Its here.. :)

Knock Knock.. Is anyone still reading these blogs?  Ha.. It seems that Prof Ben has good memory and have not forgotten that I still own him a long overdued blog entry…  So, I’ll l have the honor to write the last blog entry…. Else a particular someone will give me a F grade and do what he does best by scolding me on Friday’s BBQ… 🙂

First thing I learnt is how much i miss school.. With school, there is always something new to learn everyday and learning is fun..  You can also do the “perfect” project as the specifications are clearly defined and there is positive reinforcement when you get back your grades. 🙂  You get to manage your own time and use it to your maximum productivity.. How I missed the times when you are in the “zone” can code for 12 hours non-stop without interruptions throughout the night and not feel tired..   But sadly, school is not the real world.. The real world is cruel. The real world has many constraints.

Every Monday, I would look forward to Prof Ben’s class as there is always something  new, something exciting, something to motivate and inspire me esp in sessions like the entrepreneurship talk and pitching sessions..  I would say that the talks given by the gusts assembled by Prof Ben in the entrepreneurship and pitching sessions are much better than those organised by e27 and Barcamp.. I think I have spent close to $70 taking cabs and getting stuck in jams from my workplace to school..  But its “schoolfees” well-paid..   🙂

Your Teammates must believe in your idea.

To get your idea to work, everyone on the team has to believe in that idea. Only when they believe in that idea, can they be motivated to work towards a common goal and have a common vision.  Only then will they have the passion to work like crazy and add value to the team and the idea rather than just getting things done for the sake of doing it.

It is better to make a firm decision than a right decision.

Many times when designing a web application from scratch without any specifications, you have to make many choices and decisions.. On the user interface, the process flow, the features to add in. There are not right or wrong answers but just tradeoffs between aspects.   Many hours and days can be spent arguing over which is better until the cow come home, draw a table to write down all the pros and cons of each option, people agreeing to disagreeing, then it’ll end up in a situation called Analysis Paralysis.. Then, it’ll be being procrastinated because no decisions are made.  Thus, someone has to take the responsibility to make a firm decision in order for things to move on.

Its better to make some users very happy than to satisfy all users.

Basically, you can’t satisfy everybody.  But its much easier and more productive and effective to make a niche group of users happy and they will help you promote and sell your app/site/ideas passionately.   These will be your loyal users if you can make them happy. Afterall, according to the 80/20 rule, 80% of your content comes from 20% of your users.  This is also very true for HungryGoWhere where 80% of the reviews comes form 20% of the user.

Interface is the hardest thing..

Because interface is also the most important thing which will define the user’s experience and their first impression.. Thus, much time is spent on deriving the best user interface.  However,  different people have different perceptions and opinions on how the interface should look like..   Like what Chewy said, “Not everyone thinks like you”.. Some people look at the aesthetics side of it, while others look at how the simple it is to use, while other look for how advance the functionality is.  Basically, we had 2 different designs for our Sportsup website, one that has better aesthetics and looked fun and exciting and the other which is simple and to the point. We asked the some people of the class on which design they like best and there was no conclusive vote.  The result was almost 50/50.  Which brings me back to my previous point on making deicisions… We spent days arguing over which design to use, and these are really days wasted because no one made the decision on which to use and work cannot continue….

While simple and clean interface is generally the preferred way moving forward, it is not easy to make complex things simple yet maintaining the same functionality.  I remembered a quote that goes something like “Simplicity is Complexity resolved”..

Code More, Think Less

While Prof Ben might say Think More, Code Less, but sometimes, the opposite is true too, depending on the context.   It has been proven time and time again that you produce quality work by doing it again and again rather than trying to think of the perfect software architecture then go down to doing it.  In other words, be a do-er, not a thinker, or as Laurence would put it, JFDI, and improve on it.

There is not right or wrong for many things.. It Depends..

Like what Prof Ben always says “It Depends”.. Overgeneralized “rules” are not to be taken too literally. There are exceptions to everything.

Summary

My main objective of taking this module is not only to do and learn cool things, but more importantly is to know more people who are passionate about Software Engineering, Technology and the Internet.. I am glad that I have found and worked with a couple of them.. 🙂

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2 Comments »

  1. Ben Leong said

    Thanks for kwai kwai wrapping up with a final entry. Here’s proof that it’s been read. 😛

    In general, “Think More, Code Less” is correct. However, for your Final Project team the converse is true. There’s always too much of a good thing.

    Like you say, it depends. 🙂

    It’s been pleasure having you back as a student again this past Semester. Hopefully, your training is now complete. 🙂

  2. Eli James said

    Thank you for this post, Henry. =) I particularly liked the bit on code more and think less. That’s a lesson learnt, for sure. =/

    I don’t know what the future holds for Sportup (and I think you want to change the name?) But it’s been a pleasure knowing you. =3 Good luck in all your future endeavors!

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