Diane’s Midway Update
Posted by Diane Tam on 2010/03/01
The term started off with an earlier Code Sprint kickoff than last term and this definitely helped get things in motion much quicker and allowed us to address problems much earlier on which I found was most helpful this term as our team ran into a series of dependent environment setup issues that delayed a lot of the work. The goals and requirements of the project were fairly vague at first, but despite these early setbacks, I found that the team I am working with this term (compared to my last term with UCOSP) is a lot more self-driven and willing to communicate, ask questions, keep each other updated and help each other out. Combined with our two weekly meetings, everyone’s efforts is a lot more visible and as a result, the progress of the project is easier to track and manage. However, this is also due to the help we have gotten from our project leads from IBM. They are always available to answer our questions and help put us in the right direction, thus enhancing our learning experience with the project.
In terms of the progress of the project, we had tentative deadlines set by the team and we have been able to use this to guide us fairly well through the term so far. We have had to make some adjustments to deadlines here and there because we either underestimated the amount of work or ran into some unforeseen problems but I believe that’s all part of the learning process that goes along with project estimations and actual progress. From my perspective, we are right on track. We’ve managed to experiment with some database scenarios and integrate a graphical indicator to help monitor server side activity. From this point on, progress should be much more fluid as we have a good base to work with now and are able to move on to refining the scenarios and graphical indicators to be more useful to the end user.
In terms of things to improve on from now until the end of the term, as we have experienced in the first part of the term, I believe we need to learn to plan a little better so that we can account for unexpected problems more efficiently, perhaps do a little more research before jumping in and setting hard goals. Also, despite the fact that there is a lot of communication within the team, there is always the opportunity for miscommunication as well which has occurred in some instance where members ended up doing other member’s work. With better communication, these problems may be avoided.