CS 373 Spring 2021: Final Blog

How well do you think the course conveyed those takeaways?

I believe that the course did really well in terms of teaching us about objects being iterable and/or indexable and distinguishing those meanings. This course taught me how to collaborate with a team on a large project, and it taught me how to write clean code in which I will avoid any sort of coverage issues when writing test cases. The only issue is that we didn’t get to use many of the concepts we learned in lecture outside of the Hackerrank problems. Overall, I learned a lot from the course, but I learned the most from working on the web development project.

Were there any other particular takeaways for you?

My other takeaway from this class is that we had to look up a lot of material online instead of relying on lecture material in order to successfully complete our project. My group members and I had to teach each other different web development concepts, and communication was at an essential. Overall it was a fun project despite having to work from home and despite some team members being busy with work from other classes.

How did you feel about cold calling?

I thought cold calling was a good mechanism to get people not just to pay attention but also to engage within the lecture. I didn’t really get cold called as often, but I would always try to be ready for when I did get cold called.

How did you feel about office hours?

Office hours were extremely helpful in figuring out any issues my team and I ran into when working on our web project. The TAs helped us figure out certain areas that we had trouble deciphering and they helped us fix any errors that we ran into.

How did you feel about lab sessions?

I enjoyed going to lab sessions just like office hours. I would ask questions and get as much help as I needed on the web project. One thing I learned from lab hours was about MUI Datatables. These datatables have built in searching, sorting and filtering, and the TAs helped me figure out how to use them.

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

I learned a lot about Gitlab and its importance in web development. Gitlab is very similar to Github, except it uses pipelines to check if one’s code passes certain unit tests and acceptance tests. In the early phases of the project, I had trouble committing to the Gitlab repository because I had the wrong credentials, but I was able to fix that by setting up the right username and email in VSCode. I was also not as familiar with Github, but learning more about Gitlab made it more comfortable for me to use Github.

How did you feel about your group having to self-teach many, many technologies?

It was definitely painful. I believe that we learned a lot out of the process, but it was hard for us to teach each other every essential part of web development considering the busy schedules my teammates and I had. Because of this, we designated certain roles for each team member, which helped us manage certain work we had to finish. I wish we had learned more about both the frontend and the backend so that way we could give more input in case someone was stuck on a certain task.

Give me your suggestions for improving the course.

I believe this course is worth taking. However, I believe that the documentation of the projects can be more clear on what we need to do. On Phase 1, we lost a lot of points because we didn’t have everything completed for that phase when we thought we did.

Another thing that I believe would be easier is that the class material covers certain parts of web development, such as going over React for the Frontend, or APIs and API calls for the Backend. That would help us get a head start on the web development project. The lecture material and the papers, especially, could be centered more around Software Engineering instead of just Python/SQL material and Object Oriented Programming.