Following up on Greg Wilson’s post, here’s another pair of observations about the course; one good and one bad:
Thumbs up: Gaining experience working in a distributed environment is invaluable, but when you add on top of that the fact that we are producing some great open source software, you have a winning combination. Some of us have experience in the industry through co-op and other programs at our universities, but at least for me working on open source was a completely different experience. The mindset on this side of the fence is quite different, and gaining that perspective on development and collaboration is one of the most useful things I have learned in my university career.
Thumbs down: Perhaps the most well known and one of the most discussed problems we have had, but I will point it out again to emphasize the impact it has had. Greg Wilson’s post regarding deadlines in this course vs. those in our other courses outlines this issue. At least for the other students I have been speaking with this term, this has been an issue for us. Based on the number of comments on that post, it’s quite widespread throughout the group. This has one of the hardest things to deal with this term, and a clear solution is not all that visible. As I said, much discussion has taken place on that post, but I think this issue should be pointed out here in the post mortem.
With that out of the way, its clear to me that the positive aspects of this course far outweigh the negative ones. I imagine if we were to put all our ideas on the whiteboard like we did at the sprint, the positive list would be far longer than the negative list. That being said, its the negative things we learn from the most, and are the issues we should really look for.