Project Experience

Now that my Project External is finished, I’m a free bird (well, at least for a while because I’ve my final exams starting in a few days). Project work was very hectic. Generally the coding part is done first and then the documentation part. But in my case it was entirely different. We completed the documentation part first and then we completed the coding part. Sounds strange? But that was what had exactly happened. We had no time for the coding part and the deadline for submitting the documentation of our project to the University was getting deadlier (I meant that the deadline was getting close :D. Forgive my poor S.O.H). So we had to get our documentation ready and get the printing done. The only way we could do that was to imagine how the interface of the “undeveloped” new module would look like and prepare its dummy screens. And that was what we did.

Our project was actually being developed using ASP .NET with C# and MS Access as our database. But, we developed the new screens using HTML and took screenshots of them to use in the documentation part of our project. We even implemented JavaScript alerts in these fake screens. The same JavaScript would execute each time for a new screenshot, only with the alert text changed. All the new screens were thus created and the documentation part was successfully completed. We immediately gave our soft copy for printing and got the books bound. Once all this was done, we continued with the coding part. We actually wanted to skip certain aspects of the project, but couldn’t. That was because we had already put those screenshots in the project documentation. As a result, we had to work like dogs to complete the coding part.

I worked till 3.30 AM in the morning of the day on which our final external seminar was scheduled. By then the project was complete with very minor changes left behind. I had given my pen-drive to my friend, Sravan, who in turn gave it to another friend of his. Thanks to him, I didn’t have a pen-drive to take my code to the college. So, I sent Amar, another friend of mine, an SMS asking him his pen-drive. This was the exact content of that SMS: “Dude, I need ur pen-drive. Plz get it 2 me 2mro early in da mrng…jus in case if m asleep, dn wake me up. Ok.” I worked till 3.45 AM and dozed off. I thought that Amar would wake me up early when he comes to my place to hand me over the pen-drive. With this confidence I went to bed happily. Suddenly I woke up and saw that the time was 6.25 AM. I had to develop some minor parts in the code and so I started doing that till 7.20 AM. My bus reaches my stop by 8.00 AM and I had to be there by 7.55 AM. I got ready and I asked my dad whether Amar had come. He said that he had come and given the pen-drive. Without wasting a single minute I copied my project code into it and rushed to my stop and boarded my bus. Amar too was there in the bus. I asked him why he didn’t wake me up when he had come to my place to give me his pen-drive. He said that I was the one who asked him not to wake me if I were asleep. He even showed me the message I sent him. He read the message as: “Dude, I need ur pen-drive. Plz get it 2 me 2mro early in da mrng…jus in case if m asleep, ‘DONT’ wake me up. Ok.” He thought by “dn” I meant “dont”. Knowing that, I started laughing out loud because by “dn”, I actually meant “then”.

All this ended in a while and the journey to my college relieved me a bit. Everything went fine. I reached my college, met my team-mates and went straight to the seminar lab to show the latest module to my team-mates. I copied the contents of the pen-drive onto my college PC and started executing the code. To my utter shock, the code didn’t behave the way it did on my home PC. A lot of changes that I made to the code went missing. After a little amount of panic I realized that I had accidentally copied the wrong code onto the pen-drive. HOLY SHIT!!! This was the only thing that was running through my mind at that time. I felt like kicking my own ass. There was nothing I could do nor could my team-mates. We, in a jiffy, made some minor changes to hide the flaws in the code.

We really hoped that the external examiner would not find out those flaws. The ultimate time had come. It was our turn to present the project to the external examiner. Our seminar started and lasted for 45 minutes and everything went smooth. The external examiner didn’t notice the flaws. In turn, he liked our project and praised us. Once the seminar ended, we all felt relieved and I was very excited about it. Overall it was a memorable experience and I had learnt my lesson.

Things I learnt:

  • Never delay project work.
  • Never send ambiguous messages.