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Group Review

This week, our groups main focus was deep diving our project rough draft and reading out the questions we received. With the knowledge obtained in this manner, we hope to improve our project in a way that benefits us for the foreseeable future. A part I found slightly more difficult than reviewing our project was reviewing another groups project. I am not sure if it was just the way that they set up their design document or if it was their wording, but I felt like it was written in such a way that understanding the full scope of the project was initially difficult. In order to find out their exact method of completing it, it took some re reading and bonus questions being asked. It wasn’t by any means poor quality work, I just felt as if they could have made it more clear as to what exactly their method was to achieve their task. I was sure to voice some of my concerns in their comment sections on specific sectors, but in the end I had enough information to do something of interest.

The course itself, as a whole, has been a blast. I have felt as if I am learning things that can only benefit me in the future. A good example of which came from this last week when we had to peer review work. If I was brought somebodies design and had to review it, this was a good mock of what I would say, do, and react to such an encounter. As well as learning to write my own in a meaningful way. Not many classes in my past have offered me this same sort of insight, except maybe my HCI or software engineering courses. I enjoy these classes because I feel as if I am actually learning concepts that will be directly reflected into what I will be doing almost every day. It always makes me go back to an old phrase I heard when I first started learning Computer Science: “Anybody can learn how to code, but not everybody can be a Computer Scientist.”

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Team Design Document

This last week my group members and I had a draft due of our Team Design Document. We made the comment to one another that the project itself seemed a little repetitive. That everything we had done so far in the term was just reiterated in this project, but we also saw that was the point of everything earlier in the term. We did all of those earlier discussion boards, papers, and posts all to lead up to this draft where we could put all of the information we’ve been talking about for the last five weeks and became masters of. I feel very confident in my team and I’s ability to complete what is desired for us in this project. We do not believe that the problem in question is too complex, but there are probably some unforeseen hiccups in our path that we have yet to have the foresight to behold. I am looking forward to completing this project with a high head, taking the first needed steps in getting to a project that I am proud to show off, even if it is just something as simple as making an automatic stop of a wave pool.

My group mates have been very cooperative and seem to share the same ideals as I do when it comes to getting this project done in a clean and precise way. Despite all of us going through many other classes, all of which being more on the difficult end of the spectrum, we can always find the time to get together and work on this larger more time consuming project together. We make sure to not let one another down, and that is something I glean as an absolute positive, especially when dealing with a class as important as this one.

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Good Group

My group and I have a set date to meet up on the 9th to finish up our latest assignment, The Team Design Document. So far, the guys and I have been getting along great. We all have a similar work mentality and when we all put our minds together to work on the project, the outcome is usually very positive. It’s kind of like working with other versions of myself, but with strengths in different locations. I am grateful that this group is a very astute and down to earth one. I’ve been in computer science courses in the past where group members have been on cruise control the entire course and do very little overall work, but that is not the case for this one thankfully. Our load this last week wasn’t too grinding as past ones, we all pretty much stuck to what we needed to do and waited- working on other classes that are in dire need of attention. Besides for a few minor conversations, there hasn’t been too much going on. But that doesn’t defeat the fact that we are up and ready to keep on moving. It’s kind of nice to have this sort of pacing. I’m so used to being in computer science courses that are all about finishing the project as fast as you can so that you can learn and get the grade just to do it again the next week. This one is far different with it being more about the quality of work you put out, I really like that in a computer science course because it more simulates what should be happening out there in the real world. I know that after this is all said and done, I won’t be gunning for a positing in a location that prefers quantity over quality.

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Inspiration

This week was a somewhat lull one. My group and I mostly worked our independent bodies of work for the project with little communication besides for the pop ups every once in a while to see how everything was doing. I am still looking forward to this project, it seems interesting and exciting to me. I ended up choosing to take on User Interface and Design, a strength of mine, for my section of the project. Any excuse to pour the skills I learned from past classes into a working movable project is something that I’ve always looked forward to doing. The assignments we’d get in lecture or while moving up in computer science were lack luster in my opinion. I never felt like I was actually making something that was useful or had an end. It always just felt like busy work that you’d stress about and would dictate whether you passed the class or not. Now that I’m finally reaching the end and I am past most of those classes, I am finally feeling as if I am enjoying what I am doing. With the knowledge I’ve received, I am confident in my ability to give a product to the user that they will be beyond satisfied with no matter who the user may be or what the product is that they want created. Working towards a goal that will make someones life more easy is something that inspires me to continue on this path of computer science. It is through this lens that I am looking at this capstone class with. I am able to meet with and talk to an individual of a group that desires something to be done and my group and I are the ones tasked with completing it to what they want. This is something that I cannot wait to get started on and goal I can’t wait to start working towards.

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User Interface: My Passion

Last week, I mentioned that we were meeting with someone from the Hinsdale Laboratory on the 19th of October. That meeting was had at 9:30 AM and passed without a stitch. Though we had most of the information required of us from the original documentation of the project, we were able to pick up on some extra nuances that were not mentioned prior. We learned that the way the data is captured through a pressure gauge in the lowest point of the reservoir, talking to a machine that is then recording everything seen by it. It is from this machine that we’ll be getting all of our information from to find out the required levels of depth of stopping water flow.

Many in depth group discussions were had this week over Discord on what was to be done with the project, such as the splitting of group focuses and what our plan of attack was going to be for the overall design. Though our attack plan was very surface based, we didn’t go too in depth about it, our discussions about splitting of the work was clear. We divided what we needed into three simple categories: back end, UI, and lab computer setup. I decided to take on the feat of user interface because it is what I am most confident in and what I enjoy most about creating a project. Designing work in such a way that is aesthetically pleasing while being clear and simple for users interaction. Given this projects topic and building off of something that is already made, my job on the UI will be time consuming. The current website we are shooting off of is not very user friendly and is very basic. The added functionality will make it far less of a pain to use. I’m excited to get started.

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Ready for What is Next

Last week, a concern of mine was my lack of ability to get into contact with my group mates. This week, we’ve already met three times to brainstorm and work together. We established a server on Discord for quick messages to one another as well as open rooms where we can meet with voice chat to discuss our plans. The project itself went well this week as far as all aspects go. My group and I didn’t face many challenges in terms of working as independents and later bringing what we made together into single cohesive documents. Of everything, the biggest bump in the road was the fact that we all wrote very similar abstracts, so finding a meaningful way to stitch them together was a little on the rougher end without just using one of the abstracts.

We are scheduled to have our first video conversation with the laboratory this Monday the 19th. We’ve been communicating up to this point through email, so it will be good to finally have a face-to-face, taking the knowledge we learned in this last week about how to pose meaningful questions and pull concepts from the individual that are otherwise not thought of being asked. I will be sure to elaborate on this meeting further on next weeks blog post.

As for the class as a whole, I have been enjoying my time in it. When compared to other courses in Computer Science, this one truly does feel like the icing on the cake. It is the time where we are truly introduced to what it is like in the field and are able to take the reigns of a project and see to it being done. We’ve had courses in the past which taught us as an overview what we are learning now, but it feels as if now we are solidifying it and being shown how it attributes to the real world. I am excited to see what else is in store to learn.

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A Long Road Ahead

Today, I received my group for the Capstone project. The project I signed up for was to create an app to control the water level at Hinsdale Wave Research Lavoratory. As of starting this blog I have gotten no feedback from any of my group members, but I have created a collaboration web document that was forwarded to each of them. It is only a matter of time now before we can all get a more reliable form of communication started between us and get the ball rolling on our project. If I am being honest, I am interested to see how this project turns out. I’m excited to start to get the ball rolling and help to create something that I’d be proud to add to my resume. But before any of that can start, it will be important to get the general presence of my group members and what type of people they are: if they are reliable or flaky. In a perfect world they would all be reliable. Luckily, given the current circumstances, the likelihood of them being more reliable than not is far greater. We all made it this far through the Computer Science program at Oregon State, that alone proves something about each of us. I do not doubt for a minute my fellow group members right to be here. I’m looking forward to next weeks blog post, after I’ve met with my group mates and we’ve started to get some work done. This course provides us with an opportunity to show what we’ve learned throughout our time at Oregon State, equipping us for what’s going to happen in the real world. This project allows us to take that final step on our long journey of formal education, the gateway to the next chapter in a scholars life.

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Who Am I?

My name is Harrison. This is the first blog I have ever really done, so I am not sure what to expect from it. I’ll start by writing about where I come from and how I got into computer software. I was born in Tigard, Oregon but spent most of my childhood being raised in Lake Oswego, Oregon. That is where I attended schooling from 1st grade through 12th grade before transferring to Portland Community College to begin my life at college. Up until that point, I had never thought about going into software. It wasn’t until my older sister, five years my senior, mentioned it to me that it was even on my radar. Originally, I was in software for the promise of money in the future. It was going to be a safety net for myself such that I could go back to college after I made enough money to get a degree in something I was passionate about. Once I left Portland Community and transferred to Oregon State University, I found a passion in the art of software engineering. Though it took me a while to figure out, I now know that I can use technology to help the world in ways I never thought of before. My passion in life has always been to offer a hand to those in need of it and are deserving of it, giving it to people who aren’t going to use it for nefarious intent. I am looking forward to pushing towards my goal each and every day, doing at least one thing that will help me on my journey. I get excited just thinking about it. Thank you for reading.

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