Software Engineering! – My Experience

SmartSoft

The 6th semester is one of the worst semesters I’ve spent in college so far. We had a lot of projects, assignments, quizzes and reports to be submitted weekly and with no collaboration between the professors, Most of the projects and assignments had the same exact deadline .. It’s amazing how the professors, accidentally, set the same deadline for everything. It’s a kind of art really. Knowing the fact that I easily break under pressure, I was living in a disastrous state of mind all the time. Still, One good thing happened.

6th semester students were lucky enough to live the experience of the “Software Engineering course” under the supervision of Dr.Fatma Meawad. I will tell the story in details. Yes, ana momel!

First of all I have to point out that there’s a gr8 “propaganda” about the course. Having some friends from last year and some Teacher assistants telling stories about the course, all ppl in CSEN class of 2012 were extremely excited about the course. Personally, the name of the course was enough to get me into it.

The first lecture of Software engineering was the key to get to know the Professor better. The previous class decided to surprise the Professor, wrote her some nice words and some students said some stuff about the Doctor who was extremely happy confessing that she was going to give us “her other face” but she didn’t stop laughing till the end of the lecture :)

The professor introduced us to the course. Each tutorial group was given a name and treated as a company. Each company consisted of 25 members that were divided into groups of 5 called components. The companies were to work on a project. The project is divided to 5 modules and each component worked on a module. Each component’s members were to elect a team leader and from the 5 elected leaders, the entire company elected the company manager.All of these people were manager by a Scrum master who is one of the very good people once you get to know him, Saher El Neklawy.

The company manager who was elected is a friend of mine, Mr. Company Manager Mahmoud Sakr. (I will get to him later)

I was elected as a team leader for my component (take into consideration that all of them were my friends except one person). I have to say that personally I felt that I was not the right person for the job. I had to keep track of everything in the component, fix the issues, solve problems and conflicts. I had to make sure that everyone in the component is doing his best. All of these functions needed social skills which I am not good at by any means (the first impression that anyone gets from me is that I hate him/her). The “job” also required leadership skills. The main problem was that all of the members were my friends and therefore I had to find a way to tell (and sometimes force) them to do their job and in the same time in a manner that they do not feel that I am acting that I am someone who is better or using his authority or something. Fortunately, I did find the key for that. Every time I called someone to ask him to complete his job or fix something in his work, I told him that the company manager is stressing it and I have nothing to do about it plus adding a word or two about our lovely manager who is using his power and threatening us with “F” in the course. =D

We started working, scheduled some company meetings, setup a mailing list and a lot of component meetings (not necessarily official ones). At the beginning, I have to say that I under estimated the required quality that is, My work was disastrous and so is the entire component’s work in the first sprint. Yes, we got the grades, but there was a lot of comments and I did not like the outcome of the component. I dare to say that we were the worst component at the first evaluation (sprint’s demo) although nobody said it but I felt it. I felt that we can do better. We’re a good team. After the first evaluation I started to think that it’s not really about the grades or the functionality, anyone can create the same thing.It’s about the quality of the result. I had a lot of thinking that day, I decided to change the way we deal with each other in the component. I acquired and gained my team members’ respect and friendship (if it didn’t exist it started and if it’s there, it evolved). A lot of stuff were reported to me as a team leader from the team members. I tried and did my best to put the members and force them to communicate directly and personally with each other. I wanted them to work as friends, not a “forced team” if u know what i mean. I believed that if they did become friends or better friends, the outcome would be amazing and fortunately I was right. They started to work with each other, they did not require my existence to work or talk with each other. They communicated through the meetings and outside them. Somehow the component’s spirit was boosted a lot, most probably because of the competition and not only my component, the entire company’s spirit after the 1st sprint was in the sky!

We all worked as a team

A lot of work was done after the first demo. My work was trashed and I started working again from scratch willing to prove myself as a good company member and a good leader. I won’t say bardo that I did my best in sprint 2 but I did some work that I am happy and proud of. The integration between the component’s members was great, the professor promised one of the component’s members who did not care about the course a special gift and he surprised, not only me but the entire company, with his work by then. As a leader, I started to closely follow up my component’s work (Yes I did not do that b dameer in the first sprint), I called every single member to ask them about their work and I actually used my authority once to force a member to meet a deadline, I started to be more organized. I summarized all the meetings and posted them at the mailing list for later reference. I tried to get the best out of everyone. Yet, I did not check their work! I did not check the quality of their work or their outcome and therefore 2 days before the final deadline, We held a company unofficial demo to show off the components’ work and BAAAM, my component was the worst component in the demo!

Only then, I started to believe that there’s no hope. I had an unfortunate incident then with the Company manager and the Scrum Master because they did mention what I feared, my component is the worst of all. Luckily, the component’s members were there. They did attend the incident and I don’t know what happened, their work in the next 2 days was just, amazing! They were on fire by then. I would love to think that they did care about me and that they felt they were letting me and their company down and therefore they worked hard to prove that this was not true. Anyway, The last 3 days in sprint 2 were the best days in the entire semester. We stayed at college a LOT. My component’s integration was great. The usability of the features in the component, the main point that the professor concentrated on, was, I believe, the best in the whole company. We worked together for the very first time, putting features and linking them together, updating positions and places producing a gr8 “second chance” unofficial demo. We got everyone’s positive comments after that, causing me to be overwhelmed with joy. =D

The entire company’s work was great. There was a competition with another company which is managed by one of my best friends, Salem Sayed. To be honest, I was not that motivated by the competition as I’ve always felt that if either of the companies won, I will be happy. ya3ny keda keda f bet.ha =D

Anyway, all other company’s members were highly motivated by the end of sprint 2 by the competition and that, I believe, was cleverly managed by Dr.Fatma and the Scrum Masters. Saher told us that we’re not great enough to beat the other company and the same thing was done by Ramy, the other company’s Scrum Master, as well. Dr.Fatma in the final week started to state that both companies were great and she finds it hard to choose one of them as the winner. Those words pushed both companies’ members to work as hell. For our company, We made sure that everything is working and stable and in the last 2 days we created an extra features

CX

component, called CX, to introduce and integrate extra features to/into the system. We stayed till 5 am in a day I can’t forget working on a game and chat client for the system which, I think, played a role in choosing our company over the other one to win the competition (Yes, I know that the professor denied and refused that claim, Still mesh moqtani3 and I insist it played a role!)

The amazing thing about the competition was that, both companies helped each other! Personally, I ended up knowing a lot of people from CoolSoft + SmartSoft(my company) members as well. Both companies held sessions to explain and clarify a lot of stuff in the framework we’re using, the concepts and the requirements in the project as well. Plus of course the great “rivals” thing! We will won, No you won’t ya TEEEEET ๐Ÿ˜€ and so on. These stuff really “spiced up” the course causing it to be the best experience for most of the 2 companies’ members. And as a result, both companies are working to finish and finalize their projects in the summer.

No .. I am not done yet!

I want to state the stuff I “won” from the course ..

Benefits

– I knew a lot of people .. SmartSoft and CoolSoft members are all considered to be my friends now (at least from my side ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and I think my social skills, which i have a lot of problems with it, did improve!
– I was nominated as one of the best team leaders in the course, I don’t know why. Still, I think I did succeed and acquired the very basic leadership skills.
– I learned to work under pressure and stress. I believe that this course simulates what happens outside in real work and it’s a great experience.
– I learned a lot of technical stuff and concepts, mainly the long polling thing along with some jQuery, HTML and javascript stuff + the MVC approach.

Finally, I would like to mention some people who did have a great impact on me during the course.

1) Dr.Fatma Meawad

I did not think that I will wish to take another course with a professor as I do now! Dr.Fatma’s office is opened for any student, she treats us as her friends, not just students! She tries her best to not take away some points from students. She wakes students up when they’re sleeping in an exam (A). She jokes and is always smiling that I find it hard to stop smiling myself. We were shocked when we knew that she’s leaving the GUC but we all do wish you ya doctor the best later on but do not forget us. :)

What I personally don’t like about Dr.Fatma regarding the project : She was never clear about what is required or what she had in mind. That resulted in some work being done and then refused and re-started just because the Professor was not clear enough or the student got the wrong idea.

2) Scrum Master Saher El Neklawy

The good thing about Saher is that he’s very friendly and organized! You can ask him about what you want or what you have in mind and he’ll answer you only when he’s sure and certain about the answer. Mesh hayefty ๐Ÿ˜€ if he doesn’t know something he’ll simply ask you to wait till he gets the confirmation from Dr.Fatma. Saher being organized caused us to be organized as well which did improve and increased the company’s chances in winning the competition.

3) Monayri

The good thing about Monayri is simply he made me feel en lessa fee 2amal! .. He works very hard msA and he learns a lot in a relatively small time msA bardo.He’s a great team player and he’s always on time =D Not to mention that he’s cute tab3an ๐Ÿ˜€

4) Moumen

The prince! ah walahy! demaaaa3′ ๐Ÿ˜€ .. He is clever and smart (not the company). He’s a great worker when he wants to. I was warned that he’s to be motivated in order to work. Mo2men didn’t work till the very end of the sprints but he did a gr8 job specially in sprint 2. I am proud to have such a friend. Really! =D

5) Sharawi (70ksha)

To be honest, I was afraid at the beginning that I will be able to make him work. He also works when he wants to. He did not care that much about the course as much as he cared about the grades in the first sprint. But in the 2nd sprint, He did a great job specially when promised a special gift from Dr.Fatma =D He’s the funny one in the meetings although dema3’o nashfa shewaya bas Amn El Dawla 7a2o malnash da3wa ๐Ÿ˜€

6) Heba

Our great reviewer. A fact about Heba, she loves and adores phone calls! She calls everyone of us to review our work and explains what are our mistakes in details. Personally, I do not like phone calls but Heba convinced me that phones are the most important invention in history. Heba did a great work, always wanted to work, a hard worker mel a5er =D although she needs to discuss every little detail bas fel awel w fel a5er for the sake of the component. She was nominated as the best reviewer and even got a medal for that :)

7) Mahmoud Sakr – Our Bald Company Manager

The Company Manager

I have to admit that I have learned a lot from him. I’ve always admired his work managing 25 persons knowing that I was suffering managing “5” =D I did envy him that he didn’t lose his temper or haven’t been aggressive with anyone during the sprint specially in some situations, If i was in his shoes, I would start a fight =D He did learn from Saher to be organized which reflected on all of us in the company. Sakr did not criticize anyone’s work in public (well, except mine :X) and did manage to get the company out from hard situations (either technical or personal) . I won’t forget the day when the database was down and he fixed it with the help of Amr Hany and Amr Abdel Wahab and Hossam Amer in more than 7 hours!

What I did like about Sakr the most was : He accepted criticism and encouraged it! He did know that it was not him that we’re criticizing but we’re saying what we think is the best for the company.

What I didn’t like about Sakr was mainly his way in treating the company at first. He tried to be friendly and so on but sometimes he did shout at us to stop talking (not to mention the clapping) but in the end he stopped it after the complains (told u he accepts criticism).

8 ) Ramy Wafa

CoolSoft’s Scrum Master =D A very gr8 and funny ๐Ÿ˜€ person once you get to know him. He helped me a lot in the course and understanding a lot of stuff in the project =D

Finally, I would like to thank every one in SmartSoft, CoolSoft, MegaSoft, Dr.Fatma, Saher and Ramy Wafa as well for such a great experience. Thanks all of you.

Ok Thats enough! I haven’t written any LONG essays in a long time so you’ll find a lot of grammar and English mistakes bas fakes! =D Sorry for the very long content.

Related Posts

http://sakr.me/2010/06/meet-smartsoft/
http://fmeawad.me/?p=223

23 thoughts on “Software Engineering! – My Experience

  1. thnx Galal … really I felt happy reading this post a lot of memories …. yeah a lot of happy memories …. may some of coolsoftwaya feel that we lose the competition but for me I think it was amazing to win the respect of our STRONG .. GREAT …. competitor…. (even I think we still have more stable software :P) …. thanks for considering me a new friend …. also for me I think I get a lot friends from smartsoft …. finally soon isa (ba3d eznak ha2aledak) I’ll make some post like you to document coolSoft and some events with smart… ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. eih kol daaaaaaaaaaaa?!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    actually it’s nice to go through all of this again, sa7i7 ana zehe2t showaya ๐Ÿ˜› bas i enjoyed reading it, u wrote only one mistake though…i truly believe we were the worst component in sprint 1 not C3

  3. I’m sure we’ve all come across the negative thinker. (Even you must have seen one or two.) But in many of these occasions we didn’t really care because most of the time we don’t have to and we could just ignore it.

    Until you came along.. >.<

    We had to actually tolerate you, and try to keep moving forward. It's a treasury to have someone see the bad aspects of things, but to _only_ see the bad things would eventually backfire — at least on you.

    The unfortunate incident was not as unfortunate as it may seem. It was only then that I realized that when we're under pressure, it's inspiring how even those negative thinkers could think positively for the greater good. : )

  4. Its amazing to go through all this again (beghad el nazar 3an el cute thing :X), it was an amazing course really !! we enjoyed it ! we had a high spirit ! And u were gr8 at everything msA :) I was highly honored by having galal aly as a leader, hab2a aktebha fel CV isA :D:D

  5. It was the only good thing in this whole semester ya Galal !! A semester where we were compressed like “3eleb el sardien”, but it was really a very very great experience working with you guys ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. its sooo long ya galal…lol but the effort u put into writing this just shows how much this means to u. I read it and i must say its inspiring…ive seen ur faces all semester (grumpy and complaining) but everyone always lit up somehow when they talked about the SE project …this is what all courses should be like…i want to go back to univ and take SE with Dr fatema ๐Ÿ˜‰ Good luck all of u

  7. Eih ya Galaal!!! you really love writing dont you!! bs la walahy i enjoyed reading that ๐Ÿ˜€
    Its been a pleasure walahy ya galal to work with you and to know you, and we are reallllly going to miss you in sprint 3 though en ro7ak lessa 3la el mailing list ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Well having such an overview of the course is really amazing. Thanks to Galal, in general I believe the course is amazing apart from the few things I already said in the course ending ceremony. I am happy for both Cool Soft and Smart Soft because I believe they benefited a lot from the course and got a lot of what the course is really about. I am happy that I tried to help not only Cool Soft but also Smart soft and as much as possible Mega soft. Another comment about fe bet.ha as Galal mentioned, Ana we Saher said that to each other exactly when we were nominating the components and the prizes :D. In general, the course made me happy. One of the most important things I have to mention is that I was specially happy to work with Dr.Fatma and all the other scrum masters. Of course, Saher has a special place because he is a great friend and a great person to work with not to mention compete with. I am specially happy to know a lot of good people like Galal, Mahmoud Sakr, Monayeri, Amr, Mo2men, Asma and the food :D, and most of the software engineering students :) , again I am proud to know every single member of cool soft great spirit and great people. Specially Salem who is a great company manager and ya3ni one of the best people I knew in the course.

    • There is also the semester ๐Ÿ˜€ I forgot to comment about that besabeb 2st3gal Galal for putting my comment :D, The semester subjects must be reshuffled. Maybe put the DSD in the 3rd semester than putting it in the 6th.

  9. oh my god ya galal , i cried bagd :'(

    2awl mara aktni3 baklamk :(
    Galal
    you are a very nice and king person bagd .
    w agmed comment
    MOnayri is Cute :D:D:D:D:D::D:D
    w part of Skr .. after complains ha :D:D ma3tkitsh basr7a
    i think your component were happy to have you
    :D:D:D:D:D:D

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>