Sunday, 15 May 2016

Final Reflection - Ian Murphy

Personal Reflection

There was a massive difference in how I felt about my performance in the module from the beginning and how it ended. At the beginning I was not enjoyable, more than likely due to my own personal and the team's failings that occurred in the first sprint, after going through that downpoint and getting back to a level I was happy with it was a lot more enjoyable. I think from now on I should try and engage with more people earlier than I usually do as by the end we all got on well where we helped each other a good bit and this could have solved the problems that I had in sprint one. It's a lot easier to work with people you can get on with so establishing a solid relationship with people quicker should make for a much better working environment when I do enter the workplace. 

Technical Reflection

I have wrote a separate blog on what I was working on for the final sprint here. The switch to using serial comms for transferring data between the two pis was a massive improvement over what was capable to happen over WiFi and it should be good enough for the additions that will happen next year when the next group of lads take over from us.

The next generation should try and implement what we failed to do if they want but ideally they should come up with their own ideas on what to implement next as we had our time with it. Kamil has created a powerful and simple to use framework for the next batch of students to build additional features on and what the rest of us have implemented is a good start that they can use as inspiration.

Project Management

Project management was a continuation of what was experienced during sprint two but the problems were solved and we worked like a well oiled machine. David and Luke took it upon themselves to take a leadership role within the team and David especially made sure that information flowed throughout the team as he would keep moving around and would update us on what others were up to.

When it came time to implement everything together at the end it went a lot better as we had started a bit earlier this time round. 

Teamwork Reflection

Teamwork continued its upward trajectory that had been developed from the second sprint. Communication between team members was much improved and there was plenty of help going around, Luke gave me a hand in suggesting how best to approach the communication problem we were having. 

Additionally it appeared that there was a lot more interaction between our team and the mechanical lads which lead to a much smoother process when it came time to implement everything together. One thing I learned is that communication is key for a team to run smoothly. You should always let people know what is going on especially if you need people to do something for you, pretty obvious now but it was something I dismissed beforehand. It was highlighted to me when it came time to gather the list of tags I needed for the communications. I had told one or two people but not everyone, once Jason asked if I'd told everyone I realised I had made the assumption that someone else told the people that needed to know. Big mistake, I told everyone and got the list of objects that needed to be sent and that was that. It is a pretty small thing but it makes life a lot easier to just communicate what you want/need yourself instead of relying on others to do your work for you.

The improved teamwork also made it a lot easier to say yes when it was needed to stay late at the end to get everything implemented together so we could capture a video of the project.

Final Thoughts

During the year we had a presentation from a developer in a company who gave a solid piece of advice when it came to working with teams, instead of saying "Yeah, but...", which can be seen as dismissive to an idea, it is more appropriate to say "Yeah, and...". I think this is a pretty good idea in the creation of team adhesion as everyone sees that their ideas are taken onboard instead being dismissed.

Overall it was a great experience, from a more hands-off method of teaching from Jason to more personal learning and learning to work in teams. The lessons will probably become more apparent as we head off into the working world where it will be more like what we experienced here.

I'd like to thank everyone who was involved, the team members and Jason. It was a great experience and I learned a lot, both from others and reflecting on my own actions throughout and I hope people learned something from me too.

I'm out, take care

Ian Murphy

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