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From Alexandria University to Windward: A Learning Experience

Posted on 10/08/2014

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Editor’s note: Bassem recently joined the Windward team after graduating from Alexandria University in Egypt. Welcome, Bassem!

Being a fresh graduate working at Windward made me realize there’s a lot more than my teaching assistant’s (TA’s) instructions.

At school, you’re given a certain task that you have to handle, following the instructions. Someone would always be watching over you, making sure you’re doing it right and using the points “studied.” You work on small projects, assignments actually, that won’t be used or seen by anyone other than your colleagues and TAs, no matter how big they get.

But Windward gives you a bigger glimpse of the picture, a direct contact to the world.


Bassem and his teammates from Alexandria University participating in the Windward Code Wars.

You get to work on a project with other people. You get to use your own strategies, ways and methods, and there are no enforced instructions as long as your output is satisfying. Being part of a team, you add new things to a whole big project. That’s why understanding your teammates’ parts is a must.

What makes you stand out is the experience. It’s the skills you gain from applying what you’ve been studying the last decade of your life. And not only that, it’s also about facing things you didn’t study about, things you didn’t know existed.

The first problem I faced was one of the things we learn about working on a large project, things new from what I learned in school. While working on TFS (Team Foundation Server), I check out everything (all the files) and that was a huge mistake because I was supposed to check out the files to be edited only or those that can be checked out by multiple people at the same time.

When ready to check in, to show what needs to be checked out, we could select compare after a RMB click on the merge tree, then set the compare properties to only show files that are different.  For binary files that can only be checked out by one person, we check those out for very short periods of time. And minimize check outs.

I’m just starting at Windward. It’s been just over a month, and I’m learning and looking forward to learning more.

Editor’s Note: Bassem first got to know his new employer while participating in Windward’s annual international coding competition. Learn more about the Windward Code Wars.

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Author: Bassem Mohamed

Software developer from Alexandria, Egypt. A fresh graduate, studied computer engineering. Currently a software development intern at Windward.

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