Working in a group is quite different from working alone.
Of course, there are benefits: two guys are working together on the same project, so there will be diverse ideas on it and we have multiple choices on how to finish the task and we can determine which way is better and more effective.
Meanwhile, some difficulties come to us while doing the project. During the work on iteration 1, there are many challenged that come to me.
Firstly, I found that communication matters a lot in group work. When two or more people are working on a same project, making effective communication is one of the most important things in my opinion. If two guys have different opinions, the work will not be done efficiently. For example, before programming, several things must be clarified, such as the return value of a function and the arguments that a function calls. If these things are not matched, it will be a disaster. If is hard to change either of those after the whole job is done.
Secondly, I found that schedule management bothered us from doing the project effectively. Because we are taking different courses in this semester, and both are very busy, it is kind of hard to find a common time period to do the project together. In this case, it requires us to improve the efficiency within limited time.
In order to overcome these difficulties, we tried in this way. One of us worked out the framework of the program and we discussed about how to fill the functions into the framework together. Then each of us was responsible for writing some of the functions and then we combined them together. In this way, we used the time when we meet together quite effectively and some work could be done individually on one's own laptop. And it worked well. Because we had talked about how to write these functions and how would these functions work, we didn't have a hard time while combining them together.
By the way, I had really tough time while uploading out program to the subversion. I really struggled with svn commands and the hidden folder ".svn" and those errors like "xxx has already existed in this version". I spent like 3 or 4 hours to make it done to submit my programs, which made me really frustrated.
Anyway, it is fun on Iteration 1.


yeah, I agree with you that we should clarified general things before start coding. Idea conflicts are inevitable, asking help from TA or professor is a good choice. -Fan Yang

I definitely agree with you that communication matters a lot in group work and somethings must be clarified before getting start. For iteration 1, we got a framework before getting start and we did the enumeration part first, so we could name elements properly in different functions. I think we did it in the same way. It is a good way when we work in group. I think I will keep doing that in the following projects.

Wenliang Tong

Your method of distributing the work among you and your partner seems like a good way to do it. As long as you can be on the same page and make agreements about the overall structure it seems like that would go smoothly, so it's good to know that worked out well for you. I agree that the scheduling can be difficult with class schedules and such. Good solid communication via e-mail or other internet based methods seem like a good way to overcome this problem.

-Nathan Dowd

I think you managed your difficulties very well and I should learn from your experience since I had similar problems as yours. Now, I got the key to handle them: Before coding, we should make an overall plan to minimize framework conflicts and fill out the functions individually. I appreciate that you shared your experience.

Communication is definitely key. Especially if you are relying entirely on subversion for seeing each other's work, as opposed to meeting in person and coding together. Talking about how you will be writing code in advance and then splitting off to code separately whenever each of you has time to do their respective portions can be tedious and lead to conflicts as you said, though if the plan is well defined and thought out thoroughly it can be very efficient in the long run. I am hoping that my lab partner and I can use this technique more in the future too, as we also find finding time to meet up difficult to come by.

-Anna Mandy

Communications and Scheduling are both very important, and my group was not doing well in this part either. I think the more important thing is to make a plan before you start to code (and maybe split works). This would make things a lot easier while we have poor communications and no schedules...

Communication is essential to working in groups, but sometimes it just takes patience. I understand the pain of subversion when it does not go as smooth as you would like it to. I also struggled with it a bit too when we first did our writing entries and had to submit it in svn. I had created the wrong directory structure, but for some reason I couldn't change it accordingly. Finally I got so frustrated that I just deleted my whole local directory and did an svn update and started from scratch again to create the writing directory. Luckily all the files were still saved on my laptop and all I had to do was upload it via ssh to my cse labs account.

- Keng Kue Lor

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This page contains a single entry by zhan1378 published on October 13, 2011 11:21 AM.

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