Author Archives: Benderson's Blog

Sprint Review #6

Hello and Welcome back to Benderson’s Blog! This is the final sprint review blog I will have for this semester as our project is coming to a close and so is my college career at Worcester State. This was the 6th sprint that we did for the semester and it was probably the more relaxed one out of all of them. This was because we were basically done with everything that we needed to do for the project and were working on things for the project that weren’t mandatory but would be nice to have. For example, Nick was working on this weight counter for the food pantry that would keep track of their inventory weight for them but it wasn’t required and we didn’t get it done because it was too much work for the end of the semester but it was fine. For the rest of the group, Andy was still finishing up the Foodkeeper API, making sure it was running correctly and there were no errors. Johnny, Nate and I were working hard on the power point that we needed to make for our final presentation on what we did the whole semester in our groups. We got up to 31 slides in the end and divided up the power point among the members. We present on May 9th and I’m excited to see how our class takes our project, it has been a long time coming for everyone to see what we have been up to.

Our power point has a wide range of topics covered in it, starting from the beginning with our first meeting with each other and discussing the ideas that we had to proceed with the project. Then we go on to talk about our first meeting with Serena, a worker at the food pantry that got us on the right track on how things should be done for the food pantry intake form and other aspects of the food pantry that we were working on. Then we go on to talk about the different epics, stories and tasks we worked on for the project. Nick is going to talk about all the tasks he added to the intake form, Nate is going to talk about the CSS side of the intake form, Johnny is going to talk about the server/database he made for the information so it can be stored and lastly Andy is going to talk about the Foodkeeper API and how it works as well. Then at the end we have what we struggled with and our sources that we used for the project.

Other than all that stuff we worked on, I would like to reflect on this semester for this class I took to end my senior year of college. This class was fun to work in groups and get an actual project done for a client like it usually is in the real world in actual real jobs. Some things that I wish I did better were take more responsibility within the team, I feel like I didn’t do as big as tasks as my team members but on my future teams I will make sure that I volunteer and take more big roles and fill those shoes that I need to fill to make my team respect me and put me on later, higher projects. Thank you for joining me on Benderson’s blog, this was a great experience and can’t wait to update you on my future.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Benderson's Blog by Benderson's Blog and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Sprint Review #5

Hello and welcome back to Benderson’s blog! This week we will be discussing another sprint that occurred in my software capstone class at Worcester State. We are slowly coming to a close on the semester and my final couple weeks at Worcester State as I will be graduating near the middle of May. With only one sprint left after the one we just concluded, we really need to crack down and get everything we need done so we don’t disappoint the food pantry workers. We have mostly everything needed done for the project. We are just finishing up the intake form, making it look pretty with the basic features. Near the end of this sprint though, we got a lot of requests from the other food pantry group in the other class to add more features to the intake form. Some of the features they want are to add a zip code, optional field for ethnicity, optional field for gender, add an address field, add how old the family members are, etc. In my opinion, I think some these features are not needed but can be something that we can add later on after we get all the necessities done. Our group has been hard at work the whole semester to get this project done and we can see the finish line in the distance so we are very excited to get this project to the food pantry for them to see and hopefully they will like it a lot.

During this sprint, I was working on the tasks that were assigned to us and making sure everything is organized and everyone was working on something. You might say I was the manager of the group and doing some work with them as well. Nate was continuing to code in webstorm trying to get the CSS to show up nicely and also was trying to add some of the features that were wanted by the other food pantry group into the intake form. Nick was also doing the same thing but with other tasks, we ran into some road blocks along the way as our program wouldn’t work sometimes and would crash the system making us reboot webstorm. Other times, it was our fault that it wasn’t working as we had some minor code errors in the code that we had to find ourselves but recently our program has been working but not to our standards which we will have to fix during final sprint. Johnny was working on organizing the github board, making sure that each task has a description to it and if it should be closed or not. He also has done most of the communication with the other class, making sure we are on the same page for the project. Andy is working on the back end and is also working on the Foodkeeper API and he has been working diligently every class that we have been working on the project.

We are in the final sprint (no pun intended) and are years as a computer science student are coming to a close. This project will be the last thing that we have accomplished at Worcester State university and we are excited to get it out there. All our years of hard work have come down to this moment and we can’t wait to make Worcester State proud. Thank you for joining Benderson’s blog this week, I’ll see you for the final sprint review when the time comes.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Benderson's Blog by Benderson's Blog and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Apprenticeship Patterns: Sustainable Motivations

Hello and welcome back to Benderson’s blog! This is the last week of a blog being about an apprenticeship pattern and did I pick a good one for the last one. The apprenticeship pattern that we are talking about today is called “Sustainable Motivations”. As a person who has had motivation issues through his life, finding a job after college is another challenge for me to motivate myself to get my resume out there and try to get a job close by but that isn’t specifically what this apprenticeship pattern is about. “Sustainable Motivations” mostly talks about how while at a job, if you’re not able to do a task your way because the consumer wants it done a certain way even though it could be done easier or faster doing something else. This may make you hate your job because you are just doing what ever your job is telling you to do when your whole life you have been doing your coding on your own accord. The pattern gives three different scenarios in which a lack of motivation could come and they mostly focused on the money being what keeps people around. That is one of the big reasons I went into computer science because I knew the money would be good and the other reason was that I have always loved computers. My dad has always had a saying that if you don’t like going to your job, then it isn’t the job for you which can be true for some people but if I believe if I’m making a decent amount of money, I can tough up if I don’t enjoy my job. The solution to the problem at hand is just writing down a bunch of sentences stating why you’re motivated and you read them over and over and hopefully you become more motivated.

This apprenticeship pattern is another one that is closely related to where I am right now with going into the computer science field. My biggest fear is not knowing enough to do a job and only working for about a week and then getting fired but another fear of mine is that I won’t like my job and that I will want to quit and have to maybe find another job in another field. Hopefully that doesn’t happen and I can use this pattern to my advantage and write down the many reasons why I wanted to work in the computer science field in the first place. The money that I will be making will not be a problem to me after seeing what most computer scientists are making now a days, I have a lot of dreams and aspirations of being well off in money and being able to do a lot of things with the money I make through my job and I know computer science is a great pathway to those dreams. Remember, if you’re lacking motivation, write down some sentences to why you chose to do what you do and hopefully you will find motivation in that. Thank you for joining me on Benderson’s blog this week, have a great week!

From the blog CS@Worcester – Benderson's Blog by Benderson's Blog and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Sprint Review #4

Hello and welcome back to Bendersons blog! This blog post will not focus on an apprenticeship pattern but will focus on the end of my last sprint with my teammates in my software capstone class. Like my last sprint reviews I will be explaining in depth, the process that my team and I took during this sprint and what tasks we got done and what we didnt finish but are working on finishing on the next sprint so it doesnt stay in the backlog for a long time. We only have about three weeks left in the semester so we are trying to crack down on things and get them done for the deadline that is at the end of the semester.

During this sprint, my team and I set out to complete numerous amounts of tasks. The easiest task that we did was transferring everything that we had in our Trello board to our github board that we created. The reason we did this was for one, to be able to label the specific tasks, as epics, stories or tasks based on how big of an importance and work load they were to the project at hand. The second reason was to have it be able to be seen by the other team in the other class that is working on the Food Pantry as well. Just to make sure we ‘ bumping into each other and doing the same tasks which would be redundant to the project. After transferring and labeling all our tasks that we had, we continued to work on the ones that we had to finish from our backlog from the last sprint. Nick was working on the intake form, making sure that it worked and whenever you ran it, it would go to a server and save what the intake form would say. Nate was working on the CSS of the project, making sure the project had that Worcester State logo and Worcester State blue to it to make it pop and look very nice and neat. Andy was continuing to work on the back end of the project, working diligently and making sure it ran perfectly, he even was communicating with another group member from the other class trying to get it done. Johnny was working on the database side of the project making sure that the intake form had somewhere to store the data once it was completed. I was working on coding mini features in the food pantry like for example, if they wanted to ever categorize their foods in the pantry into different food groups but I didn’t finish it as it wasn’t too important to the project. I also made a mock up for what the employees could see when they login in when they are working.

Next sprint we are going to try to get everything that we have left to do done so we are ready to present our project and hand it over to the food pantry. One problem we ran into last sprint that we hope we don’t run into next sprint is sometime out of the blue, our projects wouldn’t run in webstorm and we would have to restart our projects and reopen them. We basically have this last sprint to go with maybe a little quick sprint at the end to tie everything up. We are in the final stretch of the semester and Im looking forward to see what we come up with in the end.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Benderson's Blog by Benderson's Blog and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Apprenticeship Blog: Use Your Title

Hello and welcome back to Benderson’s blog! This week we will be discussing another Apprenticeship Pattern that is important to anyone getting a job and is afraid of being ridiculed for your lack of information to work in a computer science job. This pattern is called “Use Your Title” and it discusses being promoted into a role such as “Senior/Architect” of a business and how to approach such a role in a job. You may feel like that you don’t deserve this job or you’re not right for the job but you got to believe in yourself to succeed and be the best you can be. The pattern talks about not letting the title affect you from your performance and just keep doing you and if you doing you gets the job done than that is all that matters in the end. The pattern also talks about the other side of the coin where if you have an unimpressive job title but all your buddies have a cool upper job level and are succeeding, don’t let that distract you from working hard at your job and feeling like you deserve better. You’re doing the best you can and when your time comes, you will be called up and if it doesn’t happen then just find another job that appreciates you as much as you think you deserve. The pattern suggests in the end that you write down a long and descriptive version of your job title and reflect on it and what it means to you and you will see if you’re right for the job.

This apprenticeship pattern really hits home to me as I feel like I won’t know enough to get a job at any level and hold it long enough to make myself big in the business. That could me just not having enough confidence in myself which is probably the case. This pattern is helpful for any kid in my position who is fighting themselves mentally trying to psych themselves out of a job that they could easily do. You’ve gone through four years of college education in the field of Computer Science for this job, don’t let yourself put you down and make you think you will not be able to do it. Also no matter the job title you get, it is still a job and if you work hard enough you will be able to climb the ladder and get to where you want to be. Thank you for joining me this week on this inspiring edition of Benderson’s blog!

From the blog CS@Worcester – Benderson's Blog by Benderson's Blog and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Apprenticeship Patterns: Use the Source

Hello and welcome back to Benderson’s Blog, this week we will be discussing another apprenticeship pattern called “Use the Source”. This apprenticeship pattern talks about seeking out other sources of code or mentors to see if what you’re doing is matching or is on the right track compared to other people code. This allows you to understand the thought process of another coder and it may help you grasp what you should be doing with your own code on certain problems or applications. If the code is open source, the pattern suggests downloading the code and inspect its history and see how it has evolved over time with the changes that were made to the code. You can really learn a lot from seeing what other people change and their thought process through the whole thing. When looking through the code you may not agree with everything that the coder did but that helps you question why the user would use that path, maybe there is something you didn’t know about later on in the code that made that person decide to do that specific thing with their code. Not only should you read other peoples code and critique it but you should have people read your code and have them do the same to yours where they read through it and make suggestions to help you be a better programmer down the line. It is kind of like peer reviewing someone’s essay in middle school but with code and people that understand code. I thought it was good that the pattern ended with a quote from Bill Gates himself who basically said you can tell that someone is a good programmer by giving them 30 pages of code and to see how quick they go through it and understand it.

This apprenticeship pattern didn’t really teach me something new but inspired me to try and find outlets to read through their code and understand what is going on. How are you going to be a good programmer, if you don’t know what is going on with what you’re doing? That is a question that has come up in my mind after reading this apprenticeship pattern. Going through open source code and being able to understand like reading through an English sentence is one of the most fulfilling things to a programmer. One day I want to be good enough to be able to do just that with a big program like the Bill Gates quotes states. One day I want to work for Bill Gates which is another thing but that is a little off topic. Learning code has it’s challenges but being able to read others give a person a guideline on how it’s supposed to be done and they will learn from that. Thank you for joining me this week on Benderson’s blog!

From the blog CS@Worcester – Benderson's Blog by Benderson's Blog and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Apprenticeship Pattern Blog: Sweep the Floor

Hello and welcome back to Benderson’s blog! This week we will be discussing another apprenticeship pattern that I have found that talks about being the new person on the team and how you should approach the situation. This apprenticeship pattern is called “Sweep the Floor”, which is basically saying “work your way up and build trust”, or at least that is what I got from the title of the pattern. Before reading it, I thought of it as like you may start off barely doing anything interesting and not like your job at first because of the lack of oppurtunities or being put on tasks that aren’t what you want to do but you got to stick with it because you’re the new guy and you got to work your way up the chain.

Sweeping the floor is a very boring job that no one really wants to do, being the new guy on the team is also something people don’t really want to be. You got to start somewhere though and being the new person on the team maybe terrifying to you but you will get through it. This pattern talks about growing from being the new guy to being a big contributor to the team. It talks about showing the team that you can contribute and work hard and get things done so they can trust you more as the time goes on. You may be stuck with the boring jobs of programming such as maintaining a build system, production support, responding to maintenance requests or even bug fixing code. These won’t be fun but they will get your shoe in the door of gaining the trust of your colleagues. You may feel like that you spent four years of your life working hard in school and that you deserve a better to start after all your education that you have received but you got to work your way up, you can’t start at the top. An example I could think of where this pattern is relevant is with a guy that runs the Xbox department of Microsoft. He started at a low part of the company and wasn’t really known until he stayed with the company and became a loyal employee and when his opportunity came years later, he took it and everyone trusted him to take it over because of all his hard work through the years at Microsoft. So far, in my opinion, he has been leading Xbox in the right way after a huge personal relation bust that happened before their latest console launched which was with another guy being the head of the Xbox department who later retired. That is what I hope my story is, I want to work for an up and coming company and eventually after striving for a long time, I want to make the company huge and lead it to become one of the best and most liked companies in the country. Huge goals I know, but you got to aim high to get high. With that last inspirational line, I will send you off this week, thank you for joining me at Benderson’s blog, I’ll catch you next week!

From the blog CS@Worcester – Benderson's Blog by Benderson's Blog and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

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!

From the blog CS@Worcester – Benderson's Blog by Benderson's Blog and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

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!

From the blog CS@Worcester – Benderson's Blog by Benderson's Blog and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

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.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Benderson's Blog by Benderson's Blog and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.