Category Archives: Spring-Break

Friendly Ghosts

Kindred Spirits is an apprenticeship pattern that revolves around mutual progress through your peers. Specifically, it is about making relationships with people where you can learn things you find valuable from them and share your knowledge with them when they are in need of it. This is especially important if you feel like you lack mentor ship and are trying to improve with somebody else’s assistance despite that.

The ability to form mutually beneficial relationships is an incredible skill. I’ve found that some of my greatest opportunities and chances for growth in life have come from others. Often those people are mentors, people who are there to guide you on your path and give you advice. But there are also Kindred Spirits, people whose trajectory in life is similar to yours, and someone who can offer you a different perspective or introduce you to a new topic. Obviously it is challenging to cultivate the sort of relationships that fit this criteria, and a lot of it feels like luck, but those relationships in my life where I’ve been able to learn alongside another and share knowledge have been truly beneficial.

One thing I definitely have to work on is being comfortable with reaching out to others for help and forming new bonds with people. There are a lot of great students in the Computer Science department that have a lot to offer in the way of knowledge, ideas, etc. Being more involved with the community at large would help me better prepare and get a grasp on my future. I never know the kind of help someone could offer, so it is important to find out for myself by reaching out.

Overall, I think Kindred Spirits makes a lot of sense as a pattern from my experiences. Working with other people is such a great way to learn and be exposed to new ideas, and I just wish it was a little bit easier for me. It is something I have to work on, as there is a wealth of knowledge to be uncovered that is contained within some of my fellow CS majors.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Let's Get TechNICKal by technickal4 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Unleash Your Enthusiasm

This section of the chapter is very relatable because when I first got into computer science most of my friends and family were not very impresses or helpful with my interest in it because most of them were in business or the medical field. so just as it says in the section i had to nourish my curiosity of computer science by reading up on things myself and I was just getting the bare minimum of CS. Luckily I had one cousin who was already in computer science and he told me about these competitions called Hackathons that were programming competitions that people did for computer science that you can win prizes and learn about programming and making connections. At first I turned him down many times because in my head I thought that those Hackathons were for people who has experience programming and at least has one or two years of knowledge under their belt. However, I was very wrong when I finally went I meet many people who never programmed in their lives. This was the start of my fascination of computer science. When I first started all I did was give out ideas and suggestions of what the product, website, or program should do. I talked to many different companies such as google, dell, hp, twillio, and ect. They all told me about their own path in their computer science careers. From there I started to want to learn more and more programming and wanted to write my own stuff just for fun and learn how things work.

To me this chapter has a deeper meaning such that we all do need to unleash our enthusiasm. This doesn’t just mean computer science it can mean anything and everything. Once we find a group of people that share common interest and ideas as what we want to do. This will stoke the fire within us to want to learn more, do more, and get out there. Once we get that push we can encourage each other to do what we love and besides just flying under the radar we can be out there learning, helping, and teaching others about our own passion.

From the blog CS@Worcester – The Road of CS by Henry_Tang_blog and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Walking the Long Road: Sustainable Motivations

In this Apprenticeship Pattern “Sustainable Motivations”, it explains on how to sustain your motivation as a software developer through walking “the long road.” This pattern gave very good examples in situations where a software developer can have decreased motivation within their state of mind based on what they are currently doing or have recently endured, whether it be from a project for a customer, or in general, life at work. Some aspects that this pattern exemplified was the balance between being happy at what you do as a software developer, honing your skills and craft, and the amount you are getting paid to be financially well off.

At one point in the pattern, it gave very good examples that illustrate the point that there will be times as a software developer where you question your commitment to honing your craft or your profession.

“You hate your programming job and you’re motivated primarily by money. You find yourself focusing on climbing the corporate ladder over honing your craftsmanship. But you are also motivated by your reputation as a technologist, and this allows you to endure long enough for your job situation to improve.”

“You’re motivated primarily by your enjoyment of programming, but you’ve had a few months when you can’t feel the love. You are seriously considering abandoning the profession. Fortunately, you are also motivated by money, and you think that programming is your best option financially right now. You stick it out for the money and eventually your love for programming returns.”

I can picture myself being in these situations because of my concern for getting a well paid job. I know for a fact that money helps my motivation, however at the same time, I want to do what I love in the software development field, particular video game programming and development. In my mind, there will come times when it will be tedious and difficult while working, but with any job or career, work is work, and there can be times where I know I’ll face hardships and I will overcome them. Loving for what I do in my career will be the main reason for the longevity of my video game development career, and I’ve always known that since when I was a kid, I’ve had a passion for video games.  This pattern has opened my thinking on this particular career path and I agree with what this pattern has taught me about sustaining my motivation as a software developer.


From the blog CS@Worcester – Ricky Phan by Ricky Phan CS Worcester and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Apprenticeship Patterns: The Long Road

In this section of Apprenticeship Patterns the authors discuss what a developing software professional can expect from his or her career choice in the long run. The talk about how becoming a software craftsman does not happen over night and if someone hopes to master the the craft of software development they should be aware that they are in for a life long journey of learning and self-improvement. The authors describe the context for this pattern by discussing how the values of modern society sometimes conflict with the the practices necessary to become a master in the software development craft. They talk about the values of people in modern society consisting of “overnight celebrities, rising stars, material wealth, and quick results.” However, in the field of software development “quick results” can often lead to poorly written and/or bug ridden code. Also, the authors make a point in describing the problem that exists here being that modern values might compel a developing software professional to take the highest paying job they can find and quickly race towards their first promotion in an attempt to stop programming and start managing other people and making more money.

While higher paying salaries are definitely a key factor in propelling individuals to take up software development, the authors suggest this shouldn’t be the main contributor when it comes to making career decisions. Their solution to this problem entails thinking ahead and keeping in mind what will bring you the most joy and the highest sense of achievement. At the end of this pattern, in the action section,  the authors provide a thought experiment in which they ask you to think about where you will likely be in 10 years and what you will be doing. They then ask you to do the same thing for 20, 30 and 40 years from now and write down all of your answers. By doing this you may be able to gain some insight on what types of jobs/positions will be best suited for your own personal goals. I thought this was a great exercise and I found this pattern to be quite insightful. I also definitely agree with the authors on the idea that modern values don’t usually align with successful software development practices. After reading this pattern I believe that I will have more confidence in making career choices in the future through partaking in the thought experiment and referring to my answers when I’m faced with difficult choices within my professional career.

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