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  • Writer's pictureJacob Smith

Two tin cans and a piece of string.

Over the past month or so, I've been doing a team project for a module in my final year of University. I'm happy to say that we have a very good team, and that I'm excited to see the final outcome of the project. It is going a lot better than previous team projects given that we all hadn't worked together before the project started, and altogether it's turning out to be a pleasant experience.

Something I've learned is how important communication is, and in some aspects we hit the nail on the head but in other things we leave things open to interpretation a lot. This can be a glaring communication error when we've explained something early on in the week and another person hasn't grasped the idea properly, and it will take till the end of the week to find out that the person didn't have the right idea and all the things that we have implemented over the last week have to either be wiped or have to be changed (either in a minor way or drastically) due to an error or potential problem that no one else noticed.

This is the way we could improve the most, but I think you have to be careful not to dip into patronising everyone else e.g. don't over-explain something that you think is common knowledge unless someone says that they don't know what you mean. Providing a little doodle to explain what you mean can be a very good way to communicate, we did this over the past week to figure out how you will progress through the game and it worked on a level that everyone could understand, even if the drawing was a little crude and done in Microsoft Paint. We were all on the same page very quickly and we now all know how we're going about player progression in the game and there are no questions about it. This could be the way to improve a lot of other aspects of our communication, just to get everyone onto the same word on the same page and following along with their fingers.

You can't be a very good team player if you don't communicate. I think it is important to know that people's minds do work differently and you really need to explain some things thoroughly in order for people to understand what you mean - they aren't mind readers. I think over the next week we will see an increase in the standard of communication due to what we've all learned over the past month in total and this will have us in really good stead for getting this game finished on time.

Regarding my own personal project, I should have the final prototype for it done by the end of today. Its a strange but gloriously satisfying feeling after 2 years of burning out of programming to be back into it and actually looking forward to program things again, particularly when I don't feel like I've over-scoped the project at all and I feel like I will get the project done by the due date at the end of March. What a time to be alive.

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