Friday, 26 February 2010

Development and research - the project seesaw

Just a quick blog post to reflect on where I'm up to at the end of week 5 of my Arcadia project.

The project's always seesawed uneasily between been a 'technology' project and being an 'implications of technology' project, between attempting to develop a tool, and thinking about what the implications and needs of this tool might be. This week the seesaw's continued to rock back and forth, but perhaps there's now a more harmonious rhythm to it. Developing a real tool can be a good way to find out what future Library IT projects might need, and to find out the problems and delays that are likely to appear. This week's been a week of delays, in many ways, but I'm starting to see them as productive ones: the delays that I'm facing now (getting student data from MISD, getting contact names from every Department in the University, learning to use the range of different technologies necessary to connect together 3 very separate systems) are probably going to be ones that Library projects face again and again. So if I can document them now, and start working on making the process smoother, then the next Library project will perhaps be better planned, and work more efficiently. After all, Huw Jones in his Arcadia project had to spend days if not weeks wrestling with the widget code, which he was then able to copy straight into my project ready sorted. So things here are going slowly, but perhaps that's not a bad thing.

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