Third Post

This week, my team had its second group meeting over a discord chat, and I feel like it went pretty well. Before starting this Capstone project, none of us had any experience with Unity, ML-Agents, or anything that our project is really about, so we spent most of the second week just going through tutorials and trying to get more accustomed to how things work in these frameworks.

So far, Unity has been very fun to build with. In the tutorial I’m using, we’re being taught how to build a top-down 2D dungeon game where the character wields a sword, collects coins, and fights skeletons. Since my Capstone project is also in 2D, I felt like this was a good tutorial to follow. And as I keep moving along in it, I’ve gathered more ideas about how I can employ what is being taught in the tutorial for my own duties in the Capstone.

The documentation and tutorials for the ML-Agents toolkit are a little less extensive than what’s available for Unity. The one I’ve been following uses a 3D Unity Game for the simulation environment for the Intelligent Agent, and things have been going smoothly with it until just a few days ago. I’ve hit a road bump where I can’t get the ML-Agent episode to reset when a goal is reached, and I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure it out to no avail. Luckily, my team decided that we’re waiting till week 6 to start implementing the Intelligent Agent functionality to our game. Until then, we’re just going to be implementing the base game.

This is my last term at OSU, and since the start of this year, I’ve been working part-time in order to take more classes. However, the way I planned it, I made sure that I was taking the Capstone class by itself. This has worked out well so far, though, because I’ve been able to spend a lot more time studying Unity and ML-Agents. I’ve also used a little bit of my spare time to practice interview questions on Leetcode, although my main focus has been keeping everything with my project up to date.

Working with these new programs, frameworks, and coding languages has really opened my eyes to just how massive the computer science field is as well. Sometimes I get anxious just thinking about all the things I need to keep up to date with and study in order for my own skill set to remain relevant. I feel like this is a good thing, though. I’ve recently started skimming local job postings and have found a few that are companies I never would’ve expected to list requirements that I’ve already encountered thanks to this post-baccalaureate program. One of them was for an IT position at TriMet where scripting with Python and Java is used with their systems.

One of the main reasons I decided to go for this second degree is that with my current job, the only experience that’s available is experience that’s viable only within the company. In other words, there aren’t very many skills to be learned at my current job that can be transferred to many others. That’s why it’s so exciting to me to see just how integrated Computer Science is with practically every business. It doesn’t matter if it’s game development with machine learning, or if it’s updating scripts for Trimet, programming is everywhere.

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