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Month: August, 2012

Unit 12 – Moving Forward Laughing

It was a bit difficult for me to relate this week’s reading to my work experience, as I’m currently unemployed. (Or more appropriately between jobs as I freelance and often only work half the year). More difficult, is the fact that part of my goal in coming to SIRLS was to leave my freelance work behind me and move onto something else. So, reflecting is difficult, but valid.

I think the biggest concern I had some of the readings this week is the seriousness of tone, particularly the PMBOK. Does everything have to be a science? I have worked as a project manager on several projects and find that working effectively and enjoying what you do go nicely together. I’m a big fan of a relaxed work environment no matter how difficult the task. For me, I aim to create this by adding humor. If cracking a few jokes means I have to stay a few minutes later, it’s a welcome sacrifice (we would probably be staying later anyway), and the more I laugh and enjoy myself the more I can’t wait to get back to work the next day. 

I understand that this can’t happen all the time, which relates to the best point about figuring out the best way to work. This differs for all and it’s important to connect with others on the level that best suits them. I’m always a big fan of telling people never to treat others the way you want to be treated, but rather treat others the way they want to be treated. I find this successful in most environments, not just work. And, in this manner my staff and co-workers know it’s fine to give me bad news, just as long as you at least try to make it funny. As any comedian will tell you, it’s all in the delivery. 🙂

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Unit 11 – Looking Back

In reflecting on the last few weeks, it might be easier to tell you what I haven’t learned than to list all the new things I have. I started with almost no knowledge. So, we can begin with LAMP, learning what it means, what each letter stands for, what those programs due, and how to use them.

We started by exploring the Command Line. Although I have a long ways to go before I build a home on the CLI, I find myself more and more comfortable in its presence. I have grown to like it, even while knowing I still don’t totally understand it. I see the looks people give me as they walk past my computer in the local library and wonder what on earth I am doing typing these white letters into this black box. There’s something about it that always seems devious and this makes me feel cool. On the other hand, it still scares me and I still feel, after all these weeks, that one false move on the command line will render my computer defunct.

Of all the programs we’ve been exposed to in the past few weeks, I liked building a relational database the most, so I’ll go with MySQL. I liked this part, because it mirrored some of the skills (and a lot of the terminology) I learned last semester in 515 (which I have been reviewing fastidiously in preparation for my GTA in 515 this fall). Vocabulary is something I struggled with all semester, so it was a bit refreshing to see some words I already knew. I also liked working with MySQL as I can see the practical uses for this program, more so than the vagueness of the other letters in LA(M)P.

All in all, there’s a lot of new information swimming around in my brain. Hopefully, some of these terms will become clearer as my studies continue. Only the future can determine if my play-dates with LAMP have come to an end or if I’ve just scratched the surface on what I will one day come to know.