Oregon State University|blogs.oregonstate.edu
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Morgan Kandula

Blog Post #4 – Tips & Tricks

  May 18th, 2023

Welcome back readers! I’m here writing my final post on my capstone project and I hope you are excited to hear about it. We are nearing week seven of ten and our project is really starting to take shape, at least for me it is. My progress has been a lot slower than I had hoped in the beginning, so let’s talk about what to do when stuck on an issue.

Surprisingly, I have not been as stuck trying to solve a new problem as I have been stuck waiting on technology. Let me explain: our project involved a database stored in MS SQL Server on a computer owned by our project sponsor (it is not hosted on any server anywhere). To access the database, we must virtually access said computer with a software called TeamViewer. Another team of undergraduate students is also working on the project in Oregon and one of the students got so frustrated with this setup and it not working that they actually went and borrowed the computer from our sponsor. At this point in the project, I completely understand why they did that! But, I do not live in Oregon so that has not even remotely been an option for me. Instead, I have been learning to practice patience while waiting for TeamViewer to load up and connect – ie going to grab a coffee while I wait or playing a little game of tug with my pup. And I think this experience has also taught me to be a better communicator with near-strangers that might be working on adjacent projects that affect me.

Okay, now that my rant is over (hah) I will tell you a bit about how I learn new things. I guess I’m still pretty old-school and hesitant to trust technology such as chatGPT while learning and developing new skills, so I generally stick to good “old-fashioned” google searches. When learning a new technology, I will usually find the website dedicated to that technology (ie the Tableau website for this project) and search around for demo and training videos/documents that they have. Then I will move on to specific searches online like “how to modify a filter in Tableau” to expand my understanding. When I need some inspiration in solving a specific task, I will do a few things. I might go to my whiteboard and try to draw out my problem to see if visualization will help me solve it. Or I might go to google and search for something like “how to create a new view in Microsoft SQL Server” because it is some task that I have not yet completed before and need a little guidance.

All in all, this project has been a great experience in patience and learning new things. I can’t wait to see how things turn out and I am finally picking up steam! Thanks for sticking around with me as I have written about my journey. Tata!

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