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๐Ÿ““ Self-Exploration Week 4 Expectations

Self Exploration Section Expectations - Week 3โ€‹

Welcome to the fourth and final week of Professional Development. During this week, you will continue following along with the plan that you made during the Professional Development Planning section.

Additionally, you will start planning your Team Week project ideas for the following week, and building teams.

Team Weekโ€‹

The following week will be our final Team Week experience of our time at Epicodus. And, for this final experience, we'll be doing something a little different.

Firstly, our group projects will have no specific language requirements for the project stack. Teams can decide on a team-by-team basis what languages and tools will suit their needs most.

Additionally, since we've been working diligently on further exploration of topics we individually find interesting, our teams will potentially be made up of individuals with similar or dissimilar areas of focus. With this in mind, our teams can take advantage of specified roles for individuals, while also taking advantage of โ€œspecialistsโ€ guiding others to use any new technology.

Take this example of a team:

Emily Johnson: Studied Python and MongoDB Jacob Smith: Studied Tailwind, accessible design, and Swift Madison Williams: Studied AWS and Next.js Ethan Brown: Studied UI/UX and React

With this team makeup, and with what individual students studied, there are a few possibilities for language stack. The team may decide to use React, Next.js, or even Swift for their front-end solution, perhaps even to make a Mobile application. Additionally, the team may decide to use MongoDB or PostgreSQL as their database solution and have their back-end written in Python.

It would also be entirely feasible for the team to fall back to the languages and stacks theyโ€™re most familiar with, using C# with MySQL and JavaScript/React as their stack.

The team may also decide to make roles for individuals or pairs to focus on specific aspects of the project at certain times:

Emily and Madison may work together in creating the back-end solution for the project, while Emily leads the introduction of Python to Madison. Madison may then research hosting the application on AWS, or another service. Jacob and Ethan may work together to create the front end of the application, perhaps using Jacobโ€™s proficiency in Tailwind in conjunction with Ethanโ€™s eye for UI/UX best practices while focusing on accessibility within a React application. Alternatively, Madison and Ethan could focus on the front end of the application by creating mockups and wireframes, while Emily and Jacob try to recreate these designs with Swift and aiming for the goal of hosting an application on the iOS App Store. Team members may also decide to move around daily to focus on different aspects of the project as needed.

With this in mind, planning for your Team Week project might take extra consideration. Of course, Team Week can also consist of groups that have individuals who all focused on the same extended learning, such as a group of students who all took the time to lear Python.

Research and Planning Logsโ€‹

Make sure that you are keeping track of your progress by using a Research and Planning log, just like you did last week. What your Research and Planning log looks like will be up to you, but what we want to see is a consistent commit history of your work throughout the week.

An example of this Research and Planning log might look like this:

### Research & Planning Log
#### Friday, 08/13
* 8:20: prioritize to-dos
* 8:40: research libraries for animations
* 9:30: try out react-spring library, review docs + examples
* 1:20: implement react-spring library in sample project

On Thursdays, your instructor will be using individual 1:1s to check the progress via your Research and Planning log, and help you adjust your approach as needed. Feel free to bring questions to these meetings, or to ask for assistance during your professional development work.

Please keep in mind that you must work during class time, and the commit history must represent a full day's work for each and every day.

Whiteboarding Practiceโ€‹

Additionally, as a class, we will continue to perform Whiteboarding interviews and practice. Coordinate with your Dev teams about when during the day you might want to perform these practice problems. The goal is for everyone to go at least once a week until the end of the term.

You will find example Whiteboard prompts every week, but you are welcome to bring other prompts if you've performed the prompts before or if they meet your needs better.

During this section, try to avoid using tools like ChatGPT or CoPilot. This is intended to help you with interview preparedness!

To Pair or Not to Pair?โ€‹

During this self-exploration period, choosing how to approach your own material is up to you. If you find that other students are exploring the same materials as you are, you're welcome to work together to share resources, study, or even participate in pairing to create applications while practicing your new technology.

Otherwise, working solo is more than acceptable during this section. There are a few requirements for either scenario.


  • Attendance policy still applies. You are still expected to attend Epicodus during normal class hours, and sign in and out of Epicenter. If you are an online student, we expect you to be in a voice channel in Discord server during normal class hours.
  • Continue to sign in with a pair. Even though you may be performing independent work, you can still support your peers through this process. We encourage you to help each other with bugs or design decisions.
  • You may use your own machine. Similar to team week and the independent projects for each course section, roughly half of students will need to bring their own machine. The wifi network will be available during this course section.

Independent Projectโ€‹

There will not be an independent project this week similar to the other weeks that occur during Professional Development.

Last week, we submitted our Capstone MVP and performed 8 hours of research and development. We will continue this work once we get to the Capstone course section in 3 weeks from now.