#2 Increase my
understanding of programming concepts.
Where did you create this artifact?
All of the artifacts for this competency were created during course CSS 561 Programming Concepts, while I as enrolled at the University of Phoenix. As a member of a Learning Team we were challenged to create a 5-page (300 words per page) Plan for software maintenance and change control in an organization.
What I Learned, How did you learn this?
During the course I learned about operating system structures, overview of computer programming, documenting, coding, executing and testing and debugging, functions and conditional structures, looping structures and arrays, files and program maintenance and how to serve as a quality control and design team for the programmers. I was able to learn these topics by conducting research on relevant topics, performing critical analysis of researched data and as part of a research team documenting findings and recommendation in an academic research paper.
Why this is important:
For the IT executives and managers to be viewed as successful they must be able to connect IT resources (staff, hardware and software) to profitable business units projects and goals and/or show hard and soft dollar savings in process efficiency.
In general IT managers standardize on hardware, operating systems and applications to reduce support cost. I do not foresee any application being able to support mid-size and large corporation needs without a standard operating system in place. With 2000+ desktops, 200+ servers, 300+ printers, and 100+ different business application needs in an organization no one vendor would ever be able to develop an application that would fulfill all the departmental requirements of the organization. Any attempt to do so would be costly to support for both the vendor and IT department.
Business needs dictate application needs which dictate OS and Hardware requirements. The vast difference in hardware today and in the future will never be accommodating to a successful merge of applications and operating systems. Having to support multiple operating systems in an organization is a chore. Having to support hundreds of application without an operating system would be a nightmare. The HR and Accounting Departments will have different requirements that will need to be fulfilled and no one application will be able to provide the needs for both departments, coexist with other applications, and support multiple hardware configurations successfully without a standard operating system.
How can you apply?
Supporting mobile devices is now part of our IT Policy. It generates urgent Help Desk calls and we train and staff for their support. To do this successfully we could not possibly support every device on the market so we standardized on Blackberry’s, Apple, Android and Palm OS devices. The business needs of our executives was the driving force behind this decision and if in the future a device hits the market that fills a hole in our business requirement and can be implemented and supported in a cost effective manner, I will recommend and support it. I always prefer not to but all my eggs in one basket but we want practical applications that work consistently. I would expect that regardless of vendor any hugely successful mainstream application will be dependent on the dominant OS of the times.
What challenges & obstacles did you overcome?
Working in a team dynamic posed the following challenges for me as a individual:
1. Team Procrastination, Not getting drafts done early enough for team review and discussion.
2. Lack of Communication, will team members communicate effectively, not hearing from people and us coming up to deadlines. Communication Methods; keeping up with post
3. Work/Home schedules, time differences/constraints for distance education students.
In order to overcome the above challenges we were able to reach a consensus on our team charter and project plan and completed our project on time. One key to our success was establishing Ground Rules on meeting schedule, locations, attendance expectations, agenda, assignment completion, and communication methods. We used the following set of rules to keep the team functioning and producing at a high level:
1. Members will post project status 2-3 times a week to B Team News Group; Team Leaders will Provide Daily updates to the status report thread.
2. Team News Group will be our primary source of communication.
3. If Team decides to have a teleconference or a meeting using a chat program, everyone will attend and be on time.
4. For final paper, Team B will be establishing a thesis, outline and reference list. From the outline, the team will select which aspects of the paper will be assigned to which individuals.
5. The team will agree on a date when members will turn in their piece of the report. The team leader will combine everyone’s inputs and post the draft report in the team’s newsgroup where each team member will edit the draft. Draft will be in approved APA format to include an abstract and references.
6. Once the team is satisfied with the final report, the team leader will post it to the appropriate newsgroup.
7. Team Leadership role will rotate weekly among team members.
The team also addressed Conflict Management by discussing as a team what are potential conflicts that might arise among or between team members during this course and how will team members deal with these and other conflicts. Our conflict management plan stated that on disagreement on analysis of research topics and/or presentation material, an open team discussion on opposing viewpoints will occur, team members will vote on a resolution, member will abide by majority rule vote, tie breaker goes to faculty to facilitate. Per University of Phoenix faculty policy members have option to submit separate assignment in conjunction with team assignment. 100 percent effort will be given toward presenting a team solution.
Overall I enjoyed working on the team and I look forward to an opportunity to participate in similar projects.
· RESEARCH PAPER: Software Maintenance Plan.
· DISCUSSION: Does the division of computer software into operating systems and applications make sense for today? Does the division make sense for the future?