Why my disastrous group project was the best thing that ever happened to me

I learned more than I ever would have otherwise

Recently, I was required to complete a group project for my database systems and concepts course. The project? It required us to use mySQL to create a database schema and PLSQL to create triggers and constraints for a rental management system. We were also asked to then create a GUI which would allow customers to search for available rental properties and create lease agreements. The GUI would also allow property owners to list properties and the dates that they are available for rent. I was assigned to a group of three people - two were seniors who were nearing graduation, and then there was myself, a junior looking forward to another year of classes.

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Weeks before the due date, I kept reminding my group partners that we should get a head start otherwise we would have A LOT to do later on. As the due date drew nearer, my partners kept giving me excuses for why they didn't have time to get together and start the project (i.e. "I'm at a music festival all weekend.." or "I'm going home this weekend"). Sooner than later, it was the night before the project was due. I set up camp in the computer lab prepared to put in at least 5-6 hours. However, when my group partners showed up, they messed around for an hour and then explained that they had had "a really long day" and that they were "just too tired" to keep working. Yes, it was only 9pm, and they were too tired to "work" on the group project that was due the next day that they had not put an ounce of work into yet. I wondered to myself if all seniors were just "checking out" at this point, but still considered their behavior quite rude.

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This is when I decided to take it upon myself to complete the project. At first I was frustrated, going from webpage to webpage trying to learn as much as I could about incorporating SQL statements within php files on my won. Simultaneously, I wondered why my partners were doing this to me. After 6 hours that night, I headed home to bed, feeling slightly better about the project. I woke up early the next morning, still frustrated, but kept plugging away. Eventually, it was all starting to come together. I felt like a pro at php and I had a solid understanding of the oracle database we were working with and how to write mySQL queries.

In retrospect, my group partners put me through a lot of unwanted stress. But today, I have a better understanding of these topics than I would have had if I were to only do 1/3 of the project. Currently, at my summer internship for Walmart Global eCommerce, I am grateful that I now how those php and mySQL skills as they are helping me to complete the tasks given to me. So in a way, I'd like to say thank you to my group project partners and wish them the best in their post-grad life.

Check out my group project here: Greenfield's Rental Management Inc.

Written by

Aleisha Nelson

Jun. 17, 2016