Crazy Week

What did you do this past week?

This past week was mainly preparing for the Software Engineering Test 1. The previous exam was based on implementation, but I understood much of the Python functions/classes well, so I was more worried over outside information from the UML book or understanding of papers/past quizzes. I didn’t do as well as I wanted to (mainly because I was aiming for a full score…) but it was not as hard as I expected.

On the bright side, I got into Tech team for Freetail hackers, so I have been mainly hanging out with other organizers and officers from other orgs and chilling in the org office on 3rd floor. I’ve gotten to meet a lot of awesome people over the week, and I’m really looking forward for the next few months working with many of them.

Additionally, I got to cook Gordon Ramsay’s signature pork sliders. This was a pretty stressful process, buying pork butts and other ingredients, and spending a lot of time preparing and cooking a meal while trying to study for the SWE test, but it was very rewarding in the end, since the sliders ended up looking really nice.

Also, I got to play my final IM basketball game right after proctoring for OOP (rip me). It was a really fun game, and though there were many questionable calls and I ended up getting fouled out because of it, it was overall a great experience, and I highly suggest anyone who’s never done IMs to try it out, no matter what. Because of IMs, even though it’s the end of the season (and we got rekt), I will probably continue to play basketball with my friends throughout the semester.

Most of all, I spent a lot of time looking over Algo notes and trying to figure out the patterns that problems represent. I’ve been going to other class’s discussion sections in order to glean over their own homework questions and tests to have more examples to look at so that I can have a better foundation for future problems. Honestly, I feel like I’m a dynamic programming memoization cache, because I always look to my previous experiences in order to either replicate what I did, or change it up a bit in order to do something potentially better.

The main reason why I’m focusing so much time on Algo is because I hope to be good enough to possibly TA for the class. Though I really enjoy proctoring for OOP, I find that a good part of the class is mainly focused on explaining industry tools with a bit of C++ explanation sprinkled in and a whole lot of grading. Though I don’t mind grading projects or teaching industry tools, since both are crucial for different aspects of lives (school and work), I really hoped to proctor so that I could help teach student the fundamental tools necessary to solve problems and witness epiphanies from understanding a concept.

Even though I get to witness these epiphanies in OOP when I equip students with ways to overcome bugs faced with industry tools, I hope to also influence students academically in the knowledge they gain over programming languages or understanding theory. By the end of the semester, I will probably know whether I’m suitable to be a TA for Algo, but for now, I’m going to try and just do well.

What’s in your way?

Doing things without being distracted. I wake up early in the morning to do devotionals, but I end up finding myself on my phone or on my phone doing many trivial mind-free things. Not only does it mess with the time I’m trying to understand the Bible, but it also affects me in anything else I do. I want to be able to focus on my work without waves of procrastination or subtle wasteful context switches in my brain.

SWE Class Impressions?

I’m confused by the test.

I will not go too much into detail, but after taking OOP, I thought I wouldn’t be phased by anything the class Prof. Downing had to offer. I was completely thrown off though by the material we had to study, due to previous characteristics of OOP tests, so I don’t know how I feel for future SWE projects.

This is similar to how I felt when we had to do an outside class quiz on the day of a company talk rather than just having a freebie. I can understand that there may be a deficit of quizzes at the end of the semester, but hopefully there would be clarification beforehand on things similar to that.

Additionally, instead of hosting a quiz on Wednesday, Prof. Downing decided to host a quiz at Mobile Mutual’s talk for an additional 5 points, making it 10. Due to prior commitments, I was unable to go to that, and I heard that the quiz would count as one of our actual quizzes rather than becoming a bonus 10 points for everyone. Though I know that the quiz will be dropped at the end of the semester, it’s a bit frustrating to be unable to have that leeway of having to go to a required event without facing a 0 penalty in the future.

Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the past several days of teaching, and I’m looking forward to what we’ll be learning in respects to Project 3 and Python.

What will you do next week?

This weekend, I will be at HackUTD with some of the people I usually hack with, so it’ll be fun living out a night of no sleep and constant coding. Throughout the week, I will be preparing a lot of writings, starting Project 3 for SWE, and hopefully getting to know more officers in many of the CS orgs. Additionally, I will probably start finishing up the article I’ve got for Vijay on his research, and prepare my mind to hopefully rest over Spring Break.

Tip of the Week

Some pretty crazy things happened this past week, which means there are some cool articles/links that I found to read:

Written on March 3, 2017