Sprints ... a plea from the wilderness

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Sprints ... a plea from the wilderness

Postby Neil-B » Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:44 am

Just an observation ... but for most people a sprint is a race (yes I know there are different meanings in tech dev) and a race has a finish line ... if one is racing towards the finish line and it keeps moving further away or disappearing then this has an impact ones commitment/engagement and how much one wants to be part of the race ... This view (as opposed to the other meanings) is reinforced if a 100% monitor is used.

In the UK we have a children's program called Blue Peter which usually has some form of "appeal" going and this is monitored by a "totaliser" which shows progress towards the goal ... The absolutely massive success of these appeals would not have been achieved if the totaliser kept on resetting or moving backwards, never actually achieving or celebrating meeting the target ... and past appeals and their completion are kept for posterity and celebrated - they don't vanish into obscurity even before they have been completed.

Now I am not saying that folders are like children ;) ... but I can speak for myself ... I want to see the progress bar for sprint 1, sprint 2, sprint 3, and going forward ... If someone wants to add more to sprint 3 then fire up another sprint and call it sprint 4 - don't rewrite history and take a high 90s %age sprint and reset to 50% cause that just ain't fair !! ... (rolls around on floor kicking and screaming in tantrum fit !!)

Seriously - like the idea of the sprints - just feel that the execution/reporting is not conducive to folder engagement ... Yes I know science is the important thing - but if you are going down the publicised sprint route then please, please do it in a way that actually allows sprints to finish !! ... I have no problem with sprints overlapping (watch any athletics meet and many events happen at the same time) but please keep them separate and distinct ... I can even cope with one sprint being paused to let another complete first (like watching the javelin throwers pause as the long distance runners lap past the launch run up).
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Re: Sprints ... a plea from the wilderness

Postby ajm » Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:14 am

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Re: Sprints ... a plea from the wilderness

Postby JohnChodera » Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:22 am

@Neil-B and @ajm: I hear you! We won't move the goalposts mid-sprint again.

In the meantime, take a look at the preview of our experimental "Science Dashboard" we are using to monitor the leaderboard (of molecules) for each sprint.

We're hoping to have a "Folder Dashboard" as well that gives more statistics about who has contributed to what. Anything you folks would like to see there?

Thanks for the great constructive feedback---we make progress by integrating great feedback like this!

~ John Chodera // MSKCC
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Re: Sprints ... a plea from the wilderness

Postby gunnarre » Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:15 am

As a healthcare informatician with only a lay person's knowledge of molecular dynamics, the free energy distributions at the top mean little to me, but the top most promising compounds feels very relevant. In a folders' dashboard, I would move the top compounds to the top of the page, and then if the total free energy distributions are included, put in a popularized explanation of what it means. I'd like legends or at least links to definitions of all the metrics. This might be one of the ways that young people get interested to learn.

Seeing which teams and individuals contributed most to the runs on those compounds also feels relevant, even though there is a slight lottery aspect to which compounds you get assigned to fold. It's still fun though, to compete and cooperate with other folders. I'd also like to see links to who suggested and/or synthesized the compounds and more about the scientists behind the project, like we have on the project page. Only if you have that data already of course - I wouldn't want to see effort that could be used on the science be diverted into neat presentations.
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