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CS401 Learning and Progress First Meeting

This week we had our first meeting.  It took place at the Worcester Art Museum.  This meeting we talked on how the semester would progress, met some of the staff at the Museum, and got a look at the art pieces that would be the center of our work project.

First on the class side of things learned that the main focus of the class was using what we have learned in the degree to complete a work project as close to real world situation as possible.  So less focus on learning new comp sci skills, more about the practical use of the skills we have.  I got the impression our class having an actual client with a real job wasn’t normal for the class so certainly lucked out I think.

For the project itself we met with Katrina Stacy and Tim Furman who will be our contacts at the Museum.  They explained the project, which is to go with their brand new exhibit and the first time they’ve really had any tech in an exhibit.  We will be designing a program to help show case special artwork.  While we have the specific focus for the three statues this exhibit will start with, if there is time we will be trying to make the program to be changeable as the Museum plans to change the featured art in this exhibit every six months or so.

Our next meetings will be focused heavily on how we want to accomplish this task.  It is a class so all ideas are pulled together from the students and also ideas and requests that the client has.  Almost certainly the class will break into smaller groups to work on different parts of the project simultaneously.  There will be a number of different needed jobs besides just coding, as I have no prior experience with the languages we are using I will likely look to help with the more easy but repetitive coding if needed and other non-coding tasks.  Although all the coding will be available to everyone so I plan to carefully watch everything that is done to help learn more about HTML5 and javascript.  The main reason to avoid doing advanced coding myself being that it would take me a lot longer to get quality code at least at first then one of my classmates who has more experience and I would not want to hold up any part of the project.

I am excited to be a part of this process, a work group, client, and project.  It will be excellent experience and also be something that will look good on a resume.  The professor will be working more as a project lead then a teacher.  Helping if we hit any road blocks, but the learning of how to do things will be primarily up to the students or programmers, just like it would be in a real work environment.

Next week I should have at least the start of the project outline.  Depending on how many ideas come up and how much discussion is needed it is hard to guess just how much we will get done, but as we are on a deadline I know everyone will try to push through as quickly as possible without loosing any quality.

CS401 Learning and Progress Start

My name is Andrew Thomas Murray, I am creating this blog to track my progress and learning in college class CS401 Software Development Process.

First some information on myself.  I am in my last year of Computer Science degree at Worcester State University.  While I have used computers all of my life I have had very little experience with any kind of coding before starting this degree.  So I am looking forward to learning more on software development and especially the class project getting good experience working on creating full usable software.

I am expecting a lot of work in this class, but also to learn a lot.  The tools we’ll be using like javascript and html I haven’t done any real projects with before.  So learning them on top of the course material will be a challenge.  I expect though to come away from this class with a lot of good information and skills.

I will be updating this blog once a week, though likely on different days depending on class workloads.  This is my first time using a blog but so far haven’t had any difficulties with it.  As I get more familiar with it might be able to add more to future posts.  That is all for this post, class starts this upcoming Monday so next post will have more about the class and project.