Writer's Unblock Week

What did you do this past week?

A lot has happened this past week, especially writing-wise. Over the weekend, I was able to help organize MusicHacks, and I was able to write about my experience as a tech organizer in my blog post. Also, Easter Sunday happened, which was a huge blessing because I was able to reflect a lot over my faith, which I wrote in my first Medium post. And most of all, I wrote my first article over UTCS’s new faculty mem, Vijay Chidambaram, which really brought so much insight over research, teaching, and the work that goes behind article writing.

Other than that, our SWE team was able to finish Phase 3 pretty quickly. We were able to refactor our website and refine our search functionality for our API. We implemented Flask-Whooshee pretty easily, since all we needed to do was add the decorators over our models in order to search across all elements within our API. Afterwards, interpreting what method calls would allow for AND and OR searches to be returned was the crucial part for back-end. Fortunately, Flask-Whooshee uses the whooshee library in order to work with making calls. We found that we were able to return calls through whooshee’s ‘relevance’ factor, and sorted in that way. Afterwards, we were able to use a round-robin sequence in order to return values of highest relevance to least relevance. We encountered some problems throughout the project, such as CORS issues (which could be fixed with Flask_CORS) and issues with displaying the correct ordered search results, but fortunately, we were able to fix all these problems as they arose.

This Friday was actually registration for me. I was able to register for several classes for the Fall semester this Friday. After staying up till 3 in the morning trying to plan out my schedule, I woke up about 3.5 hours later in order to register for about 5 classes. I registered for Computer Graphics, Longhorn Startup Seminar, Differential Equations, and Korean. I’m looking forward to Graphics, not only because I’ll be able to apply my C++ knowledge along with Matrices operations, but also because I’ll get to work on an end project that I will visually be able to see work (hopefully) and present to others, as well as continue to work off of. Longhorn Startup Seminar will be good since I’m really looking to try and see the mindset behind company CEO’s and founders, since the startup and business-side of making a company seems to be quite challenging and taxing, but rewarding. Differential Equations is more a holder class since I’m hoping to take on Intro to Number Theory, which I heard helps build up critical thinking skills as well as be a cool class to work more on proof/theorem based problems, but if I don’t get it, I’m hoping to learn a lot from DiffEQ. Korean is also another class I’m looking forward to taking, since it’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to work on learning a language, and since I have several Korean friends, I think it’ll be good being able to communicate with and understand what they’re saying (as well as be able to order Korean dishes with at least beginner fluency).

Outside of all the school and writing stuff, this weekend, I will be heading out to Dallas in order to attend hopefully my last hackathon of the Spring semester, EarthHack. Having already attended 4 hackathons for this semester, I’m really feeling a need to take a break, after I take a go one more time in order to create something cool. I’m really looking forward to this hackathon because it’ll be 36 hours long at my hometown area, in the Dallas Fair Park, and I’ll probably have some time to eat a meal with my parents as well as enjoy the atmosphere of the Fair Park late at night (if we’re allowed to leave).

What’s in your way?

Ending off my Sophomore year.

This semester has been really wild. I’ve been able to reflect a lot on my faith, had the amazing opportunity to proctor for OOP, been blessed to win at several hackathons, be a blogger for the UTCS department, finish 2 short stories in fiction writing, create an API for Software Engineering, and taking part in a lot of Missions training. I definitely would say that God has put me through a lot of things such as OS, lack of sleep, being unable to spend time with my community, and through it all, I’ve had to grit through trials and tribulations. But I’ve found that I’ve learned so much this past year that I wouldn’t trade for anything else. Sadly, all good things must come to the end, so as I’m finishing up my last few blog posts, resolving grades for my students in OOP, and cramming for my exams (unless I start studying now), I definitely won’t forget the many lessons and skills I’ve taken away from this semester, and I’ll put on all the armors of God in preparation for Summer Missions and my Junior year as a UT student.

SWE Impressions?

I’ve always wondered why in OOP and SWE we focus on Java concepts before moving to C++ or Python. I’ve realized though that when teaching a subject, it’s always good to have some type of foundation in order to be able to relate to the material and be more willing to take components from the material and append it to what’s already known. I find that though these connections are hard, once they are realized, it makes much of the language’s concepts much simpler. From taking SWE, I’ve found that much of the refactoring and Factory patterns we learn have been pretty simple, but I’ve definitely found that when they are translated from Java, a language I am familiar, to Python (and before, C++ in OOP), the code makes sense, and I definitely find that the knowledge becomes more ingrained in my head than a typical read through.

What will you do next week?

Next week, I’m going to finish Algo HW, and hopefully prepare for my exams for the coming weeks. Unfortunately, the SWE exam will be before OOP, so I will not have a gap time in order to study longer. I will need to study up on SQL calls for SWE as well as gain a better grasp of Factory Design patterns and refactoring. Also, we will be having our #IndigitouHack reunion next Sunday, a Christian Hackathon which I will be helping out organizing this incoming fall! It’ll be pretty fun, being able to catch up with everyone and from the last hackathon, and I’m really looking forward to being able to work more closely in hand with a lot of the organizers from other cities, if not countries. This past semester, I’ve been feeling a huge desire to meet a lot more people, so I’m definitely looking forward to meeting more Christians through service as well as getting to know their heart for God through the preparation.

Tip of the Week

This week was pretty interesting in relation to blogs and articles that I think should be read:

Written on April 22, 2017