The Final Sprint Retrospective

The most headway came when multiple sets of eyes were on issues. This first proved to be true when the IAM System Community of Practice was working together to establish the logout functionality and to ensure that the user sessions properly expired to prevent unauthorized modification of the database.

This also rang true when Tim Drevitch and myself were finally able to free up time and address out standing issues. As per my comment here, and his comment here, we were able to spin up a docker instance of a database and pretty quickly figure out how to start adding to the database just shy of setting up the specific documents we needed to store individual users/entries. It was three hours of troubleshooting together, researching different aspects, and then explaining them back to each other over voice chat, but we made substantial head way where there was otherwise none (despite it not being a card assigned to either of us).

While there are obvious constraints to having green undergraduate students try to develop software on a very part-time basis, it became very obvious that not all the teams were created equal. When I would meet with the IAM community of practice we would discuss what our groupmates needed of us and I would routinely report back to them that my group had made no mention of any code, functions, methods, etc that they needed from me nor intended to integrate any time soon, much to their surprise. This signals to me an overall unfamiliarity with the tech stack which is not a judgment on them, they’re doing their best given the limited amount of time in the day and the craziness of navigating online learning. That being said it was often the bottleneck within team discussions.

What was within teammate control and —seems to be the modus operandi students within the Worcester State University Computer Science Program— very unacceptable was the lack of communication. I would consistently ask teammates what they were working on and how it was going only to get no response. In fact, there was one teammate who I had never heard talk until three weeks until working with them; it’s anyone’s guess as to why, but my experience with my fellow computer science students has been largely marred by radio silence. My biggest change I would have made to the team was to force my teammates to communicate by instead of asking them “what is stopping them” in the standups, ask them “what is something they encountered that they didn’t understand while they were working”.

My personal failings in the last sprint came largely from my pivoting away from schoolwork to build out skills that would help me attain a summer internship as well as applying to said internships. I became more focused on learning the practical skills gained from sites such as Tryhackme.com and studying for the eJPT certification so that I may pursue a career in information with an emphasis in exploit development and malware reverse-engineering. My ability to engage with school work may have declined but it was a necessary sacrifice to (hopefully) make myself a more viable job candidate.

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