Author Archives: rkaranja1002

Sprint 3 Retrospective

Activity on Gitlab (from oldest to youngest)

  • Worked on verifying correct linters are present/used, pushed branch and was merged later

  • Helped team by commenting details in regards to issue worked on as a group

  • Deleted branch to do some clean up at the end of the sprint

In the dynamic realm of sprint cycles, our team of five individuals embarked on a journey of collaboration, growth, and shared accomplishments throughout Sprint Three. As the semester progressed, we evolved into a more cohesive and efficient unit, leveraging our collective strengths to overcome challenges and achieve our objectives with confidence.

From the beginning of this sprint, our experience was characterized by seamless workflow, effective time management, and a strong emphasis on teamwork dynamics. Through a combination of collaborative efforts, individual contributions, and paired work, we navigated our sprint objectives with precision and determination, exceeding expectations within the designated timeframe.

Reflecting on our previous sprints, we collectively identified areas for improvement and implemented strategies to enhance our performance. One notable shift in our approach for Sprint Three was the refinement of our task allocation process and the adoption of a more strategic approach to problem-solving. Recognizing the importance of leveraging diverse perspectives and skill sets, we allocated tasks based on complexity and urgency, ensuring optimal resource utilization and productivity.

Furthermore, we continued to prioritize inclusive code reviews, fostering a culture of knowledge sharing and continuous improvement within the team. By conducting comprehensive reviews as a team, we not only enhanced the quality of our work but also reinforced our commitment to collective success. Paired work remained instrumental in our strategy, facilitating better communication, collaboration, and task completion efficiency.

Despite the inherent challenges of a five-person team, we maintained a cohesive and supportive environment throughout Sprint Three. Each team member actively contributed to discussions, shared insights, and collaborated with others to overcome obstacles. Our shared dedication to excellence and mutual respect for one another’s contributions fostered a positive team dynamic, elevating our overall productivity and morale.

Moreover, we remained focused on maximizing our time and resources by prioritizing tasks based on importance and feasibility. Setting ambitious yet attainable goals, we remained committed to completing at least 75 percent of our sprint backlog, ensuring progress towards our objectives while allowing flexibility for unforeseen challenges or revisions.

As we look towards future sprints, we are confident in our ability to build upon the successes of Sprint Three while addressing any identified areas for improvement. By continuing to prioritize collaboration, effective communication, and adaptive problem-solving, we are poised to further enhance our team’s performance and achieve even greater success in the upcoming iterations.

In conclusion, Sprint Three was a testament to our team’s resilience, growth, and unwavering commitment to excellence. Through strategic task allocation, inclusive code reviews, and increased paired work, we navigated our sprint backlog with confidence and cohesion, emerging stronger and more united than ever before. As we continue to iterate and refine our processes, we remain dedicated to driving innovation, fostering teamwork, and delivering exceptional results in all our endeavors.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Site Title by rkaranja1002 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Crafting Mastery: Deliberate Practice in Software Development


The “Practice, Practice, Practice” pattern emphasizes the importance of deliberate practice and continuous improvement in mastering any skill, particularly in the realm of software development. Drawing from George Leonard’s concept of mastery and K. Anders Ericsson’s research on deliberate practice, the pattern highlights the necessity of carving out dedicated time for practice separate from daily professional responsibilities. While an ideal scenario involves structured exercises and mentorship, the reality often requires individuals to take initiative in their own skill development.


This pattern strikes a chord with me as it underscores the essence of lifelong learning and skill refinement. The notion that mastery is not merely a destination but a journey fueled by deliberate practice resonates deeply. It challenges the notion of perfection in favor of embracing imperfection as a catalyst for growth. Furthermore, the emphasis on creating a stress-free and playful environment for practice aligns with my belief in the importance of experimentation and exploration in learning.

Interest and Utility:

What I find intriguing about this pattern is its application of martial arts principles to software development. The concept of code katas, akin to choreographed movements in martial arts, offers a structured framework for practicing fundamental coding skills. Moreover, the emphasis on short feedback loops and the integration of public performance within a community of craftsmen underscores the collaborative nature of skill development in the tech industry.

Impact on Professional Outlook:

As someone aspiring to excel in software development, this pattern has prompted me to reconsider my approach to skill acquisition. Instead of viewing mistakes as setbacks, I now perceive them as invaluable learning opportunities. By committing to regular practice sessions and seeking feedback from peers, I aim to cultivate a growth mindset and continuously refine my coding abilities. Additionally, the suggestion to explore timeless resources like “Programming Pearls” for practice exercises has inspired me to delve deeper into the fundamentals of computer science.


While I agree with the overarching principles of the “Practice, Practice, Practice” pattern, I believe there’s a need for acknowledgment of individual learning preferences and constraints. Not everyone thrives in a structured dojo environment, and some may prefer solitary practice or alternative forms of skill development. Therefore, while code katas and group sessions offer valuable avenues for improvement, they may not be universally applicable or accessible to all aspiring developers.


In conclusion, the “Practice, Practice, Practice” pattern serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of intentional practice in achieving mastery in software development. By embracing the principles of deliberate practice, seeking feedback, and exploring diverse learning resources, individuals can embark on a journey of continuous growth and skill refinement. As I incorporate these insights into my own professional development, I’m excited to see how regular practice and reflection will shape my journey toward mastery in software engineering.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Site Title by rkaranja1002 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Embrace Growth: Be the Lion’s Tail Instead of the Fox’s Head

Summary of the Pattern:

In the pursuit of professional growth, stagnation can often be a hindrance. The pattern, “Be the Worst,” advocates for seeking out environments where one is the weakest member of the team. By intentionally placing oneself in a position where there’s ample room for learning and improvement, individuals can continue to progress in their careers.

Reaction to the Pattern:

“Be the Worst” challenges conventional wisdom by advocating for humility and a willingness to learn from those more skilled. Initially unreasonable, this approach fosters an environment conducive to continuous learning and development. The personal narrative of David H. Hoover underscores the transformative power of embracing this pattern, highlighting the significant gains that can be achieved by putting oneself in a team of exceptional developers.

Interesting Insights:

The notion of deliberately positioning oneself as the weakest member of a team prompts reflection on personal growth and professional aspirations. It underscores the importance of humility and the recognition that true progress often stems from embracing challenges rather than seeking comfort in familiarity.

Impact on Professional Perspective:

For individuals navigating the dynamic landscape of their profession, “Be the Worst” prompts a re-evaluation of traditional career trajectories. It encourages a shift from a mindset focused solely on achieving positions of authority to one centered on continuous improvement and skill acquisition. This pattern has the potential to redefine how individuals approach their careers, emphasizing the value of learning and adaptability in an ever-evolving industry.

Disagreements and Considerations:

While “Be the Worst” advocates for joining teams where one is the least skilled, it’s essential to acknowledge potential challenges. The risk of feeling overwhelmed or inadequate may deter some individuals from fully embracing this pattern. Moreover, the pattern’s emphasis on humility and learning from others may not align with certain cultural norms that prioritize individual achievement over collaborative growth.

In conclusion:

“Be the Worst” serves as a reminder of the transformative power of humility and the value of surrounding oneself with mentors and peers who inspire growth. By embracing the discomfort of being the least skilled team member, individuals can unlock unparalleled opportunities for learning and advancement in their professional journey.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Site Title by rkaranja1002 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Learn How You Fail: Embracing Failure to Forge Success

Understanding the Pattern of Failure

The insightful pattern discussed in Atul Gawande’s “Better” emphasizes a profound truth: recognizing and reflecting on our failures is crucial for personal and professional growth. This notion is encapsulated in the phrase “Learn How You Fail,” which posits that true ingenuity stems not from sheer intellect but from character—specifically, the courage to face our shortcomings and adapt.

Personal Reaction

I found this pattern both challenging and refreshing. Initially, it’s discomforting to focus on failures rather than celebrate successes. However, Gawande’s approach—focusing on identifying and understanding the causes of our failures—provides a constructive framework for turning apparent setbacks into stepping stones.

This perspective is not just about acknowledging weaknesses but actively choosing which battles are worth fighting. The notion that not all failures need to be addressed equally, and some might even be embraced as limitations, is liberating. It helps in setting realistic goals and focusing efforts where they can truly make a difference.

Changes in Professional Perspective

As someone aspiring to thrive in a fast-evolving sector, this pattern has shifted my thinking towards a more adaptive and resilience-oriented professional mindset. The emphasis on continuous self-assessment and setting realistic boundaries resonates deeply. It underlines the importance of focusing on areas where I can excel and accepting areas where I may never be the best. This realization takes away the useless pursuit of perfection in every domain, instead encouraging a strategic approach to skill development and goal setting.

Points of Disagreement

While I appreciate the core message of the pattern, I hold reservations about the practicality of some suggested exercises, such as writing and debugging code without initial testing. While this can reveal unforeseen errors and personal blind spots, it may not be the most efficient learning method for everyone. This approach could lead to frustration or demotivation, particularly for novices who might benefit more from immediate feedback and iterative learning.


“Learn How You Fail” is not just about understanding how to handle failure—it’s about strategically leveraging these insights to refine our skills, set achievable goals, and foster a mindset that views challenges as opportunities for growth. This pattern has encouraged me to embrace my limitations, prioritize my efforts, and continue pushing the boundaries of my capabilities with a clear and realistic vision.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Site Title by rkaranja1002 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Rubbing Elbows: A Key to Software Development Growth

The “Rubbing Elbows” pattern emphasizes the value of collaborative learning in software development. It acknowledges the limitations of solo work and advocates for the benefits of working alongside another developer. The pattern suggests that certain skills and insights can only be gained through direct collaboration with peers, leading to enhanced productivity and continuous learning.

The concept of “Rubbing Elbows” resonates deeply with many developers, including myself. While autonomy is cherished, there’s a unique energy that arises from collaborating with others. The ability to bounce ideas off one another, share insights, and tackle challenges together fosters a rich learning environment that is hard to replicate solo.

Interesting Insights:
What’s particularly interesting about this pattern is its emphasis on the micro-techniques and personal knowledge exchanged during collaboration. It underscores the idea that true mastery in software development extends beyond technical proficiency to encompass the subtle habits and practices observed in seasoned developers. The notion of absorbing such knowledge through proximity and shared experience is compelling.

Impact on Professional Outlook:
This pattern has certainly influenced my perspective on professional growth within the software industry. It reinforces the importance of seeking out opportunities for collaboration, whether through pair programming, open-source contributions, or project partnerships. It has shifted my focus from purely technical skills to include the creation of collaborative abilities and interpersonal dynamics.

Disagreements and Considerations:
While the benefits of collaborative learning are evident, the pattern acknowledges that it’s not always a seamless experience. Instances of feeling lost or outpaced by a partner are common, requiring perseverance and effective communication to overcome. Additionally, the pattern raises awareness of the need to evaluate the effectiveness of collaborative practices like pair programming and make adjustments when necessary.

In conclusion, “Rubbing Elbows” serves as a reminder of the invaluable growth opportunities that arise from collaborative attempts in software development. By embracing this pattern and actively seeking out opportunities to work alongside peers, developers can enrich their skill sets, broaden their perspectives, and ultimately thrive in their professional journeys.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Site Title by rkaranja1002 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Stay in the Trenches: Nurturing Your Passion for Software Development

In a world where promotions often signal success, it’s crucial to consider whether ascending the corporate ladder aligns with your true passions. George Leonard, in his book “Mastery,” cautions against succumbing to the allure of quick-fixes, urging us to stay committed to our craft despite the tempting promises of managerial roles.

Summary of the Pattern

“Stay in the Trenches” challenges the conventional notion that climbing the organizational ladder is the only path to success. It emphasizes the importance of remaining immersed in the technical aspects of your profession, particularly in software development, rather than transitioning into managerial roles prematurely. By prioritizing hands-on experience and continuous learning, individuals can sustain their passion for their craft and avoid the erosion of their expertise.

Reaction to the Pattern

This pattern resonates deeply with me as a software developer. It underscores the significance of staying true to one’s passion for programming, even in the face of enticing promotions. The idea that mastery diminishes when one veers away from practice serves as a powerful reminder of the value of continuous engagement with technical challenges.

The pattern prompts me to reconsider traditional notions of career advancement and success within my profession. It encourages a shift in perspective towards recognizing the intrinsic satisfaction derived from honing in on one’s skills, rather than solely pursuing external markers of achievement.

Furthermore, “Stay in the Trenches” has prompted me to reflect on the role of leadership and influence within technical domains. It highlights the potential for experienced practitioners to advocate for environments that facilitate ongoing learning and growth, not just for themselves but for their colleagues as well.

Disagreements with the Pattern

While I largely agree with the principles outlined in this pattern, I acknowledge the complexity of navigating career trajectories within different organizational contexts. While staying in the trenches may be an ideal scenario for some, it may not always be feasible or conducive to professional growth in every situation. In some organizations, the pathways for technical advancement may be limited, and promotions into management roles may be unavoidable for those seeking career progression. Additionally, the pattern’s emphasis on rejecting promotions may not align with everyone’s career aspirations or financial needs.

In conclusion, “Stay in the Trenches” serves as an important reminder of the importance of nurturing one’s passion for software development amidst the attraction of managerial positions. By prioritizing technical excellence and continuous learning, individuals can navigate their career paths with intentionality and authenticity, ultimately fostering a deeper sense of fulfillment in their professional challenges.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Site Title by rkaranja1002 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Nurturing Passion in a Challenging Environment


The pattern “Nurture Your Passion” addresses the struggle faced by software developers whose passion for their craft is hindered by the work environment. Often kept to “simple” tasks or faced with demoralizing conditions like corporate hierarchies or project death marches, developers find it difficult to maintain their enthusiasm. However, the pattern suggests several strategies to protect and grow this passion.


The pattern could be related to deeply with many software developers who have found themselves in similar situations. It highlights the importance of preserving one’s love for the craft amongst challenging circumstances. What’s really interesting is the acknowledgment that not everyone has the privilege to earn a living through their passion, making it important to safeguard and nurture it.

What’s Interesting and Useful:

The emphasis on working on tasks that align with personal interests stands out as a practical approach. By dedicating time to activities that spark joy, developers can reignite their passion and find fulfillment in their work. Additionally, the idea of seeking out like-minded individuals and immersing yourself in the classics of the field serves as a reminder of the rich heritage and community support available in software development.

Impact on Professional Outlook:

The pattern encourages a reevaluation of how someone approaches their career in software development. It makes individuals prioritize environments that support their growth and passion, even if it means diverging from conventional career paths. Setting clear boundaries and maintaining a sense of wonder about programming, as said by Paul Graham, becomes essential for long-term satisfaction and success in the field.

Disagreements and Reflections:

While the pattern offers valuable insights, some may find it challenging to implement certain suggestions, especially in highly demanding work environments. Setting boundaries and steering conversations towards positive topics require courage and confidence, which may not always be feasible depending on organizational culture and power dynamics. However, the underlying message about the importance of preserving one’s passion remains relevant.

In conclusion, “Nurture Your Passion” serves as a reminder that maintaining enthusiasm for software development is a deliberate effort, especially in the face of adversity. By embracing strategies outlined in the pattern and staying true to their passion, developers can navigate challenges and thrive in their careers.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Site Title by rkaranja1002 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

The Vital Role of Mentorship in Software Craftsmanship

Summary: The “Find Mentors” pattern emphasizes the importance of seeking guidance and mentorship from experienced individuals in the field of software craftsmanship. It acknowledges the challenges faced by apprentices in navigating their professional journeys and advocates for actively seeking out mentors who can provide valuable insights and guidance. The pattern highlights the rarity of finding a master craftsman but encourages apprentices to engage with a series of mentors, recognizing that mentorship can come in various forms and may not always be face-to-face.

Reaction: This pattern resonates deeply with me as it underscores the significance of mentorship in personal and professional development. It acknowledges the inherent challenges in finding suitable mentors but emphasizes the transformative impact that mentorship can have on one’s journey towards mastery. I appreciate the practical advice offered in the pattern, such as lurking in online communities to identify potential mentors and taking the initiative to reach out to them for informal advice.

Interest: What I find particularly interesting and useful about this pattern is its emphasis on the reciprocal nature of mentorship. While apprentices seek guidance from experienced practitioners, they are also encouraged to pay it forward by mentoring others who are earlier in their journey. This aspect highlights the collaborative and communal nature of the software craftsmanship community, where knowledge sharing and mentorship play vital roles in fostering growth and development.

Reflection: The “Find Mentors” pattern has prompted me to reflect on my own approach to mentorship and how I can leverage it to enhance my professional growth. As I navigate my career in software development, I recognize the importance of seeking out mentors who can provide guidance, feedback, and support. Additionally, I am inspired to contribute to the community by offering mentorship to others who may benefit from my experiences and insights.

Disagreement: While I wholeheartedly agree with the principles outlined in the pattern, I believe that it could provide more nuanced guidance on navigating the complexities of mentorship relationships. For example, it could delve into strategies for building meaningful connections with mentors and managing expectations within the mentorship dynamic. Additionally, the pattern could explore potential challenges or pitfalls that apprentices may encounter in their quest to find suitable mentors.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the “Find Mentors” pattern serves as a valuable reminder of the importance of mentorship in the journey towards software craftsmanship. By actively seeking out mentors and engaging in reciprocal mentorship relationships, apprentices can accelerate their learning, navigate challenges more effectively, and contribute to the growth of the software craftsmanship community. As I continue on my own journey, I am committed to embracing mentorship as a cornerstone of my professional development and to paying it forward by supporting others along the way.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Site Title by rkaranja1002 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Chapter 1-6 Reflection

As I dived into the narrative of the young philosopher and the Zen master, I found myself intrigued by the wise words. The metaphor of the overflowing cup resonated deeply, serving as an important reminder of the importance of humility and receptivity in the pursuit of knowledge. It prompted me to reflect on my own approach to learning, highlighting the need to set aside assumptions and take in new perspectives with an open mind.

The comparison of formal training certificates with the quest for genuine expertise struck a chord with me. Like the protagonist, Dave, I’ve often relied on certifications and accolades as markers of proficiency. However, the reading challenged me to reevaluate this mindset, showing the value of continuous learning and self-improvement over static credentials. It prompted me to shift my focus from external validation to internal growth, recognizing that true mastery is an ongoing journey rather than a destination.

There was a lot to agree on with the reading, but there was also some points that I disagreed with. The claim that small ponds and big fish can show the image of satisfaction seemed too simple to me. I believe that individual growth is complex, influenced by a a large amount of internal and external factors beyond the scope of pond size or fish scale. While exposure to diverse perspectives is undoubtedly valuable, it’s essential to recognize the inherent value of all learning environments, regardless of their perceived size or significance.

In terms of relevance, several chapters stood out to me. “Perpetual Learning” resonated with my desire to accelerate growth and deepen my understanding. The notion of embracing discomfort and seeking out new challenges spoke directly to my aspirations for professional development. Additionally, “Reflect as You Work” and “Create Feedback Loops” struck a chord with me, highlighting the importance of self-assessment and continuous improvement in my journey toward mastery.

In conclusion, the reading served as a step for introspection and growth by making me to reevaluate my approach to software apprenticeship. By embracing humility, fostering curiosity, and prioritizing continuous learning, I aim to navigate the complexities of the field with purpose and strength.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Site Title by rkaranja1002 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Exploring LibreFoodPantry’s Inclusive Culture and Thea’s Pantry Efficient Operations

I find the Code of Conduct outlined by LibreFoodPantry particularly interesting. It establishes a commitment to maintaining a harassment-free and inclusive community for all members, emphasizing values such as empathy, kindness, and respect. The use of specific examples of acceptable and unacceptable behavior, along with a clear enforcement process, contributes to making a positive environment within the community. I chose to write about this because it reflects the project’s dedication to developing open-source software and to create a supportive and diverse community. The emphasis on social good and the proactive approach to ensuring a welcoming atmosphere align with the broader mission of using technology for society better.

Regarding Thea’s Pantry, the user stories caught my attention. Specifically, the process of handling guest visits, including the registration of new visitors and the streamlined checkout system, stood out. The attention to detail in managing inventory, tracking guest visits, and handling new donations showcases a well-designed system to efficiently serve the community. I chose to write about this aspect because it highlights the practical application of the software in a real-world context, demonstrating how technology can enhance the operations of a food pantry and contribute to a more organized and effective service for both staff and visitors.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Site Title by rkaranja1002 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.