Intro - The Assumptions
This semester in SWE has been a wild ride. If you’ve taken a class with Prof. Downing before, you may realize that a good portion of the class follows a similar flow, which is what I found out. Coming into the class, though, my experience has been a bit rougher than what I expected.
Project 1/2 - The Smooth Ride
The first two projects were similar to what he gives in OOP (though it seems to change every once in a while), so it was fairly simple for me, since I was already familiar with the software tools that was introduced to many the students then.
Project 3/4/5 - The Hardship
The last three projects in SWE have been pretty hard though, since it involved so many factors, new software tools, and involved juggling so many group member’s schedules. These projects involved time commitment, and real energy. Almost like an internship, I couldn’t silently work on my half of the project, and meet up with another person in order to confirm that both our parts worked (like the first two projects). For once, there had to be active communication between all group members over what tasks needed to be finished. In doing so, we unfortunately picked up on using task-manager, Trello, in the last phase of our project.
I found it a struggle to manage time, considering that all my other classes called for a portion of my schedule, while I also wanted/had to do several things in my free time, such as hackathons and organization-based tasks. I’ve learned that even when working with a group of very intellectual people, if everyone is busy, it’s really hard to get work done. We suffered in that when we turned in our 2nd phase of the project 3 days late since we all couldn’t work on it earlier in the week.
I would definitely say that throughout the last three projects, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve become a bit bolder in taking on the unknown, not only because of the urgency of the task, but also because I know I will learn through the process. I’ve also found that it’s not the grade that should push me to do my part of the project (though it may be a base factor), but it’s really a yearning to make a good product and to accomplish the tasks given, or a purer motivation. I know that later on, I will no longer be relying on a grade, so it will be much better to learn and quickly adapt to the tasks that are given. Have flexibility and learn to enjoy what’s given, and figure out what I am not passionate about so I can avoid it in the future.
Class - Learning Python and Java (again)
For class, I’ve found that the lectures have been wonderful. The way that Prof. Downing captures certain images in analogies and metaphors are spectacular. He loves to catch people off guard by calling on them, but he does it not out of spite, but out of care and genuine want for students to learn about the topic that they’re learning (and maybe in a bit of joke and jest). I always enjoy his lectures because through cold calling, he allows things to be more personal. The teaching is more conversational, and through that intense moment, it allows students to learn better.
Exams - Choicey Multiples
For exams, I found the content to not be too difficult, since much of the material was similar to quiz-based stuff, and as long as you had the cheat sheet, you were able to answer most of the book-based material. It was much easier, in my opinion, than having to type out code for given situations. Whether that’s better or not, I do believe that the multiple choice definitely tested my understanding of the material, and I know for sure (as a proctor for OOP), that it does help grading a lot.
Summary - The End?
Overall, even though the whole experience was a bit harder and more stressful, I really enjoyed being able to take Prof. Downing’s class again. SWE has taught me a lot in time management, trying to be more in sync with other group members. It has helped me in better understanding what I believe I should do workwise. It has definitely been a great learning experience. I know many of the things that I learned through taking SWE will help me in the future wherever I end up, and I’m thankful for all that happened throughout this semester.