Quote of the Day: “How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”
― Dr. Seuss
Sorry, I’ve been a bit busy this past week and haven’t posted as much as I should. We are well past the mid point of the program and I want to take an opportunity to make a mid-way reflection (fairly late). I will talk about two skills (there are more, but I’ll focus on these two) that I have gained that will definitely prove useful in the future.
Dealing with Uncertainty:
Dealing with uncertainty has been a lesson that has been hammered into us these past few weeks. These are few activities that helped with dealing with uncertainty:
Independent research: Although this program emphasizes teamwork and collaboration, I have done a great deal of independent research looking through various software documentations as well as literature. This has helped me be prepared in certain meetings and be able to discuss/ask questions where I wouldn’t have otherwise.
‘Figure-It-Out’ Attitude: This is sort of related to independent research, but has more to do with the mindset during research. Having confidence and belief that I’ll be able to figure out things that I don’t understand at the moment has definitely helped.
Being able to collaborate (which I define as not working independently and then combining work, but working interdependently) is essential in research. Your work can be exponentially improved by working with others and generating ideas/solution that wouldn’t have come about independently. It is also very difficult because working by yourself has some advantages like not having to explain your ideas. Below are some things that help build collaboration skills:
Effective Communication: Communication includes all of the essential parts (in-person, email, slack, etc), but what makes it effective is the plan the comes afterwards. Early on in the program, my communication was less effective because I would be apart of numerous meetings that didn’t really lead to anything. But, I started to understand that even if the meetings are interesting and useful, to be effective they must lead to a plan with goals and sub-goals.
Willingness to Listen: I have always held listening with the intent to understand and learn as a guiding principle in my life. Its importance has become even more apparent throughout this program. With so many great minds and resources around me, I have been delighted to collaborate with folks at VRAC. From homework posts in HCI courses to 3D printing a small model of a brain, I have been able to do things I would never have been able to. And a willingness to listen, understand, and learn has lead to work on projects I never would have otherwise.
😮 🙂 😀