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MOOC Courses — week 3

I had a bit of a delay studying week 3, I found it hard to be consistent and study at a regular time of the week. Mostly I used a time window blocked by the MOOC course schedule to finish other projects. :(

Project management

Last week I learned about project management responsibilities, the basic ones include:

  • Planning and organizing
  • Managing tasks
  • Budgeting and controllinc cost and other factors.

But there are other no-less important responsibilities as well — like mitigating risks and issues that could happen during the project, take care of information sharing amongst the team and keep all the info updated throughout the whole project, and so on.

There is also the need to keep track of all the tasks and keep an eye on every individual, whether they are or are not overloaded, and so on. The next picture sums it up pretty well:

[picture][_project-manager-roles.png]

Phases of the project life cycle

Four major Phases

Initiate the project: When initiating a project, it is necessary to help yourself to more time to do a proper calculation and time estimates. If you hurry through this phase, it might happen that the budget will be completely out of the scope just because you oversee a few letters, that mean a huge difference in programming inputs for an example.

  • define the project goals and deliverables
  • identify budget and resources, people and all the details

Make a plan for meeting the goals: It is advised to pin out a few very important deadlines which everyone in the team can remember or has imprinted somewhere on the walls, so everyone knows when the project goes a little behind and informs everyone about such a fact. Then, some adjustments can be made or the client can be updated about a change in the schedule, so his expectations will be still fulfilled.

  • this is essential. Budget, tasks, resources, schedule, …

Execute and complete tasks: At this phase, project managers just make sure everything runs smoothly, take care of team members and help to break down all the assignments to all members of the team.

  • it’s monstly not upt to the manager to execute the tasks
  • it’s manager’s responsibility to keep track on goals, etc

Close the project.

  • feedback and reflection — absolute must-haves and key things that need to happen. Otherwise, the team can’t learn from any mistakes made, and so on..

Agile ❌ Waterfall

I found this useful table, which perfectly describes the major difference between these two styles of managing projects:

Waterfall Agile
Project manager’s role Project manager serves as an active leader by prioritizing and assigning tasks to team members. Agile project manager (or Scrum Master) acts primarily as a facilitator, removing any barriers the team faces. Team shares more responsibility in managing their own work.
Scope Project deliverables and plans are well-established and documented in the early stages of initiating and planning. Changes go through a formal change request process. Planning happens in shorter iterations and focuses on delivering value quickly. Subsequent iterations are adjusted in response to feedback or unforeseen issues.
Schedule Follows a mostly linear path through the initiating, planning, executing, and closing phases of the project. Time is organized into phases called Sprints. Each Sprint has a defined duration, with a set list of deliverables planned at the start of the Sprint.
Cost Costs are kept under control by careful estimation up front and close monitoring throughout the life cycle of the project. Costs and schedule could change with each iteration.
Quality Project manager makes plans and clearly defines criteria to measure quality at the beginning of the project. Team solicits ongoing stakeholder input and user feedback by testing products in the field and regularly implementing improvements.
Communication Project manager continually communicates progress toward milestones and other key indicators to stakeholders, ensuring that the project is on track to meet the customer’s expectations. Team is customer-focused, with consistent communication between users and the project team.

Also, it is very practical to use a kanban board for keeping track on where each and every task is (I mean, in which phase it currently is). There’s a pic which describes what is a kanban board:

[picture][_kanban-board.png]

HTML & CSS

This course is still a bit of an dissapointment. I think they use wrong formats to pass the coding information to the recipient.

In week three in this course they did code a simple static website of a restaurant, nothing exceptionally difficult. When they were talking about the code, I opened a code on a website I modified and finalised for our choir Komorni sbor Entropie and did some tweaks and upgrades, so it was helpful at least in this way.

I liked that this week, the course took into account that as a developer, I have to communicate with my client about his ideas about the website and so on. I disliked it does put the client in the centre of all being, but the course totally diminishes user experience and mine — „an expert’s“ knowledge and recommendations.

I prefer user centered design, yes, but with an amphasis on best practices, so we contribute to keeping the internet a better and more organised place.

At the beginning of ws2021, we were asked to read A Guide by Palgrave McMillian, 2014 and write ten things or thoughts we found useful. As I read throught the pdf, these things caught my eye:

  1. Before I start a course, I should decide whether the course is honestly appropriate for me and whether I do have time and capacity to finish it.
  2. and then create a time schedule for the course. Block some hours a week, when I know I will be able to study the courses.
  3. During the course, it is recommended to take notes, even better:
  4. to reflect what I learnt during a week / a part of a course.
    1. This semester, I would like to get into Zettelkasten system of notetaking, wish me luck with implementing the mindset!
  5. Find a learning community, interact in groups and share your thoughts and new learnings — this might help with my self-motivation issues.
  6. Finish all the course assessments in time.
  7. After the course, polish your portfolio and finish all the thing you haven’t had time to finish during the course. The sooner, the better.
  8. Reflect your thoughts on the course.
  9. Share what you learned with others to strenghten what you remember.
Up next MOOC Courses — week 1 & week 2 I’ve chosen this course because i wanted to cement all the fundamentals I’ve learned up until now and to understand what javascript does, how to MOOC Courses — week 4 This was my final week for Project management course. I also browsed through the rest of the lessons in Web development mooc trying to get at least
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