Project 2 – The Finale

Project 2 has come to an end, which means conclusions will have to be formulated, and feedback will have to be written. So without further ado, let’s get to it!

The Final Product

The result of Flowergotchi : The smart flowerpot is one I am personally quite proud of. It was really cool to see a project come to life (literally), and to work on a bigger scaled project in a team instead of by myself for a change. A promotion/demo movie was made for the final product by Annelynn Pyck, a.k.a. The Plan, which you can see below.

On a funny sidenote; The voice you hear during this video is in fact my own. Pretending to be a voice actor was a fun change from the weeks of programming. The app showcased in this video is the final contribution of The Dream Team to this project. The actual physical product was made by Industrial Product Design student Stijn Van Der Heijden. Combining this product and app together, it makes for a nice product with a clear purpose. I personally worked mostly on the Backend of the application meaning line after line after line of C# code were written, reviewed and rewritten for approximately the duration of the project. And sometimes, work could not be done because of a strange bug that popped up in between the days. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is to always scale your images appropriately, or it’ll lead to massive drops in performance or the app simply freezing due to the massive amount of imagery that require rendering. We had gotten some great images to use from Stijn, but if we leave them at stupid sizes like 6450 x 2750 things can go south very fast. Luckily we figured out the problem and fixed it by scaling down every single image used. Lesson learned.

But all things considered, I’m very happy I was assigned this product to work on, and would pick The Dream Team again for it anytime!

The Dream Team

This is the team that made the app to a working product! In the image from left to right:
The Voice (a.k.a. myself), The Plan (a.k.a. Annelynn Pyck), The Support (a.k.a. Yentl Van Damme) and finally The Brain (a.k.a. Kenneth De Potter).

I’m not sure about the others, but for me working with this team was an absolute pleasure. Everyone knew what was expected of them, and simply made it happen. The little inside jokes and the infamous Pastry Breaks will stay with me forever (and can hopefully pass the torch forward to a future team). Of course I have to say that the coach assigned to us, Ann Deraedt, was a big help when figuring out the strange principles behind the Agile Scrum method. Sure, not everyone worked at the same pace (especially our Frontend Developer, The Support lagged behind quite a bit) but in the end we all got our work done and we all had plenty of work to do every single week. Another reason for our lagging behind was the platform we used, Visual Studio Team Services, which gave us 72 conflicts on average to resolve before being to push it to the server. Luckily The Brain fixed this issue with a .gitignore file so we could all continue working in silence and without version conflicts.

The Conclusion

After working on this project for 4 weeks, I have to admit that, even it was a lot more fun than a normal college lecture, I’m glad it’s over. The team I worked with was amazing, our coach and chosen product were great! But all great things must come to an end. Though we might be offered a job at Stijn’s start-up in a few years, seeing how well he responded to the final result. I can’t say that Agile Scrum is the method of choice, but this is mainly due to the fact that I am still unfamiliar with the Waterfall method. But Agile Scrum (a method of work where you divide work into small recursive periods of time called Sprints) did the trick for sure. And honestly, I can’t say I disliked it either.

One small remark I had from a personal perspective. Is that the way the grades were given were both individually and as a group, but the individual grades got massively overshadowed by the group points. Now, I can see where this reasoning comes from but one note I have on the system they applied is that it allows for less effective students to get away with it relatively easy. Especially since one could do little to nothing, but as long as the result was good, they’re most likely still gonna pass for not doing any considerable work to deserve them.

All-in-all, the project weeks were a ton of fun. But I’ll openly admit that I’m looking forward for the new semester of regular classes to start.

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