CS371P Fall 2020 Blog 2: Mason Eastman

What did you do this past week?

For this class, this past week I got all initial GitLab and workflow steps set-up, including making issues. I haven’t written my simple solution for Collatz yet, but I have a good idea of what I’ll do, so I’ll get around to implementing it soon. I spent a decent amount of time trying to set up Docker but couldn’t figure it out, so I decided to stop fighting it and instead SSH into a lab machine. Otherwise, I have been decently busy with my other classes, so I’ve had to sacrifice some time away from programming to get that work done.

What’s in your way?

Nothing is specifically in my way pertaining to this class. I think I’ve got a pretty good understanding of how the workflow is supposed to look, and I know my next steps in terms of working on Collatz. Otherwise it’s just the normal work and prep for all my classes’ quizzes and exams.

What will you do next week?

Next week I will continue working on and hopefully finish Collatz. I’d like to have the project done by the weekend, so that I can make sure I completed all the workflow steps and project objectives correctly.

What was your experience of assertions, Google Test, and gcov? (this question will vary, week to week)

I haven’t had any experience with Google Test and gcov, but I am interested in learning more about them through using them. They seem like very helpful and efficient tools for testing programs. I’ve used assertions before, but only for checking pre/post-conditions and trying to catch wrong behavior in my code (which was often very trial and error). I plan to be more mindful of using them now that I know more about when they’re good to use and when not to.

How are you doing and holding up? What’s been most helpful for you in terms of support at this time?

I’m doing well! My vector calculus class is proving to be more work and more difficult than I expected it to be, but I’m confident I can push through that little bit of stress and find new study habits that will work. My girlfriend has been most supportive of me during this time! I’ve still gotten to spend plenty of time with her, finding fun and COVID safe activities to do, including plenty of trash-talk while playing Mario Kart at my apartment.

What made you happy this week?

I decided to come home for labor day weekend, so even though I have had to do some work, I’ve enjoyed being back home, especially getting to play tennis with my sister again!

What’s your pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

My tip-of-the-week is to take a step back when you’re stressed out about a program instead of staring at the computer screen for hours. I know I have done a lot of that (looking at you OS), but taking breaks is super important, and will help you to think better about a problem. For me, even just playing piano for 10–15 minutes really helps to clear my head before I get back to work.

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