This is the third post in a weekly series of blog posts I will be writing to document my experience inCS327E, Elements of Databases, for the Elements of Computing Program at The University of Texas at Austin

Check out my previous week’s blog post.

Monday, January 28th

We spent much of the day reviewing final requirements for the Collatz programing project. The questions people are asking are beginning to be monotonous. It seems like we are spending the entire class answering questions where it is clear people didn’t do the readings and did not attempt to answer their own questions with the entire knowledge accessible to them via the Internet. Simple questions about git, Github, committing, and issue tracking that a simple Google Query could have answered. From the looks of the schedule however, we are about to really accelerate.

Wednesday, January 30th

We started talking about relational databases today. However we didn’t get much discussed due to a 30-minute session of Q&A, again about simple questions. We have had a couple of people unfamiliar with git and github pushing commits to our class test case shared repo (~50 people), where they were not pulling down and pushing correctly, causing lost files, missing commits, and reattributed commits. At two points we had to force push an old base back to the repo to wipe out the mess that had gotten made. In the end between TA and myself, we got everyone’s files back up without too much panic. I guess we should have spent less time with simple questions and done more of a tutorial with git and github, as it became clear many people had never used either before and were uncomfortable with the process. My friend Kristen dropped out of the class today, which is sad, I was looking forward to pair programing with her. She though the class took too much time and that she would have had to put in too much work to stay caught up with the class. I submitted my first project for the class this evening and I am expecting full credit. One of the things I love about software design and development is that once you have a spec you can know exactly how you are progressing. Grading code is much more clear than say grading a literature paper or research essay.

Friday, February 1st

2013-02-02 10.10.50

I unfortunately missed class on Friday. I flew out to San Francisco (first time to CA!) to attend the Out for Undergrad (O4U) Technology Conference held in Menlo Park at Facebook’s new HQ (the old SUN). The weekend was absolutely fantastic. The speaker lineup, the new friends and the networking opportunities were absolutely amazing. I got to speak with employees from Fog Creek Software, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, VMWare, Box and Square. What was even more exciting was many of the employees I met were Product Managers, which is what I would like to go into when I graduate in May this year. I’m looking at applying to entry-level PM positions at Facebook, Microsoft and Google. This weekend has been one of the most exciting in my life. It has been a tremendous experience and I highly encourage any LGBTQ tech lovers to check out the program and apply! I will say after a glamorous weekend in Silicon Valley, I am not ready to go back to Austin. Silicon Valley has an energy and feel that is simply electric.

Check out next week’s blog post.


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