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So, the first term of my masters is just about over. And all is not good in the land of Jo.

Of three assignments we had to complete, there was only one that I was happy with; the other two were pretty poor.

OK, so, assignment 1 was pretty tiny; it only carries 5% of the module mark and was, to be honest, almost pointless... just a class diagram... pretty easy really. still, I got 10/10 on that one, so that was nice.

The 2nd assignment (the 2nd for the module, carrying 45% of the module mark), was to implement the code for the project assignment 1 was based on (with any modifications to the classes, as you saw fit), submit various UML diagrams and a critical appraisal. Things ended up going pretty badly wrong; the NetBeans project containing my class diagram got totally messed up while I was trying to make a modification; long-story-short, trying (and in the ended, failing) to fix the mess-up meant I didn't have enough time to finish the programming... I ended up not implementing one of the specified features... the one I was modifying the class diagram for when it all got broken. And because I was getting very close to the deadline by the time I had something submissable, I was panicking badly and managed to forget that to get NetBeans to generate a new program JAR file, you have to tell it to do a "Clean & Build" (a normal build doesn't make the JAR file)... so I accidentally ended up submitting an old version of the program. I've emailed the module leader about it, with a rebuilt version attached, and also pointed out that they can build the code in NetBeans and it should work... but I have no idea how strict they'll be... Anyway, *if* they're nice and use the up-to-date build, then I estimate I'll probably get about 55% for the assignment... which is a pass, but its nothing better... but if they're strict; because testing is 25% of the assignment grade, and there are 5 bits of functionality that will be tested mentioned in the assignment spec (I have one of these missing); thats 20% more of my estimate thats in danger... that would give me a mere 35%, which is definitely a fail.

The 3rd assignment (different module, carrying 100% of the module mark... which is just *horrid*!) I don't expect good things of. The assignment basically said "pick a software engineering topic, review it, point out how it helps and doesn't help software development and discuss future developments. That's 4 equally weighted areas (review, positives, negatives, future). I really struggled to even pick a topic; there was no assistance given in this, even when I emailed and asked cos I was struggling. In the end, I had to settle for a topic that I didn't have any confidence in... and ended up with not having a huge amount to say for the latter three areas of the assignment, and a rather over-large first area... I have absolutely no confidence in this piece of work... if it gets 35% I'll be impressed... and that's nowhere near a passing grade.

I think the biggest problem with the 2nd assignment was just with me mis-estimating the amount of work that would be involved in getting it done... I ended up still trying to get it finished on the day of the deadline, which was not the plan... I'd intended to have atleast a day of cushion... which, if I'd had it, would have meant I could have sorted out the disaster (it may even not have happened because I wouldn't have been rushing and taking shortcuts (like not making backups *grrr*) to get the thing finished in time.

The 3rd assignment, I tried to be good... I spent a few of hundred hours working on it, trying to do a good job of researching it and planning it... but the "not a clue what I'm doing" wrt topics really messed things up though; I ended up in panic-mode trying to get the damn thing done in time, and all the time knowing, or atleast suspecting, that the topic I was pursuing through desperation was a dead-end.

Also, being totally out of practice at writing anything, let alone academic essays, didn't really help with any of the written components.

So all-in-all, I'm not a happy bunny at the mo... I feel like I've totally f***ed everything up, and I'm only a term in...

I have an exam in january for the other 50% of the object oriented design and programming module... in fact, in one months time, the 3 hours of the exam will just have finished... Somehow I've gotta get all those bloody annoying bits of OO terminology to stay in my head...

To be honest, at the moment, I'm of two minds as to whether I should even bother doing the exam or continuing the course... a large part of me is just "you're shit, give it up, you'll never pull this off"... I just feel totally stupid and utterly useless... which is just like I felt most of the way through my Batchelors... this was supposed to be different.

I mean, I wil do the exam... and I'll try to get a decent grade... and hopefully they'll not be super-strict and I'll get the 55% guestimated grade for the assignment, so my total coursework grade would still then end up as 54.5%... so the "better than a pass" categories would still be attainable given a strong exam performance.



( 2 Mobwebs — Spin A Cobweb )
14th Dec, 2009 17:52 (UTC)
Out of curiosity what's your major? I'm a recent college graduate myself with a B.S. in Communications and the job market has been piss poor, LOL. I remember how stressful college life was and I've only been out for about a year and a half.

Good luck with the exam!
14th Dec, 2009 18:06 (UTC)
My Batchelors is a BSc Computer Science... the Masters I'm doing now is an MSc Software Engineering; doing it as a part-timer on a distance learning course via the Interweb.

Chin up! Atleast the job market isn't *quite* so bad as it was when I was looking just after graduating; I was given my month's notice about 2 weeks after 9/11...

But yeah, it is pretty bad; I'm back to looking after christmas... I had intended for this first term to be a nice gentle "get used to study" period, then start looking for work again... hasn't exactly worked out like that, but still... maybe it'll help to have more than just Uni work to think about.

Thanks, good luck with the job hunting! :)
( 2 Mobwebs — Spin A Cobweb )