Lessons Learned & Special Thanks

20 11 2008

A few months ago, the Google Summer of Code 2008 program officially came to an end. I don’t think I can name all the things that I’ve learned throughout the summer, since there’s just so many! But I thought I’d mention a few:

  • Reading – It wasn’t until this summer, had I realized how much reading a developer does. I devoted more time familiarizing myself with the Cytoscape code base than actually developing myself. I’ve also realized that reading external resources like books and discussion boards often facilitate your ability to work independently.
  • Documentation – Over the summer, I’ve truly learned the importance of documentation. Spending the time to document your code while you develop it will save a lot of time for yourself and others that will have to work with your code in the future.
  • Communication – In open source projects, developers are often located in all parts of the world. It is very important to have good communication skills so problems, ideas, and concerns can be addressed and brought to the others’ attention regardless of where they are.
  • Be open to feedback – The feedback from others should always be valued, regardless as to whether the feedback is provided by a mentor, peer, client, or user. These may not always be the best ideas, but taking them into consideration will often inspire and shed light onto some great ideas!
  • Be able to expand on the work of others – One of the most important things that I’ve learned this summer is that software development is not only about how impressive you can build something from scratch, but also about how you can successfully work with existing code and make contributions to it.

These were certainly not the only things that I’ve learned over the summer. Specifically, I’ve also strengthened my interpersonal skills and my ability to speak in front of people. The things that I’ve learned over this summer has been incredible. The skills that I’ve acquired has also helped me adjust to my third year of undergraduate studies. For those students who are thinking about participating in the Google Summer of Code program, go for it!

I’ve also created a screencast for this project. Enjoy!

[blip.tv ?posts_id=1239331&dest=-1]

Lastly, I’d like to thank Greg, Gary, Karen, Jen, and all the people that I’ve worked with and met over the summer. They’ve truly made my summer more enjoyable and memorable. I definitely look forward to having another chance to work with all of you in the future! :)




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