CS 467 Blog Post #1

Hello, fellow Oregon State students! My name is Dillon Odle and this is my blog for CS 467 (although I may also continue to write after I’ve completed the course).

I’m currently 30 years old and live in a suburb of Portland, OR. I grew up in Oregon City, OR, and attended Oregon State for my first bachelor’s degree in microbiology. During high school, I took robotics and game development courses and really enjoyed the problem-solving needed for both of them. I started my first bachelor’s degree with 60 credits from high school, so I had extra room in my schedule to add a minor and still graduate on time. My main academic interests have always been science and technology, and I had heard that computer skills would be useful for working in science, so choosing computer science as my minor seemed like a natural fit. Through my coursework for my minor, I realized that the process of building software had many of the same qualities that drew me toward science. The biggest parallel between both that I liked was that both fields involve solving complicated problems with the potential to have a benefit in the real world.

After my first degree, I worked in the DNA and microbiology departments for a company that tests crops. While I enjoyed this work intellectually, that job made me realize that I didn’t enjoy the process of working in labs. I continued to teach myself different technologies on the side, purely for my own curiosity. I taught myself basic web development and began making my own web applications, then began teaching myself game development with Unity. Through my minor in computer science and teaching myself different technologies on the side, I realized I would enjoy a career in software development. After doing some research, I realized my best path toward this goal would be to turn my minor in computer science into a full bachelor’s degree.

I needed to work full-time to support myself, so an on-campus degree was not an option for me. I was thrilled to learn that my alma mater offered one of the best online computer science programs in the country and that I could complete it with an additional 8 courses!

My first term with the online program was fall 2022. Completing courses online was very different from my on-campus courses. While completing my minor, most of the courses were taught in C. I had to teach myself python for the online program, but thankfully I have ended up loving working with that as well. My favorite course so far has been CS 493. I really enjoy working with Flask to build backend APIs and plan to further my knowledge in this space by learning Django as well.

I’m really excited to take this course and hopefully build a great resume project. My first choice for my project was the SaaS application for the fire department. Regardless of whether I’m chosen for that project, I just want to work on a project that has a real-world application.

In my free time, I still enjoy creating web applications and games. I would love to enter into a game jam this year for the first time. Besides development, I also enjoy playing video games and board games with my friends, hiking, and sports. My partner and I have 3 dogs whose names are Tucker, Bojack, and Luke. Here’s a picture of all of us in the Redwood National Park last year!

Thank you for reading about my background! If you’re a fellow student, I’m looking forward to reading about your updates throughout this term and hope we both can make fascinating projects. Regardless of who you are, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. If you find my background interesting, I’d love to work on a project together outside this course, and if you’re in the Portland area I’d love to meet up and get to know one another. It’s always good to have another friend in the industry! I’m always happy to make another friend!

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