When Mood Music
2013-01-31 18:01:00 pleased Table Top Joe – Tom Waits

The marks for the second coursework from last term’s information systems engineering module were released yesterday. The headline is I scored 92%. In the previous coursework, I scored 91%, so I guess I have passed this module. (The marks are provisional: they need to be confirmed or amended by the programme board.)


The ugly details of this coursework are:

  1. requirements
  2. my written submission
  3. my database (MS Access)
  4. screenshots
  5. an Access report that’s a products catalogue
  6. my mark breakdown
  7. my marks so far (87% of available marks)

I’m happier with this submission than I was with the earlier, written coursework. However, I recall being in an utter panic, just not understanding ‘relationalism’ about 3 weeks before the submission deadline. Thanks to some patient teaching from the lecturer, I began to get it, and some of my SQL lessons from last year fought their way back into my consciousness. (There was a case for a query using a intersection with the union of two sets – I forget exactly why – for one of the reports I wanted to create. I didn’t get this to work but, given the lecturer’s comments, this wouldn’t have been necessary.)

As usual, I can see where I’d improve the product: there’s no clue as to what to do once you’ve entered an order. There should be a ‘print’ button and/or some way of sending the completed order to dispatch (or holding the order if the customer is held.) However, I can see how to do this, and this database was meant to be only a prototype to show a customer what software could do for him or her. I’ve succeeded at that. And I wasn’t one of the drongos who caused the lecturer to remark

‘I have to say I have been getting increasingly annoyed at (and delayed by) students who ignored the simple, clear submission instructions. I have just marked 3 courseworks that supplied NO printed outputs (so I have had to print them myself). Despite my specific instructions NOT to print the full table details I have just marked 2 who had 25 pages and 18 pages respectively of output from the documenter tool.

This ignoring of instructions is unacceptable at this level and I am deducting marks.

p.s. I have just marked the fourth assessment that did not supply the password used….’

Even better, I’ve created another access database to track my freelance work – and found that payment was overdue for one bit. That situation was speedily rectified – thanks to both this lecturer and my client!

Now it’s time to park this learning until I next need it and concentrate on my two current modules: management of software projects and web design and development. In the former, I’ve learnt so far that to be a good IT project manager, I’d need to be younger, have a personality transplant and gender-reassignment. In the latter, I’ve learnt what divs and stylesheets are.


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