CS373 Fall 2018: Regina Chen - Final Entry

December 11th, 2018

What did you like the least about the class?

I hated the disconnect between the material taught in class and the topics that the projects covered. I didn't feel like I properly learned about software engineering in the industry. The first half of the class was virtually Python 101, and the second half was SQL and refactoring, but I would have liked to learn about modern day tools and concepts in class rather solely from the readings. I also wish we could have had more industry professionals come speak to us. The lectures kind of felt like a hodgepodge of random information that were useful but not exactly related to software engineering.

What did you like the most about the class?

I definitely enjoyed the IDB project the most. It was interesting to watch our website start off from a simple create-react-app and transform into something functioning and visually pleasing. It was also neat to watch other group projects come to life as well. The project by itself taught me most about software engineering, but it was also confusing because even though it was supposed to simulate real life, it was a graded assignment as well. The specifications were unclear sometimes, which ended up costing my group points here and there.

What's the most significant thing you learned?

I think the most significant things I learned from this class were Python and SQL. I didn't have any experience with either before taking this class, but now I can comfortably understand and code in Python or write SQL queries. Of course, I'm nowhere near an expert in either, but I've still learned a lot. Even though I disliked learning about all the nitpicky things about Python, it gave me greater appreciation for the language's beauty and simplicity. I also learned more about React, which I had some prior experience with.

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

Honestly, not that much. Maybe 10-15 hours per week only for the 1-2 weeks before a project phase was due. I was expecting a heavier workload, but the project didn't turn out as complicated or as daunting as I thought it would be.

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

We no longer had reading quizzes later in the semester, so whoops I just stopped reading the articles unless the title looked interesting. Before, I spent around 1 hour completing the readings. I only studied in the days leading up to the exams, so around 5-10 hours per exam.

How many lines of code do you think you wrote?

I wish GitLab had a metric for this, but probably over 1000 lines? Most of it was Javascript/CSS though.

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

Flask SQLAlchemy. I wasn't the one using it to write our back-end, but when I read the lines of code, I thought it was a clean and elegant solution as a Python wrapper for SQL.

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

I thought our use of BeautifulSoup for scraping data was pretty neat.

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

More industry professionals as speakers who talk about interesting things, and aren't like the Google reps who came and tried to sell GCP to us. I really enjoyed the ethics talk, and wish we could have heard more about it.