Category Archives: Week 5

Continuing Workflow Testing with GitLab Gold

Last week started again with another research meeting with Dr. Wurst. One of the things we talked about was the diagram I had previously created for the proposed workflow. Dr. Wurst wanted to see if it was possible to import and export the diagram using this tool so that it could be added to the LibreFoodPantry repository on GitHub and be in a file format that works with version control for future modifications. One question I had was how should I setup the different local GitLab and GitHub accounts during testing for the workflow for the local repository stuff that’s supposed to happen on certain users’ computers. We ultimately decided that it would be best to create a virtual machine for each account that way it keeps the browser accounts and GitLab / GitHub accounts separate from each other. We also talked about trying to fork Dr. Jackson’s BEAR-Necessities-Market repository from GitHub and try to get GitLab’s CI to run on it. Finally we talked about different roles in the whole workflow such as shop managers and who is the product owner and what guests should be able to do as far as creating issues for a project. 

I started off Wednesday by creating the virtual machines for the test accounts so I could get started with testing out the workflows. I used VirtualBox since it’s free and used Ubuntu 18 LTS as the operating system. After installing the OS, I put Java on each VM, along with Git and a basic text editor. I then signed into each account and soon started working on the workflow. I also tried importing and exporting the diagram in and found it can do this as an XML filetype which will work with version control software. While testing the GitLab Gold workflow I hit a snag when it came to creating the feature branch. I didn’t know if the shop manager or the shop developer was supposed to create it so I emailed Dr. Wurst and paused work on this for the day. In the meantime I created GitHub test accounts so I could start working on testing the workflow in GitHub. I also forked Stoney’s BEAR-Necessities-Market into the test GitHub account and imported it into my GitLab account so that I could ultimately enable GitLab CI on it.

Thursday I learned how to move a GitLab project from my account into a group. I did this with the import of BEAR-Necessities-Market from GitHub. I then created a config file to enable GitLab CI and eventually got this to work for the repository. I did this by looking at the config file that was created for Travis CI as it was similar and translated the instructions over to GitLab. I found that GitLab does do its CI config differently than Travis but by reading GitLab’s documentation I figured out how to do what I needed to. I also tested out what permissions guest users have in GitLab with issues and issue boards. I didn’t find anything surprising here, guests can create and comment on issues and that’s about it. 

Friday Dr. Wurst got back to me and I finished testing the workflow in GitLab Gold. I found that everything worked exactly as planned and that it was a smooth process. Dr. Wurst suggested we should have a story mapping session next week for the workflow roles which I thought was great as I am beginning to have questions about who does what during this proposed workflow and the initial diagram doesn’t answer all of these questions. I briefly played around with the security dashboards for the GitLab import of BEAR-Necessities-Market and got it to report dependencies and any security vulnerabilities. This was easy to do with GitLab’s template for this. I also began to test the candidate workflow on GitHub. This is where I began to run into problems as GitHub doesn’t have the same levels of permissions as GitLab does (more on this issue next week). This altered the workflow as the shop manager had to create the feature branch instead of the shop developers. I stopped for the week after this and will continue testing on GitHub before the story mapping meeting on Wednesday.

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

Unleash Your Enthusiasm

Hello dear readers. Welcome back to my next blog post. This time will be talking about enthusiasm in your new/current work place.

This chapter of the book  talks about how to feel and what to do about your enthusiasm at your work place, being that a new or current environment. I believe these advises would mostly apply to a new work environment as in an old environment you already know your coworkers and your boss. The author gives credits to people with enthusiasm and strongly supports them to unleash and keep the spirit up.

Getting into a new work environment it is indeed a bit hard, especially when that is your first job. When it comes to choosing a job, unfortunately you can’t really know what kind of team and people you are going to work on unless you have been recommended for that job. So being nervous is FINE. And I was crazy nervous in my interview and first week of my job.

I have heard a lot of stories about teams with employees who don’t accept suggestions or new ideas and especially when those are coming from a new employee and a recent graduated student. If you were to read their face, it would say only one thing: YOU DON’T KNOW. At that point it is time to move up and get to your manager and if you are still not heard I truly think is time to move on. But always keep your spirit and enthusiasm up because just because those people don’t accept new ideas doesn’t mean you are wrong.

Never hold back on ideas and always express them. A good team will listen to your idea and will take it in consideration and will explain why that might or not be a good idea. Nobody was experienced on their first jobs! Its true that these new team you are in might know more than you but you might know something they don’t and that’s a plus to the team productivity.

Keep in mind that nobody knows everything. Try to find the person who you think would listen and welcome your ideas. Also accept critics, its very important for your development.


From the blog CS@Worcester – Danja's Blog by danja9 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Apprenticeship patterns – Your First Language

This week i picked the pattern, “your first language”. I was very interesting reading it. I got to know more about why you should learned your first language to perfection. At least master it well before learning another language. From the reading, get a language you like and very easy to use, is the best way to be a better programmer by mastering it. The reason is because all the programming languages follow the say pattern. Only different statement but the same principle. So by mastering one and feeling very comfy about it, make it very easy for you to learn new programming language with ease.

From the readings, to my understanding. I got to know by becoming very good at your first language, you need to ;

  • Use the language all day, every day. Usually this means being full-time employed in the language.
  • Read all you can about the language. Especially, “best practices” and idioms.
  • Join a users group to talk with others about the language and what they do with it.
  • Work with other people’s code! There is no faster way to learn what not to do in a language than to have to clean up after someone who did something awful.
  • Support the code you write – every bug becomes a tour of your worst decisions!
  • Study computer science and languages in general
  • Learn a very different language. A great compliment to C would be a functional language like Lisp. This will turn the way you think about your procedural language inside out.
  • Learn to use the frameworks and APIs available for that language.
  • Take the time to do your own experiments with the language. SICP is not applicable to C, but the attitude of learning a language by testing its limits is a very productive one.
  • Read the history of the language to learn why it was made the way it is.
  • Attend conferences to hear the language authors speak, or to hear what industry leaders are doing with the language.
  • Take a class in the language.
  • Teach the language to others

As I said, reading this pattern made my understanding broadened. I really know by following the pattern given from the book will be a great fit for anyone who want to have a better and easy life at work in the future as a computer software or programmer.

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

Journey into Concrete Skills (An Individual Apprenticeship Pattern)

On this Software Development Capstone journey part of my assignment is to choose 10 Individual Apprenticeship Patterns out of 35 patterns among Chapters 2-6 from the book Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsmanby Dave Hoover and Adewale Oshineye. For my fifth individual Apprenticeship pattern I have chosen “Concrete Skills”.


Although you may have the skills to learn quickly, it is important to acquire and maintain concrete skills. This is because when you demonstrate that you have certain ability with specific tools and technologies it will increase your chances to be trusted enough to contribute with minor task until you start gaining stature, where at that point you will be able to contribute more directly. The concrete skills pattern suggests you to acquire the type of skills that would reassure your prospective team that they do not need to babysit you because you have skills that could be put to good use. It states that an “Examples of concrete skills include writing build files in various popular languages, knowledge of various popular open source frameworks like Hibernate and Struts, basic web design, JavaScript, and the standard libraries in your language of choice”. These concrete skills shows how you can benefit the company because it shows what you can bring to the table and be able to do on you first day of hire. According to the book a way you can show this by having “A deep understanding of Your First Language“. These skills are important in the beginning because as you “transition to the role of journeyman you will become less dependent on these skills, as you start to be hired on the basis of your reputation, your portfolio of previous work, and the deeper qualities you bring to a team”. Action to take are:

  1. “Collect the CVs of people whose skills you respect.”
  2. Identify five discrete skills on the CV for each of the people you chose, and then determine which one is useful for the kind of team you want to join.
  3. “Put together a plan and a toy project that will demonstrate that you have acquired these skills. Implement the plan.”
  4. Make sure you go through your own CV and separately list the concrete skills.

My Reaction

This pattern stresses the importance of developing concrete skills that would help you get hire in a job market. I agree with this idea. I found this pattern interesting but also useful and thought-provoking. This pattern has definitely changed the way I think about my profession and the way I think because it has made me realize that I need to sharping up my concrete skills in order to show how I can be beneficial in the work place environment.

Thank you for your time. This has been YessyMer in the World Of Computer Science, until next time.

From the blog cs@Worcester – YessyMer In the world of Computer Science by yesmercedes and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Find Mentors

There are going to be many situations in which we will not be able to figure out a solution to something. Deciding what to do in these situations is a big portion of solving the problem. Sometimes we can get very frustrated and give up. Other times we will try mundane fixes that won’t even solve our main issue. One thing that we need to realize, however, is that we are not alone. Most often than not, some issues that we run into have been solved by someone else. There is no reason to tread dead water if a solution is out there. Finding the way to this solution is a key part in problem solving. So, what do we do from here? We seek out help.

The thing I liked the most about this method is that by seeking help, it shows our willingness to understand and continue to learn. It also teaches us how to figure something out on our own, even if we don’t know what that issue is. One main part I agree with about this method is that it explains how, since this field of study is fairly new, it can be difficult to narrow down the “masters of the craft” because an apprenticeship can only mean so much. The difficult part is finding that one person who CAN teach you and guide to on the right path. One of the hardest part about mastering something is finding a that specific master or network of masters in order to reach the goals you have set for yourself. You can’t expect to learn everything on your own, this is an issue in itself. You need to seek help, evaluate that help, and then decide if it is worth your time to continue to learn by them. If not, that’s something you will have to decide. One great modern tool that we can use to do this is the internet. A simple google search can solve a lot of our problems, especially in this field of study. But sometimes we also should be careful at which sources we are pulling from.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Amir Adelinia's Computer Science Blog by aadelinia1 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Pattern “Read Constantly”

The apprenticeship pattern I decided to choose for this week’s blog was “Read Constantly.” It was somewhat self-explanatory, but I thought it had some good insights nonetheless.

It recommended reading books over blogs. I would imagine that this is the right course of action from researching blogs last semester. All the material was good and informative, but many times when the host was interviewing someone, it felt like a summary of what could be a very interesting book. There’s only so much that can be gained from a blog post or a podcast. The things that you learn from those can be valuable, but it is better to go deeper when possible. Even if you have a very wide base of knowledge, it will only get you so far when you only scratch the surface.

The quote at the very beginning, from Steve McConnell, says that if you read a good programming book every other month, you will distinguish yourself from your peers. This seems like a worthwhile task, and frankly it is very doable. He chalks this up to be 35 pages a week, which is less than many reading assignments for school. Those don’t take me very long and aren’t very hard. It would be helpful to read more supplemental material, especially on break and after I graduate.

I haven’t read any research papers in this field, but that sounds like something I should start thinking about doing, especially when I pursue a graduate program. It recommends reading some at least every once in a while.

It also recommends keeping a slim book to fill dead time throughout the day. I think this is a good idea, especially when something can be overwhelming. It’s like the old adage of how to eat an elephant — one bite at a time. Or in this case, one page at a time and whenever you have a moment.

This is something that I’ve been trying on my own in general as well. When I was younger, I was an incredibly avid reader, and I’ve slowly gotten out of the habit as I’ve gotten older. I would like to read more of everything. I think it is a mark of a well-rounded and intelligent person to be well read.

It was a new year’s resolution to read more. I have been trying read a few chapters everyday of something, which has mostly been non-technical so far. I’m going to to change that and start adding more material that will not just better me as a person but better me as a software engineer.

From the blog Sam Bryan by and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Rising from the bottom

For the fifth week’s reading, I chose to read the pattern, Be the Worst. It is about facing a problem where your rate of learning has plateaued. As such, a solution is needed and is presented as instead of being in a team where you are at the top. You will have to find a team where you can be at the very bottom. The objective is to work your way up from the bottom, and from that you should be able to learn from those who are better than you. By actively trying to become better than what you were before, you allow yourself to continuously improve. However, there are risks of placing yourself at the lowest. The first is that you could be a negative impact to the team which would mean that you aren’t contributing as much as you should. Second, you might find yourself losing motivation when things do not pan out the way you thought it would. The action provided in this pattern is to rank teams by skill level and find a team that would allow you to work your way up.

What I found interesting about this pattern is that there is no easy way of solving this problem. You have to be willing to improve, willing to learn, and willing to drop your comfortable position to continue chasing the top. After allowing yourself to do that, you need to continue having the motivation and enthusiasm to improve yourself in a team that you know is way more knowledgeable than yourself.

This pattern has made me think about the intended profession in a way that everything will not remain the same forever. As time passes, teams will become more knowledgeable, but every individual will learn at a different pace. If you happen to be a person that progresses faster and becomes better than the team much quicker. You will eventually come to the realization that your learning has plateaued. By planning your road map in conjunction with this pattern, you have a chance of continuing your journey to become a master if that is what you wish. This is what I learned from this pattern.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Progression through Computer Science and Beyond… by Johnny To and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Retreat into Competence

This apprenticeship pattern seem to be able to fit most of us as we emerge as newly graduates going into the development field for the first time. We have enough basic skill and foundation to get us through problems but there are many things we have yet to uncover. Retreating into competence talks about how you begin to realize how little you actually know and the task you are assigned with may be a bit overwhelming.

The solution provided for this problem is to simply regain your confidence. Know that you have come a long way since day one and that you are capable or finding a solution. This is a problem that everyone will eventually go through; especially those who take on more than they could manage. The author suggests to re implement a concept that you know very well which usually works for me also. It allows me to regain composure and confidence at the same time.

I agree with the solution to this problem because I have already gone through it in my own ways. At the moment I am learning and gaining the skills to become a full stack developer. I am utilizing all my skills I have learned as well as new concepts that seem like a different language to me. Many times I find myself staring blankly at the screen, lost and confused at what I just wrote down or why my methodology isn’t working. Sometimes I even walk away and come back hours later. I find that each time this happens, I am leveling up; I am getting out of my comfort zone to learn new things. I know that this is just the beginning of this journey and it most definitely gives me confidence that I am able to solve the hardest of problems sooner or later.

Stay tuned for the next apprenticeship pattern!

From the blog CS@Worcester – Life in the Field of Computer Science by iharrynguyen and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Expand Your Bandwidth

For today’s blog I will be writing about the “Expand Your Bandwidth” pattern out of chapter 5 of our text. I enjoy this pattern because the context is simple. “You have picked up a basic set of skills”. That’s it. That’s the context for the chapter. It is broad which leaves it open for many people to relate (perhaps not just software developers!). I can personally relate to this because I have a basic set of skills in programming that I have acquired over the past four years at school. Now that we have the context we can delve into the problem that the chapter presents to us. The problem put forth by the book is this: You have a narrow-focused low-level understanding of software development. The problem is that you think this way because of the narrow day to day scope of your work. When you work at a narrow scope of software development, then your knowledge and perception of software development becomes less broadened and more narrow and that is not good for a field that must consistently be changing and overcoming new ways of developing in the field. The solution is to broaden yourself by improving your ability to take in more amounts of new information. The text says “You’ve been drinking steadily through a straw. But there are seasons in apprenticeship when one must drink from the fire hose of information…” I think this is a perfect analogy because in a small setting like university classes we are hyper focused on our assignment at hand or the specific software skill/methodology that we are using for that class. A perfect example would be when I took my software testing class, we were solely focused on writing tests and not actually developing any code to test. In this case we were drinking from the straw, but sometimes a project would require you to know what was going on in the source code, which required other knowledge not related to testing, which in this case would be drinking from the fire hose; a much bigger flow of information. To make yourself marketable for a successful career you must know how to take all sorts of information from all aspects of software development. In this way and after reading this text, I believe that it is good to know a decent amount of information across many aspects of software development than it is to have a vast knowledge of one aspect of software development. Having the smaller knowledge of many areas allows for more flexibility and easier adaptations going from one task to another in the software development field.

From the blog CS@Worcester – The Average CS Student by Nathan Posterro and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Apprenticeship Patterns: Record What You Learn

This week I read Record What You Learn in Chapter 5, Perpetual Learning. I read this partly because I found irony in recording what I’ve learned about recording what you learn, but also largely because I’ve heard it given as advice in the past, and it is something I’d really like to put in place for myself. The pattern itself reflects on the situation where you learn something for whatever reason, be it for work, school, or personal development. However, without dedicating time towards fully understanding the concept, it doesn’t solidify and you fail to retain the information. The proposed solution is to write. Write as much as you possibly can about each and every part of your journey. Make time for it, because by simply putting concepts into your own words and jotting them down on paper (or on a blog, like this), you etch that knowledge into your head far easier than you would simply trying to absorb the information.

I’m sure we’ve all been in the position where we’ve learned something and then completely forgotten it some time later when we’re meant to recall it. Perhaps on tests, for work, or in conversation. We know that we’re familiar with it, but we seem to fail to remember it fully unless we seek to make it our own, and really feel it out. Take mathematics for example. In order to solidify a concept, you need to learn it and practice its implementation in several ways to really grasp the meaning behind it. Simply trying to absorb the information in one lecture or introduction won’t work for nearly anyone. So why, then, would it work for a theoretical concept in any field, or even something like a life lesson? You need to practice thinking it through in different ways. Writing about things does exactly that.

Part of the motivation behind starting this blog during my Software Development concentration was to have a portfolio to point to that shows what we’ve worked on during our classes. Not only that, but it was a means for connecting with the greater software development community. However I’m finding (through being more consistent with my blogging) that perhaps the most important thing isn’t any of these, and that the majority of the benefit has come through the act of journaling about what I’m learning. Everything I have learned and written about, I feel like know well. Coming from someone who felt extremely awkward about blogging when I started, this was an interesting change of heart — and a welcome one at that.

From the blog CS@Worcester – James Blash by jwblash and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.