Factory Project: Manager Edition

nathan-2013 Viterbi Class Leave a Comment

Today was really exciting for me, in a sort of nerdy yet not entirely academic way. I got to meet a team of about fifteen students, including Chandler, who I will be working with for the rest of the semester.

Our project, which I’ve written about before, is a factory simulation that involves computer science students from two classes coming together to write a concurrent, multi-threaded program. I’ve taken part in the project for the past two semesters, and now I get to turn the tables around: I’m the project manager.

This means that I get to do all sorts of new things that I’ve taken for granted: plan meetings, assign roles, track progress, and report on everything to the professors. I’m really excited about this, and I look forward to guiding my team to success. I know how much participating in this project taught me about programming, working with people, and getting things done, and I can’t wait to help everyone get started on it.

This is our textbook for the project management class. It's sweet.

In addition to just working with my team, I worked with Professor Wilczynski to develop a lab assignment for the students in the lower level class to address some of the problems that students have had in the past getting used to the programming style that they have to adopt in order to make their frontend code integrate with the backend effectively. This was really exciting for me because it’s the first time that I’ve designed an assignment that an entire class (and future classes, too, if it’s a success) are going to work on.

One of the reasons that I’m convinced my team is going to be successful is the initiative that they’ve already taken in regard to our project. One hour after it was assigned, I got a phone call from one of the senior members who, it turns out, was already helping the new students set up their development environments on their laptops. That sort of initiative makes me proud of the people I’m working with, and I’m sure that they’re going to be dedicated to the success of our project.

Oh yeah. Why would they have to set up a development environment from scratch for this? Because my team is composed entirely of students who volunteered to do the project in C++, even though they’ve only learned the skills that they’re going to have to apply to get the project done in Java throughout the semester.

I foresee a lot of hard work in the future for all of us, but I’m really confident that my team is going to have a great final project to show off at the end of the semester. I’ll keep you updated periodically on our status—and I’m sure Chandler will as well!

Nathan

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