Undergraduate Capstone Open Source Projects

How to avoid FAIL

Posted by Titus Brown on 2009/12/18

Spurred by some of the MSU students’ experiences this term, here are some thoughts on how to manage expectations on team projects: be aggressively competent.

One Response to “How to avoid FAIL”

  1. This was a great comment Titus and one that resonated with me.

    First, I would like to share a video that echo’s what you’ve said. This was from a discussion about Google Summer of Code with the same themes.

    You’ll note that communication is crucial there as well. This is a hint… it’s always crucial when you’re working in teams.

    I would like to help students understand an important perspective that applies here as well as in your careers. We’re weighing competing interests and making time for you as best we can because we believe in the value of helping you learn. If you put in the effort, we’ll go to great lengths to help you be successful and even help you reach higher if that’s your interest.

    If you’re in regular contact with us and things aren’t going so well, we’ll tell you and give you advice on how to deal. We’ll pull in other people to help you. If you’re willing and putting in the effort, we’ll be right there with you if you let us.

    If you’re not in contact you’ve just made helping you considerably harder and sent a strong message that you don’t value the experience even though that wasn’t your intent.

    If you drift out of contact and leave things to the last minute, you force our hand to invest our time with students that are keeping in touch and visible demonstrating their effort and commitment. Let’s be honest, you would do the same thing in our shoes wouldn’t you?

    Your success is undoubtedly more fun for you. Your success is also lot more fun and rewarding for us as team leaders than the opposite.

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