“We should not only use the brains we have but all that we can borrow” – Woodrow Wilson. Reflecting on this semester’s CIT 261 assignments and work, this would have to be the motto I’d walk away with. This class has taught me honestly a lot about myself, working in a group, and expectations and goals.
Personally, I have found that sometimes I am lazy. When I say that, I mean that at times I am mentally lazy at learning new things. I feel daunted or try to find ways out of it, and just do not feel like putting in the effort. However, this field is not one where you can be mentally lazy. And actually as I have tackled learning the different topics I have found a lot of personal satisfaction (and even excitement!) as things click and work together. I’ve realized that most of the sources of inspiration came from other people just taking the time to share what they know, in their own words, hoping to help someone on their path to mastery. It’s actually very reassuring to know that I am never alone in this challenge, and that I am part of a beautiful community of other web designers and programmers.
Speaking of learning from others, I would appraise the quality of my group experience to be quite high. This group has challenged some preconceived beliefs that I had about group work. Firstly, I do not have to run the show for things to get done. That may sound prideful, but it has just been the reality I’ve experienced up until this point in my education and many other venues. It was a refreshing and freeing experience to work under a competent leader, and have group mates that for the most part were fantastic and consistent. I learned that I can assume other positions than the leader in a group, such as paying attention to small details or trying to communicate schedules with others.
I also have come to acknowledge the importance of consistency. There were members in the group who weren’t the most knowledgable about the topics. Yet, they came to every meeting prepared, asked questions, and were seeking to learn.A big part of that reliability came from preparation and not making excuses. They didn’t let poor equipment, lack or planning, or other things get in the way – they were there and ready to go. Reliability has become huge to me, much more so than someone who was experienced but a lose canon.
How do you succeed even with untrained workers, requirements in flux, and tight deadlines? Stay focused on the big goal. As requirements flux, you’ll have to keep reminding yourself what that is. Consider starting and ending each meeting with a goal for the upcoming time. I have seen the significant progress that can be made by just doing a chunk at a time, being very focused. In our small group, I noticed that when we went on programming for longer times than our work definitely wasn’t as clean or productive. Working with more frequency yet shorter duration is the key.
Overall, I feel like I have been able to borrow a lot of information from others in my study, my group work, and as I implement what I’ve learned into my career.