Reflect As You Work

Our Software Development capstone course is very team intensive. I think it would be helpful to research ways I can improve as a contributor in a team-based environment. I’d like to discuss the Reflect As You Work apprenticeship pattern. A successful application of this pattern ought to not only improve myself as a teammate, but could help boost the overall efficiency of my team as well.

The authors assert we should be assessing our personal identities when applying this pattern. The goal is to identify relative connections in our life achievements. Also known as “Mind Maps,” drawing Personal Practice Maps is suggested as an effective way to evaluate ourselves.

640px-MindMapGuidlines.svg
Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MindMapGuidlines.svg

Continue reading “Reflect As You Work”

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Share What You Learn

We’re currently in the stage in our capstone where teams are beginning to implement code for the AMPATH project. I’ve been noticing that all of the teams having been making a lot of interesting discoveries in the process. I think I’ve done a good job communicating what I’ve learned with my team so far. But at the same time, I believe communication with all teams as a whole is equally as important.

The “Share What You Learn” apprenticeship pattern concerns primarily what its name suggests. It is asserted that when we learn or discover something new, it ought to be shared with anyone who might benefit from that information. This can be done in a variety of ways. Examples include sharing resources on blogs, relative community platforms, and/or during face-to-face discussions. I feel this is important because even if one person has struggled with something seemingly trivial, chances are there are many others having the same exact problem. For example, a couple of weeks ago, others mentioned that deleting the package-lock.json file (while in WebStorm) before running npm install allowed a successful build of the AMPATH project with no errors. Sharing this information was especially useful to myself, my team, and any of us who had to previously make several manual code edits just to get the app to run. Continue reading “Share What You Learn”

Sprint 2 Retrospective: Deliberating and Conceptualizing

This sprint was an interesting one. It seemed to offer insight for what we should expect going forward in our professional careers. In college we can become overly accustomed to expecting and working with concrete tasks. I feel this sprint was a great reminder that out in the world of software development, tasks can often be anything but concrete.

As time has progressed, in terms of scrum, I’ve been thinking of the AMPATH app’s consumers as the customer, Jonathan from the AMPATH development team as the Project Manager, and our professor as the Scrum Master. The project manager gives us as team members direction on what we should be focusing on. This is based on his knowledge of what the customer needs. The scrum master offers guidance in best optimizing these tasks. If we hit a road block, the project manager and/or the scrum master help “clear the way.” They are available for general questions and direct us to the answers of these questions. But virtually nothing has been concrete, and I realize we should not expect it to be. Ultimately it is our jobs as scrum team members to figure out how we’re going to tackle each “story” in our sprint backlog. And that is why I feel this sprint has closely emulated a real-life scenario of working in the field of software development. I am grateful for the experience. Continue reading “Sprint 2 Retrospective: Deliberating and Conceptualizing”

Use The Source

So we’re finishing up our second sprint regarding the AMPATH project, and honestly I feel like we’re making some progress. Personally, I’ve been concentrating on Angular fundamentals to help me understand the “big picture” a bit more. I realize I need to implement strategies to hold onto and straighten my knowledge of these fundamentals. To accomplish these goals, one of the tasks I’ve been doing is applying the “Use The Source” pattern. For instance, I’ve been meticulously going over the AMPATH project code, trying to familiarize myself with every aspect of the app’s process. Continue reading “Use The Source”

Retreat Into Competence

Retreat Into Competence seems like the ideal apprentice pattern to apply this week. Our capstone team is in the process of discussing ideas for implementing the AMPATH application with offline capabilities. The problem is that I have become keenly aware of how complex this project is for me to even begin to understand. I’ve been noticing that my limited knowledge of Angular is certainly hindering my process. So I started to think to myself, “what can I learn more about that can help me move forward with the AMPATH project?” Then, and I’m not kidding here, I began thinking about this textbook, trying to remember the name of the pattern that discussed what I should do when I feel I’m in over my head. I found it, and as the name suggests, I should Retreat Into Competence. Continue reading “Retreat Into Competence”

Sprint 1 Retrospective: Getting up and Running

We’ve just completed our first sprint in the Software Development Capstone course. I will be posting similar blogs biweekly for the next few months. The purpose is to periodically check in and reflect upon the overall progress of our team.

Many of us, such as myself, learned for the first time what a sprint refers to in the context of software development. The whole concept of “sprints” and scrum is brand new to me. In very simple terms, scrum is a framework where teams produce material in small “bursts” (i.e. sprints) where the intention is to increase overall productivity. I must say that I am enjoying the team based environment, especially because it seems to closely emulate what we should expect when we graduate and transition to our soon-to-be careers.

This first sprint was designed to help us become more familiar with working in development teams, setting up our environment for future sprints, and the whole concept of sprints in general. We are working with AMPATH this semester, contributing to a healthcare consortium software project that is primarily used in the Kenya area. We hope to provide the AMPATH application with feasible offline accessibility, where data can be submitted online once an internet connection is reestablished. Offline access would be a great asset to those using the software, as Kenya internet access is reportedly unreliable at best. Continue reading “Sprint 1 Retrospective: Getting up and Running”

Reading List

I’ve noticed something about myself that has occurred especially during the past few months. I mean I’ve always enjoyed reading anything that captured my interest, but lately, I have developed a colossal appreciation of reading. This appreciation seems to go leaps and bounds ahead of any time in my life that I can remember. I think this has a lot to do with the amount of time I have spent learning and reading about computer science topics, subjects that I am absolutely fascinated with. I am certain the apprenticeship pattern textbook has only further solidified my interest in reading, software development, and computer science as a whole.

That being said, I have chosen to reflect upon the Reading List pattern this week. The idea concentrates on the importance of keeping and maintaining a “books of interest” record. As someone aspiring to enter the job field of Software Development within a few short months, I feel it is my responsibility to acquire as much knowledge on relative topics that will help further my career. And as much as I like watching informative tutorial videos from time to time, as the context of this pattern implies, sometimes there is no replacing the content of what certain books have to offer. Even many of the people offering such tutorial videos online seem to consistently reference material from one book or another. Continue reading “Reading List”