Week 7, Day 2

A short post, I think, today. I’ve spent most of the evening composing my graduation speech. My thinker is thore.

So here’s where we are at. Code freeze was today at 11 am. That means the girls can no longer work on their code (hence, it is frozen). If I had thought of it in time, I’d have played “Let It Go” (Get it? The code is “Frozen”. You can continue reading after you finish rolling around the floor laughing.) Some students may choose to work on it outside of class, that’s OK. We need them to focus on other things in class. This mimics real-life software cycles quite accurately. If there weren’t code freezes, coders would just keep coding, and nothing would ever get delivered. There’s always one more feature or one more bug.

We prepared the girls for this yesterday by meeting with each group individually in the morning. We wanted to see where they were at, what they had planned, and to hold some serious discussions about what had to be cut because it wouldn’t be ready in time. I expected them to be more stressed out at the meetings. I’m not saying there wasn’t stress – we had five girls (25% of the class) out sick. But the ones who were there had already talked in their groups about what had to be done, and simply reported it to us.

After code freeze, the girls created their own LinkedIn pages for professional networking. They’ve been hearing about LinkedIn  for a while now, especially during the career workshop session on social media. They understand that it is a professional network and not the same as their other accounts. LinkedIn is the one place teaching staff is allowed to make social media connections to the girls before the end of the program.

At lunch time, I generally hang back for a few minutes and do a security check of the room, making sure the laptops are secure and that no purses or valuables are left behind. Secretly, part of my reasoning is that about twenty people plus Accenture employees will have just converged on the small cafe, and I don’t like waiting in lines. I’ll do a lot to avoid it.

I knew that a Courtney was on her way back with a small number of girls who wanted to work through lunch (they are already getting to understand the coder’s work life balance – or lack thereof), and several of the laptops weren’t secure, so I just waited for them to get back. To my surprise, the entire group came back. Someone had brought Cards Against Humanity ( a game I’ve never played), so fifteen of them play all through lunch. The other few worked on other things.

The afternoon was dedicated to making posters for the poster session after the ceremony Thursday. They were really involved in this all afternoon. It’s great to see how easily they switch gears to a new task, but still work as teams – and have fun doing it. This is a great group, and I’m gonna miss them.
Shanzeh – this is an Easter egg for you. I’ve been thinking of misspelling your name a different way everyday so you have to read the whole post. 😛



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