{November 24, 2008}   code == happiness

despite spending my whole damn weekend at school, i’m feeling much happier recently. maybe it’s the sunshine. maybe it’s knowing that the seester is nearly over. maybe it’s the fact that i’ve been carefully not thinking about all the things that could go wrong and all the things i’m not getting done. maybe it’s that for the last 2 weeks (not counting this weekend) i’ve been making sure i spend some time relaxing in some way, not always being on the computer. maybe it’s other nice things ;)

but i think at least part of it is that i’m writing code again, lots of it. not only that, today i had my whole group with me coding too. i could help them debugs things, i could get code written while they helped each other, i could hear cheers go up when something hard started working, i could bitch about the insanity of this course with them… :)

slowly but surely our system is taking shape. by most reports we’re well ahead of the curve. today i spent a bit of time helping someone in another group – he’d essentially been writing procedural code in java. heh. the complete lack of code design experience among the people in this course is pretty unfair, really.

and speaking of design, it’s pretty cool to see mine coming together and working :) yay! naturally there have been changes along the way… i’ve learnt that designing classes for other people to implement requires much more planning and detailed explanations of just what is responsible for what. i should’ve started the class diagram earlier (or not gotten sick :P ) – it’s amazingthe number of ways a design can be misunderstood. especially when the generated code doesn’t include the comments from the diagram it was generated from. :P
i also would’ve had more classes if i was doing this over again. some stuff seemed small, so i lumped it together, but i would’ve had a much cleaner system if i’d pulled all of that out into separate classes.

i’ve also learnt a bit about group dynamics. working with people isn’t one of my strengths… i needed to teach them gui programming concepts and had no idea how. still don’t really have any idea how actually, but in the end we all figured it out somehow. :) i also have this tendency to make people feel stupid when i try to explain what they’re doing wrong, and i haven’t quite figured out how to tone that down… but i seem to have not really pissed anyone off at least :)
in the end, i stiill feel fairly lost on how to work in groups well when people don’t have the same grade expectations as me… but at least i’m a little more confident that it can actually work :)

i’m also happy that some of my group members with the least experience have been catching on quite quickly and writing stuff that does in the end actually work. :) it’s kinda neat to watch people make the same standard beginner’s mistakes that i remember making in the past… and reminds me just how much of programming is learnt from making and fixing those mistakes. somehow it still amazes me how valuable experience is.

anyways, it’s very very late now – i had to catch a nightbus and then walk a dozen blocks home, and then decided it was such a nice night i should sit outsiide and blog…
i’m gonna go inside and defrost now ;)

et cetera
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