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Topics I'm pretty good in ...

Given that I know what I'm doing when I start programming, writing loops and semi-defensive code isn't too hard, but it does take me awhile to get to that point. I'm a little slow to start when given some sort of programming objective, but once I sit down to think and figure out what it is that I need to do to reach that objective it's not too bad. I suppose a key to defensive programming is how much you actually know about the code and objects you're working with.

Version control doesn't seem too complicated so far. I suppose as long as there are no huge conflicts that arise, using it will be a breeze. The idea of having a time-capsule like environment seems very helpful for working on a project in a group. I can see the various scenarios where version control will come in handy, such as me messing up an almost complete project. Having the option to roll-back will be very nifty.


Topics I'm not too confident in ...

I've always had trouble writing. It would be nice to pick up a few more writing tricks or methods of writing. Most of my papers that I've done for my courses here at the U have always come up a page short of the requirements. My problem is that I tend to keep things short, I can't seem to work an idea through 5 or so pages. So my papers are relatively weak because I cannot carry an idea.

Another struggle for me would be designing. When given a small programming assignment I'm able to come up with the general methods I would need to achieve the program, but I often find myself making a lot more methods and global variables as I continue programming. Sometimes it feels like I'm not getting anywhere unless I have some code written and that really gets to me. Designing and planning takes time, but I feel that sometimes I spend too much time thinking about what is needed.

12 Comments

I, like many of our classmates, can identify with writing difficulties. As tech people, our brains are wired for something else. I find that a second set of eyes can be a time saver. A friend can read my paper and tell me in fifteen minutes where I can elaborate/clarify where it may take me many times longer than that to figure it out myself.

Killain Pukema

I'm totally agree with your reasoning of using the Version control. I, myself really want to learn how to use Version Control because I see the benefit from it in real world programming job. I'm also weak on writing. Writing is my worst enemy so far in the University of Minnesota. My way to fight this weakness is you should write many things first without organizing it. After that you can organize it and add another statements in you writing.

Christopher Jonathan

Sorry,I forgot to put this on. The other thing is that you should ask your friend to read your writing after you write it. They can give you a nice feedback that you didn't think before.

Christopher Jonathan

I really hope to learn more about defensive programming in this class. You stated that you already know at least a little about it. I sometimes feel that way, but then again there is so many unpredictable things that can happen when working with a large amount of code.

I saw that one of the things you wish to learn more about is designing a large project. The steps were taking in this class with starting from a scanner and building upward will be a nice example of how to start with something big, but I'm hoping we get some models of some sort that represent good approaches to take. I'm guessing that in the future there will be many circumstances where we will need to come up with our own program model rather than being told what needs to be implemented first.

above is tom manion

mine:

To start out with, I really like the point you made about defensive programming, I feel like sometimes it helps to stare at the code, even though, ironically, there are moments where it doesn't help too much. You seem to have a decent grasp on version control, which is a good thing because, as I have mentioned in my other comments, it's extremely useful in the real world, and I'm really glad my internship this summer taught me about how to use it. I see that you're not very confident in designing and writing, I would encourage more focus on those if that is the case to just let your mind loose when planning out what to say as far as the writing part. Designing really depends on the design, so the best idea would be to focus whatever the design at hand is. I feel like that is the best advice I can offer, and hopefully it helps.

Stefan Platikanov

I am really glad you are looking at version control positively, because there is not a doubt in my mind that all of us will be using them in our jobs. My experience with version control hasn’t always been so great though. In my internship I had last summer my coworkers and I were given the task to make a single line code change in about 800 programs, and of course we needed to use version control for these changes. It took longer for me to deal with the version control aspect of the job than it did actually coding. Even so, it was still nice to have a safeguard if for some reason I made some sort of a mistake. When I got to bigger projects I became more appreciative of version control, but the point of my story is that version control can be applicable in all sorts of situations.

Nicholas Ellis

I am really glad you are looking at version control positively, because there is not a doubt in my mind that all of us will be using them in our jobs. My experience with version control hasn’t always been so great though. In my internship I had last summer my coworkers and I were given the task to make a single line code change in about 800 programs, and of course we needed to use version control for these changes. It took longer for me to deal with the version control aspect of the job than it did actually coding. Even so, it was still nice to have a safeguard if for some reason I made some sort of a mistake. When I got to bigger projects I became more appreciative of version control, but the point of my story is that version control can be applicable in all sorts of situations.

Nicholas Ellis

I think version control will be immensely useful if applied correctly, but could be extremely unhelpful if not. Especially if it is easy and simple to use, version control could be a wonderful tool for larger programs, like this one and ones we will be creating later on.

I have had problems designing as well. Back when programs were small and I was able to picture the entire thing at once, it was okay. They were small enough that I knew everything I would need ahead of time. But, since then, programs have gotten larger and more complicated, and I have not been able to picture the whole thing like I used to. That is clearly a bad habit, and one that I have had to put a lot of work into trying to fix, and designing programs in a different method so that creating them is much easier on me and anyone who needs it.

Kevin Zdon

I also really wish to master version control tools such as Subversion or CVS. Some expirenced programmer mentioned that the difference between a Csci neophyte and a professional programmer is that whether using version control ot not. It will prepare us ready for advanced computer science classes and the industrial jobs in the future for for ture. When assignments gets bigger, it will be more useful. But anyway all programming tasks would benifit from usage of version control.

Hope the first several weeks is going great for you.Good luck on rest of the semester!

Yannan Wang

I can assure you that you will more than likely use some sort of version control at your future job. It is especially helpful on larger projects and legacy code where the baseline is always being pushed forward. As I learned at my internship last summer, being able to merge the changes made on code in an earlier baseline with the code from another baseline is extremely useful and this is most easily done with version control.

I agree with you in that I feel like I haven't accomplished anything until I have some code written. So I recommend doing some prototyping on larger projects so you can write some code to feel accomplished and it will help you learn more about the requirements of the project. Obviously this isn't always possible but its something to consider when in the design phase of a large coding project.

Lars Anderson

Version Control is very helpful when trying to add new steps to your code. I'm always scared to mess up my code but i always risk it and to backtrack can be very complicated if you have a lot of code.

And for the design part you will eventually pick up methods or ways to approach an assignment. You will come realize what is need to complete the tasks given to you.

Kengkue Vang

There's definitely a conflict between pushing forward with programming and taking the time to lay out a comprehensive design. I've found that taking a few minutes to write out the features I need and the way they need to be implemented helps fragment the programming process. Most of the coursework we've had up to this point hasn't required a lot of planning. I think the tools we learn in this class will help with larger projects in the future.

Cameron Muehlen

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This page contains a single entry by lorxx033 published on September 27, 2011 10:56 AM.

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