is something new. So if you have any questions, concerns or anything that you think we can do better with this project process, please feel free to let us know. Otherwise, let me know if you have any questions and I will see you all in class very soon.