Library System Evaluation

The lessons learnt on the coding of the project.

Our programming platform was Microsoft Visual basic, and fortunately it was easy for anyone with a programming background to pick up. During the coding process, we realized that although Visual basic was an excellent tool to implement this project, the interface with ACCESS database was not quite as friendly as we would have liked it to be.

One of the problems encountered during the development process was the incompatibility in people's schedules. Breaking down the code into different sections often created a bit of run-around trying to find out how different modules were structured. Sometimes this required a sudden stop in one's work until a module in another section of the code was fully implemented.

Our coding team consisted of a pretty relaxed bunch, which made the process of design and development fun and exciting. For future projects, we would recommend doing a semi-functional prototype of the system first. This would allow the customer group to get a good sense of the look and functionality of the system.

We also recommend that the coders meet with the customer group in a separate meeting to discuss the features of the system. Ideally, we would involve the customers in producing the prototype version of the system. This would give the customers the opportunity to voice their concerns about the flow and sequence of screens, and accessibility of functions.

The lessons learnt on the design of the project.

Perhaps the most fundamental thing that the group has learned as a whole is to acquire the ability to work together in a cohesive manner. During the initial phase of the design process, there were a lot of conflicting views on how things should be done and it ended up we spent a lot of time arguing with each other.

Having read about the idea of process management developed by the Software Engineering Institute, we realized that our group has a lot to learn in terms of greater understanding of the SEI process model. We have in some sense followed some guidelines provided by the SEI model by planning our work in subgroups. The coders team which consisted of 3 subgroups managed the coding part fairly well. The management team in turn produced some quality documents by dividing up our work and having a chief editor to look over all documents before putting them up on the web.

The design of the project was done in subgroups. Each of us came up with good ideas and they were then compiled and assembled by the whole group. To elaborate this further, at first, we identify what is to be done. Members of the group brainstormed and through some tedious discussion, we decide on how to accomplish the objectives. After this, some form of monitoring was established to determine what has so far been done and what is yet to be accomplished. At the end, the outcome was evaluated and the design completed on time.

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