Here at Whatever Happened to Bob Saget, we're not going to give you the same ol' shpiel about starting early, demonstrating your project often, and having organized group meetings. Those factors may in fact lower your stress in 2340 (and we do highly recommend these tips), but they will not, and I stress, will NOT put you on course for experiencing our patented America's Funniest Squeak Adventures. Plus, who really starts early anyway?
here are a few things worth mentioning:
- we found it helpful that at least 2 people went to lecture, so as not to miss anything taught/discussed about the project
- don't choose your group mates based on how well you think they might be able to produce code. You're not in 2335 anymore, Toto - everyone's more or less on equal footing since you're probably all new to Squeak. Inexperienced programmers might turn out to be invaluable team members!
- which reminds me, there is much more to this class than hardcore programming. much of your grade is based on design and other documents, so don't shrug that stuff off like it's wimpy work.
- We learned that if you don't like toying around with the Squeak environment, you're not going to enjoy coding in it. Coding involves exploring built-in methods and using the cool debugging tools that Squeak has to offer.
- if you can't remember alt key commands, squeak has something like a reference card. to access this handy gem, left click to open the world menu, select help, then select command key help.
- we started running into lots of little buggy things at the end - we had functionality, but it didn't quite work right all the time or looked bad - fix these types of things as you go so you're not swamped with problems. also, if you start "fixing" all the problems at the end, you run the risk of breaking your code. uncool.
- you might think that dividing up the work into front/back ends and having "specialists" within your group is a good idea. well, it didnt work for us and i'll tell you why:
- if the author of a particularly large part of the project couldn't meet with the rest of the group, the rest of us were pretty much stuck twiddling our thumbs until he showed up. we should have been up to date with his work in order to make progress.
- assigning each person to a specific task is indeed orderly, but that backfired on more than one occasion because we had varying programming skill levels present in our group and varying levels of Squeak expertise.
- I knew a lot about building clever animations, but knew little about using the Scheduler. And it was kinda tricky to separate the two domains, so the person working with the idle timeouts had to spend a lot of time fixing my stuff so it'd work with what he wanted to do. Bad planning and time waster right there.