I once again totally dropped the ball on updating this thing but things have been pretty busy during senior phase of Fullstack. The last five to six weeks (wow! that seems long but it seriously flew by) pretty much consisted of three fairly large projects. First, we built an e-commerce site in groups of four. My group built a site that sold sandwiches (ie you can buy sandwiches on it but may not actually get one). That project took a little under a week and a half. Then, we had a hackathon type thing were we could work on any project we wanted. Munzi Codes and I worked together on that and build the Bechdelerator— an application that predicts whether or not movies pass the Bechdel test and shows you a visual analysis of the results using D3. This project wa around five days.
I think I have been lucky in all of these projects to work with people I really enjoy working with and work well with. We chose our groups/partners for the latter two projects I mentioned above so maybe it wasn’t just luck though.
Working on large scale group projects has been an incredible learning experience, and not just from a programming standpoint. We have had to think about how we manage and prioritize our time, how to make architectural decisions about how our project works, how to decide who does what and ensure that everyone is on the same page and okay with how things are going, and more. My groups have done a lot of pair programming, something I am always surprised by how much I enjoy. I think pair programming has not only made me a better programmer but on a larger scale made me more patient, empathetic, and better at communicating. Although those are of course my own opinions and my groups may bet to differ and say I’m terrible at pair programming.
I found myself stepping into a scrum master role in my latest project, our final project. It has been really challenging to find the right balance of leadership and not being extremely controlling or dictator like. I have really struggled at times in this position because I feel personally responsible for any and all problems with our project, group dynamics, group frustrations, and choices we have made in terms of project architecture and design that we wish we went about differently.
Being in a group working on something you are super passionate about is extremely rewarding but also a major learning an experience. I expected to learn about Git workflow, designing large scale projects, scrumming, writing good code, and more. I don’t think I expected to think so deeply about who I am and how that affects the choices I make, things I say, way I act, and how that should maybe be different. I didn’t expect to be so incredibly frustrated with our project and its bugs at times (though I really should have been prepared for that one).
Overall, the last five weeks have been pretty cool. I have worked on three projects that I am really proud of and learned more than I could have imagined. I can’t believe that next week is the last week of Fullstack.