MIS Courses: MIS 330

MIS 330 has been quite different from what I expected. Coming out of 295, I felt more prepared than ever to conquer a large project using a consistent methodology with WCA’s; but that’s not what I got. Instead I got introduced to this new idea called aN ERD. All I could initially think about was, “Oh no, not another acronym”. An ERD is what us MIS folks call an “Entity Relationship Diagram”. An ERD can be computed from any type of data set you can think of: tracking orders, camper’s information, a tax receipt; you name it, I can now create an ERD for it. These ERD’s become the basis for the creation of a database. MIS 330 after all is a database design class and these ERD’s are at the heart of class. ERD’s work about the same way as WCA’s do. Initially, understanding and creating this flow of data is the hard part, using foreign concepts we have never heard before. But soon after your mastery of the basis of a ERD, the problem isn’t creating the diagram itself, but building a database to model what your ERD is explaining.

This leads us to our new project. In 295, although you don’t necessarily know exactly what you’re going to get in a partner, you still get to choose people you think will work hard and that you can also work well with. Enjoy that aspect. In MIS 330, you are in for a completely different mind-set for the main project. One morning you will check your e-Learning and Robin will have posted your fate; the project groups. You may have no idea who your group members are, but that’s the point; in the real world you’re not going to always get to pick the people you must work with and that is what 330 is preparing you for. Another difference in this project is that in 295 you had three different projects, in 330 we have one project. This one large project accounts for a large part of our grade in 330 as well as a large part of your CS 220 class. MIS 330 has a completely different formula for success than 295 does, but with hard work and good time management I believe it can be accomplished. Thus far we have only completed the first deliverable in this project, so we will see how well the rest of it goes throughout the semester!

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