What our scholars and guides say
It has been a challenge to carry out this project, mainly due to the context in which it was carried out, in the middle of the quarantine due to COVID 19 (March to July 2020). From the beginning, we knew that it would be difficult to reconcile the schedules, since there is a difference of 12 hours with Indonesia, so our weekly coordination meetings and meetings with the students were adapted to that time. I would like to highlight the work of our UCSP students who have managed to overcome the difficulties associated with the pandemic, schedules, language, and, perhaps, specific knowledge of tools, to be able to develop together with students from Germany, Namibia and Indonesia, the Researcher registration software for the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) of Namibia.
I met new people, I learned a lot and improved my teamwork skills. Despite the distance and the fact that we do not know each other personally, we have managed to create a product that looks very good and satisfies our customer. Furthermore, we have built solid and trusting relationships, we feel a lot of affection for each other and we have also supported each other as much as possible to achieve our goals. My best friends at GIPE are Chris and Alper, but I call them “Indonesian friend” and “German friend”. Together we call ourselves “Superteam” and we agreed that we would meet in person and celebrate our work when the situation improves.
I enjoyed thinking about and getting to know new places where I spent the last years. I loved being part of an Intercamblo program (PME UCSP), I loved being part of the lives of many students from all over Latin America (HNMUN-LA), and this is how the GIPE project came into being. I met students from Namibia, Germany and Indonesia, with whom I worked for a long time, creating trust and friendship between us, sharing experiences and highlighting those cultural differences that at the same time gave us a feeling of uniqueness and protected us from virtual barriers. We continue, we try to meet and work together every day. Being a member of GIPE was one of the greatest experiences I have had in my life, as it allowed me to make friends with all my teammates, which was great. Each of our meetings was great, where friendship grew and teamwork led to results. In this way, despite the current situation, we were able to move forward together and talk not only about the project, but also about our project, our lives and our dreams. where we were able to meet and share personally these wonderful experiences that we live.
GIPE brought new challenges for us as students. This is all the more true in today’s world, where teamwork at a distance is crucial. Many barriers had to be overcome: the first was time. Sometimes it seemed incredible to believe that we were working in 3 different time zones at the same time, while for some the day started and for others it was already over. All of this was part of a kind of symphony that we all played, marching at different tempos, but all marching towards a common goal. GIPE also allowed us to experience teamwork situations with people we had never met in person. This meant breaking the ice bit by bit and gradually trusting each other, but always showing support for the team’s goals. This world situation was something completely unforeseen and out of our control, but it allowed us to show our courage and initiative in the face of adversity and to try to mitigate these consequences in order to do a good job. The experiences lived, I would not change them for anything. I was able to work with a dedicated team, with different mindsets and different cultures. I recommend all students to apply to GIPE for a unique intercultural experience.
Since my application as a member of the GIPE team, I found it fascinating and a personal challenge to be able to work on a project where the members not only speak different languages and work from a distance but also work in different time zones. My decision was right, as the experience was enriching in many ways, both academically and professionally. In the course of this challenge, I made new friends in the other participating countries and developed a better understanding of the different working methods in software development prevailing there (Germany, Indonesia and Namibia); Well, although we all ultimately focus on developing the best software, each of us does so with the specifics of our culture and society. Besides our daily work, we were able to share personal experiences from everyday life in our countries, with special emphasis on the COVID19 pandemic and the differentiated impact it has on our different societies. Furthermore, in this process, I was able to learn a little from the mother tongue of my colleagues. Finally, I strongly recommend the participation of more students in this program, because as professionals we must not only focus on mastering our fields of expertise, but also on a global view of the problems and the ability to work in a multicultural environment with the aim of developing successfully in this new economy.
In the beginning, it was a little difficult to communicate with my team or to understand what they were talking about because the language and the platform were new to me, but then I talked to them every day and we shared the tasks that had to be done during the week. I learned a lot about good programming practices and how to run a web project, but the most important thing was to learn about their cultures (Germany, Indonesia and Namibia) and to understand that they have different ways of thinking and acting. Of course, it was a good opportunity to practice my English in a real context and I think it was the first step into the working world for me, as I was able to program functionalities that are used directly in the implemented website. From my point of view, one of the biggest advantages of this project is that I was able to find friends from different parts of the world, even under quarantine.