Note: AI assistance was employed in refining this article.

Path is an innovative remote programming project that brings developers together from around the world to work on real-life projects. In this unique learning environment, I had the opportunity to take on the role of a team leader and developer. This position not only challenged me but also offered a platform to work on my leadership and technical skills in a collaborative, virtual setting.

Understanding Chingu

Chingu operates by grouping developers into teams based on their skill levels and project interests. Its primary purpose is to provide a practical learning experience through project-based teamwork. Typical 6-week projects range from building web applications to developing software solutions, all within a supportive community atmosphere. This model not only enhances technical skills but also provides a platform for a global network of like-minded individuals.

My Role and Responsibilities

As a team leader, my role went beyond web development tasks. I was responsible for organizing and leading team meetings, setting project timelines, and ensuring smooth collaboration among team members.

Path Screenshot from the Discord team chat

This role required a mix of technical knowledge, leadership, and interpersonal skills to manage the diverse aspects of project development and team dynamics effectively. The team consisted of 3 people with different language and technical skills, in addition to diverse availability times, making it challenging to unite everyone.

Learning and Growth

What I liked about the experience is that I gained experience in managing git workflows, handling pull requests, conducting code reviews, and setting up continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines within a team setting. One of the most significant learnings was the necessity of team collaboration, documentation and making development decisions.

Path “The path is the goal” - Mahatma Ganghi (maybe after seing our commits and unfinished product)

Challenges Faced

One of the main challenges was the varying levels of commitment, skill, and language proficiency within the team due to time constraints and diverse backgrounds. This occasionally led to communication gaps and uneven workload distribution, impacting the project flow and team morale. Navigating these challenges was a learning experience in itself, teaching me the importance of flexibility and understanding in team management.

Overall Reflection

Looking back, this experience has further sharpened my perspective on remote team collaboration and the various topics that might come up during of software development in a team setting. Although we did not manage to finish our product in the given timing I view the “journey as the goal” and am happy that we managed to create and work on something that helped us along our development journey.

I believe that being in a team where certain aspects align - like availability, commitment level etc. can be an even richer experience. Furthermore working on, or creating a product that people use must be super exciting as well.


Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels