Amberley Romo

MakerSquare Week 12: The Transition

April 02, 2016

I write this week’s post with mixed emotions, as yesterday marked the last day for the MKS30 cohort.

MKS 30 cohort pic.

For those like myself staying on for the fellowship, week 12 was actually the beginning of our fellowship. We stepped into that routine, as our cohort-mates began focusing on their job searches. It was an odd, in-between space — knowing that after this week, we would no longer see each other nearly every day. The grind of an intensive educational program like this creates an intense interpersonal atmosphere, forging connections quickly. At times, it’s nearly unfathomable that you didn’t know each other three months before.

MKS30 is an incredibly interesting, weird, fun, talented, and bright group of people. I’m delighted that so many are staying in the area, or (like myself) have relocated here for the time being. MKS30 — it’s been quite a ride, and I thank you all.

Advice: Us to Rising Seniors

As our seniors did for us, so did we have a chance to impart snippets of ‘wisdom’ to our juniors. I’ll try to capture some of that here.

  • Communicate. Communication and teamwork can be an easy thing to backburner when you have such a short time to complete a project — but I promise you it’s not. It’s one of the hardest and most important pieces of project work — and later, being a professional member of a team. Which feeds into…
  • Document workflows. And agree to abide by the workflow. Even a bad workflow that everyone adheres to consistently is better than none. Then, you’re just riding on luck. Make it easier for yourself (and avoid git hell), and make this a priority.
  • Yeah, testing is important. On my team (the back-end side), learning and integrating testing into our process was one of our top priorities — we certainly achieved that. In hindsight, we may have spent more time on it than we should have, given the overall needs of the project — but again, it was a priority for us. I wouldn’t go back and do it differently.
  • Be exposed to all parts of the project. Different people have different opinions on this, but what I’ll sum this up to is this — People need to own different parts of the project. Have clear lines drawn, and know who’s working on what. Not everyone needs to do everything — they can’t and they shouldn’t, for project sanity. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take some time to understand what someone else has implemented. Be familiar with, and understand, your whole project, but everyone can’t own all of it.
  • It’s over before you know it. Enjoy it. Somehow the last six weeks pass even faster than the first six. It’ll be gone before you know it. Enjoy it, get as much out of it as you can, and enjoy the people around you. While you’re in the middle of it, it feels like it will never end. It will.
  • Write. This one’s just mine, and I didn’t say it in our Q+A yesterday. This blog turned out to be very non-technical — a completely experiential documentation of my time as a MakerSquare student. I now find it so valuable to be able to read through and reflect. I noted previously, but I definitely still plan to continue writing during the fellowship, this time with a more technically-oriented focus. TL;DR, I highly suggest writing something, anything.

One chapter ends, another begins. We’re ready 🙂

© 2023 Amberley Romo