Blog 2: Working in Groups

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Have you ever been in a situation where you feel frustrated, especially if you did not cause that stressful situation? Well, what I am trying to say is that I did not have a partner to work with for the first iteration of the class project and it wasn't until last Thursday that I finally met my official partner. Let me explain to you the story behind that issue.
Everything started from the day that we needed to work with a partner on the lab 3: Subversion and Iteration 1. Until then I had been working on my own. You know how it goes... you work on the lab assignment, you make some progress, you take a break, and so on. Nobody depends on your part of the assignment to be done, the deadline is coming and you are aware of that, but you know that you can make it. One day I was assigned a partner to work with from the TA. Okay, no big deal, but guess what... Yea, they assigned to me somebody who dropped the class on the first day. Heh, heh, heh. I know you think that is funny. Well, yeah, it is funny, I laugh too. I found out when I called my partner and he told me that he dropped the class after the first day. After I talked to the professor about it, he figured out how to fix it and, as a happy ending, I got an actual partner to work with. The purpose of sharing this unusual situation is to express myself in terms of how difficult it was for me to start working with some else as partners. You might ask where the difficulty is, I don't see it? First, we were running out of time, so they give us a fair amount of extra time to get the lab done. Second, I forgot to tell you that before this I tried to do lab 3 on my own. However, you will agree with me that it does not make sense to do it without a partner. Hence, it was a philosophical experience to deal with.
On the other side of the coin, I have been learning a lot about myself working with someone else. I did not know that I could be friendly with someone else besides me. Oh no, don't take it seriously, I was just kidding. Okay no more jokes about it, back to business... I was saying that actually this idea of having a partner turned out to be good for me, my partner has a lot of experience as a programmer so it is an opportunity for me to learn from somebody with such expertise. It helps a lot when I am stocked with a function in the code. Last time I remember that I quite did not understand very well some part of the code from iteration 1, so he spent some time explaining iteration 1 to me. It seems that he already knows how to program in C++ very well.
I am learning C++ and it is kind of a new language for me, I have used C or Java until now, it is just a little bit different... new keywords, new headers, more functionalities... You know, something like that. Before I used to use the header file -- together with the function -printf ()- in order to output data to the screen. Now, I use the header file --with the standard output stream object -std::cout- just to cite one example. The Subversion control system is completely new for me. It gives us a controlled access to storage documents and code. I would not image myself working for a company without having a basic knowledge of how to use version control systems. Since I became more familiar with Subversion commands, I can appreciate the full meaning of svn commit, svn add, svn update among other commands. It may sounds silly and trivial for many of my classmates, but for me is new knowledge. It is fun to have your own workspace to mess around whit the sample files and also be able to play safe with the assignments knowing that you are allowed to do it. Thanks to the repository, is possible to manage conflicts between users accessing at the same line of code, keep track of old versions, update files, etc. and all of these in only one single software tool.
In conclusion, it has been an intensive curve of learning for me since the beginning. It is always exciting to learn a new programming language like C++, I find very interesting and time consuming to use it. Definitely, I look forward for new challenges, new assignments, and willing to learn more than we are expected to learn. By the way, I am also re-enforcing my English writing skills.

10 Comments

I agree that having a partner can definitely be a benefit if he/she is knowledgeable in the area that you're doing a project in. My partner knows more C++ than I do and that was definitely a benefit for Iteration 1.

Andrew Hall

Javier,

It is nice to see someone who's not native to English either. Practice makes perfect, that's why we have several writing intensive courses that we have to take. I am certain we will have our writing skill 're-enforced' by the end the this course.

I am sorry to hear your unpleasant experience with iteration 1. I guess one thing we can learn from this, we can never be sure what we will encounter. I am glad that your partner ended up to be good that you can for sure benefit from. I guess it is not so unfair after all.


Buyu Chen

I'm glad you found a partner at last! I also haven't even heard of subversion before this class but it is a really nice software, especially when you are working in groups. It seems you didn't have too many problems with subversion but just finding a partner. I'm glad you have a partner that helped explained things to you. Good Luck re-enforcing your english writing skills. I too am re-enforcing mine.

It's good that you found a partner. Losing one right away sucks and can lead to many issues which you resolved with the teacher giving you an official partner. Your partner will be a great resource and friend to you that you can learn C++ with dampening that learning curve. Good luck trying to understand everything that is going on with this class as I am having a chore with it as well.

Wow, this is a quite unfortunate story, but it looks you are on the right track. Yes, we have to take some time to find our partners, to greet, to be close to him (Actually, we are not necessarily to be close to our partners.), which might be burden to some people. However, it would be always good to experience new things and people. Even if your partner looks lazy or effortless, it would be good experience for you. You might be able to improve your patience and to learn how to manage such people. Thinking about such people in your future programming team, you would know how to deal with them from the experience. Let’s be positive. Our life is full of stress.

I have been in many frustrated situations. One of the most troublesome things with having a partner is timing and making sure everyone is on the same note. Sometimes it seems like it is insanely hard to get a group together, especially in college where everyone has unique schedules. In real world "career" circumstances, most people will be working 8am-5pm (or something along those lines). Meeting with the group for a project is easier because everyone basically has to be there in order to get paid.

It is really cool to work with someone else on a project, like you said, since you get to see how they program and learn a lot from them.

Tom Manion

My situation was a little bit different, but I also had to work on lab3 myself and got a partner 4 days before due iteration1. That was not good, but I didn't try to find my partner early, so that was my fault.
I also used SVN for the first time in this class. I committed lab1 about five times since I was confused adding and committing.
Yongtak Jin

My situation was a little bit different, but I also had to work on lab3 myself and got a partner 4 days before due iteration1. That was not good, but I didn't try to find my partner early, so that was my fault.
I also used SVN for the first time in this class. I committed lab1 about five times since I was confused adding and committing.
Yongtak Jin

Props to you for getting through the first couple of weeks of more intense labs sans partner without giving up. Also it is good to hear that you see having a more C++ savvy lab partner as a learning tool rather than a good reason to slack off and let them do all the work. I know a lot of people that have done the latter, but that doesn't help you in the future when you don't have them around and must know and work on things yourself. Keep up your eagerness to learn and you can go far!

I'm new to using C++ also and I understand how you feel when you say it's a steep learning curve. I need to take your approach and use my partner as a learning tool since he is a better programmer than I am. Your english writing skills seem fine to me. I hadn't guessed you weren't a natural english speaker until you said so at the end.

Mark Edwards

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by ayal0034 published on October 13, 2011 3:22 PM.

Blog 1: Writing assignment was the previous entry in this blog.

Blog 3: Subversion and Source Control is the next entry in this blog.

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