Course Reflection

Christine Peterson Class of 2009

My initial feeling toward the semester-long IT project was based on what I had heard from students who had taken the class last year. I remember a friend of mine who seemed to work non-stop on his IT project for at least two weeks. I was nervous that the work to be done on the project would be tedious, time-consuming, and ridiculously difficult. I felt that I knew absolutely nothing about computers, and had no idea how I was going to be able to create a database, which seemed like an incredibly complex thing to me.

As I began going to classes, however, and concepts were explained piece by piece every week, I started to realize that by being attentive in class and both doing and understand the homework assignments I was helping to train myself to be competent enough to do the final project. When project due dates began to arrive, I found that my team had the skills and knowledge to successfully complete the reports.

My initial impression of the project had been wrong, at least partially. I was correct in thinking the project was time-consuming, but working on the project was neither tedious nor ridiculously difficult. When I began working on the final database with my team, I found myself sitting at the computer for hours, trying to solve problems or come up with new ideas to improve what we already had. I found the project to be both interesting and engaging. It was also frustrating, at times, but I wanted to work on it. It had a practical purpose, and that type of real-world problem solving and application of skills is appealing to me. When I get frustrated, all I want to do is work until the problem goes away! I found that this isn't always the best strategy for problem solving, and sometimes to solve a problem all you need is a clear mind.

I liked the teamwork aspect of the project as well. I enjoyed working with a team, and I was lucky in that everyone on my team had great attitudes. We had no personal conflicts, and differences in ideas were resolved with reasoning and compromise. There was some difference in skill levels, which made completing some of the work difficult as we lost three team members over the course of the semester, but everyone was willing to give their best effort, and I felt that that is really all you can ask of teammates in this kind of project.

Overall, I feel that this project was a great leaning experience. I've gained marketable skills and knowledge, which will be invaluable to me as I begin my search for a job. I hope to continue to use and improve these skills in the future. While I was working on the project, I thought to myself that I wouldn't mind working on projects like this and getting paid (good money!) to do it. As a result of the project, I will be seriously considering whether or not to change my major during winter break. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn so much. All the hard work was worth it!