March 08, 2016 | 2min read
PIXIE - continuous integration status light
Tech products are created by teams! Their communication and cooperation have a powerful impact on the final product quality. At Polidea, we have seen first hand how great teams deliver great products. Because we believe in the value of teamwork, we have decided to develop a hardware tool to reflect the spirit of teams in our office environment.
We’ve been using continuous integration for quite some time now and it is the core guarantee for the quality of our products; we previously had an indicator light, but it was common for all projects and didn’t feel connected to our teams. That’s why we created PIXIE. One PIXIE central unit can wirelessly connect to a CI system and contain up to four status lights, where each one can display one of three states: pending, failed and succeeded. It functions like a sheepdog: it alerts you, when something goes wrong, but it’s up to you to fix the problem; because it is always present, you can easily see whether your build succeeded or failed.
PIXIE is designed as part of a team’s life cycle and is meant to support the team spirit. The assembly and installation of the unit can be part of the project setup and a kick-off ritual. Additionally, the status light functionality can be extended: every light is made with 16 individually addressable RGB LEDs so the team can develop their own indicators and the PIXIE central unit can be customised with a logo or codename, too. After delivery all parts can be reused in another project, but the shell can also be kept as a souvenir, or mounted on a wall of fame; after all, celebration is one of the most important parts of team building. PIXIE is a combination of open source, hardware and design. We share our knowledge, internal tools and libraries, so we wanted to share PIXIE, too. The whole project is based on standard, easily accessible parts and materials and we will publish in the coming weeks a series of tutorial for everyone to be able to build their own! Stay tuned, it is to be continued in our next blog post.