As the summer comes to an end and, along with it, my internship, it’s time to reflect on everything I’ve learned. Firstly, one should never underestimate the effect of coffee and heavy metal on speed of coding. More importantly perhaps, and the lesson I’ll be sure to take away with me, is that it is absolutely essential to include your users in the development process. Obviously, this is incredibly advantageous for developers because it keeps the project on track by knowing exactly what the user wants (and how they want it), as well as making the process very adaptable and flexible by staying on top of any changing requirements before they spiral out of control. However, it is also important to the user as well – not only does it get them to engage in the development and let them see the influence they are having on the final product, but it also (most important of all) means they get a product that is useful to them, and one they can enjoy using!
While I’ll be leaving the WAIS team, work on the SLE doesn’t end here (not by a long way). Members of WAIS and iSolutions will continue to develop the web parts I’ve talked about in this blog, as well as coming up with more new and exciting features. The SLE is planned to be released for a trial subset of staff and students towards the end of this year, with a transitional period happening throughout 2012 as more users are added and more features developed.
I’ve really enjoyed my time here over the past three months and though I’m sad to be leaving, I’m looking forward to seeing and using an institution-wide product that I had a hand in creating.