A professional portfolio based on my INFS3605 course Agile Scrum learning experiences.
The only constant in today’s technology industry is change. Grasping this concept has allowed me to adopt a mindset of consistent learning in which hands on experience is the only sustainable way forward. By diversifying my skill set and focusing on self improvement I aim to gain a deeper understanding of not only the world around me but also the people with whom I work and interact.
I am a UNSW Business Information Systems Co-op scholar currently in my 3rd year of study. An experienced Software Developer with a front-end web delivery focus. Involved in the development of the WiseTech Academy compliance training platform used by over 300 clients globally. Previous industry experience as a Security Analyst at Westpac Information Security Group. Managed both internal and customer facing threats on the Detection & Response (Blue) team with the assistance of industry grade cybersecurity tools such as Fireeye ETP and Palantir to assist with investigation and evidence gathering.
A reflection of my learning experiences throughout the duration of the INFS3605 course can be explored through the case studies presented below.
Case Study One
Case Study Two
Click below to view the appendix for further insight into case study artefacts, LinkedIn Learning examples and peer review analysis.
Please do not hesitate to reach out or to check out my work on any of the platforms below, I am always happy to have a chat!
case study one
As the developer in my group project I was tasked with the management and curation of the team codebase. Utilising my previous experience both at university and in industry I decided to use GitHub as our platform of choice in order to allow contribution and collaboration from all of my colleagues if required.
It was my responsibility to not only ensure that our codebase was kept secure and backed up at all times but also that it was easily accessible at any location and there was complete transparency in relation to development progress or any issues (see Artecfact A). I also needed to consult my peers to determine their level of development experience in order to gauge what type of work to assign throughout the project.
To maximise our productivity I set up a GitHub repository under my account in the first week of the assignment and added all of my peers as shared contributors, chasing up anyone who did not accept the email invitation sent out.At the end of each scrum meeting I would ask members to pull the latest code from the master branch so that they could test and see if it ran fine without any major bugs or build errors. (see Artecfact C)I utilised the provided resources on Moodle such as the “Location-Independent Software Programmer Series” to expand my development knowledge.Completing supplementary GitHub educational courses on LinkedIn Learning provided me with a renewed perspective on my knowledge gaps and pushed me to share my knowledge with my team. (see Artecfact B)
As we approach the end of our project, reflecting back on the steps I took, I realise that although I was proactive initially it is evident that external learning was limited and therefore stifled significant potential for higher productivity. This can be attributed to a lack of motivation and understanding about how the resources provided are integral to not only my own success but also that of the entire team.
Nonetheless, a revived effort midway through the term has placed our group in a favourable position to succeed (see Artecfact D). My learning experiences particularly in relation to GitHub have promoted teamwork scenarios in which all members must utilise the shared repository in order to consolidate our shared progress.
UX/UI Development Research
case study two
Our task for the assignment was to create a digital uplift solution for brick and mortar businesses dealing with the Covid-19 crisis. As such our focus was on the creation of a mobile application for barber booking services. The customer centric nature of this endeavour and the involvement of several different key stakeholders meant that we needed to consider UI/UX very carefully and prioritise its research through the project timeline. (see Artecfact G)
Although my role as developer was not directly responsible for the UI/UX component in this project, I still had to have by default, a very concise understanding of our requirements and how users would interact with the application from a developer perspective. I had to ensure that communication channels with my UX designer were always open and flowing freely to maintain a synchronous interpretation of what research had been conducted into stakeholder needs during every stage of the development process. (see Artecfact E)
Assisting in the initial application design research process through the creation of user surveys for both customer and business owners to gauge interest and general requirements.Reviewing product backlog stories for all stakeholders and vetting the feasibility of specific features in relation to time and complexity constraints given the limited resources available. (see Artecfact E)Completing a UX Research course in relation to Agile teams to supplement my knowledge and highlight areas we could focus on in more detail as a team to improve the quality of our end product.Consulting my UI/UX design colleague on specific mockup ideas and how they can be integrated from an android application perspective.
Given the structure of our application is now nearing completion and the backend development work has nearly been finalised the process of polishing and cleaning the UI and UX will soon begin. In retrospect, I believe the work done early on to determine core features and requirements through the aid of surveys (see Artecfact F), user stories and general research has positioned us as a team to succeed. Mutual understanding that the development of a quality application required teamwork and pooled efforts allowed us to utilise our time efficiently.
By then supplementing our understanding through external learning and knowledge gathering we were able to refine our research processes. This combined with the active leadership of our UI/UX team member meant that we had a central figure to consult and bounce ideas off at all times ensuring an iterative and ultimately successful product. (see Artecfact G)
additional evidence materials
Below are the full range of artefacts referenced within my case studies. Please click to enlarge any images you wish to see closer or in more detail!
Artefact A - branch overview
Artefact B - commit frequency
Artefact C - clone frequency
Artefact D - network graph
Artefact E - user stories & product backlog
Artefact F - sample surveys
Artefact G - UI/UX mockups
LinkedIn Learning Overview
The selection of GitHub for the management of our team's codebase allowed me to identify a deficiency in the breadth of my knowledge in terms of utilising the platform to its fullest potential. Completing the “GitHub tips and tricks” course module provided me with an in depth overview of shortcuts and methods which as the developer for my group I could implement into our project. It also ensured that I could assist my peers in accessing our codebase and allowed me to work on my communication and teaching skills as I was tasked with passing on the concepts I had learned in a clear, concise manner to ensure we could succeed holistically as a team.
Adjusting to Agile Scrum development practices was, for me, a gradual process which I aided with the completion of the “UX Research for Agile Teams” course module. As the team developer I was eager to closely work with my colleague to ensure that the UI/UX aspect of our application was carefully considered throughout the entire project. Gaining an understanding of what steps an Agile team must take to prepare and conduct research equipped me with the confidence to jointly design and implement an application interface that fulfilled our problem statement and maximised utility for the end users. In hindsight, this module pushed me beyond my initial learning expectations as a developer and served as a lesson in extending my boundaries in terms of looking outwards for opportunities to grow through practice.
Peer Reviews & Improvements
Leveraging the constructive and direct feedback of my peers in the INFS3605 of course has allowed me to refine my positioning statement to a point where I am satisfied to present it in a professional context. I was eager to find out what areas of deficiency could be identified and pointed out to me in order to improve the conciseness and impact of my overall presentation. Drawing on the feedback I was given, I accepted that my structuring needed a considerable overhaul in order to ensure my introduction conveyed a mission statement and general direction for my career aspirations. It was also englighting to note that both reviews highlighted the lack of concrete connections between work examples and any teamwork involvement.
In my revision, I attempted to cut down on superfluous examples while emphasising the core experiences I have had and how reflecting upon these has permitted me to grow as an individual in the workforce and pursue my career goal of consistent hands on learning. As such, my positioning statement aligns more closely with the brief provided in the assignment and takes into account the constructive comments made by my peers.
(David) Zhuofan He
Hi Alexander! Very logical and strongly evidenced professional positioning statement. Start by outlining your internships and work experience is a good way to catch the eye of potential employers. I really enjoyed your detailed description of your rich experience and excellent work skills, which not only showed your passion for system architecture and design, but also demonstrated your outstanding ability in front-end software and system management. The achievements you have described in your career (the platform is used by more than 300 customers worldwide) also make your talents more visible! While from my perspective, it would be better if you combine your work experience with teamwork skills, since leadership and teamwork are also highly valued by potential employers. For example, you can give examples of your role in the team and how the team works together when designing the in house content management system. In addition, the work experience you describe does not involve your technical field, you can make a certain description of the technology you are good at, such as programming language, database knowledge, etc., so that your ability is more intuitive to be reflected.
In the following paragraph, you described a state of mind that is willing to learn and improve itself, which I believe is an excellent personal quality that employers are eager to see. If you can describe some of your weaknesses in this paragraph maybe can let the employer know more about you in a variety of ways. Based on the shortcomings, further proposing this progressive mentality will make the entire professional positioning statement more complete.
Overall, you did a really good job in your position statement as you have demonstrated your ability by presenting strong results based on your extensive work experience, and you inspired the reader by describing your passion for specific areas and your mindset of consistent learning and improving. I believe that on this basis, if you can describe some examples of team abilities and characteristic skills, and briefly describe some shortcomings, the employer will have a deeper understanding of your ability and personality!
(Dylan) Chong Xi Duan
Alexander, your positioning statement was a great read and offered insight into your professional experiences and involvement. You also articulated well your personal views on the technology industry and your growth mindset through practical experience. You show maturity and understanding that pervades workplace interactions and is a quality I’m sure an employer will value. Referring with the marking criteria, you have strong business communication with language appropriate for the target audience. You provide good evidence of your knowledge and skill sets around teamwork and leadership. That being said, I believe that you could make improvements to your positioning statement that may make it more impactful and effective:
Clarify a ‘mission statement’ that is your end goal summarised in a sentence. You can then back this statement with the strong evidence provided in your second paragraph and give the audience a clearer understanding of your values.Restructuring the paragraphs and making the second paragraph the opening. As opposed to introducing with your evidence and experience first, you can start with your core values and mission statement. Then you transition into your experiences and how they’ve been shaped/have shaped the values you’ve established with the audience.As your experience is diverse across web development, cyber-security and system architecture and design, it dilutes the roles that you most enjoy. In my reading of your statement, it’s unclear what professional role you enjoy most and what you’re looking for in potential employers. While a diverse experience is a strength, especially for an undergraduate, having key interests and roles that you’re passionate about can provide specificity for companies that are evaluating your profile.You mention self-improvement and I believe that it could help to provide evidence in areas that you’ve pursued improvement. For example: “I constantly am looking for avenues of self-improvement, during the pandemic lockdown I learned meditation techniques that have had a significant effect in my temperament.”
Overall, you’ve written a strong positioning statement and with some emphasis in the future roles that you are passionate about and actions that demonstrate your key values, I believe you can elevate it. I hope my feedback is helpful and offers some points of consideration for the final submission. Best of luck!