The MSE begins

And so begins one new step in my life.

No doubts about the magnitude of this step that is changing my life at so many different levels, let alone even wonder about the way how life will continue from here forward.

It's a mix of many differences for my life and I'm still feeling a bit outside the crowd thought the other students are all extremely polite and bright. Nevertheles, I should already be used to changes but I guess that leaving the Azores definitively is still tough to accept as a reality for the future.

I should probably enjoy the course and flavor the things that we are about to experience but in my mind remain all the doubts and uncertainty about my professional future.


A life without thinking about MSE in the horizon doesn't seem so challenging while the other available courses are nowhere interesting enough to push your own capacities, but now I'm actually living this experience in first hand - where should things go from here?

Well.. the first thing before thinking on anything else is study. And I mean really STUDY!

The instructors passed a very clear message that no student will be forgiven if their average grade drops below 3.0 GPA and if any test achieves a B- grade you're immediately signaled with a yellow card and need to work even harder to seriously improve the grades.

No joking around - study!

The former MSE student presentation revealed a concept popularized as "Good enough", and this is something that might seem revolting for most perfectionist developers but when you're working under a very tight time-frame then I think "good enough" is all you can do.

The overall presentation and care demonstrated throughout this process is impressive. This is indeed one course that is regarded as important to the image of the university and they are available to help at any given moment but it is also required to your commitemment and energies focused on the degree are total.

I liked the instructor presentations, they're all extremelly humble and polite even thought their CV's express a lifetime of work in software/hardware development and research.

Coming from a military world where discipline is sometimes forced upon people in so many repressive ways to achieve some established results, it's actually fun to work in a environment where no such methods exist and all work is purely motivated by your own struggle to achieve optimum results.

Between all these talks I couldn't accurately evaluate what my performance will be during the course. I've never coded anything in Java, .NET or Visual Basic - never needed anyways - but now they will become the working tool as other students only seem productive using them and my performance will surely degrade (especially if the time frame is very tight to present results).

Guess I'll need to adapt in order to survive amongst the other fellows in this tribe - thought my opinion for the moment remains solid that these languages are nowhere near my coding preferences.


For the moment we will begin the PSP (Personal Software Process), this is a remote lecture-style class that will occur during July.

Excellent opportunity because I'll probably get a lot of time to go outside in the middle of the day to drink coffee while working at the class assignments - no better way to get things done.

As things move forward, the difficulty bar will surely increase and I won't be having so much tranquility (or quality time) to get these objectives completed.

Also, the army only grants permission to remain absent for six months. After this time period I will have to decide wether to remain or not inside the organization or otherwise be forced to request my removal from the permanent board in case I decide to go forward with the MSE all the way until the end.

I'm up for the challenge, let's begin!