How many times do we start a project and then leave it incomplete and move on to other tasks? This is something that is the bane of most people, including me. This is one reason agile processes, including the Scrum Methodology were created. Breaking up any task into “bite size” (or for computer aficionados, “byte size”) subtasks is key to success. One philosophy that describes this is attempting to eat an elephant. The elephant is too big to eat all at once, as if anyone would ever really want to eat an elephant. The main point is to break up any task into manageable enough chucks to get each chunk completed in a reasonable length of time. An interesting article was written by Cory Miller from a student’s point of view, entitled “How to Eat an Elephant (Or Tackle Most Any Big, Huge, Enormous Project).” Since there will be many assignments in my classes, it is best to keep up with the calendar and complete each assignment by the due date. Some assignments will be divided into smaller assignments by me. Later assignments become more difficult and need to be divided up by you. I will give some grace period for each assignment, but I will put down an “M” for missing as an incentive to get the assignment submitted. Completing an assignment on time is best, Turning it in late has some penalties, but is far better that leaving it as missing.
For the CIS118 class, the lessons are divided up enough that just completing the assigned lessons by the due date is sufficient. If you struggle with any assignment, please reach out to me. I have done most of the lessons and will do any lesson that causes students problems. Communication is a key to success in this class.
For my programming classes, I supply a short Sample Scrum Form with the list of tasks that need to be performed and the priority of each task. Mark off the tasks as they are completed. If you have problems with any aspect of an assignment, please contact me through Teams. I will ask guided questions to see if I can help you develop your own answer, which is very important in the education process. The most learning (and joy) comes from realizing that you can succeed with knowledge you are learning in class and adding in your own insights and ideas. Listen with your “inner ear” to fully understand something. Often insights come by inspiration, hearing what has not been said.
Have you ever thought about everything that has been invented in your lifetime. For me, I remember when the IBM Personal Computer was introduced. When I bought my first, it was quite expensive and came with no hard drive. Think about how new products are created. The inventor(s) had the same information as any other person but was able to put the appropriate knowledge together, through inspiration, to develop something no one had conceptualized before. Learning is a lot like this. In class you will be given basic information about how to accomplish specific tasks. It is how you use that knowledge and how you combine it with knowledge you have gained outside of this class that helps you create the best possible product. To learn the most, challenge yourself. Don’t go with just the basic design for any assignment. Make it something unique to you. Challenge yourself to be and do your best. Doing the hard work now will prepare you for a good career in the field of your choice.
All tasks have a beginning and an end, including any class you are taking. Make the most of it. Learn skills that can be transferred to solving other life experiences. The more you take on tasks that may seem impossible now and break those up into smaller and doable tasks, the more you will be prepared for tougher challenges in the future. We can all gain the intellectual knowledge, it is when we include inspiration that we succeed. Find a quiet place to work, divide up your work into doable tasks, listen carefully and you will find the ability to complete any assignment in this class (or in life). Take the time to read inspirational books and talks. Believe it or not, that will help you solve any problem in this class. Integrate all of your knowledge and experiences together. Everything you have done can be a guide to everything you are trying to do. Plan well, work hard, and look for the needed inspiration.