I have come to the conclusion that there is only one way under high heaven to get the best of an argument—and that is to avoid it. Avoid it as you would avoid rattlesnakes and earthquakes.
What I am doing this week
- Software Engineering Update
Just an update for the week. I am still bogged down with moving large datasets to AWS. I finally copied over the CHIA data to a local drive that managed to have 1.1 TB of free space to temporarily house this data while I move it to AWS. The encrypted drive it came on was wonky and would constantly lock itself out on me. I believe the issue is a power saving issue with Windows 10 because the drive was set whenever it lost connection to lock itself back up. Anyways, I was a bit skeptical when I saw the files copied over and the drive locked up. I spent a few days getting the SHA1 hash for each dataset that way I could confirm without a doubt that I had an exact replica of the data.
What should have taken a day or so to do, ended up taking several days. I was finally able to verify all 1.1 TB of data to be exact and passed the drive back on to the policy analyst who was going to take it over to CHIA. Next problem was to get the data into AWS. I first initially tried to compress the data using 7zip on ultra settings to get the data down to 11% or 12% is original size. That way when I sent the data I only spend 10 or 12 hours moving 100 GB rather than a terabyte of data. Unfortunately, the compression job was going to take 3 days and for some reason at 9:05 PM the application crashed with no explanation why. Instead, I will be pushing each file up into the cloud over the weekend that way I hope that it will be ready by Monday or Tuesday of next week.
Our final week to work on our project for the semester. I never expected what was going to happen this week happen the way it did. Disclaimer, I think the final product looks great and I applaud this one team member's dedication to getting it right. Unfortunately, most of the changes were not communicated to the rest of the group who after all was said and done felt slighted that little to none of their work made it into the final product. This one user decided that enough was enough since things were not working well in the integration phase of the project to go ahead and basically scrap everything and rebuild the site from scratch. This new and improved version did not follow any of our documentation and designs from before and instead focuses on their own approach to the problem. Needless to say, everyone was in the mentality that everything was wrapping up and we didn't have the time or bandwidth to really fix everything.
We decided as a group to elevate this situation instead of just handling this on our own. We first decided to take inventory of the problem and ask for advice from Doc. Considering how late this was in the semester the Doc couldn't provide us with any one solution to our problem, instead gave us some things to consider and evaluate. We first created a slack team without this member to discuss what to do next. Everyone had their own opinion and they ranged from removing the member from the group so they could submit their work as their own project, deducting huge amounts of the final grade of this particular member, or do nothing at all. We decided as a group that this problem couldn't be ignored, but also should be as severe as some of the other proposed options. I think by opening a dialogue with Doc first gave us so room to continue to submit the project as is but let the Doc know not everything was in our control.
Since we got the short straw and had to present first on Thursday we could not completely salvage the project to show off what each person contributed to the project. We ended up putting all our efforts into making a presentation that would blow away the Doc and the yellow team (exaggerating of course). Some team members who had experience with dealing with difficult people took charge in calmly confronting this person to inform them how the group was collectively feeling to open a dialogue to come to an end to all this madness. We still implored the Doc to consider taking some points off of the individual's project grade since it was supposed to be a group project.
Once everyone was on the same page we all got together Wednesday and few hours before presentation time to work on the final touches and flow of the slides. We ended up with what we thought was a good number of slides and good division of work so seemed like everyone was apart of the project. I had a total of 3 slides which I prepared very little for what I would say and kind of winged it at presentation time. I hope that wasn't very apparent. Doc great things to say about the presentation, and some helpful criticisms that I don't feel too bad about since we had 13 people and only a small amount of space to present. I felt we collectively did a great job and hope that is reflected in the final grades.
I feel like overall this course had great potential. Time and other circumstances really cut this course time in half. It felt like things were getting pushed and deadlines dropped and later I stopped taking the course seriously as a learning experience. I feel the reading material is fine, but a bit boring. I think I can only name two new things I learned throughout this course (Usability testing and communication tip). I just don't think I got my 4 credits worth this semester. That doesn't mean I didn't have fun. I enjoyed the group aspect and really had a laughing fit at 4 AM after I saw 100+ commits in GitHub tearing our project apart. The course will be remembered, but not as the way it should be remembered.
Immediately after the presentation, I got a call from the HR department of Moviri. They offered me two potential positions to come and work for them. One position is working as a junior technical consultant and the other is a junior software developer. I am pretty torn on which position to take as both will have wildly different career paths. I am doing a lot of research and even picked up a book that I will discuss in the next section. I have until next Thursday to answer the offer.
Soft Skill: The Software Developer's Life Manual
In trying to make a decision on whether or not to follow one path or the other in my career, I stumbled across the website Simple Programmer. It is a blog site turned life coach for all things software development. The article presented a fresh perspective for me and lead me down a hole. Sonmez is software developing guru who has a bunch of experience doing the daily grind as well as branching off and becoming a millionaire in his thirties. He published over 50 PluralSight courses in one year ranging from numerous topics. I also decided to pick up his book.
So far I am enjoying it. It is a completely different stance of the software engineering path I thought I knew. It is basically a life coaching book and steers the reader into becoming an entreprogrammer. Sonmez states that programmers need to think about their skills as services and learn to market themselves because the field of programming is more of a commodity in the eyes of corporations. Programmers come and go, but the real key to making some serious money is the soft skills the author writes about.
For the software engineering course, I would recommend either trying out this book because I think it would resonate with a lot of students considering taking this path. Or if that doesn't float your boat, maybe make it an assignment to go out and find other blogs in the software development field. Medium or Dev.to are good places to start and find something or someone to follow for insights and motivation. I don't know I just felt it was something I would like to share.
Sonmez, J. (2014, December 29). Soft skills: The software developer's life manual,
New York: Manning publications company.
Sonmez, J. (2017, July 17) Software Development Career Paths - Simple Programmer Blog
Gainous Jr., R. (2018, February 26) How I made $200,000 when I was 16 years old - Medium