CS373 Spring 2020: Final Entry

Lauren Mangibin
3 min readDec 6, 2020

Long-term takeaways from this class:

  • test first, test during, test after, test, test, test
  • when designing algorithms, demand the weakest capabilities (e.g. iterable vs. indexable)
  • when designing containers, provide the strongest capabilities (e.g. indexable vs iterable)
  • build decorators on top of containers, iterators, and functions
  • utilize the benefits of being lazy (i.e. yield)
  • always look for reuse and symmetry in your code
  • collaboration is essential to the quality of your code and to your well-being in producing it

How well do you think the course conveyed those takeaways?

I think the class effectively conveyed the takeaways. While many of the topics we discussed seemed theoretical, they were applied when we created the website. I think in retrospect, these lessons popped up a lot more often than I realized, so I’m happy Professor Downing made them into a concrete list.

Were there any other particular takeaways for you?

Don’t be afraid of new technology.

At the beginning of the semester, I was anxious working with new tools such as React and APIs since I had never done it before. I tend to freeze up and think “I can’t do it” when I first start learning, kind of like being thrown into the pool the first time you learn to swim.

Once you flail around, maybe get a lifeguard, do a little CPR … “it’s not that bad”. I’m thankful that this class showed me that I’ll survive learning something completely new, even if I do need to die inside a little bit.

How did you feel about two-stage quizzes and tests?

BLESS THE TWO-STAGE QUIZZES AND TESTS. I would not have been able to do well in this class on my own. I appreciate how collaborative Downing’s classes are. He makes you realize that doing things by yourself is important to learn and develop but so is helping others.

How did you feel about cold calling?

Not bad. RIP technical difficulties during cold calling though, it makes it really awkward. However, Downing is very gentle, so don’t worry :)

How did you feel about office hours?

Office hours were fun! If you go you get extra credit, so I went at the beginning, and Downing and a couple of other people and I just talked about society, computer science, what we wanted to do in the future. Fun times.

How did you feel about lab sessions?

Thank you to the TAs that helped us with all of our problems. Our group harassed them with questions and long pauses of frustration, but they were always patient with us

Give me your suggestions for improving the course

I really appreciated the articles about Women in Tech that we had to read for this course. It was nice to see other students’ responses, especially from the guys in the class. I would also like to spend a little time on the basics of Javascript, or at least one class that introduces us to Javascript and where to start learning.

Other than that, I enjoyed the class very much!

To future students :

Hehe. You’ll have a lot of fun :) I’ve made so many beautiful friendships in this class, and I hope that when you take it, you’ll be able to do the same. Choose a group that will help you grow stronger by letting you be vulnerable. Good luck!

One final shout out to the Jonas brothers

checkout https://burninup.me/

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Lauren Mangibin
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Computer Science Student at UT Austin