So how did I end my final apprenticeship project?

Thank you for returning to read my review of my final apprenticeship project. If you missed yesterday’s post, be sure to check that one out first to avoid spoilers. For everyone else, here we go.

Day 4

Day four, and it was time to bring it all together. Due to the tight deadline on this project, I wanted this to be the last day that I spent on the code side of things. Yesterday I had set up the pages, so now I needed to get the code-behind work done. I set up the repository, which would store the business logic (or where I could pull the data from the database through to the code). I also needed to create the classes which would format the data.

Then I used that code to display data on each of the pages I had created. In this part, I had to make sure I focused on the minimal viable product (MVP). I knew I would not be able to finish the application within two days of coding, so I focused on completing specific sections. 

Day 5

Now it was Monday. I had had the chance to relax over the weekend by taking part in a hackathon (which I will write about in my next blog post!), and now it was the final day of my apprenticeship project.

Anxiety must have been getting to me when I found myself waking up at 4.30 am. Worst than that, I got out of bed instead of going back to sleep until my alarm at 8. 

So I committed. I got up, washed my hair, got dressed and turned on my laptop. By this point, it was 6 am. I decided to spend two hours tying up the loose ends of the project that I had last week and then get the write up done. The write up was vital as it would demonstrate my knowledge and show my thought process throughout the project.

Except it was also the scariest part.

I had had to do write-ups for other work examples I had done throughout my apprenticeship, except I had gotten feedback on those. The feedback would have suggestions on where to elaborate or questions about something I had said. This time it was all on me. But this write up was the final exam.

But it had to be done, so here I go.

I decided to break the write up down into each task I had done over the previous week. Then I divided those sections by the STAR method – ScenarioTaskAction and Result/Review. The benefit of doing this was that it broke it down into manageable, manageable-sized chunks. 

Then I tried something new. I googled the Pomodoro technique and found an app. The Pomodoro technique is popular among those who study Youtubers, but I hadn’t tried it myself. It is where you set small chunks of time to research and then have a short break. The fragments of work time and break sessions continue for as many cycles as you decide you need for the piece of work. I set it to 25 minute study time and then 5-minute breaks.

I clicked “wind up”, and the timer started.

Now I had a deadline and a format. The write up felt manageable. I started writing. I aimed to complete one section per “study time” to mean roughly six cycles of work and break, three hours of work.

In actuality, it took me more like five hours, but I got it done!

Once I had that write up finished I still had a couple of tasks to complete, I needed to create a user guide. I knew I had an option to create a screen recording user guide type thing, but that was new territory for me. That meant I had to do some research into options for screen recorders!

I found one and attempted to create a recording of me stepping through the application that I had created. The first one failed as I had forgotten to remove a breakpoint from my code (oops), but the next one ran a bit more smoothly. I decided to do a silent version rather than a voice over, and then write up the instructions with screen shots. Admittedly it was not the perfect scenario but I made do with the tools and knowledge that I had.

Finally it was 4.45pm – the deadline was 5.30!

I quickly chased for my work to sign my form which needed to be sent then started added the relevant documents to a zip file. Though I knew there was so much more I wanted to do, I felt comfortable with sending it off at the stage it was at. Weirdly comfortable. Not sure if I had just hit the denial stage by this point but we will see.

Then it was done. I sent the zipped file and the complete form to my apprenticeship co-ordinator, and turned off my laptop. I was done. There was nothing more I could do until the final interview is arranged.

So what else was there to do but to sleep?

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