Last spring I was approached by one of my computer science students who was building a computer for one of his friends, and he wanted my opinion on the Gigabyte Motherboard in the title of this particular post. I told him that I thought he had made an excellent choice, but I did not want to get involved with the construction or design of a new computer so I cautiously backed away from the project. I was impressed with the potential of the computer system that he was going to build for his friend, but I was concerned that he was taking on a friend as a client.
After a few weeks my brilliant student encountered what most computer professionals uncover frequently in their careers which is the client changed his mind about what he wanted after parts had been ordered. Now some who hear this story might question if there was a clear design explained to the client, and I would say yes because my student clearly told me what he was planning on creating, and he had several conversations with his client. The problem as I saw it was that the client who was not as educated in the computer technologies became frightened by what he did not understand, and he decided to change the plans as he learned more. He was fearful, and he perhaps learned some emotional lessons. Plans change a lot around technology as clients become more educated; however, there has to be a point when a decision is made and plans move forward. Technology will continue to change and evolve, and the desire of wanting the next greatest feature can send clients in an expensive spiral.
Well, as the project’s needs changed, I decided to help out my student by purchasing the Motherboard so that he could acquire what the client really (we hope) wanted and so that he would not go bankrupt at sixteen. I also just finished selling that Motherboard on EBAY so that some lucky kid in another part of the country (I think Chicago) is going to get a great start to a project he wants to complete. What an opportunity for learning!
As a side note, I bet school administrators could learn something about this process too. You know, clearly defined goals to which everyone has been given notice helps all in an organization succeed.
Educational Technology from Absolutely Learning – Matt Moore