I want this post to be the last one in this category. I will try to sum everything up in this blog post, at least the most important things I learned. Like a closure to myself. What I like the most about this course were the guest speakers. I don’t thing anyone could have taught us that much things, no matter the experience. I think that, the fact of them being several people leaved me a complete perspective of the management world and the industry in general, rather than staying with just one point of view, regardless of the incredible experience the teacher could have had.
One of the biggest concerns I had starting the semester was my professional future. I am speccing to graduate this December. Starting this semester it hit me really really hard. I didn’t know what I wanted to my future self, specially between becoming a young entrepreneur or making my way into the industry. It did hit me. There’s something personal about me I want to share. I am that kind of person that worries about this things in an unhealthy way. It becomes part of my day. I don’t feel special or anything; I think a lot of students my age tend to have the same problem, but it was like that at least the first two or three months. It was really frustrating to see that there are super successful people in silicon valley that are my age, or even younger. Having this guest speakers let me see their perspectives when they were my age and when they were having the same problems I have and how did they manage them.
This semester was in general hard for me. It was an amazing semester. I had incredible experiences and I had the chance of
So I just wrote a horrible critic about my QA course. The truth is that, nothing can be that bad, in the case of the course, I loved how the professor talked bout his experience in the industry. He’s currently working for one of the biggest banks firms in Mexico, so he has a lot of interesting experiences to talk about. I will continue with this point in a minute.
Quick parenthesis. In this blogpost I want to share as well the course I’ve liked the most, so that the new students can get excited about it and start learning in advance, it was Software Architecture, with one of the best professors I’ve had in my career. Relating it to the book, the next chapter was architecture, it’s interesting and to the point. After taking the complete course, this chapter seamed like a small chat compared with it. What I learned about it was the importance of an architect in a project. I related with a director in a play. He is the one in charge of actually knowing everything, from the business to the technical specs of the project. Aside from the relevance of that position, there is a thing we didn’t see in class and Steve does mention it. He talks about the Software Architecture document. It’s basically the architect plan, written down. Document at which everyone involved in the project should have access to, including developers and stakeholders. Interesting course, interesting chapter, I learned a lot. End of parenthesis.
Back with the topic, I will relate this post with Final Preparations. I think I can compare this chapter with my QA course mora than with the actual QA chapter; the thing is, as I introduce at the beginning of the blog, my professor has an administrative profile, so at the end the class turns
Well, as you all know, I tend to leave stuff till the end, till the deadline! Chan chan… Haha, like the book, get it? Yes. This process was supposed to finish last Wednesday; I had everything scheduled down. I was mentally and emotionally prepared. I even wrote a report of my mental health in order to compare it later on that Wednesday. What happened was, we got more time. Unbelievable right?
I can’t understand myself. I had a rate of like, 4-5 quality posts per day. As soon as I received the news, none. I’m kind of angry with myself, it’s hard to get it. I really enjoyed writing. Those four days I dive into that working environment, I was pretty proud and happy with myself. That same weekend, I had plenty of time, plenty. How many posts did I write? You guessed it… None. I was even complaining about not starting before cause it wasn’t as bad as I expected, it was fine!
Something else I want to share is that, this semester I did surprisingly well, by semester I mean grades, and I can’t stand that this course will be the one with lowest grade, even if I get 95. I am not saying the reason why it’s surprising is because this course is easy, it’s not. Here is my conclusion and hypothesis. I’ve never considered myself mediocre, finishing this semester I found out I am. If you look at my grades, you’d say I’m not. Let my express myself, I am mediocre, but I’m pretty demanding with myself with respect to my grades. I will give the minimum amount of effort, in order to get the maximum score. See? Did you spot the problem? I limit myself to rubrics and professors expectations to be honest. I will try to hit the
Quick disclosure: Personal opinion, not much to learn about QA around here.
So, we have this Quality Assurance Chapter. To be honest I don’t like the topic, not yet, but let me tell you why. I have this course called, Quality Assurance, may be it has something to do with this blogpost. This class happens to be he only one with twice as credits as the other ones, so it’s twice as expensive. What I don’t like about that course in specific is that it’s basically just theory, which I get; it’s important in order to practice it well in real life, but! But ladies and gentlemen, guess the audience of that class. That’s right! Undergraduates! You guessed it. Ok too much feeling in here. What I’m trying to say is that, we haven’t seen any specific tool, or even practice in order to test. For instance unit-testing! I’ve seen more testing in my Advance Programming course than in that one. I think that, being undergraduates and students in general, we should’ve seen it more practically. We should’ve learned how to make quality code, and how to ensure its quality by testing it. In my opinion, that course name should’ve been QA Management.
Why am I writing this down? Why is this related with what I learned from the book? What can you learn from this post? The answers will come in a minute, but I just wanted to express myself. I really feel disappointed with the Tec; I really wanted to learn a lot from that course. Please don’t get me wrong, it’s not the professors fault, not at all, he makes an outstanding work there. I feel that every little aspect of that course came in together to form this really really bas experience.
I have a phew complaints about this chapter… But first I want to post this video, I’ve been waiting for this topic to come so that this video is relatable.
The author describes three main stages for Software Requirements, which are:
Gathering candidate requirements.
Which, make a lot of sense and I have no complaints about them. The problem comes in the suggested process. But first I want to review and talk a little bit about them.
“The most difficult part of requirements gathering is not the act of recording what the users want; it is the exploratory, develop mental activity of helping users figure out what they want.” Steve Ockonell.
So not even recording or documenting them, it’s all about figuring out what the users want in first place. This stage is so important that one of the guest speakers in our class has a company focused just in this matter. He started by making a meeting, such as the one in the video. Then he implemented some deeper activities scientist had already proved. Later on he end up adding a bunch of new dynamics which they thought were helpful, and found out that they were actually proved as well, just with different names. So, from software development to requirement analysis. He completely changed the business model of his company, that important is gathering requirements well.
The second point and third point is the actual goal of the first point. Specifying requirements is, at the end, being able of accepting and defining the final requirements with the client. Analysis is the last stage and refers to improving and setting up all of the requirements as they should be, the most effective and efficient requirement document ever created. That’s the job of requirement analyst and they
When I was reading the Preliminary Planning chapter from Steve’s book, I found out that there are a lot of things The Novel and this book have in common. For instance, preliminary planning is all about planning ahead, planning even before starting the project. This book mentions the importance of hiring good employees and some good practices in order to do it; the novel talks about this “gut” and the process the main character follows to hire his team. If you’re interested in knowing a bit more of that process, there’s a post already in this category.
This chapter covers a lot of different topics. One of them being Risk Management, as the prior chapter and prior blogpost. The thing I liked about this one tho, and from which I learned a bit more, is that there’s a list of the 10 most common risks in software projects. Guess what’s in 1st place, you got it! Feature creep. This is a topic I like a lot cause it happens all the time in videogame development. Basically, it happens when you add new features to your project, but excessively. It’s a risk mainly because you’d be focusing your efforts in features you don’t actually need, or that are not part of the main requirements. There’s actually no problem with adding new elements and concepts, the problem comes when you can’t handle priorities. That is basically it. It was surprising to find that in the first place. Highly recommended give it a quick look at this chapter.
Besides hiring and managing sponsors for example, preliminary planning is the moment in which you can decide what is being done and what not. It’s your time to make time accounting as well. When I was reading this chapter, I related myself in school projects. I think
Just kidding, I have lots of things to talk about.
I think that, if we make a class survey regarding the conferences and ask for a topic in common we would get as number one. Drumroll… You got it! Get a good lawyer, at least one that knows software. This post is mainly about change control. I learned a bunch of new stuff in the conferences and later on I totally related it with the book.
Change control is not about not having changes, or even worse about prohibiting changes. It’s actually the opposite, letting changes come, cause you are prepared already. One of the first points the chapter touches is, we need to understand the impact of a project. Point. Without actually knowing the area a change covers, we won’t be able of controlling its impact. The book suggest a five step workflow which will make our project change expert. The one that I find most important is the fifth one: Changes are proposed via Change Proposals. The first four are about things we’ve already talked about, planning well, but this last one is crucial. Change Proposals, just having this idea of a proposition thing instead of a mandatory thing, or horrible thing… No, we as project managers have to ensure that all changes pass through a nice and beautiful proposal. This document needs to be revised by all the parties within the project in order to be approved, this stage ensures that everyone involved understands the change and the consequences it might have. Then, and only then you can make an estimate of costs for the client and make a wise decision for everyone.
Coming back to the lawyers. They are responsable of making contracts that protect the company and
I’m currently (May 2016) an 8th semester student, hoping to graduate this December. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve never made a project by own for someone; I mean, a paid project with real clients and real work. This year, January, I received a call from a friend of mine. He has a marketing company and he wanted to know if I could deliver a mobile app, not only that, it was a complete system. As the title suggests, I said no, but it wasn’t that simple. In this blog post I want to talk about that experience and talk a little bit about risk management and project planning.
So I received the call and he tried to explain me everything, I’m going to call him George for anonymity reasons, George called me and he even sent the complete requirements document. So, at least I had all the requirements well written down, check for him. How would I create a feasible plan if I’ve never done anything like that, I was hearing deadlines, specific details, delivery methods and even money, (lots of money comparing with what my income was, still is, as a student). How would I practice active risk management as the book suggest if I have no experience to compare with, if I have no knowledge at all? Well, let’s talk about it! Chan chan! (Suspense sound effects).
Try to gain knowledge as quick as possible. First step, call my professors and ask for advice. I called an old friend and professor of mine, which has a lot of experience in the field. He told me it was too risky, too much uncertainty and too much money… Haha not really, but he did tell me that it was pretty descent and well payed. Ok, so first call and I
So as usual… I left everything till the end, and I’d leave it for later if I could… Good thing that I’ve read already so I just have to post my learning process. Let’s dive into it, follow me! Haha… Just kidding, I’ll try to post interesting things so that you, the reader, can have a good time with me:) What do you think?
The purpose of this blogpost is to record somehow this experience, and measure my success. As I started this post, I tend to leave everything till the end. I’m arguing with myself between keeping this practice or not.
Pros: I enjoy my semester and focus on the things I found more important. I keep a single week in which I can now focus in the important work, a bit stressing but still productive.
Cons: No contingens plan at all; if something wrong happens, I’m screwed.
So here’s the idea, I’d like to have 95 since I’ve already lost some points. I need to finish reporting my learning process in both books. So… At the end I’ll post again how much did I enjoyed or hated this experience and compare it with my overall grade. Till then folks, see you in like 10 cups of coffee and three days. Next post regarding the experience will be online till Wednesday night. Wish me luck.
Following a diet, how hard could it be… Well, results it’s actually harder than it looks. I want to talk about it because I think it’s closed related with project administration. When you read books, enroll in school courses and projects, you are getting a recipe, a structured way of doing things, such as in a diet. Turns out that, when you graduate and you finally get out of this controlled environment and start real life, things change, or at least that’s what everyone has told us.
Recently I motivated myself into exercising more; later on I found out that eating and having a diet is an essential element of my healthier lifestyle I want to have. From the outside, looking at people following diets, I’ve always thought that it wasn’t necessary… I mean, we all know what is good and bad for our body, so just avoid bad things, consume good ones right? That was my mind set at the moment. Well, turns out it’s more than that, it’s about having the right timing, getting your body used to an schedule, eating more vegetables, less sugar, healthier carbs, it’s a whole religion.
As soon as I started this diet, I got myself into a lot of situations described in the book, having to make risk analysis, time management, etc. Of course, in a much smaller scale. For instance, every time I go out at night, may be for some chicken wings, I need to make an actual risk chart in my mind… How probable it is of me having a beer, may be a couple of them? How hard will it be to ask for a salad when theres a double cheese burger in the menu? How late will I stay if I have to run in the morning?