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  • Writer's pictureAlexander M. West

Mid Semester Self Reflection

Updated: Jan 23, 2020

This blog is going to focus on going over my peer feedback and self criticism followed by my plan on how to improve myself over the remaining weeks.

The review given by my prototyping team was broken down into 4 categories: conduct & professionalism, personal contribution, collaboration, and an overall. They are on a scale of 1-3 based on how well one is progressing in each category. In the respective categories I was reviewed at a 3, 2.5, 3, and 3. A positive set of scores with which I’m very content with.

Across all of the comments I got there was mention of being a strong programmer, being on top of things, being good at communicating on scope, and being professional and accessible. I agree with the above comments and put a lot of work into having my stuff together so that my communication and scheduling allows me to be on top of things. These are strengths which aren’t necessarily the best to learn from but will be kept it in mind moving forward in order to maintain contributing aspects that others think are beneficial.

One of the strengths mentioned was also mentioned as something to improve. That being the fact that I tend to shoot down ideas based on scope. I agree that this is both a positive and a negative and I should be more open to ideas moving forward even if they have a large scope. I should be aware of the scope and treat it equally as a challenge and as a risk rather than solely a risk.

Additionally, two points of criticism relate to one another and relate back to how I worked on the project on Sundays and Mondays typically with the sprints ending on Tuesday. One comment directly related to the fact that it was hard to iterate and give feedback on work that happened at the end of the sprint with no time left to review it. The other comment given focused on the fact that the other programmer felt disconnected even though we are supposed to be working with one another. This was largely due to the fact that we worked at different times of the week. Both of these can be remedied by working more during the week, which is what I try to do. My schedule currently is full Tuesday-Thursday but I have a couple hours free time that I could be doing work for production or other classes to move production up.

The plan moving forward is to fit more work into the week so that I’m not continuously working at the end of the sprint. Alternatively, I could aim to swap when I’m currently doing some work so that I do work for one class on Monday and production work on the Friday Saturday that that work takes up.

The last point of improvement was about working more in a shared space. I 100% agree that this would benefit myself and others in a team environment. This is a difficult one for me though because I tend to get distracted easily when in these shared spaces and find it difficult to do work in a timely manner if at all. I will try to do this a couple of times a week so that if anyone needs to bounce ideas off me or if I need to work with someone I can sit down with them.

The comments I received I 100% agree with and noticed them becoming a problem at certain times, but during the semester it’s difficult to quickly correct and improve on these things. There was one point missed though and this might just be being hard on myself or expecting too much. However, I would like to do more work on these projects; sometimes I find myself doing the bare minimum and I don’t know if this is a product of work ethic or just how much I am doing this semester. No matter what it is I plan on doing more for DuckMaster and pushing myself to really polish and do great things on this new project and carry it into later things. I also need to get better at managing my tasks; properly moving them when I’m working and done with them and logging my hours when I do them instead of when the sprint is over.

I felt like making this a blog post for a couple reasons: it gives some incite to how I think and how I plan on improving, it documents things so that I can uphold myself later down the line instead of doing the human thing of “I’ll just do it tomorrow,” and it helps me think about what I actually need to do to improve instead of just thinking I need to improve. I’ll be doing another one of these at the end of the semester to see if I’ve actually stuck to improving myself and then I’ll be carrying these changes to personal projects over the summer and for senior year.

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