CS371p Fall 2021: Amer Jusupovic: Final Entry

How well did the course convey these takeaways?

I think the course did a good job of reinforcing the concepts that it was trying to teach. By focusing on one or two ideas at a time, especially with the papers, the ideas were really drilled in and you essentially have to understand them in order to be successful in the class.

Were there any other particular takeaways for you?

I think I realized with time that some of the concepts I learned in this class are really just things that I learned during internships and work experiences but in a class format. I learned that a lot of the things in this class can be boiled down to very basic ideas like reusability or rigidity, and that makes things easier to understand in the future I think.

How did you feel about cold calling?

I think the concept makes sense, but I think the way it was executed was not perfect. There were times where the professor may not have been aware of it, but I felt like it was uncomfortable the way he would talk over certain students and very quickly as well. Otherwise, the participation probably benefitted.

How did you feel about specifications grading?

I came away with a bad impression of the grading scheme. I understand that the professor says it’s here to stay, but this is just my experience. The problem was once I had a grade that wasn’t the best in one section of the class, I would stop caring as much in all of the rest. For example, I did poorly on a project because I couldn’t pass a pipeline due to a bug but was already done with hackerrank. Since I had already used my virtual token opportunities, my only incentive afterward was to do the bare minimum to get B-level participation in the other categories. I was allowed to care less about papers, blogs, exercises, and quizzes, which made me participate less in the class.

How did you feel about help sessions and office hours?

I think they were fairly well-communicated and the TAs are very nice and easy to talk to. They communicated important information quickly and were able to resolve issues quickly as well.

How did you feel about the support from the TAs?

I think they did a great job, especially in helping with exercises and projects. I never had any reason to be upset with what they were doing.

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

I think I enjoyed using googletest for our code since it made the testing outputs very neat and understandable. I never understood all of the warning messages, but otherwise, it was very useful.

What insights have papers given you about SOLID design?

I think the concept was pretty similar across the papers, that a class shouldn’t have a functionality it doesn’t need so the code is more rigid and inflexible. I think I had heard these ideas a lot working in the industry, but I’ll probably remember the idea of interface segregation for a while, since I initially learned with abstract classes and didn’t realize how they were unnecessary.

What insights have papers given you about minimizing getters and setters?

I think the overall takeaway is that exposing the functionality of a class through getters and setters undermines the structure of the project and may lead to bad design. I think the way it was communicated in project specifications was not quite as clear, but the papers made a lot of sense in that regard. I initially thought it meant any method that returned a class’s information was bad, but I think it makes more sense now.

Give me your suggestions for improving the course:

I would say try your best to be more aware of what students are saying or trying to communicate in cold calling scenarios. Also, I understand specifications grading will remain, and if the issue of how students who don’t do well on a category will do less in all other categories has already been addressed, then I guess I have no other suggestions.

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Computer Science @ UT Austin

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Amer Jusupovic

Amer Jusupovic

Computer Science @ UT Austin

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