The Amazing Race: Crowd-Sourced Travel Planner

I figured for the last blog post I would talk about the project I’m working on! The project title is the “Crowd-Sourced Travel Planner”. Truthfully, I had no idea what crowd-sourced event meant, let alone that there were three types of capstone projects available. But, it turns out that I’ve(and probably you’ve) used web applications that were crowd sourced.

Applications like Quora, StackOverflow, and Yelp are crowd-sourced. These communities thrive because information comes from other users on the site. In our case, we are building an application that allows users to login and add “experiences”. Experiences can be anything and require some information, namely: a name, location, description, image, and rating.

My main contributions to this project are Bootstrap-style handlebar components and the trips feature. The trips feature is a collection of experiences, aka a list. You can add experiences to a trip to save them. Currently, I have the base styling of the trips feature implemented, as well as creating a trip and editing its name. The next step is to add nested components that will allow users to search for experiences and marking them into the appropriate trip!

This project has been a fun recap of 340 and 290, so I’m excited to see where the second half of this project goes. I should add that the team chose to deliver the application as a web app that is hosted on the school server, our database is MySQL(thank you 467 admins!).

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The Wild Hunt

I’ve been new grad job hunting-lite this past cycle. I don’t have much energy in the ignition at the moment. But I can speak about the previous cycle’s internship process. And boy was THAT tiring. I began my 2021 software engineering internship hunt in June 2021. Some of the early applications were to Salesforce and Visa. Needless to say, I failed those in dramatic fashion.

But let me backup, the typical interview process was like so:

  1. Find a job position
  2. Apply with resume and cover letter(usually optional)
  3. Receive software coding challenge on any of (Hackerrank, Hirevue, Codesignal)
  4. If not a coding challenge, or second round, then a meeting with a recruiter or HR
  5. A technical round which can be split into a technical and non-technical
  6. Possibly a second technical round
  7. Receive either an offer or not

The process is pretty long, and for new grads, it can be even longer with a third, fourth, or fifth rounds. Yuck!

The coding challenges can range in difficulty, and depends on the platform. For companies that used Hackerrank, I noticed duplicate questions from the same problem bank. Others like Codesignal can give you 2 easy questions, with a difficult third and fourth or, they can ALL be difficult.

Some are proctored or at least most monitor tab usage. Other do not, or don’t outwardly say so. Even though I started in June, it wasn’t until October or November where I snagged offers. I failed, or the multi-rounds take a long time. I received around 7 offers? It was a really good season, but I was also tired having to practice and do schoolwork + TA + research. It was also difficult to keep blocking time off on my calendar.

Nonetheless, I feel that if you put in the effort to study problems and your algorithms + data structures, you can reap the system. 2023 and 2022 is a whole different beast. Applications have been lost in limbo, and with rescinded offers + slow economy, who knows when it will pick up again. I’m honestly looking for a less “prestigious” position this time, as I haven’t really practiced interviewing in ages.

The irony of being a 325 TA that does not remember algorithms is not lost on me, believe me.😄

Good luck to everyone though! Whether an internship or your full-time. Keep trucking on and don’t let anything bring you down.

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13 Going On 32

When I was in kindergarten, I wrote that my future career would be as a veterinarian. Given that my two bachelors have 0 involvement in biology, I’d say that plan didn’t pan out. However, I’m closer to finishing with a CS degree and looking at programmer roles. The interesting part is that I don’t know what I want to do. I’m a generalist, which recruiters have pointed out, is not good. Why? Probably because it makes their job more difficult. Where do you put someone who doesn’t have a definitive area of interest?

However, I love learning and trying new things. You see this in my resume. I have a 50/50 split in both academic and professional experience. Research experience with papers and experiments. Professional experience with a software engineering internship and QA full-time work. Rounding out my jobs are being an undergraduate learning assistant for(162, 225, 325) and customer service stints.

Great! But, what about your future?


I still don’t know. I’ve been enjoying the graphics courses done by Prof. Bailey, so that’s a possibility. I’ll keep searching for jobs on my own leisure too. (The difficult part is that I’m locked in the Midwest region due to my significant other’s job.)

CodePath’s Android course is starting up in February, so I’ll use that as my last elective of sorts and continue learning Android programming. It looks like it has a new format too.

Before signing off, I should say that in the process of being a generalist, I have identified things I don’t and do enjoy.

Things I don’t like

  • Data analysis
  • Statistics 🔥(#RIP first degree)
  • Machine Learning
  • Cybersecurity
  • Upper division mathematics

Things I do like

  • Tutoring
  • front-end (full stack?)
  • documentation and QA
  • Doing programming questions(even though I’ve been slacking)
  • problem-solving
  • Possibly academia, if I could find a research area I truly like
  • video games 😅

I hope this blog post doesn’t come off as me complaining. Because it isn’t! It’s just another person in this big world being lost at what to do. I’m still grateful at the opportunities this program gave me. Now, the onus is on me to do the follow-up work.

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Blog Post #1: Stressful Times at Ridgemont High

I didn’t think I would find myself on WordPress for my final quarter at Oregon State, but here we are. As this post will go up before my team and project are decided, I’ll briefly talk about my experiences with the program and how I handled stress throughout the quarters.

One of the significant stressors of this program is time management. Most students who enroll as postbaccalaureate are established with responsibilities that may not have been present in degree #1. I started the program working full-time but soon found myself amid layoffs due to the coronavirus pandemic. Possibly a blessing in disguise, I had an opportunity to explore other activities in the interim.

However, it wasn’t until I participated in extracurriculars that my time was constantly running out. I threw myself into research, becoming an Undergraduate Learning Assistant, and CodePath courses ( But this took away time and energy from activities that were not related to programming. And I burned out, a lot. Needless to say, I’m doing two of those things again: being a TA and. hopefully, doing the Android CodePath course in February.

This time however, I’m keeping it simple by doing enough. If I don’t have room to do more, then just say no. You do not have to feel that you’re indebted to doing anything that you don’t have to capacity to respond to. I’m not saying that I’m going to avoid doing office hours or responding to questions, but only do so WITHIN the time you are required and take a break. If you don’t want to go out or don’t feel like coding, make sure to create those buffer times to NOT do anything.

As for getting stuck, that happened a lot when I was reading theoretical information or trying to do something with programming that I did not have the vocabulary for. Theory is hard and depending on the book, the notation might not make it any easier. I don’t think I fully understood all of the algorithms or discrete math jargon. I reduced the reading as best I could and applied it to solve the problem with what I knew. It worked for me, and my classes moved on.

For programming, I usually go and read the documentation and determine whether or not it makes sense to me. If it doesn’t, I go to StackOverflow and try to find a similar example of the keywords I’m trying to use. I always make use of code snippets given to me in class, if possible. This has allowed me to finish most, if not all my programming homework during the program.

I will say that I struggled doing this at my internship. The codebase was huge and being remote and new to a programming internship made me struggle for the first month of my three months. Three months is nothing when everything is flying by. Honestly, it wasn’t until the end of my internship where I started feeling comfortable asking more questions and being more productive.

I couldn’t find a suitable balance before then. In other words, ASK questions, be it on Slack, Ed, or the workplace. Nobody thinks about questions being dumb.


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