We are a group of IT students at the Jagiellonian University (Computer Science Institute). There are 14 of us and we've all been studying computer science for almost three years. We feel that we know enough about IT to deal with a project like English++. What made the project difficult was not only the effort required to prepare materials to learn a foreign language for a specific purpose, but also, and more importantly, selecting materials which were interesting and useful for IT students.
Mgr Monika Stawicka is our mentor and the creator of the project. In short, she is the project leader. She is an English teacher at the Jagiellonian Language Centre with many years' experience. It was she who realised that a project like English++ was necessary. She drew our attention to the fact that both IT students and their English teachers need an organised collection of authentic materials. And that's how it all started. As our supervisor, she was greatly concerned when deadlines were not met. Well, it did sometimes happen, we must admit … She was our driving force. Whenever we had bad days or whenever something went wrong, she'd send us a stiff e-mail, which soon got everyone back to work. However, she always tried to create a good working atmosphere and loves a challenge.
Obviously, there is an organizational hierarchy in our team. There are four groups and each of us belongs to one of the following groups.
Our team members' profiles:
Artur (Stasiu) Staszczyk - our great, awesome, perfect, leader... and to be serious... without him we wouldn't have been able to manage the project! As project coordinator, he looks after the whole project. He motivates us to do things better. It's not easy - in fact, everybody is lazy, somehow ...
Stasiu not only works with texts and audio materials etc., he's also responsible for contacts with the authors of text/audio materials and allocating tasks to groups. He is in daily contact with the project leader and together they work out what should be done and when. They must have exchanged hundreds of emails so far!
Stasiu has to prepare a monthly report for Monika, but sometimes he has difficulty getting reports from each team leader... Yes, he needs to push us. He's sceptical most of the time but he's a man with a vision.
Paweł (Fidel) Fidelus - leader of group 4 (editing team) and informal deputy coordinator. A born leader, he can't stand objections. If something has to be done, it has to be done yesterday. Anyone who doesn't pull their weight should should steer well clear of Fidel. 'Be like the coordinator' is one of his mottos. In fact, he's one of the greatest supporters of the project.
As a group leader, he's responsible for allocating tasks within the group. He also has to write a monthly report for the project coordinator, documenting the progress his group have made over the month. He seems to be one of the most efficient leaders as his group have edited a great number of texts. Stasiu and Fidel complement each other perfectly.
Tomasz (Oinopion) Paczkowski - leader of group 1 (technical support). He's responsible for all the technical stuff such as wiki, track, forum and the website in Django. The things just listed are placed on his server (hauru.eu). As a group leader, he has to divide tasks within the group and report progress to the project coordinator. With his help, the technical side runs smoothly, which for us is the critical factor. He's a typical computer scientist with great erudition in this field. He enjoys programming and, thanks to his wide reading, is constantly improving his performance. Because he knows all about most of the authors of the articles, we have to pretend that we do too!
Aleksandra (Ethlinn) Sendecka - leader of group 2 (documentation team). At first she was a member of the technical support team but was then asked to become the leader of group 2. It was she who came up with the project name (English ++) and, although a computer scientist, her 'inner artist' is always bursting to come out; give her a piece of paper, pencil, brush or a blank computer image with a mouse or tablet and she'll turn it into a masterpiece. She prepared the logo and the website design. She's also responsible for editing the text on the website. She has a very tight timetable - so tight that she couldn't be with us all the time, so we jokingly refer to her as 'the traitor' for having abandoned us for a while!
Piotr (Piter) Śmigielski - leader of group 3 (organizational support team). He's a successful leader. His group have prepared a lot of texts, too. He's always got a smile on his face and does a great job of encouraging everybody. Although Piter smiles a lot, he discovered that the life of a project team leader isn't easy, so he can be quite be tough with his team when he needs to be.
Ewa Matczyńska - member of group 3 (organizational support). She does a really good job preparing articles and audio materials. Like most of us, Ewa really enjoys the project and was responsible for our contact with Bill Gates! She's a great enthusiast of differential equations and quantum computers. In her spare time, she's interested in biotechnology. Unlike the rest of us, she's always prepared for classes, has all her homework done and has a first-class attendance record!
Aleksandra Bieńkowska - member of group 3 (organizational support). She's a consistent enthusiast who is always optimistic about the project even when everybody else gets depressed and is always aware of the difficulties which can arise when everybody is deeply involved in the project. Most of us resemble a sine wave - we waver between pessimism and optimism. Ola is like a constant.
Krzysztof Szromba - member of group 4 (editing team). He was very optimistic about E++ project from the outset (and, strangely enough, still is!), but was not always first in line to roll his sleeves up and help out. However, he's now in charge of the group responsible for preparing articles and he's doing pretty well. He's also our grammar expert, making sure our texts aren't full of errors. He hates stylistic mistakes and sentences which are too long or 'too sophisticated'. He subscribes to the view that almost everything can and should be done more simply. Outside the project, he's a big fan of neural networks and knows how to make use of them, for example in chess programming.
Michał Kubak - member of group 4 (editing team). His brain is full of good and useful ideas. He always has a clear plan of what he wants to do. It's good to work with him. Like the other Michał, he doesn't talk too much but does his job really diligently and on time. He seems to enjoy working for the project. One very characteristic thing about him is that whenever he plans a trip home after classes, he always turns up with an enormous rucksack.
Krzysztof (Roxel) Roksela - member of group 3 (organizational support). Fairly quiet but always does his job well. He can be very funny when he has to confess that he hasn't quite done all the work he was supposed to have finished. He has written exercises for some of the articles and audio materials. Like all of us, he's very involved in his work and has a lot of fun taking part in the project.
Bartłomiej (Fen) Filipek - member of group 4 (edit team). Started off lazy, then became hard-working, and then turned lazy again ... . Always wants to manage the project on a computer science basis. He's very open-minded and completely non-confrontational; the kind of person it's impossible to poke fun at!
Krystian (urban) Kichewko - member of group 1 (technical support team). He's really keen on open source. His experience turned to be useful for our project and may be useful for future ventures of that kind. If only he was less sleepy! He's the most sceptical of all the project members. Fortunately, we don't take his pessimistic words seriously.
Michał Pal - member of group 2 (documentation team). He's usually a quiet guy. He doesn't talk a lot but he's a very good listener. If he's given a task, he does it conscientiously and finishes on time. He claims that fruit juices are good for the brain and always brings some with him for our meetings.
Szymon Kaczorowski - member of group 2 (documentation team). He's responsible for our contact with the admin. at our Institute. It's hard work because they always seem to be absent. It seems that Szymon could have a great future in admin.