Though my official start date was May 20, I actually started the project before this date.
For a few days of the previous week, I met the research team that Jen worked with during the academic year,
I did SQL tutorial on-line, and I also started the recruitment process for the user study.
Meeting the other research team members was a very valuable experience. Since one of my possible concentrations may have been the database, I met with the woman who designed the original database.
We walked through the mechanics of it, and I was able to ask her clarifying questions and talk about possible improvements. I recommend DMP participants to meet with other research members if possible, before the research members take off for their summer projects. Reading and working with someone else's code is often a daunting task, especially if it is commented in ways you wouldn't personally comment it.
also spent a few days learning about SQL and doing on-line
tutorials. There is a tutorial
on the MySQL site . Another good tutorial, linked on the MySQL
site, is A Gentle Introduction to SQL,
developed by Andrew Cumming in the UK.
During this previous week, I also placed an ad on Craigslist to recruit participants for our user study, my first and primary project for the summer. (Craigslist (www.craigslist.org) is a valuable on-line community bulletin board in San Francisco. One can post numerous types of ads for free or for
nominal fees. We're very fortunate to have such a popular and respected resource here in the Bay Area.)
Here's a copy of the ad.
more journal entries, click on the links to the left. I've learned
a lot about user studies and have highlighted important lessons in
sections titled "User Study Lessons" (within the journal