The Capstone Quest: My Final School Journey

  • 5 Key Takeaways from My Capstone Experience

    After spending the last several months on my capstone project, I feel I’ve gained a lot of valuable insights and tools that I hope to use in my future endeavors. Not only did I learn new technologies and project management skills, but I’ve also build strong friendships with my fellow teammates.

    In this post, I’ll be describing 5 things I’ve learned from working on this project. I think there are many different lessons that this project has taught me, but these five in particular are what I believe to be the most critical in my future career.

    Read more: 5 Key Takeaways from My Capstone Experience

    1. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help From Peers

    The first thing that I think is important to mention is don’t be afraid to seek help from your fellow teammates, especially those who are at the same level as you. More times than not, your peers are going to be able to provide assistance or at least their input on problems your experiencing, and they likely have had similar experiences where they’ve gotten stuck.

    Being able to assist and receive assistance on stuff you’re working on will make you more efficient and will help in your growth as a developer, so I would recommend utilizing the help you have and see if your fellow developers can provide you with pointers or hints to solve your problem.

    2. Start and Complete Your Work Sooner Than Later

    One thing that has proven to be quite difficult for me over the past term has been time management. Given my work, school, and family responsibilities, it oftentimes becomes difficult to balance everything going on and I fall behind in certain areas of my life.

    From this project, I feel like working on a team has helped me to complete tasks earlier and has made this class a lot easier to manage. Because I have not just myself, I feel more obligated to do my part and complete the tasks I’m assigned. I think this has helped me to do better in the project and has also trickled into the other aspects of my life as well.

    3. Plan Your Work Early

    This goes pretty close with the previous lesson, but I think it’s important that, even if you don’t start your work really early, you should definitely start planning in a timely manner. If you aren’t able to get to everything right away, setting aside certain tasks for certain times helps you to keep more organized and, in turn, also improves your efficiency and speed.

    4. Communication Is Key

    I would say another important part of this project has been the communication with my teammates. Having weekly or biweekly (twice a week) meetings with my groupmates has helped to keep everyone organized and on the same track in terms of goals for each sprint and the project in general.

    Because of our strong synchronous and asynchronous communication, I think the project went very well, and I think becasuse of it I’ll be applying it into my future career endeavors.

    5. Maximize Technical Efficiency

    The title is a bit vague, but what I mean by the above title is try to be as efficient as possible when you have a lot of items on your plate. Especially with frameworks such as NextJS where you have access to a bunch of npm packages, I would recommend always checking whether what you want to accomplish has already been done. There are so many node packages available, that you’ll save yourself a lot of time if you utilize available resources rather than try and implement these things by hand.

    From this project, I think these are the five key takeaways I’ve learned. I think that these all encompass important aspects of the development process and I hope to learn more over the next term and be able to take these skills and apply them in my future career endeavors.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Vercel: Simplifying Development

    For this project, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a new cloud platform called Vercel. Vercel is a service that offers infrastructure to deploy scalable, secure, and quick web applications with the NextJS framework.

  • Crafting Quality Code: Best Practices and What to Avoid

    Quality code is something we all strive to achieve as developers. As our knowledge of languages and frameworks grows, we begin to consider more than just the functionality of the code, but how we can improve the sophistication of it. In this post, I’ll be describing some good and bad code practices, and what I as a developer would like to improve on in order to achieve quality code.

  • Learning the Development Stack

    As were nearing the end of our first term of capstone, I’m able to look back and reflect on my team’s progress, including both our successes and challenges.

    One of the particular things that I’ve had to begin learning for this project is the dev stack. In our project, we’re using React and NextJS for our full-stack application, which was completely new to me prior top this term. I come from a background of mostly PHP (particularly Laravel) and some ExpressJS, so it was definitely a challenge learning the new dev stack and applying the changes I want into the code with this minimal knowledge

    In this post, I’ll be sharing some of the positive and negative things about React and NextJS coming from Laravel and my opinion on which option is better for development at the end of the post.

  • Beginning my Journey

    Hello again, everyone!

    We’re around the halfway point of our first capstone term and, overall, I’ve had quite a bit of success. Throughout this term, my team has been working on setting up our development stack, planning out our project, and specifying the requirements and functionalities our project management system will have.

    Overall, I’ve had quite some cool experiences with the project that I’d like to share in my blog post and I think discussing some problems we’ve had and how my team has been able to resolve them will be very useful.

  • Introduction

    Hello everyone!

    My name is Cameron Hollis, I’m 18 years old, and I am happy to say this is my final year of my Computer Science degree here at Oregon State University. I’m very grateful for my time here at Oregon State, and the flexibility of an online degree has been great with managing my time and being able to complete my degree while living such a long way away from campus. While I’ve enjoyed my time learning throughout the past 4 years, I’m excited to complete my degree and begin a new journey in the working world.