Q: Are we doing group projects?
A: Yes, yes, yes
Q: I don't know "XXX", is that a problem?
A: Not necessarily. The purpose of working in a team is that people's skills are complementary. If you can't do something as well as someone else, do something else. If there is one person that has all the skills, you must learn to help them by mastering a small piece. These projects require a diversity of skills: programming, scientific understanding (domain expertise), documentation, presentation, graphical design, web design, etc. Sometimes, having someone get food or bake cookies is the final piece to get a project to the finish line. Everyone has to do their part. However, having/developing basic proficiency of unix/linux command-line, shell, and programming will be required!
Q: Do I need to know how to program?
A: Yes. As well as how to use linux from the command line. We'll have some review in class, but you will need to learn/brush up on these skills in order to make the most of out the class.
Q: I hate group projects because I end up doing all the work while other people coast to the finish line. What can I do about that?
A: Peer-review. Each group project has a component where everyone ranks and rates the other group members. We have a no slacker policy in the class.
Q: Is documentation important?
A: Yes. Everything must be documented where it is accessible for everyone to read/view.
Q: Help, computer system XXX just went down. What do I do?
A: Welcome to real world of data intensive science. Systems go down, and usually at the worst possible time. Hopefully you have your code on GitHub, available through virtual machines or containers, have good documentation, and your team is ready to deploy on a different system. If this happens during the midterm or final project, the due date will not change. Be resourceful and make sure you document what you do.
Q: I hate my group, what do I do?
A: You can leave and work with another group. Likewise, a group can ask you to leave. Nothing personal, this is just business. If you can't work with any group, talk to the professors.
Q: Do I have to show up for class?
A: Yes. Attendance is mandatory. This is a project-based course using teams. If you aren't there, you are letting down your team. However, we understand that things do come up and life extends outside of this class. If something comes up, please let us know. Also, if you are sick, please stay home and get better.
Q: Can I show up late to class?
A: No. But, we would rather you show up late than not show up at all. So there is a class policy. If you show up late, you have to bring a snack to the next class. Donuts are usually appreciated as are healthier options. If there are circumstances that do not allow you to bring snacks to class, please talk to the instructors. Also, if you are habitually showing up late, please come talk to the instructors (and the instructors will come find you).