CS371p Spring 2022: Dinesh Krishnan Balakrishnan: Final Entry

Time for the final blog post! It’s been a busy semester, but I learned a lot during my time in this class. Professor Downing tried to drill some long-term takeaways from this class, and I can confidently say that his methodologies worked. Due to each lecture consisting of a clear-defined topic that is well-defined during the class hour, it has been very easy to grasp the main ideas being presented. If I had to present my own personal biggest takeaway from this class, it would be that I learned how to define classes that better fit the problem I’m tackling.

The cold calling in this class wasn’t the most appreciated, but it definitely helps keep students on track and more focused on the problem at hand. Alternatively, I greatly appreciated the specifications grading format. It allows for mistakes to be made, while still rewarding consistent behavior with the various assigned tasks. Help sessions and office hours were extremely helpful, mainly thanks to the TAs` thorough understanding of the course. They were also responsive and professional.

The paper’s regarding SOLID design help reinforced proper Object-Oriented techniques. I can’t necessarily say how helpful reading these papers was, especially because I definitely didn’t find myself in a situation where the ideas mentioned came to mind. Alternatively, the paper regarding getters and setters was more helpful because I was able to better focus on minimizing the existence of such methods.

I think the CI/CD pipeline from GitLab is extremely helpful for automation. There are many command line tasks that I often run after getting code to work, such as when I need to publish the new code to Heroku. By using the pipeline feature on GitLab, I believe I would’ve saved plenty of time.

It’s hard to give suggestions for improving the course; I feel as though there are many things done right. If I had to mention something, I would suggest providing more modern papers than those provided to us each week. That said, the course is still extremely helpful. It’s one of the few courses that provides the much needed industry-like experience. I personally think that this course, SWE, and the introductory computer science courses have helped me the most in my CS career.


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