Final Blog Entry

hasd

What did you like the least about the class?

While this isn’t a big deal, I think the least thing I liked about this class was just the huge learning curve of the projects. It was the biggest roadblock that really hindered my performance in this class. I feel like we spent more time trying to figure things out then actually doing the work. Of course, it’s expected at this point and it wasn’t that bad since we got through it, but it was a little discouraging.

What did you like the most about the class?

Despite what I just said, I think the IDB project was definitely the funnest part of the class. There was just a lot of fun components to it. It was definitely worthwhile to sit through all the learning and just see the final product of what we could accomplish. Also, my group members were all super chill people and we all got along well.

What’s the most significant thing you learned?

The most significant thing I’ve learned are the two new languages: Python and JavaScript. We learned a lot about each languages, and eventually became super proficient with them. Python has definitely become my most comfortable language, and I appreciate how friendly it is.

How many hours a week did you spend coding for this class?

During the projects, we would spend around 40 hours on the project which boils down to an average of 20 hours per week of just coding. At least, we tried to code for 20 hours a week.

How many hours a week did you spend reading for this class?

Truth be told, I didn’t spend too long reading. I maybe read an hour max per week if I was really slacking when I was trying to read. I mostly just skimmed through the readings every Sunday night just in case it might show up on the quiz the next day.

How many lines of code do you think you wrote?

Personally, I think it’d be a safe assumption (or maybe I just want to think that I contributed a lot) to say that I wrote about 1000 lines of code? Whether or not all 1000 lines of code stayed at the end is a different question, but I definitely wrote a lot.

What required tool did you not know and now find very useful?

I think the most useful tool that I didn’t know is React. It just makes building a website a lot easier with the library it provides for UI.

What’s the most useful Web dev tool that your group used that was not required?

Personally, I think using react-bootstrap was the most useful Web dev tool. At first we tried using reactstrap, which for some reason didn’t go as well as we wanted and we switched to react-bootstrap. To us, it was just easier to use and implement.

If you could change one thing about the course, what would it be?

If I could change anything about the course, it would just be adding a little bit more clarifications to the phases of the IDB project. The in-class TA lectures were not useful in the slightest as it didn’t really help us on where to start. Maybe just give a baseline and then have us figure everything else out.

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Week 13: Apr 9 – Apr 15

hasd

What did you do this past week?

This past week my group actually met for once! We just refined our website a little bit. We changed the file locations of a lot of files to be more organized. We figured out everything we wanted to refine and change. We have plans for a more aesthetic website. I believe that this project is probably the only one where we feel like we’re at a comfortable spot at the time of writing this blog post (which is really sad in retrospect). In any case, we still have work to do.

Also, I performed yesterday at Texas Revue, which is a school-wide talent show! My dance team was the opening act, and I think we did great. This means that my practice times will surely wind down and I will have a lot more time available to work on this project.

What’s in your way?

The biggest thing in my way is the fact that I will have to go to Houston on Thursday. Unfortunately, that means I can’t be with my team working with them during that last strength. I’m glad that we’re already working on it, so it shouldn’t be as stressful as it used to be. There isn’t any huge learning curves we have to past also.

What will you do next week?

This next week will truly be dedicated to working on the project. I don’t have a lot of distractions this week since my dance practices are winding down. It’s only my unavailability on Thursday that’s going to put me back. Also, these next upcoming classes and no class on Friday will surely allow me to relax a little bit from the classwork, as I’ve been struggling with refactoring. It’s going to be something I’m going to have to work on and prepare for the last exam.

What’s my experience of the class?

Coming up to this last project, I thought it was going to be the worst of them all. Luckily, it doesn’t seem that way. It seems like it’s just cleaning up your website, and making the features already implemented better. On the classwork side, the content has surely became more difficult. I find it hard for me to completely understand what’s going on, and the HackerRank problems have been a struggle.

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

Registration is coming up and I would definitely recommend using Coursicle to help you plan out your schedule. It’s super easy to use and keeps everything organized.

Week 11: Apr 2 – Apr 8

hasd

What did you do this past week?

This past week was another week of just nonstop work. I literally had no free time until past Thursday. Starting on Sunday, my group members met pretty much nonstop to when we were free to maybe about 3 o clock in the morning. Honestly, my group members were feeling really good about the progress on our project until we hit a wall that we could not go past for the longest time, and the clock kept ticking down. There’s definitely going to be some catching up to do aesthetic wise on our website.

On a non-school related note, I had a performance yesterday for VSA’s (Vietnamese Students Association) Culture Showcase where I choreographed a small ragtag group of non-dancers to perform in front of the whole organization. I think it went well.

What’s in your way?

My first really big performance is this upcoming weekend with my dance team. This means that practices will be abundant and free time will not exist, getting in the way of all my school work.

What will you do next week?

This week will be filled with practices like I said. This week is also the start of the last phase for our semester long project. This means we really have to crank out the grind early so we aren’t behind like we always are. Normally, I don’t have a lot of faith in my group for starting early (sorry) but I think we might actually do it this time given how urgent things are.

What’s my experience of the class?

The class is starting to come to an end and the content is starting to pick up. The projects are extremely stressful but kind of rewarding when we finish. The quizzes trip me up quite often, especially since I just have a hard time remembering what we did last class when so much has happened in between classes. But class is interesting and it’s easy to stay engaged (maybe it’s a fear of being called on).

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

With this last project coming up, how my group tests are code before we send it out to the live version is that we test it on a local host. This way it’s easy to go back to the previous version and you don’t mess up anything on the live version. It’s just simpler to keep track of what you’re doing and it (hopefully) makes our website less prone to breaking.

Week 10: Mar 26 – Apr 1

hasd

What did you do this past week?

Honestly what did I do this past week? This past week was a lot of studying for my Computer Networks test on Friday. I fell really behind in that class recently and I had my work cut out for me cramming-wise. Overall, I think I did pretty well after pulling a close to all-nighter on Thursday. In this class, I didn’t do much project wise unfortunately. My group met up once just to discuss what’s needed and to work on it a little bit, which is the earliest we’ve met in the last two projects so I guess that’s an achievement. I totally forgot about the talk Monday night so I’m disappointed I didn’t get those free points.

What’s in your way?

In my way is just this next project. I don’t think it’s going to be as big of a learning curve as the last one so i’m not as worried about it as I was two weeks ago. That doesn’t mean I’m not worried about it though. On the other hand, I have a performance on Friday so that will cut into some time.

What will you do next week?

This next week is just going to be like any other week before the project is due: a helluva lot of working. It’s most likely going to be another work on the project at any moment we get kind of week and that’s just extremely stressful. I think we’ll end up doing fine though; I have faith in my group like I always do.

What’s my experience of the class?

Well, it hasn’t changed much. There hasn’t been any moment in particular that would have changed my perspective for the better or worse. The experience is mostly the same as the quizzes and projects go, and the stuff in class is just getting a little bit more confusing.

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

If you were a little overwhelmed with RegEx like I was (mostly because I just dislike it), here’s a little site that goes over a lot of what we covered that’s nicely organized.

Week 9: Mar 19 – Mar 25

hasd

What did you do this past week?

This week was the first week back from spring break and the week phase 2 was due. That being said, this week was extremely packed. My team met up every day starting from after class till the dead of night, leaving when you had something to do and coming back straight after that. It was hours upon hours of work that would lead up to almost submitting it late because we turned in a blank .json file on accident. My team really pulled it together though and we’re pretty proud of our website at this point.

Dance-wise my team and I created a set in a week and traveled to Houston this weekend for a performance. My nights were extremely busy balancing this and the project, but overall we pulled through. After all the sleepless nights, it was all worth it.

What’s in your way?

This week I have a Computer Networks exam that I need to study (cram) for, and this Sunday I’m teaching a dance workshop in the Union that I need to prepare. Also, this next phase, while not as daunting as the past one, will no doubt sneak up upon us like it always does. My group should start working out the kinks of what we need to do and have all planning done by this week.

What will you do next week?

This upcoming week will be a lot of nights spent at the PCL. I have Computer Networks homework to do and an exam to study for. Meanwhile, my group needs to meet early for once and start on this phase. My goal is just to spread out the stress so we aren’t pulling out our hair two nights before the due date.

What’s my experience of the class?

I love the class and I love the projects. However, the process of doing the projects is one of the most stressful projects I have ever done. Honestly, for OS at least I had a general guideline of what to do and where to start. For SWE, my group is constantly confused on where to begin. Figuring out where to begin is really half the battle for us. People were not downplaying how hard this class is.

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

There’s a little series of an article called “From logic and math to code” that is just getting started. It could potentially make some concepts a little easier to understand, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out.

Week 8: Mar 5 – Mar 11

hasd

What did you do this past week?

This past week was the week before Spring Break, also known as the week I clocked out of school. I was only able to clock out because I had no pressing tests and no pressing homework assignments. All that’s left is a daunting project due the week we come back. This week was a solely for my dance practices and keeping my sanity honestly. Each night we practiced until 3am, and the final night (Thursday) we went till 4am. That royally sucked because I had to wake up and leave Austin at 8am to get to San Antonio. Well on the bright side, we got third! (Watch it here)

What’s in your way?

In my way is a huge gap of time where my group isn’t meeting with each other. Our plan is to work on our own parts and have meetings on Discord to discuss what we’ve done. Hopefully that actually happens.

What will you do next week?

This week I’ll be spending the small time I can with family and friends, and focusing on learning how to use React. I’ve been assigned working on the front end of the project along with one other, so we both have to work together to learn and implement React. We don’t really know how it all molds together, but hopefully we figure it out soon.

What’s my experience of the class?

My experience has been great. The recent quizzes being attendance quizzes have really helped boost my quiz grades and it’s making me feel a little better about myself. I got my grade back on my test and made a commendable B, which I am ecstatic about since I didn’t think I did so great.

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

So two friends of mine released a series called Project Upgrade which focuses on women in STEM and aims to encourage young women to pursue a STEM-related future. They learn how to code and some engineering in 3 days and with the help of some other women they end up building a pretty cool project. Check it out!

DYDeo2uVwAAoDWz

Week 7: Feb 26 – Mar 4

hasd

What did you do this past week?

This past week I survived my first hell week. I had a test in two classes, this class and Computer Networks with Gouda. I thought the test in this class wasn’t terrible, but for some reason I could not get the iterator of an iterable in JavaScript, even though I kept doing a[Symbol.iterator](). It kept telling me it wasn’t a function. The last question also messed me up, as I think I forgot to cast the final answer and kept getting wrong answers and couldn’t figure out why at the time. Other than those two struggles, the rest of the test was fine (even though it was literally only 4 other questions). My Networks test went fine (I hope). I finished in about 20 minutes and debated on if this was really easy and I understood all the concepts or if I really didn’t understand anything at all and everything was wrong.

What’s in your way?

In my way right now is the fact it’s the last week before Spring Break. My group is going to meet up this week but having that week off for Spring Break is really going to mess with our flow. Also, I have a competition this upcoming Friday in San Antonio, which means its crunch time this week, and I’ll be having practices everyday that end up going into the late hours of the night (man I hope I don’t have to be stuck until 4am).

What will you do next week?

Next week, I’ll be calming down school wise as I’m done with my midterm season. However, I’ll still have to be responsible when it comes to this upcoming phase for our project and my competition this Friday.

What’s my experience of the class?

After taking the test, my experience has overall been positive. I’m still struggling with JavaScript, but that’s just something I need to put more work on. I thought the test would change my whole experience after hearing all the horror stories of OOP and SWE last semester. However, it’s not as bad as everyone made it out to be. I enjoy the class, and I think the content we learn is very useful.

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

If you don’t know C or want more practice with it, this book is very good at what it does. It’s probably the shortest programming book in existence, and you’ll be wishing all textbooks after this will be as short as this one.

Week 6: Feb 19 – Feb 25

hasd

What did you do this past week?

Honestly this past week was a very unproductive week for me. My group tried to meet but we were all just busy. Also, with the career fair this week, we all were kind of burnt out. I’ve started studying for the test and I think I’m starting to understand everything. The HackerRank problems I have been understanding, but when it comes to JavaScript I feel like I have no experience. Also, I’ve been assigned to be front end for my project, which is super exciting. I’ve always wanted to work on front end because I’ve had no experience with it so i’m glad i’ll have some experience soon.

What’s in your way?

In my way this week is this test and my Computer Networks test. It’s just a lot of information to cram in a week. Luckily for this test I am way more prepared then the networks test.

What will you do next week?

This next upcoming week will just be studying every single day at the PCL or at Bennu coffee to be as prepared as possible for these tests. Hopefully, my group might meet once or twice to discuss what we’re gonna do and also to study for this test together.

What’s my experience of the class?

After the first phase of the website project, my experience has been quite positive. That last project has been an experience, though it was super fun. The HackerRank problems in class has been interesting, and luckily for me pretty understandable. The only problem is that since I have no experience on JavaScript, it’s been a rough learning curve for the projects. Then again, with this upcoming test I’ll find out if i’m really prepared. Hopefully I am.

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week

Here’s a website post about timers which might’ve been helpful when we were taking OS.

Week 5: Feb 12 – Feb 18

hasd

What did you do this past week?

This past week my group struggled to finish the project. There were barely any available times for all of us to meet together. We only met as a full 5 person group until the last day. Luckily, when we did meet we did get stuff done as much as possible, but there were just a couple of things that we couldn’t figure out. For example, for some reason we got stuck for an hour on just posting a static image locally from our hard drive. Another thing we got stuck on was the carousel for a good while. We had to unfortunately turn it in a day late, but it’s better than turning in an incomplete project. By the end of it, I think we were all pretty proud of what we pulled together. It was just a stressful couple of days.

What’s in your way?

Currently in my way is still time, but I believe that my group and I have figured out how to work together and efficiently when we can meet. The next thing that will be in our way is the test however when it comes to the project.

What will you do next week?

Starting this week, we’re definitely going to start working on Phase 3 as soon as possible. At the very least, we need to plan out what we want to do. For example, how we work on the project, whether it be splitting each section up or working on things together. Unfortunately, we do have a test coming up and that will take a large amount of time out of our schedules to work together.

What’s my experience of the class?

My experience in the class hasn’t changed too much. While this project was very stressful, it was actually genuinely fun. Behind the stress, learning all the new things and getting every thing to work was super satisfying. HTML is actually super fun and I really like our project ideas.

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

While a pretty standard tip, I would say do not procrastinate on the project. While we have a test in two weeks, the project is still a huge amount of work. I’ve heard a lot of people saying that this phase is the hardest phase with the biggest learning curve. Start early, I know I am!

Week 4: Feb 5 – Feb 11

hasd

What did you do this past week?

This past week, we started the second project IDB. It’s essentially a project that would do something similar to IMDb, but with a topic that you come up with. Its a 4-phase project where the first phase is due this upcoming Thursday. My group started this project kind of late, as half the members had conflicts whether it be being sick or working on other projects. However, we did get our proposal worked out and I think it’s going to be a pretty fun project. It’s definitely going to be a difficult learning curve, and a lot of work will have to be put into it, but it’ll be enjoyable and I’ll definitely learn a lot. I’m hoping to be more involved in the aesthetic and design aspect of this project because it’s the one that interests me the most.

On another note, I auditioned people for my dance and we start practice tomorrow so that’s wild.

What’s in your way?

This week marks the first crazy week of practices and project meetings and I will have no free time to do anything I want to do. But I have faith that I can handle it. It seems like my group members and I have schedules that kind of line up to each other. For once I have a group that doesn’t meet in the dead of the night but during the afternoon right after class.

What will you do next week?

Next week my group and I will work diligently on this project whenever we can. I do think we’re behind a little bit but I do think the hardest parts of this phase are behind us so it shouldn’t be too terrible this next week (shouldn’t).

What’s my experience of the class?

For now my experience has been overall positive. I hope that this upcoming project doesn’t change it, but I do believe that it’ll stay positive. While this project may be difficult, I think it would be fun at the same time.

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

Here’s a blog by a freelance software engineer who writes about many different components of coding. For example, his most recent post is about how to maximize cache performances.