CS373 Fall 2022: Joanne Chen | Blog 1

Hello there! My name is Joanne Chen, and I am currently a junior. Usually, I stumble over what more I should include in a short introduction beyond that, but luckily, there was a guideline for more topics:

Where did you grow up?

I was born in the suburbs surrounding Dallas, TX (McKinney specifically), briefly moved and lived out my middle school years in St. Louis, MO, and somehow coincidentally ended up back in the suburbs of Dallas, TX (this time Frisco).

What high school did you attend?

I attended Independence High School, which was located in Frisco, TX.

What was your favorite extracurricular activity in high school?

Honestly, I didn’t do a lot of extracurricular activities in high school because I instead worked part-time jobs during my free time, but I really enjoyed creating things when I worked at food places like boba and smoothie shops. That sort of interest has been steadfast, making its appearance in my more present hobbies of (casual) crocheting and cooking.

Why did you come to UT?

Cost is the main factor I came to UT. Having spent most of my life in Texas, I really wanted to try to explore a different place, but the in-state tuition is pretty hard to turn down coupled with the fact that UT was hardly a bad choice.

Why are you majoring in CS?

I majored in CS due to a mixture of wanting future stability and the satisfaction I derived from being able to create and solve problems that initially seemed difficult.

Why are you in this class?

I am in this class because my goals out of college are to enter industry, and this class seemed like a good course to be able to place myself more in an industry-like environment and quickly learn new, more relevant tools that I might see in a job.

What are your expectations of this class?

Prior to this class, the most I have heard about this course was that the professor was really good and that this class would require a lot of self-learning outside of lectures.

How much Javascript/Python/SQL/Web Programming do you already know?

I haven’t really had much experience with the above technologies aside from Python, which I would say I have a decent exposure to it though not fully knowledgeable of all the quirks of Python.

How did you like the first lectures?

I really enjoyed the first lectures! I liked how the lectures had more of a dialogue-like flow to them, which is something I have never really experienced with CS courses. The dialogue-like flow helps keep the class pretty engaging throughout and everything was very easy to follow because the explanations and pacing were pretty clear.

How did you feel about the cold calling?

I haven’t been on the opposite end of the cold calling so I can’t yet say for sure how my opinion of cold calling might evolve, but I like how the cold calling adds a dialogue-like flow to the lecture. When I first heard that the class would have cold calling, my initial reaction was fear but after going through the first few lectures, the professor did a really nice job of making the cold calling feel very low-stakes, so I think it adds more to the lecture’s engagement than anything.

How do you feel about specifications grading?

I like the concept of specifications grading forcing people to perform well across the board rather than just in a single area and allowing for some leeway with some of the requirements in each category. I’m interested in seeing what factors go into whether a project is considered to meet expectations.

What made you happy this week?

This week was honestly a little tiring from logistics of moving into housing and setting up stuff for classes, so this is slightly not this week, but I just finished a road trip last week from Seattle to Texas, and I was really happy being able to visit a lot of national parks and scenery!

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

An article I recently read and found interesting considering how many college students use Discord was: https://discord.com/blog/how-discord-stores-billions-of-messages. It also shows some of the software development process of defining requirements and choosing the best solution from there.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store