The Viva presentation was sorted two weeks ago and all the examinations are now done and dusted. Barring some very unexpected poor results, it should confirm that I have achieved my original aim – when I started back at University – of obtaining a good degree from a quality university. My academic career will continue for another year, which will allow the transformation of that presumed Bachelor’s degree into a Master’s degree. Many students would have been in solid education for the previous sixteen years at this stage and no doubt think it just another step on the route to adulthood.
Having returned to education from years in the Real World(TM), I wasn’t even sure I could complete the course due to the amount of report writing involved. So the sense of achievement is matched by a sense of relief. If someone told me then that I could write coherent documents of 15,000+ words at a decent rate, I would have laughed. I’ve always seen myself as a Software Engineer. Thanks to this University and this degree course, I feel that the major weakness in my toolkit has been sorted: I can now fulfil the documentation and communication aspects of the role as well as the practical aspects.
Back to the recent past, the Viva itself seemed to go well enough and I am able to comment on the project without fear of prejudicing the outcome since the marking has been done. Although, the mark will not be given for a few weeks yet. I think the presentation went very well as I wasn’t found wanting for a good response to any question – a good response being defined as one which answered the question posed. The big risk in the approach to my project was focus on research content. If my supervisor and second examiner were content that the background argument, the questionnaire data and conclusions from the prototype were plausible and added to current research, then I’d hope for a good first class mark. However, if the emphasis falls on the software engineering and funky algorithms, I’d be struggling to get out of low-end 2:1 territory.
Regardless of outcome, I am pleased with the prototype of the project. During revision, the prototype was extended to include the ability to load and save files. I felt that my prototype was better that the other offerings on the market. My own opinion may be biassed, so it was further underlined when other people asked if they could have a copy. There is a real boon when other people appreciate what you have done. The downside is that I have a pile of feature requests and bugfixes, but it’ll give me something to do when the need to chill out goes and I need something to do. The prototype itself will be released in both binary and source code forms under the GNU Public License 3. I’ll post here when this has been done.
Meanwhile, I’ve hit a diary vacuum. Since October, I’ve not had the opportunity to stop. So this vacuum is a time to enjoy some serious relaxation. This is a time to be social before saying goodbye to people who return next year and au revoir to those who have finished their academic careers for the foreseeable future.
Tis only a short pause though. Next up, a hectic three months in the capital.