Sprint Review #3

Hello and welcome back to benderson’s blog! I know I posted yesterday but I recently finished another sprint in my software capstone class and thought that you would like to hear how it went, what we did and what are trying to do for our next sprint. Let me start off by saying that my teammates are very hard workers and great teammates for this class, I couldn’t ask for a better team to work with. This last sprint we had was good for the most part, some tasks weren’t completed but we made good progress on most of them which gives a good start for our next sprint.

Let me talk about what we did this sprint. We first decided that to get the most work done, we should split up the work a little bit and have people working on individual tasks to do for the sprint. Nick was working on coding a back end to the Libre Thea food pantry and getting that squared away so we could move forward after that and get more answers from our client on what they want. Nick even has a working mock up on Stack Blitz where it has the form that the client showed us that every person has to fill out once they go into the food pantry to take out food. Johnny was working on the database side of the project where he made a whole hierarchy of the database, what we need to include in the database and he even made a mock up one online with an application we used last semester in a database class. Andy was working on code for the REST API for the food pantry and was making great progress on it last time we checked up with him. Andy has also been working with some teammates from the other class that are also working on the food pantry to get the task done as efficient as possible. Nate was working on the CSS of the project where he was making it look pretty and having the Worcester State colors on it and it looks pretty nice so far. I was working on making sure we have everything set for this sprint, making sure we didn’t miss any features and I was also trying to code up a little mock up myself but I just let Nick do that since he was making a lot more progress than I was. After I thought my task was complete, I tried helping Nate with his CSS work on the program. This sprint went by pretty quick it felt, I think we missed some classes but Im not exactly sure. As I said though, we made some good progress on the tasks we had set out for this sprint and are hoping to complete what is on the backlog by next sprint so we can be closer to the final product at hand. That is basically all we did for this sprint this time, next sprint Ill make sure to write another review and let you know how it went. Thank you for joining me again today, have a good one!

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Apprenticeship Pattern Blog: Practice, Practice, Practice

Hello and welcome back to Benderson’s blog, I know it has been a couple weeks but I’m finally back after a little vacation. This week we will be continuing our topic on apprenticeship patterns and focus on one section titled “Practice, Practice, Practice”. This pattern focuses on exactly what the title says it does, which is practicing until you get good at the craft. The problem that could arise though is that, yes you rely on a mentor to help you, but what if the mentor can’t provide all the solutions for you or can’t see where you’re getting at. That is why they talk about the martial arts of computer programming and how there are spots in the world where people come together to work together and get over learning humps that may come about in your practice. This is a great solution to keep practicing and getting better so when you get a job, you will have a lot of knowledge to bring to the table.

The “Coding Dojo” part of the pattern was intriguing to me, that a bunch of people meet up at a location and just code together and help each other out. It is a good way to learn and better your self for future employment opportunities. Like me, I know I’m not perfect at coding in any language, probably no one is perfect at coding in every language which means that you will need people to help you along the way so you can learn and that is what practicing is all about. The saying “Practice makes perfect” is what this pattern is striving, keep working at it until you think you have enough knowledge in it and maybe even help someone else out along the way. A job obviously knows that you aren’t going to be perfect in coding and won’t know everything a language has to offer but if you practice before a job and learn a decent amount of information to the table, you may be getting promoted sooner rather than later and will probably beat out some people with the same type of resume as you. Thank you for joining me this week on Benderson’s blog, I will try to keep posting once a week and keep information coming!

Sprint Review Blog #2

Hello and welcome back to Benderson’s blog, this week I am going to talk about the conclusion of my second sprint with my team in my Computer Science class at Worcester State. My team and I are working on creating an application for the food pantry that just opened on campus that will help them have a fluent and easily done job without having to do things manually like keeping track of inventory and who is coming and going at the food pantry. During the recent sprint we just had we were doing more and more research on food pantries and exactly what they need to succeed in this environment. We had a couple members try to figure out how to make the back end API for the food pantry where we can read the information they gave us in a JSON file. We are all working hard on getting this project rolling on a constant steady pace so we can provide the food pantry workers with what they want.

About two weeks ago from this post, a worker from the food pantry came to our classroom and explained what is going on at the food pantry and what they will need to succeed. She brought in a sheet that explained what people need to provide so they can have a membership at the food pantry and that they can take out food. Some of the rules of the food pantry is that you can only come once a week and only take a certain amount of food out at a time. Some of the information you have to fill out before you can take the food are: Your student ID number from Worcester State, check if you have any of the following supplemental services, assistance in applying for SNAP, current housing situation and income/number of household members. Our group is confident in our ability of taking all these variable and putting them into an application for the food pantry to use. Also another thing they said they do is they don’t keep track of inventory by item but they keep track of inventory by the weight of everything in there, they gave us their current weight that they have and told us if people take out stuff they weigh it and subtract it from the current total and that is how they have been keeping track of the inventory.

The meeting with the food pantry worker was very informative and was able to propel our productivity by a lot because before then we were just working on basic set up stuff but now we have actual tasks to do for this project. One of my fellow teammates is working on the design of the interface they would use for the food pantry which will be good to have for a basis. Once we have a base product working, we will reach out to the food pantry workers and see if this would be something they would like and if not, we will go back to the drawing board and keep working on it. Another thing my group and I want to do is actually go to the food pantry and see what it looks like, maybe get some more ideas and ask them if certain things would be easier if we did things in a different way. Just some small things to consider for when we do the final product and show it to them and their needs. Well that concludes this week of Benderson’s blog, join back next week for some more information about sprints.

Apprenticeship Pattern Blog: Find Mentors

Hello and welcome back to benderson’s blog! This week are going to discuss another apprenticeship pattern from the Apprenticeship Pattern book that my classmates and I have been reading and taking notes from. The pattern that I would like to discuss today is “Find Mentors”, which is a kind of a self-explanatory pattern. It follows the rule of “If you hit a roadblock and need help, ask some to be there apprentice and work under them and learn from them”. You’re not a master at the craft yet and at some points you don’t know what to do next, one of the best things you can do is find someone that has already gone through the process and you can ask them questions on what they did and how you should approach your future. I have a friend actually that graduated from Worcester State with a Computer Science degree, where I plan to graduate this coming May and also graduate with a Computer Science degree, and I asked him a bunch of questions regarding what he did after graduating and what are the steps I should take so I can get a well paying job and be able to be successful for the coming years. He gave me some pointers and what I should know for interviews and stuff so he was very helpful in that sense, still finding internships and job opportunities will be a challenge in them selves but I will cross that bridge when they come.

The pattern itself wasn’t really thought provoking because as I said earlier, finding a mentor is kind of self-explanatory. You got there, find someone you consider to be really good at the craft and you ask them if you could learn from them if you aren’t too intimidated by them. If you’re too intimidated by them, just ask them out to lunch or something and generate questions to find out what you can do to better yourself in the craft. This pattern could honestly be used for many different subjects such as business, teaching or being a doctor. All those jobs have people learning under people that have already mastered the craft and are willing to teach them so they can succeed them when they retire. The pattern has not caused me to change the way I think about my major as I know one day, I will have to find a job such as an internship and learn from my experiences there, hopefully from someone really good at computer science and willing to share information with me. Finding a mentor is just one step in the journey to becoming one of the best computer scientists out there as to become the best, you have to learn from the best. Thank you for joining me this week on benderson’s blog!

Apprenticeship Blogs: Draw Your Own Map

Hello and welcome back to benderson’s blog! On this edition of benderson’s blog, we will be discussing another pattern from the Apprenticeship Pattern book that contains many patterns that influence a computer scientist and how they should approach certain obstacles in their career. The one I chose today is called “Draw Your Own Map” which discusses the problem of your employer not having the career path that you want to do or fits your plan in your career. This really impedes your production to reaching your future goals and becoming the best you can be. The solution that the book provides includes identifying the next step for your career and what you think should is the next stop on your path to becoming the best programmer you can be. If your job doesn’t meet your vision that you have yourself then you should start to seek other opportunities where you feel that it does meet your vision. You should also reassess your map as your journey changes, you may run into obstacles that are too big for you and you want to take detour, or something just isn’t right to you and you want to try something else. There is no map that is always right as changes always happen. The action the pattern suggest is to web storm where each of your jobs go and see if that map is good for you and fits all your goals if not keep trying until you get a map that does.

The reason I choose this pattern for this week is because as a Senior computer science major, I don’t really know what my map looks like right now. I work at a grocery store and I know that doesn’t have anything to do with computer science so once I find my first job in the computer science field, then I will be able to draw a map to see where I could end up. I could draw a map now but I don’t know exactly what I want to do after college yet. Since I’m a software concentration major, I would want to do something with software and software development but will see what happens when I start job hunting. My big goal in life is to create something revolutionary that changes how people perceive technology and apps, another big goal of mine would be working on video games at a company such as Microsoft or Sony. My map hasn’t been fully made yet but for sure one day I will be able to create it and find my journey as a computer science major. Thank you for joining me this week on benderson’s blog!

Sprint Review Blog #1

Hello and welcome back to benderson’s blog! This week I will discuss all the events that occurred through my teams first sprint in our Software Capstone. Our sprint started on February 7th and ends today February 19th. Since it is our first sprint, we were just working out the kinks and getting the basic things done for our food pantry project that we are working on for our school. This week we tried setting up basic slack channels, a trello board and a github group so our group could work together and get tasks done fast and efficiently. There are five members in my group all together and we all are going to give our best to this project. Besides the basics we weren’t able to really do anything this sprint since it is very early on and we don’t really have much to work off of. Actually today we got some specifications from the client that they want in the API of the software we are making so we will be able to proceed next sprint on those tasks. Something that we were asked to do that we weren’t able to finish was creating a REST API. We didn’t really know how to approach this, especially since we were notified that the REST API may become obsolete since the client may have something for us to use in the end.

A couple of sources that we used for the first sprint were: https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/fsis-foodkeeper-data      https://github.com/google/gson

The first link is a link to a food pantry type program that helps their users understand how to maximize the freshness and quality of the food items in their pantries. The reason we looked at this particular application was to get some ideas for our own food pantry software that we are going to have to make for the project and figure out what are the bear minimums we would need to have a successful application for the food pantry at school. Later on, after we have all the bear minimums for our food pantry application, we would add more features that are required by the client that we are working with. The second link is to a github project that will lead us to be able to parse a JSON file that we got from the food pantry client, this will allow us to separate the items and make the JSON file more readable and usable for our application.

This sprint provided both some easy tasks and some tasks that required some research and team communication and even though they weren’t all completed, I’m still happy with the progress that my group is making on our project. Getting the REST API and parsing the JSON file is next on the backlog to complete hopefully by the end of next sprint. Next sprint, my team and I will come out like the bulls in the bull run in Spain and try our best to get the next tasks on the next sprint done as fast and with the most quality as possible. Something I think we could approve on for the next sprint is to maybe stay on task a little more when working in class but other than that I think we did the best we could for this sprint. Something I found cool about this sprint and this project as a whole was the stand-ups that we have to do for our groups in slack which is a very interesting way to tell the members of our group how we are doing on the project and what could be impeding our progress. Thank you for joining me this week on benderson’s blog, I’ll see you next time.

Apprenticeship Patterns Blog: Confront Your Ignorance

Hello and welcome back to benderson’s blog! This week we are discussing a different pattern that is found in the book Apprentice Pattern called “Confront Your Ignorance”. Confront your ignorance talks about identifying gaps in your skillset that is relevant and will affect your everyday work. The book talks about a common problem with most people trying to master computer science and that is where to start. There is so much in computer science that you don’t know where to begin, you got to decide on a language to learn, what to program, etc. There are too many pathways just to choose one. The solution though is to pick one skill/technique that will help you actively fill the gaps in your knowledge, and you can do this in many ways as well, some suggestions that book has is to look at overviews or FAQs of different computer science topics. Either you eventually master it, or you get good enough in the skill and you move onto other gaps that you need to fill. To find the gaps in your skillset, you need to do another pattern known as “Expose Your Ignorance” which confronting your ignorance attacks.

Confronting your ignorance is a challenge of mine as I want to be proficient in other programming languages other than java, but I don’t know which one to choose half the time. I have tried python and a little C but I always get caught up in something else and never finish learning all the ins and outs of the languages. I feel like I’m familiar with all my ignorance’s, so I’m passed the exposing my ignorance’s phase and I just need to confront them. As I have said before, I’m worried about getting into my first job and not being able to work efficiently enough so getting experience and filling my gaps is something that I need to do to gain more confidence. I probably will start learning another programming language soon that most workplaces use just so I’m ready to use the language right when I get into the job. Eventually though, I will do my best to fill all by gaps and get the job I need to succeed. Thank you for joining us this week on benderson’s blog, make sure to comeback next week for more patterns.