The Path is Not Always Clear

OSU has granted us all a wonderful opportunity to pursue a different direction than we at least initially thought. Whether it is right after our first degree or more like me after several years in a different industry. Either way, our paths to Computer Science all differ and contain different bends and forks compared to the rest.

My Path

Early on into thinking about my career I was interested in Computer Science, yet I forked early away from it. In my sophomore year of high school I took a web development course where we learned HTML, CSS, and PHP. This was before the HTML5 changes but I took it on pretty quickly. My teacher at the time ran a consulting web development company and invited me to “intern” in the summer. This consisted of revamping our districts school websites and work on a paid project for a big carwash chain that was new to our town. Overall, I got paid to write some basic HTML, CSS, and PHP and learn a whole lot that summer. Unfortunately, this was during a time I was more focused on friends and fun so it kind of put it in a bad light to me. I decided that I didn’t want to pursue Computer Science anymore because I wanted a career where I wasn’t typing all day and I could be more hands on. This led me to pursuing Chemical Engineering which was awesome. I made several life friends, connections, and memories while pursuing this degree and working in the Semiconductors industry. As my time has gone on though, engineering became more and more data oriented and I’ve found myself gravitating towards the programming parts of my job, utilizing it wherever I could. I found myself ignoring my day to day activities to work on the next greatest script I could write to improve our job. Now this got me a lot of recognition and more work in my position, but also pushed me to start pursuing this second degree.

My path was initially set to continue following these normal engineering applications, but as I’ve worked through the degree and pursued side projects I have gravitated more and more towards software engineering. It no longer satisfies me to write a new script or create a new data frame for reporting, I want to build applications! This is where my path forked once again and I’ve pursued opportunities outside of my team in Software Engineering. I’m now determined to make the switch from Chemical Engineering altogether and join a Software Engineering team as soon as I graduate this December!

Now if any of you have connections or opportunities, I’m looking for work… 😀

Into the Storm

It’s official, we have our project! Our team will be working on creating a “Dating” Web Application to enable successful animal adoption! As an owner of 2 adopted dogs, this project intrigued me right away. Of course, it also fits my teams desires to utilize the C#/.NET/React stack. Everything seems to be falling in place, but now it is time for the hard part…

Lets Dive In

NoPawsLeftBehind is the current working name for this project. This web application will be a fully usable “profile” based application. The application will work in two ways: the animals looking to be adopted will have a “dating” profile with all of their details including a picture, name, breed, disposition, and a small blurb where the animal will get to entice potential adoption matches! Active users of the application will be able to make a take a quiz to get matched up with potential candidates or search for specific characteristics. I could not be more excited to see this come to life. You can find full details of requirements on the EECS Project Page here.

So Do We Have A Plan?

A plan is a strong word for what we currently have. What we do have is a fantastic basis of an idea and have decided on the main stack we want to use. We will be using C#/.NET framework, MySQL for the database, and React for our front end components. These are new technologies to most of the team in some form or another but we wanted to challenge ourselves and learn some popular technologies in the industry!

The project plan is due within the next few days though and we have started the initial pathfinding. We have split up the initial tasks of diagrams for designing our application and will be meeting back up to finalize everything. Once we have an agreed upon design, this is where the task planning and sprint planning comes into play. Unfortunately, we already have dangers of scope creep as we all continue to think of really fun and exciting ideas to implement before we have even started on basic functionality. This speaks to our ambitious attitudes but can definitely be a cause for concern if we don’t reel it in!

Overall, I’m very excited and nervous about this project. I know our team will come together and produce an awesome product, but seeing the forest through the trees is a bit difficult at the moment. Working through this weekend with the team will start to put everything into perspective and give us a plan to execute towards.

As always, thanks for reading! Follow along here for more rants and raves about our Capstone Project journey!

Hurry Up and Wait…

Week 1 of a new quarter is always a busy time filled with anxious thoughts and busy fingers, almost incessantly logging into canvas, checking the calendar, and checking all of the due dates. This is my last quarter in the OSU Postbacc CS program and I knew it was going to be busy taking two classes: CS 467 and CS 372. 

I currently work full time as an Industrial Engineer which has kept me to only taking one class per quarter for the majority of my time in the program. Due to a possible opportunity in January, I made the decision to try and close out the program this quarter and take my last two classes. It is because of this decision and the busy first week we usually see in quarters that I tried to get ahead and find a team for CS 467 from my previous classmates. The problem here is the first week of the class is heavily dedicated to finding a team and choosing a project, which makes complete sense for all the students coming in solo. 

My team quickly set up communications on the first day of the course and chose the direction we want to go for our tech stack. Two of us will use C#/.NET in full time work so we settled there. The entire team wanted to learn React as it is a very popular choice in industry. After agreeing on this direction, we quickly browsed our project options, submitted our surveys, and…. well that was it. Now we are anxiously awaiting when we can move on to the next step. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure we all love not being bombarded with tasks right as class starts but we built ourselves up to attack this project with fervor and now we are a bit subdued. My main concern is getting complacent and dumping all of this energy before we actually get to start on the project. 

I know our team will be able to move forward as soon as teams are fully assigned and the projects are released! I’m very excited to learn some new technologies with my team and work together to produce a great Capstone project! In the mean time we will be brushing up on our skills and getting introduced to the technologies we want to use for our web application. For .NET Core, I’m exploring all of Microsoft’s documentation as it is actually very good, starting with the tutorial here: Tutorial: Create a web API with ASP.NET Core. React has a wonderful tutorial as well, but I know this just scratches the surface. Luckily, one team member found an awesome Udemy React course that we all have access to now to explore. The tutorial can be found here: Tutorial: Intro to React.

This is going to be a tough quarter, but I’m excited to take it on head first with this team! Make sure to follow along here for all the rants and raves I have about my journey through CS 467.