The class has been working away at some pretty interesting projects over the past few weeks. The goal of our project was to create a chat application, with two unique features, chosen by each of us individually. It was originally due on Friday, the 14th of October. I had a great idea for my project, and was sure I could get it done within a reasonable amount of time. Or so I thought.

Firstly, I’ll tell you my idea. I set out to create a way for Netflix users to watch it together, while chatting at the same time. As I looked further into the idea I started digging myself into a deeper hole. I was losing sight of what I had originally set out to accomplish. It was a nightmare, but I was determined to turn my idea into a real thing. Big mistake.

It turns out, once you figure out that an idea you have is unrealistic (especially one with a due date), you really should take a step back, and just ask yourself if it’s truly worth it. I ended up feeling overwhelmed and thus unable to concentrate on actually getting a project done at all. And so, after accepting the fact that my idea was just infeasible for this project, I decided to pivot.

I felt a bit more at ease after I changed my project idea to target YouTube, rather than Netflix. Not only there were more resources on the subject, but YouTube is actually open to allowing developers access to their API. The only problem was that it may have already cost me too much time. Even though I was in the right direction now, the time frame I had held me back from doing this project in a way that I’d be proud of.

And then suddenly, floods. The city now looked more like a lake. People had no power, meaning they couldn’t work on their chat apps. Naturally, the due date had to be moved from Friday to the following Monday, the 17th. This gave me more time to work on my project and prepare during the weekend. The functionality was all there, but something just felt wrong. When you pour your heart into a project, you’re proud of your work. But all I felt was a strange disconnection. It took me back to how I felt after finishing projects in middle school. I knew that I hadn’t put my all into it, and its current state, is truly unfinished.

And then I saw a glimmer of light through the trees. The project had been moved to the next Friday, the 21st! It gave me the chance to turn my project from something I was assigned to create, to something I wanted to use. I still had to do my original pitch on the 17th, but it was more of a practice run. It let me know what I needed to work on for Friday, and that’s how it worked out. After doing my pitch on Monday, I realised there was a lot I wanted to work on. The practice run helped me gain confidence for Friday’s presentation.

Over the course of the week, I began checking items off of my list of features I wanted to implement. I wouldn’t have been able to get many of them done if it weren’t for the second due date change. This whole experience taught me a few things to keep in mind for the long run. One of the more important ones being to not bite off more than I can chew. Just because something sounds like a great project does not mean it can be realistically created, in a relatively short time span. Another thing would be to trust my gut telling me that I could have done a better job on the first time around.

2 thoughts on “Hindsight is 20/20”

Eric Lortie Eric Lortie says:

I really enjoyed watching you work on this project. Your initial Netflix concept was such a fantastic one and I was incredibly hopeful that you could find something that would make it work.

Cards on the table: I spent a bunch of time trying to find a meaningful way to connect to Netflix through a web app when I first heard your pitch in the hopes that I could help you accomplish this if you struggled. We came to the same conclusion. That being said: I think we could definitely make this work down the road in a chrome extension. And I bet that would get a PILE of use.

Great job the past few weeks.

Thanks Eric, that’s nice to know and I appreciate it a lot 🙂 I wonder if it could also be done by making a native app that has a web browser component built in, like Atom or Slack. That would probably make it easier to have a user interface, with chat and all that stuff. I imagine creating a GUI would be pretty hard if you’re making a browser extension. I’ve never tried it though, so I might be wrong.

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