Benefits and challenges in team work

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I was really happy when my partner and I finished the first iteration and I realized the benefits of working together. Working together does help us to reduce the burden of programing and saves a lot of time. Furthermore, communication with my partner is very helpful in solving the problems we faced. Take the lexeme pointer as an example, at the beginning I was not very sure that what the lexeme pointer is going to do in the project, I just guessed it was for printing the content of some key words, when my partner had the same understanding and we explained to each other in our own thoughts, we quickly persuaded ourselves that lexeme is indeed a pointer that is used to print the content of key words. To ensure that the same benefits occur on future iterations, I think we must do the following: firstly, both of us should deeply understand the outline of iteration, since if one of us does not understand the project, communication will not be so efficient. Moreover, since you have to explain the project to your partner, if my understanding is not correct it may mislead him. Secondly, each of us should have an overview before we communicate our thoughts. Only in this way can we find out the advantages and disadvantages of our reasoning, and then come up with the proper method to start the project.
Though working together has benefits listed above, we actually had a few problems in our cooperation. For example, my partner disagreed with me on the variable name. I insisted that we should take undeclared variable name into account, so in my idea, this program needs one dynamic array to store the real variable name, which is used to tell apart undeclared variables and declared ones. However, my partner insisted that this is not lexical errors but syntax thing, and we need not pay attention to this problem in the current iteration. Due to our own stubbornness, we stopped working for that night and emailed the professor. When we later got the reply from our professor Eric, he said my partner is right and syntax errors are not considered now. Though the disagreement was solved, we wasted time in waiting for an unimportant problem. In fact, we should have skipped the problem temporarily and do the irrelevant parts. Complete stop was not a wise choice. On the future iterations, if we face the same situation, I think we can just skip the problem and emailed TA or professor, this is the right way to solve disagreements.
The first iteration was kind of easy and we finished it without any obstructions. However, as the class proceeds, the future iterations will be getting harder and harder and I believe that we can learn more from the project.

3 Comments

Hello Fan,

Sounds like you are pretty stubborn, I think you came to the right conclusion regarding this conflict. I think though, that you can use this solution to solve any conflicts that arise, not just in this project but in other subjects and even interpersonal ones. I think when conflicts like this arise it is always best to back off and not push your view too vigorously. Otherwise, the other person will insist on their answer even if they are wrong, just so they don't lose ground. So switching a topic to something else (or working on something different) until the situation diffuses and you can gain 3rd person opinion is always a good idea.

above comment by Bela Demtchouk

I agree that having a partner reduces the burden of programming. It definitely saved me a lot of time completing the project. I had few problems with my partner, as we get along pretty well. But I'm sure I'll have an issue like you in the future, as I am pretty stubborn too. But in the end having a partner is way better.

-Hieu Tran

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