CS373 Summer 2018: Travis Llado, Week 01


I'm starting a software engineering class that requires me to write a weekly update which I will post here. The format seems to be fairly straight forward, and I'm wondering if the topic questions/guidelines will change from one week to the next.


What did I do this past week?
Mainly, apartment hunting. Things computer science-related, I re-did all of the homework from my stochastic systems class and posted it on Gitlab. We went through so much material so quickly that I didn't understand much of it the first time through and it certainly made more sense on the second pass. At this point I believe most of my filters and controllers are correctly implemented and my code is sufficiently robust and organized that I'll be able to use it as a quick reference in the future, assuming I'm going to forget all of it in a month or so. There's also a gaussian processes homework from ML that I want to redo. While the stochastic projects were all model based, the gaussian project was totally black box, which can be useful when you're not sure how to build your model.

What's in my way?
Not much at the moment, lack of experience with CS Department norms? I've done multiple software engineering internships, but none of them involved web applications. Building a full-stack web product will be new.

What will I do next week?
Probably a lot of reading, some Javascript tutorials, brush up on MySQL and other technologies I haven't used in years or ever, read blogs from previous classes to get a better idea of what I should expect.

What are my expectations for this class?
Hopefully, to get some experience with web technologies and complex software project management methodologies. Most of my software experience is related to embedded systems, programming for MCUs, control loops, sensor processing, motion planning, lots of math. It should be good to do some software that is more about delivering data that doing math. I've also spent waaaaaay too much time using MATLAB in the past year and I'd like to get back to more open programming environments. Honestly, learning more of the lingo will also be useful. I've had several conversations recently with pure-CS people that were less productive than they could have been because neither of us really understood the other.

What is my recommendation of the week?
The "Ultimate <Platform> Talk" series is a series of hour-long overviews of various influential computer systems, including the Commodore 64Gameboy, and the Apollo Guidance Computer.

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