Return to Article List

Forward March! Well Mostly Forward...


After a week spent working relentlessly on my ticket tracker assignment, I've made a lot of progress, despite a few trips down the garden path

This week I spent endless hours putting details no one will ever realize are there into software no one’s ever going to use. On the one hand it seems foolish; on the other, I was given an assignment to develop this software (the ticket tracker I described last week) and it’s not in my nature to do a half-way job, even if I’m the only one who knows it’s half-way. This trait sometimes serves me well; other times it makes me question my sanity (or endangers it!).

On the bright side, in the past week I’ve written numerous LINQ/lambda expressions that actually work without requiring instructor intervention. Typing Where( x => x.whatever == something && x.whatnot == somethingElse) is practically starting to feel natural. 

This week I was also pretty successful at dancing around rabbit holes, though I briefly fell into a couple. Especially in a user interface, many things can be done in either a nifty way or a pedestrian way. The nifty route is so very attractive, and much more likely to impress people if that’s what you’re after, although in this case I would mostly be impressing myself.  But pursuing nifty often halts forward progress. Everything else fades into the background while you wrangle code to accomplish something that’s not even in the program specs but you sure would love to pull off. Off you go to prowl online resources, decipher examples that might as well be written in Klingon, only to learn that the version of software they apply to is obsolete.  Why is it so hard to do the obvious - forgo all bells and whistles until the project is functionally complete?  If you finish the project before deadline, the rabbit holes will still be waiting.

There’s really not much else to report. The week in the classroom was basically a marathon of students tap-tapping away on their laptops, developing an application nobody is ever going to use, and wanting to do a knockout job anyway.




On 02/08/15 David.Jolly said:
An interesting post because it touches on the issues of "gold plating" in project work, and on the aspects of intensive training. I like to put in extra bells and whistles too, because I feel like it shows that I am serious and that I want to exceed expectations. But, this can be dangerous in project work, as you've learned. I always (well, mostly always) stick to the spec and plan to think about enhancements later. Otherwise, the scope starts creeping and you find yourself in project Purgatory. As for the idea that nobody else will ever see your work from the class, that's really OK. The way I look at it, a class like this is one of those rare instances when you go all out for yourself, and not for someone else. By really buckling down and sweating the details, you are adding to your learning, which is the point, after all. Keep at it, and keep posting. -A devoted fan

Add Comment

Return to Article List