As the first semester of uni for 2015 concludes, I decided I’d do a little review of what I did well and didn’t do well this semester. I got this idea from Lachlan Harman (a.k.a. author of APixelShort) who does a similar thing every semester.

This semester I did:

- Applications Programming
- Networking Essentials
- Collaborative Business Processes
- Database Fundamentals
- Information Systems Development Methodologies

Out of all these subjects, my favourites were probably the most technical - Applications Programming and Networking Essentials. I enjoyed learning about a real Model View Controller application coded from scratch, rather than that being constructed using a framework such as Spring MVC or AngularJS. I also enjoyed the in-depth networking stuff that I could really sink my teeth into.

Collaborative Business Processes was interesting at times with its focus on the innovation process, however I found that it could be tedious at times. It showed me that I still need to work on my hustling and prototyping web app skills, but it’s nice to see how far I’ve come in terms of hacking together quick bits of code to show off as prototypes for business ideas.

Most of my subjects this semester were group-oriented, with pretty much every assessment task I submitted being a group effort. As everyone who has been to university knows, group tasks are both a blessing and a curse. Luckily I ended up in mostly motivated groups, but we occasionally struggled with completing all tasks on time in a reliable time period, and the “last minute rush to get everything together minutes before it’s due” still happened a few times.

Things I found good this sem:

I took the advice of people who had already done Networking Essentials and studied the course material near-meticulously each week, going through the prescribed readings and taking notes, meaning I didn’t have to cram before the exam and still managed to get a decent pass
I kept (mostly) on top of my workload and didn’t try to overcommit myself to actual work

Things that weren’t so good:

  • I was sometimes a pushover when it came to group assignments, probably doing significantly more than my fair share. This led to subpar performance in trying to do more than I should have been doing
  • Some subjects (such as ISDM) I struggled to take notes during and failed to take the subject seriously. This seems to be a pattern with business subjects and myself, and meant I was rushed to study for exams
  • Not caring enough to study for exams, since I breezed through networking (my first exam)
    I let my travel plans and social life overtake my study efforts

So I guess that’s it. Definitely been a great semester though!