Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Things I've learned from my students

One thing I've learned this year whilst teaching at the University is that, apparently, the probability of having a hard disk failure on your computer is tightly linked to work assignments deadlines.

Let me explain how I reached this conclusion. I teach "Introduction to Programming" and at the end of the semester, the students have to deliver a work assignment. Usually, they have to develop a game in Java and this semester the decision was to implement a simple text-based Minesweeper.

Interestingly, as the deadline was becoming closer, the number of students that come up to me with an excuse to try and get an extension was massively increasing. But the amazing part is the fact that most students used the same excuse: hard disk failure that led to loss of work.

Since all students are honest and could never lie to a professor just to try to get an advantage over their colleagues (let's be naive about it) I can empirically conclude that the following applies:

Needless to say, this didn't change my position and no extensions were given.
It's Murphy's law :-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Didn't know this blog :P Just the (un)motivational one.

You should teach your students right at the start of the course what CVS or SVN and backups are. That way they wouldn't even think about that lame excuse :P