What Next

In this weeks journal post I summarise what I have learnt over the duration of my first module and critically reflect on the practises of application development I embarked upon and what I will take forwards into the next study block.

Introduction

The pivotal theme of App Development Synergies was to understand the importance of critical reflection and deliberate practise. As Dr Michael Scott suggested, “The challenge, of course, will be questioning in a positive way what you do and why you do it, and then decide whether there are better more efficient ways of doing things”. Looking back over the past weeks of this module my biggest challenge has been reflecting in a positive manor. It’s been hard deliberating over each weeks SMART goal without depreciating my confidence and mental well-being. It has taken time, week by week, to understand that the SMART goals I set myself do not necessarily need to mean I lack a good working practise within an area but can and should in many cases act as goals to enhance my currently good working practises to take them to higher levels.

Time Management

Over the 12 weeks of studying we have covered and learnt a range of subjects with the most important being a practical understanding of organising my time. Creating a study plan that both caters to the need to be flexible whilst remaining reliable to routines has been a consistent challenge throughout. Attempting to apply a value of importance to one activity over another and working out when and how long to study each night has been difficult, as well as working study time around full time work and home life activities. Lessons across the course have helped me to build an adaptable plan using a collaboration of Scrum and Kanban methodologies, colloquially referred to as “Scrumban”. As I progress further into my masters I will aim to refine the Kanban boards I make to plan out my week and continue to remain communicative and flexible with my partner with the aim to provide a better work/life balance. On reflection one of the hardest aspects of trying to manage my time has been attempting to apply a value of importance to one activity over another.

Up Skilling in Web Development

As technology is continuously adapting, I will maintain a routine of personal study within the areas that will broaden the scope of my employment possibilities as an application developer. From my research in week two I chose PHP as the core programming language and Laravel as the framework I will use for a variety of good, solid reasons stated within my report. I found relevant educational material on both subjects and set out a structured plan for learning both. Over the duration of the course I will master both the language and framework and make beautiful and creative applications with them within course modules to follow and in future professional work. There were few challenges faced when beginning to learn these technologies other than the struggle to balance weekly material and the research that typically accompanied with the time I needed to study them. On reflection though, that is acceptable. This module as I understand it, was to provide a broad understanding of app development as a whole and was not aimed to provide time to hone specific skills or understanding of one area.

Conclusion

As I move into the the next module I bring with me an understanding of critical areas to which relate to app development. I will now be able to look back to course material and research when developing applications in the future and correctly take the moments to reflect and strategise the course of action I should take, not rushing in on development. I also bring with me a clear end goal and the path that I need to take to make it come to pass. That end goal is:

  • Open Stamps features to a wider audience by building a web based ecosystem, which is why I’m learning PHP and Laravel.
  • Learn and act upon marketing and business strategy, to build more sales.
  • Implement software development methodologies to increase my efficiency.
  • Join a community of like minded app developers so as not to get lonely and find new collaborators to work with me in the future.
  • Have fun and make money.