Trial by fire

Cohort 7 has been working on their first solo projects this week.

Painting by Sergey Tyukanov

Cohort 7 tackles their individual project assignments.

We were presented last Thursday with a list of five projects we could choose from. Typically I and two others chose one of the more difficult ones* – gather votes for a Pub of the Year contest and creating a leaderboard.

leaderboard

I originally had the “Dancing Pony” at the top of the leaderboard until corrected by a classmate who has a better memory for Lord of the Rings trivia than me.

Other projects included complex tables and data coming in from every direction – one was making a site for the winter olympics that kept track of athletes and events, medals and points and made a results table – sounds a lot more complex, doesn’t it?

But appearances can be deceptive. It didn’t help that after spending Friday doing a load of planning, I didn’t really have any time at the weekend to work on it. So I felt like Monday morning I was just getting going, which, given we were presenting our work on Thursday, meant I effectively had three days out of the original seven to actually do any coding.

I admit that come Tuesday morning I was ready to throw in the towel. I felt that I had done almost nothing, having been delayed by my own inability to remember any of the Ruby code we had spent two weeks learning. Much of my time was spent looking up things I should by rights have committed to memory.

But one of the instructors at our regular morning stand up meeting said “You may think you’ve not done very much, but you probably really have done a lot.” And looking back, I think that’s true. But I wasn’t using my planning tools very well. I had set up a Trello board to plan out my work and keep track of where I was, but in truth I forgot about it over the course of a couple of days so I didn’t give myself that reassurance that I was indeed progressing, boxes were being ticked and issues resolved, slowly but surely. Lesson learned for next time.

And speaking of next time, it’s coming up again in 2 weeks time. We have a week of Java coming up, a week looking at the Android platform, and then the next week is our next project assignment.

Although in the end I was happy with the work I did on this project, I will need to learn some serious lessons if I want to make the next project week less stressful.

More planning, more git commits, more Trello, and more collaboration. Yeah, looks like a doddle, really …

* — Not that the others weren’t difficult, they were all bloody difficult. But this one seemed different enough that you couldn’t really learn much from the logic others were using on their projects, if you see what I mean.