It’s that time of the year! My personal favorite holiday! Thanksgiving will be here in less than a week! It cannot come soon enough! Thanksgiving, in my opinion, is the best holiday. It’s a time where friends and family come together, enjoy an evening and a meal together, and appreciate one another. And, of course, there’s all of the (amazing!!!!) food. What’s there not to love about this holiday?!

This year, my family has decided that it is my responsibility to cook the turkey. I’m not sure why or how they came to this decision, but it’s been made. I’ve never even cooked a turkey before! So, even though I’m really excited for Thanksgiving, I am also very nervous. I am tasked with cooking the most important dish of the night. I have been doing a ton of research too. I’ll even be cooking a smaller, “”practice turkey”” this weekend so that I know that I can at least do it.

So, yeah, super excited to see everyone and spend the holiday with them, but also very nervous because I want to cook the best turkey possible. To everyone reading this blog post – wish me luck!!!!

Bettering Myself

Before the pandemic started, I wasn’t really in the best place mentally or physically. I was struggling with where I was at in life (in general) and I had gained a considerable amount of weight over the years, which isn’t great. And then the pandemic started, which made both even worse.

For a long time, I’ve known that I wanted to make a change, and I would try, but I would either half-ass it (clearly not ideal) or I would come up with an excuse on why I would start making changes in my life later. Eventually, enrolling in Oregon State University and working towards a career that I’m interested in did help with my mental health a bit, but there were still issues there and with my weight.

One day at the beginning of this summer, I just woke up and decided it was time. No excuses. Not half-assing it. If I wanted to make a change in my life, it was going to be now. And from that moment, I made drastic changes in my life and I haven’t looked back. I switched to intermittent fasting, I changed my diet to include healthier options, cut out fast food completely, only drink water, and I set a goal for myself – I would run a 5K by the end of September (which I completed!).

I dropped nearly 50 pounds, I run consistently (3x a week), I am much more comfortable in my own body. And those are just the physical benefits – my mental health has dramatically improved as well. I’m just in a way better place now. I haven’t stopped there since then. I’ve set new goals for myself, and I intend to achieve every single one.

Since that day in the summer, my life has changed drastically, for the better. I urge anyone that is reading this who felt even remotely like I did, take care of yourself, treat your mind and your body right, and you will see results. It definitely wasn’t easy but it was so worth it.

Job Search

As I near the end of my time at OSU, I have begun my search for a job in the field. I have heard back from a decent number of places, but nothing crazy, and unfortunately, I haven’t received any offers yet. I’ve only been searching for a short while, though, so I wont let that discourage me. Instead, I look at it as good practice for my future applications.

I have completed the code challenges that have been sent to me, and I’ve done well on a few, I believe, but I definitely need to do better. I want to get an offer as soon as possible, of course, so I’m going to talk a little bit about what I’m going to do to improve my self and my resume for future applications.

First thing is I want to spend more time completing LeetCode problems, or problems from a similar website. At the moment, I do not pay for their premium plan, but I may look into that as an option as well and see if it benefits me in any way. In addition to that, I was holding off on adding my project for this class to my resume, but I may add it now since I am more familiar with the project and we have gotten a good amount of it done so far. I feel like this project will help boost my resume a bit, leading to more code challenges/interviews. And the final thing I will do is prepare for all interviews I get. Research good answers, research common questions that are asked, anything that will lead to doing better in the interview process.

Those are pretty obvious things to work on, but I feel like it can be forgotten about, especially when working a job and taking classes at the same time. I will make a conscious effort to focus on the things I outlined above and hopefully it helps me land my first job in the field!

Capstone Update

At the beginning of every group project that I have been a part of during my time at OSU, I have been slightly concerned about the work ethic of my teammates, especially because it’s people I have never met before. This had nothing to do with a bad experience at OSU, either. It’s actually due to a couple of bad experiences during my first stint in undergrad. Fortunately, I have been proving wrong with each group I have been a part of at OSU, and the one I am in now is no different.

In fact, this is probably the most productive group I have had the pleasure to be a part of. All of the members are constantly communicating with one another, answering questions, willing to offer assistance. Every group member has contributed to the project by either setting up a skeleton where everyone will work, refactor, and by contributing their assigned work as per the project plan. Our group is even ahead of schedule, at the moment, meaning we should be able to complete a few of the project’s stretch goals that we laid out, which I am excited to work on.

I am fortunate to have picked these teammates for this semester. It has been my best experience working with a group ever, and I am excited for how our project will turn out!

The Final Chapter

The final chapter in my journey at Oregon State University has begun. OSU CS467 is my final class that I need to complete in order to graduate with a BS in Computer Science. The goal of this class is to work on a project of our choice (with approval from the Professor). I’ve teamed up with two individuals, Kento Woolery and Ted Kim, to develop and place our own spin on an Intel 8080 Emulator that will be able to disassemble and run a Space Invaders ROM file.

We are all excited to start coding away and working on the emulator, but we are still in the planning stages and we realize that working in a team is very different from working alone. When working alone, there isn’t a need to come up with an agreement between the team members on the team’s standards because you are the entire team. And while you still should make a plan or outline for a project, it’s just your ideas, your way of doing things.

But that isn’t necessarily better than working with others. In a creative or technical process such as developing software, I feel like working in a team is actually better. It’s easier to bounce ideas off of team members than it is to come up with something on your own. It’s better to have a set of standards that everyone follows and enforces when coding or performing code reviews.

So, I am excited to have the opportunity to work with Kento and Ted on a project we all are interested in and will be able to make our own in some way. We don’t want to just create a command line emulator that mounts a ROM and be done with it. I mean, it’s just too simple. We want to do more. Add a GUI? Implement controller and mouse+keyboard inputs? Maybe have options to emulate other Intel CPU’s to run other ROMs?

But who knows, we’re still planning and I’m sure we’ll add on more if we finish with time to spare. That’s the beauty of working in a team, and that’s what’s great about this class. We can make the project ours, and that’s definitely what we will do.

How it All Started

Hello! Welcome to my blog page! For my first blog post, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Hassan Rachid. Some of my interests include basketball (Lets go Knicks!!!!!!!!), jogging, technology (of course), long walks on the beach, and professional wrestling (AEW baby).

My CS journey started when I was undergrad for the first time, in my junior year in 2016. My major at the time was Chemistry, because I had loved Chemistry in high school. But by this time, I had fallen out of love with Chemistry. It just wasn’t fun or interesting to learn about anymore. This is when I was seriously considering changing my major to CS. I ended up decided against it because it would taken me an extra year or two to graduate, and I didn’t want to do that. I powered through and graduated with a BA (yes, BA not BS) in Chemistry.

After I graduated, I worked as a teacher for a short while. At the beginning of the summer in 2019, the school offered to pay for me to take an Intro to CS class so that I can potentially teach it to students. Since I was clearly interested a few years prior, it was a no brainer – I agreed and I immediately fell in love. I applied to OSU as fast as I could, and I was admitted for the Fall of 2019. Two years later, and I am still in love with CS, even more than when I started. At the start, it was the same feeling I had about Chemistry when I first started went to college, but this time I never fell out of love, which is amazing.

Now, I am at the end of my undergraduate journey, taking the last course I need to complete before I graduate. I am so happy I started, and I am excited to start the next chapter of my life and start my career somewhere in Software Development.

Thank you for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed reading how I started this chapter of my life, and I hope you enjoy my future blog posts as well!