Overcoming a challenging experience through feedback

It was back in 2013, we had just progressed into our 3rd and penultimate year in the University having been introduced to programming for the first time in the previous academic session. Even though 90 percent of my peers looked completely lost in the wilderness, I took extra interest and put in extra hours, ran as much command-line codes as I could, to ensure I wasn’t taken by surprise by our lecturers. My hard work paid off as I had the highest grade in the course. I thought it was over — at least academic-wise.

Little did I know I was to pay the prize.

Welcoming us into our 3rd year was an assignment to develop a sort of inventory system, to be submitted in within 1 week. The entire class turned to me, and went to sleep. Within 2 days, I had come up a functional code, and saved in, and also went to bed. 3 days to submission, I met my lecturer for some counselling (even though I had done something), only to hear it was to be GUI-based, not command-line. I was practically sleepless that night, learning and unlearning GUI in Java. I had not done so before. Thanks to my previous playtime with VB 6 plus the drag and drop design tools on Netbeans, I was able to quickly setup the interface and a few functionalities. When I sort for guidance from a colleague in final year, I was told I would need to connect the program to a database since it would need to add and delete data — something I hadn’t done before. I knew I was in for it, and I had to deliver. By the day 6, my initial solution was good — or so I thought — until I showed few of my course mates who suggested I include scrollable bars as I had limited entries to maximum of 20. Less than 24 hours to submission and I was all over the net again scrambling for help.

By morning on the day of submission, I had finished the program and it was working fine. My waiting course mates quickly got it installed on their systems and ready for presentation. Our lecturer knew the solution had come from a single source, but at least the class had delivered on his welcome address to us. Phew! It was such a trying , sleepless and testing week indeed. In the end, the feedbacks I had gotten and applied plus my resolve had seen me do what I hadn’t initially attempted before as at then.

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