2 of 3.

How has the COVID-19 affected me working? Well, my previous post was about the negatives. This one is about the positives, and how it relates to open-source.

All the online meeting tools.

Look, like most people when faced with change, it never feels good at first, there’s usually a slew of complaints, this time would be no different, and although I partake in this, I’m grateful to be put into a position where I am learning these new programs. This includes

  • Big Blue Button
  • Webex
  • Zoom
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Blackboard Online

What this has taught me, is that features are slightly different from one another, that this is a very crowded market, and to never design one of these programs, because frankly it’s overcrowded as it is. The good news is, I’m prepared for any of them taking majority market control!

Working Together

Growing up, I was heavily involved with the e-sports community, I dealt with individuals all around the world, when I was 16 I met my first two versus two partner at the ROM downtown Toronto as he was visiting from New York City. I didn’t tell my parents “Hey I’m going to meet someone from online, I told them I was going out for the day.” We had been friends for a long time, despite never meeting in person. My next big move was getting sponsored by a team in Singapore, even though we never met in person, we had to collaborate a lot on sponsorship, applications, countries laws, and I was only 17 at the time, so this was a lot, and took a lot of constant communication between us. This really helped me understand the complexity of working online with someone, and at that age, made me really pick apart what people were saying. It was a source of learning, however it’s very different then the academic approach which I was never good at, till I decided to go back to school. What’s really cool with the way my open-source course is right now, is that it’s this beautiful in-between, it’s real work, real problems, being able to have constant communication with team members, and it really tests someone’s ability to communicate. I myself have ‘slacked’ in communication since being at home, but as more and more people get involved, I find myself wanting to get more and more involved. This is a really cool thing, and I’m glad more people are getting exposure to it now, as I do think there will be more and more of this in the future.

Friendships Built

I think one thing that I appreciate with online collaboration, is people’s ability to be themselves behind there computer screen, I’ve seen more and more borderline messages, the fear of saying something is gone when you can type it out. This can definitely be a negative thing in the work place, resulting in some people being fired, but for me, seeing people bring there eccentric, or ridiculous side out, I realize there all human and that it’s incredibly hard to express things.

I’ve spent a lot of time on zoom calls. In open-source this is what we used to communicate, a zoom-call lasts 40 minutes before you have to create another one, unless you get the professional version. As a student, that is not in the budget. I think our record for one night is 6 zoom calls. thats 240 minutes. In class, I’ve talked to some of these individuals directly for 10-15 minutes over the course of 2 months prior to covid-19, people that I work with and build this project with, I see them present, I take in what they are saying, they take in what I’m saying, or in some cases, I just get a chance to read there posts, a good example is Ray. He’s one of the individuals whose been able to jump on, share screen, and help me with issues, we can talk about star wars while working, and one major difference is here, we don’t need to make eye contact, and it’s nice to start to put a personality to the one person who constantly adds to telescope despite not being in the course.

Manenkenpix has also, I’ve probably done the most collaborating with him, it’s neat watching him work with share screen, as well as noticing what he does differently then me. It’s also nice knowing when I have an issue, I have someone willing to help me debug my problems, this is key. As a windows users, I have problems, A LOT of them. Testing his pull request which is here, he wrote a beautiful write-up, which had a minor problem with the wget command for windows users, I ended up having to use Curl and a -O, and given my experience was low with both those, I had to lean on his knowledge, and got to learn a couple new commands. All really cool stuff, that I don’t think would have happened if this was in a class room. To be honest, I might have looked into his stuff, ran into that problem, and let someone else try this out who might not have been on a windows machine. (Given his work doesn’t affect mine a whole lot its easy to not appreciate it.)

These two individuals have made great allies in dealing with covid-19’s problems, and definitely brought a little bit of friendship along the way.

More Support

There’s actually more time for one on one support I find now, it’s usually much more efficient to reply to an email then it is to talk to someone in person, provided you can communicate well. This goes with messages too, I’ve noticed more and more people getting involved on Slack, now if I’m gone for 20 minutes off slack, I’m missing 100+ messages, that I have to go and read, with a high chance something they are doing is related to what I am doing. I’m noticing it more and more that going off in private messages, need to happen less, especially near the end of the project when we are all on a fine line of overlapping each others work. All this supports more and more what I am doing, and its awesome to see.

Collaborating

Okay, so let’s see how collaborating helped me.
Let’s look at https://github.com/Seneca-CDOT/telescope/pull/905
and https://github.com/Seneca-CDOT/telescope/pull/898

Okay, we were working on 898, and it was going great, a PR came in and it caused me to have to re-base. Instead of taking my time to learn the proper way, I did it a similar way to how I had done on my capstone project, crap. Immediately I was dinged and with the steps to fix it…well, that back fired as well, because I had some slight changes and had to re-submit it, and some how I merged it to master, and I entered panic mode, this was on a zoom call, it was a good laugh, or at least a panic-induced laugh, luckily I was on a zoom call at the time, and going over the PR, at this time, I go back to look at the conversation on the github and about 30 minutes prior, @humphd actually had wrote how I should have tackled this problem he could foresee coming up. Alright, too late, what are my next options. Boom – telescope collaborators to the rescue, just gotta cherry-pick, and reset things. Done. Whew, thank god this would have been way worse if I wasn’t on a call. I’d probably have tried closing the issue, going to bed to hopefully wake up to it fixed. (NOT THE BEST APPROACH.)

Closing Thoughts


This is the REALLY cool parts of all the communicating online, the ability to solve problems very quickly. There’s only so many weeks left of school, and it will be interesting to see it ramp up very quickly I think, and I’m excited about that.

First of Three.

I’ve decided to write three blogs, to get up to speed on my blogging. This one will detail mostly the problems I’ve run into.

Covid-19 has changed the way we do things, most likely forever. I want to address some of my issues I’ve ran into first hand, and some really good things that have developed from it.

The Bad

First I thought that, hey we only have one exam and projects, left in my courses.

Issue #1Technical Problems

Technical difficulties - YouTube

This is great more time for my projects, no commute time, and winning all around.

What actually happened. My laptop dies, it’s only worth about 200$, and the fix cost me 120$. Not really worth it, as I want to replace it by this summer, and well, I have access to a desktop. It’s a gaming desktop, but now it’s a developing/gaming.

This caused a large issue for me, getting docker to work on a Windows @ Home machine. Day #1 of attempting it, 6 hours, no progress. There’s a lot of things that need to be installed, a lot of waiting for things to run, and a lot of reading with out any clear solutions. I wanted to avoid WSL2, because I do use this desktop for my gaming which is a source of revenue for me, slowing it down, is never a good thing, and well, quality streams are important.

Second attempt, this time I pull out the big guns, @RayGervais and Josue. I think I spent 4+ hours with them on a call, learning a ton about how docker works, options and commands I did not know existed, and really grasping a better idea of how docker works. Very informative, but ultimately the problems seemed much more difficult then initially thought, and WSL2 is much cleaner solution. Ease is key for me, if it’s too difficult, there’s three options, wait for a better product, build a better product, or find a new product. Well, waiting isn’t really an option due to this now affecting my courses, building a better product isn’t an option in that same time frame, so I have to find another which led me to WSL2 as my only option.

This took in total about 12 hours to get installed and running, finishing around 3-4 am.

Open source is difficult in this sense, if you go work for a company, they make sure you have everything you need to do your job, open source you have to rely on the community. That’s where it’s different, it maybe more challenging at times, but it’s definitely more enjoyable.

Now, on to other issues from 0.8, ultimately I did not achieve my goal, in fact I did very little except for participate on Slack, am I happy with this? No. Is this how I am normally when not everyone’s Quarantined? No. I’m someone who feeds off other peoples energy, not..like mystical, but the power they have and energy, when they get excited, I get excited, when they get motivated, I get motivated, and the cool thing with this is, I like to think I can help others get motivated, and it in turn makes me more motivated. So, this is where my second issue is.

Issue #2 – Motivation

This is my motivation go-to video. Michael Jordan, the best player ever talks about failure.


Being at home all day, everyday, with small quick trips to the store, is the very little face to face action I have, don’t get me wrong, I get video calls from Family, including my 3 nephews and 1 niece, which do brighten my day. And there great at motivating me to enjoy life, but there not great at getting me motivated to work. This is where I like adults, it’s really cool coming together and building something as cool as Telescope, but it’s really hard to sign on, and code, without seeing peoples expressions and reactions to things, the age old question : is there purpose to what I am doing?

Well, because I only have projects, it’s very hard to meet and talk with my team. It’s hard to get motivation. It’s hard to know how people interact and how it makes someone else’s life easier, virtually, it could make the world of difference but never seeing someone use it yourself, its hard. This same goes for the projects we are building, specifically coding, you kind of add lines, and texts of code, and send it off, but if you don’t use your own programs, are you doing fruitless work?

So my motivation I say is at an all time low, being somewhere everyday, and looking forward to a day at home, is a lot better then being home, wanting to go somewhere but can’t.

Issue #3 – Expectations and Timelines

What Kind of an Expectation Setter Are You? - Boyer Managment Group
This picture doesn’t reflect anything, but I think its funny.



One thing I’m missing mostly is my group of friends, not for the jokes, because I am the funniest (LOL), but for the little messages, the reminders, the care. It’s easy to not stop and think about other people if they aren’t around, and I don’t mean this in a negative way, I don’t think it’s anyone’s responsibility, but for the most part when I deal with people, on a day to day basis, there caring individuals, it’s when you aren’t with them face to face, that it’s easy for them to care about something else. This is one of my favorite things about being in a physical classroom. Being able to see a professor solve any problem I have is enjoyable for me and the professor, because that’s what they are there to help us do…learn. That includes small little fixes, like them pointing out you have a capital in your variable name one location, but not the other. (Those things happen a lot more frequently then you’d think). Which, although I agree not every professor does this well, majority of them do.

This applies to open-source greatly, @humphd has been phenomenal in allowing me to think more clearly about problems I run into, and how to address them, from little tutorials, to watching him code, to providing feedback. I was initially the only one out of my group of friends who decided to take Open-Source project again, I knew if I didn’t have to be in a physical classroom, and I wasn’t getting a grade, I just wouldn’t do it.

I’m grateful I made this decision, despite many others pushing me against it, almost everyone telling me I’ve learned what I needed too from open-source, let’s just say I was glad they were wrong. Am I feeling smug about being right? Absolutely, do I rub it in there face, no, well, unless they read this blog. Doing open-source alone is hard, you need to find a community to belong too, and you need to grow within that community. Telescope has been amazing in that sense, but it REALLY sucks not being able to see everyone on a weekly basis in person. However, compared to my other group projects? This is the only one I genuinely want to work on, but the everyday stress from those classes, demotivate me for this one, where connections and communities have not been built up.

Also blogs, I’ve never wrote a pure technical blog post, maybe I’ll make that my 1.0 goal, write one very technical blog post instead of a self-reflection.

Cough* It's Been A While… | K.T. Gilbert Romance



I’ll write about the positives going forward, and this post wasn’t to negatively target anyone instead it is used to target the situation that’s very unfortunate, my next blog post will be more positive.

Sometimes you just need a bit of peace.

“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.”

 Ecclesiastes 11:4

I think that’s what I’ve begun to really learn when working with Telescope and coding in general, I did a lot of code review, that will most likely back fire on me later, but I did read it. However, it seemed like this iteration was a lot of CSS work, which is awesome, because, it’s like a nice home, it makes you want to go back.

The problem with CSS code, is unless you’re an expert, it’s much harder to find a bug with the CSS until later on, when you design either another component, or perhaps on a device that might not support it. So, although I can comment on the CSS on the look and feel, and make sure it feels right, my knowledge of all the different CSS sections could definitely use some much desired improvements, and understanding.

The other part of the project I worked on, which should be completed once it is merged, is looking over and managing the “feeds”.

This included following up a lot with the different players who were involved, I like this part a lot, one because I get to read a lot of different code, from GraphQL to Gatsby/React, Express and the beautiful Jest tests I now know how to write.

One thing I really enjoyed this time around, and the approach I took, was that I wanted to be criticized early. Why? Because the more time someone has to criticize me, the higher quality of criticism I’ll get. The previous iterations my pull request was filed the night before, and even though I had done my research, research does not equal that you know how to write the code correctly, or that you took what you wrote is what the documentation was trying to tell you.

Image result for bad code meme

To many times I’m in the same situation, I write bad code in my projects, and I go back over it, and later this meme really hits me. It made for a much more enjoyable experience, getting in bad code first, and getting early feed back from both my peers and colleagues. Anytime I have a chance to learn and grow, it’s very crucial to have this feedback, it’s invaluable.

One of my good friends, that I grew up playing Soccer with, uses this phrase a lot and I think it pertains to learning in general, whether its your professor, colleagues, boss, friends.

When your Coach no longer gives you feedback, it means he’s giving up on you. He believes you’re unteachable and his time is better spent else where.

So, this time I didn’t want to think that I wasn’t listening when my 0.6 didn’t go as planned, and that I would start immediately, get code in, and get that beautiful feedback that I need to grow. It allowed for a much more enjoyable experience, the only frustration is not being able to get “logout” done. Partly, because certifications are hard, partly because nobody is jumping for joy when they log out of something, and let’s be honest, there are way cooler features to work on.

I’m much happier with my performance this time around, no longer scrambling, and feel this is a much better approach to get the code in as fast as possible, and get that much needed feedback. I’m hoping to apply a similar tactic in 0.8.

All though, not all these pull requests were merged, it all allowed me to be able to focus on managing the project of Feeds much faster, learning two two new aspects of Telescope I had not touched (using Redis, and Jest Tests). Allowing for a fairly self-successful 0.7 release for myself.

https://github.com/Seneca-CDOT/telescope/pull/729
https://github.com/Seneca-CDOT/telescope/pull/719
https://github.com/Seneca-CDOT/telescope/pull/723/


60%

There’s a plethora of things that are 60%.

Such as a

Image result for 60% keyboard
60% Keyboard
image 1 of Lindt Lindor 60% Dark Chocolate Truffles Carton 200G
60% Cocoa

Illinois is requiring that adults between the age of 25-64 that 60% of them will have a college degree.

60% of People can’t go 10 minutes without lying.

And…

Telescope.

Telescope has been what I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on, and I ran into a couple issues this time around. I feel like I was exposed more on my knowledge, and showed me I still had a huge uphill battle to continue to learn as much as I can. This project is now at 60%.

I’m operating at I think about 30% of my potential. What do I mean by that? I mean my writing has to improve, my reading has to improve, and I need to struggle more frequently.

Twice in the last two weeks I struggled a lot, both times resulting in incredible late nights. I think I have to fine tune my approach. I think I have to liken it more to working out.

When you first start working out, you do things incorrectly, certain muscles aren’t working right, and its a bit of a mess, you’re also struggling a lot.

Fast forward to two weeks later, you are probably closer to doing the exercises correctly (or pretty darn close.), but the struggle is just there, just on a different page.

So the past couple weeks, I was taking a different approach, enjoying tutorials that I was attempting, such as Gatsby, building SSO’s, and more. The problem is I don’t struggle during these tutorials, I follow them. That’s not a struggle. I would relate this to when you are a kid, and you sit on your dads shoulders, he’s struggling but you’re having a blast. You gotta hang on to his head, but let’s be honest, it’s enjoyable, and it’s not THAT difficult at that age, proven by the fact you are a kid.

These aren’t helping developing my muscles, it can teach me a basic, but it’s not teaching me to really understand what is going on. It’s teaching me to follow instructions.

Going into the day to work on my telescope issues I felt I was going to put my knowledge to paper, and I’d have an enjoyable time coding.

Well, while coding, I realized I did not understand the flow, most errors from ESLint and Prettier I had begun to rely on them to fix my issues. It’s weird thing when a tool can be pushing you in the wrong direction, especially when something gets added, in this example it would be “this fixes your spacing, and makes your code look organized”. However, it does more then that, it can fundamentally change the way you’re code is written. This includes functions and certain situations when you need to pass variables through different functions, there’s multiple ways to do it, and that can be fixed.

These aren’t mentioned in the tutorials, partly because they’ve solved all those issues on their own, prior too even creating the tutorial. I’m not at that level, and I think that’s what my goal is. To be able to write a tutorial with a great understanding to help other people understand the problems and functionality of what you are doing.


So 0.6 release had me learn quite a few different things – how a SSO to Express works. how your front end to express to SSO works, gatsby, functions more in-depth, react more in-depth, the need to struggle more frequently, and not just make time for the people you’re helping, but make time for you to go seek help as well.

This is a hard thing for me to grasp, especially when I run micro teams for my projects, if I’m not around I feel like a zoo happens, when in reality they probably don’t work at the pace I prefer to work at, which isn’t always a bad thing, because faster pace can mean lesser quality, it’s a very fine line to balance.

My next release is going to be interesting, 0.7, only because I feel more free from working on purely SSO things. Given the bulk and the basic functionality is done, I think the next steps will be more front end oriented to set-up, and then back end will be 0.8.
I’m never sold on my performances, and partly because I think I need a trophy to consider myself a winner from time to time. It’s very hard to say you’ve done your best, unless you have a definitive pinnacle moment, and usually that results in a trophy or some kind of reward and you hit a bunch of criteria.

This kind of journey is different and one I’m not used too, I don’t know the criteria, but I know we are moving forward which is difficult in itself to grasp, because in sports which I’m used too. Moving forward is usually defined as scoring more goals then the other team. Very clear cut.

And keep in mind, I don’t think you can set yourself a clear cut goal, but a clear cut vision is more important, and those are different things. My hopes, is you’ll be able to go in there, set your feed in ‘settings’, change from light mode to dark mode, it would maintain these settings, and you can set your avatar to your post.

In terms of self-reflection, there’s always more, and I think I have to change my style for the next release a bit to help those around me become a little less stressed during the final hours.

If debugging is the process of removing software bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.

Edsger Dijkstra

Half-Full or Half-Empty?

We are currently rolling out a pretty cool project called Telescope. And we are half way through our adventure to get it to be a version 1.0 product! Currently we are at release 0.5, and half way to hopefully what will be a fully functional product. I’ve mostly focused on getting the single-sign on working, and fixing any bugs along the way. However, I was also trying to figure out how to test a single-sign on service!

Single-Sign on Testing

All these are the different articles I had approach to learning how to test Single-Sign On, on top of a surgery last week, and taking these things in, it was quite heavy. partly because a lot of these don’t show good examples of when to use the possible solutions they provide.

I think what frustrated me about this, was the conclusion I came too was I could not add code, and any testing of the Single-Sign On was built into our docker image already. This is something I would never want to do in the work force as I feel like it’s not a good showcase of skills, effort, and well it’s quite a bit of time spent where there isn’t progress for the project itself.

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs

The other issue that I ran into was an issue that actually was some code I wrote a while ago, in a rush to get it finished. I was only able to test it on my local computer. This caused the PR to get merged, so that was one of the first few things I worked on, it also let me understand the routing of our current project…and how much a proper front end will help fix things.

My pull request was here.

It’s mostly just fixing things, but I learned quite a bit about the other aspects, and I made sure to test it out on a different computer this time around to make sure others could also utilize the SSO utility.

Linux on Windows?

We had to create certificates so you can login to our SSO, and that was a problem for our Travis CI build. This could be an on-going issue, and I will have to teach people how to view Travis CI so they can figure out for themselves if one fails.

I think a lot of people currently don’t even read the tests, or have no idea what are going on in them. So I do think this is an opportunity for people to improve there understanding about what is going on.

My pull request for this is located here.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I am not completely satisfied with my 0.5, although I learned a lot, I like creating more then learning. If that makes sense, and very little creating and actual real-world examples I have to show. And keeping with my favorite fandoms,

It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you.

~ Batman/Bruce Wayne

It’s great that I learned, I’m glad I did, but that’s good for me, and not the community around me.

Of Cors it is.

Another year, another blog. This time it’s going to be reflective of the community at large. And something that I noticed that never pops-up on my feed, nor in my searches.
What could this mysterious thing be?

Where’s the tutorial!

As someone learning programming, constantly I refer to google, to see what other developers have made, take bits from there code, do the tutorials, and then see what I can piece together. Each tutorial takes about 15-20 minutes on average I would say, some take longer, some take shorter, and are usually quite good on helping you build whatever you need too.

This isn’t my issue, the Tutorials are great. What I’m more surprised at, is how many times I spend looking for things, and I don’t get told “I can’t do this that way.”

What do I mean?

I spent hours, trying to find my way around CORS for an Angular Application. I did not want to install a back end for something I just wanted to display information that was being generated by an RSS Feed. (Hint: It’s this feed.)

I thought for sure there would have been a relatively simple way to do this, yet alas, it took me about 10 minutes to set-up an express server and create a route that would provide the feed I needed.

Consultation

I consulted many people during this time, until one gave me fairly straight forward advice, which is why I used for express. The problem is – why isn’t this question easily searchable? This is a very common problem in programming world dealing with Cors, and there are solutions on how to fix the issue, and it’s clearly a common re-occuring problem, as I’ve seen many other new developers run into this same issue, as a community we do an amazing job showing everyone what we can do, but very few things showing what we can’t do. These lists would be super helpful for things that people want to over-come as well, or accomplish. Imagine you could see real issues people struggle with on a day-to-day basis, that you know you and your friends all dealt with, and were kind of like “Why? Why is this an issue?”

It would bring good awareness, and the Open Source community at large is very helpful, simply put these kind of questions do not get answered on stack overflow, github, but usually from an individual who went through the same growing pains.

Am I just complaining?

I don’t think so, but I could definitely understand if someone reading this felt that way, we live in a time where I get more help than I ever could at the tip of my finger tips. My growing pains are usually trying to find out what I should be reading, not where I should be reading. (Very different 30 years ago.) So I do want to preface, I think the community is very healthy and happy, and this is something I just think needs the smallest bit of contribution from the community from, and if it’s not made within 10 years, I will probably make it myself as I’ll be more experienced, although I’m sure there are tons of individuals with a wealth of knowledge that succeeds mine.

It’s almost the holidays.

Initially I started this blog because of a course that I was enrolled with, but I felt like I would continue to blog at least to get in the habit of expressing myself. Something I don’t do well with any real artistic ability, it’s often something I shun away from. It’s something I’ve always accepted about myself, that I am not a creatively charged individual. When I look at anything I design myself, I see flaws, and it’s demotivating. It’s part of the reason I got into programming, programming you know you’ve reached success, it’s logical. If you need someone to enter a form with their information, you can definitely prove you have done your part.

With creativity, there is no end. It’s like this never ending tunnel that has a light at the end but that you can never reach. It’s an incredibly scary thought and one I can admire with great respect, especially those who do it from a business standpoint. I can’t imagine the nerves after spending hours on a drawing, and showing it to a client, especially because you could have just as easily in some cases spent every single day working on it for a week straight, or sat down and did it within an hour. And that part doesn’t matter to the client, what matters is if they like it or not. This is very different then other fields I have worked in, which is very simply put under the lines of “Hey can I walk on the floor? are things lined up? Awesome! heres your money” with small little nuances like “Can we add a different floorboard” etc, it doesn’t make the entirety of my work useless.

So why am I talking about this? I thought this was a software blog.

Well, I decided to make a portfolio for myself, a website, and designing it has many thinking of all the many details.

  • Is this to much detail?
  • Is it not enough?
  • Is the colour scheme good?
  • Is the lay-out practical?
  • What if visually they don’t like the look
  • Does it get who am I across to the reader?

As I’m designing it, I worry most that someone will make a pre-judgement about my character based on the design I chose. And I say that because I’ve done that many a time when I go looking for different kinds of home repair. “Oh this designer is for a very posh look, I need something that I could be a bit more messy in” or “This style is industrial and not made for a home”

However coding is very different, I want to learn all the styles, and how can you portray that in a portfolio? How can you avoid to be pigeon holed as a type of individual. These are things I thought about a lot, and I thought of people who were very successful in their respective fields, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gordon Ramsey, Eminem, Hans Zimmerman, Will Smith.

All of them have such a wide range of ability for their given talent, Ronaldo has played in 4 big leagues now (If you include the portuguese.), and has been successful in all of them, Gordon Ramsey is a master of more then just British food, Will Smith started off more as a comedian and has had some success with both action and dramatic roles.

So, how do you portray that as an image.

The image you wan to portray, an ever-changing portrait of your-self that can capture who you could be, what you are now, and where you were previously.

So…

What do I do?

I write a blog now, I continue this trend and to make sure I am constantly re-thinking and re-evaluating myself, that my biggest critic is and always will be me. This is an important trait, it’s also a scary thing for someone who has dreams of leadership like I do, to put this out there, as it could be also a sign of weakness, a lack of vision.

So why are holidays up there?

I started to design my portfolio with the minimalist attitude, why? I admire Steve Jobs view, that minimalism is better. You can always be in control of adding more, you can’t take away, only time does that.

This is my first day on holidays, and I’m off to a great start designing this portfolio. Hopefully tomorrow bears some sweeter tasting fruits and I have a clearer image.

The Git is Near

4 months have come and gone. My goal’s were accomplished, I’m more confident in coding, I understand the fundamentals of Git, and it’s pretty cool that I got use and learn so many different aspects of coding.

If I was to create a metaphor about describing this time, it would be hard to sum it up.

Metaphorically Speaking

Git was like learning to ride a bike.

Open Source was adventuring into the wilderness for the first time – scary, and unknown, but beautiful and serene once you stop and smell the flowers.

Reading people’s code was either reading what appeared to be a mix mash of code, or a modern day Mona Lisa.

People are generally nice in the coding world, and I’m surprised the internet trolls have not infiltrated here. I almost wonder what stops it from happening.

What are my issues?

Issue #1 – This issue is on visual code extensions, pretty cool, was able to create a –force feature!

Issue #2 – This is my telescope issue super cool stuff

Exciting Times

Normally I would talk about the issues, and how I solved them but I feel that it’s better to talk about the open source experience, getting pulled in many different directions, and how to be a much more dynamic individual towards coding.

What do I mean by that? Well, there was a book I once read called Liquid Leadership that I felt helped me understand more about leadership and some of the necessary tactics like that. I felt though, that the ideologies provided in this book are can be applied to anything you do, and it became really apparent in open-source how needed it is to be this way in the Technology field.

You need to be like water, there simply isn’t enough time in your day to learn about all the different technologies that are being used, so you have to trust the people around you, and mold to there needs. This became apparent especially when we had an express server, a redis server, docker, and pretty soon a simple sign-on server, all running simultaneously. I relied heavily on the individuals who installed docker, and the others from the open source community that would perhaps do small changes for me, but would save myself time instead of learning multiple technologies individually, it let me just get the necessary parts to move forward.

Git Project

I found this to be super helpful, it’s a nifty little thing that is in GIT

This was super helpful in terms of showing all the work we did in building this thing out, and keeping well organized for others to come and see. There was some pluses and downsides, I wish it would provide more feedback in terms of the average time it takes to complete one of the issues, how many lines of code on average were added per issue etc. Which labels were frequently being used, a lot of smaller projects within a bigger project would be super helpful. Overall though this is a huge help if you aren’t using it already.

What did I learn?

I learned that relying on others to help you through things is necessary, that open source can connect you with more quality individuals who are looking to move forward with there skills then be held back, which is a plus.

I learned my reading ability needs work, taking my team to read will help me along at a faster pace.

That people are willing to help, just at there own paces.

Expectation’s are low on open source

Quality can range greatly

All git hub profile pictures have individuals taking selfies but staring off in the distance.

Lasting impression

Will I continue with open-source? Absolutely, it’s the best place for me to get more experience coding, and get exposure to different people doing different things in the technology world, and I can highly recommend anyone give it a fair shot if they are just getting into coding, or a coding wizard.

When I See A Door With A Push Sign, I Pull First To Avoid Conflicts

Issues, Issues, Issues

I think this is where it starts to get difficult, everyone wants to create a mona lisa before drawing their first stickman. I realized I haven’t earned my stripes yet, I want to fly before even walking at times when it comes to coding, and constantly getting humbled right now is a good experience for me.

What are the two issues I decided to tackle?

Issue #1
Issue #2

Relatively easy to understand, could be hard to do correctly fixes. The first one is more code added to VSCode, I’m hoping to contribute more and more to VSCode, even after my current course is done, as I think it is one of the better IDE’s and will help greatly in interviews when pointing out things I have built and run.

Reflecting On My Choices

One thing I don’t do a lot of us, is actually taking the time to reflect of what I am doing, as a whole, a bigger picture. That’s kind of my goal for this week. I wanted to focus on something I felt I would be able to carry forward. Both these issues are something I felt would help me with my progression goals.

The first issue, being VSCode, as I said earlier, it will help for interviews, I can directly reference the IDE, and show exactly what I have done.

The second is our project Telescope, although I do feel this project is great when it can be your main focus, it does move at a much faster pace due to the amount of developers working on it as a whole. This is definitely hard to balance with other projects that I am working on, the plus side is though, that this will be forever be ony my resume, which gives it a higher priority.

As someone who strives to do his best, it’s getting harder and harder progressing through the current program I am in, and giving each class the necessary attention it needs to do well in, and some sacrifices must be made at some point.

This is something I will probably continue to struggle with till perhaps the end of the semester and get a better idea of how I’d like to approach this going forward.

Either way we are in the home stretch people! And I can’t be more excited so I can re-focus my self and do a much better job going forward!

git pull a day keeps the conflicts away

Working in open source, can be beautiful and destructive. It’s an interesting ecosystem of different individuals all around the world, contributing to various different projects they believe in.

These last couple of weeks felt like I had just entered into an old 1960 western starring Clint Eastwood. I am including Eastwood because of the amount of squinting I had to do for the long periods of time I was looking at a monitor.

Open Source Thoughts

There is a lot to take in – I worked on two pull requests, one for an internal project that was moving the speed of light, and the other Visual Studio Code, something that I use and appreciate very much, and feel is a strong IDE. I don’t believe in making a blog solely on complaining, so when I talk about my responses below. These are things I felt were very beneficial for my growth.

Things I Liked
  • Any project
  • Friendly open source community
  • Reading tons of different styles of code
  • Witnessing how large a project can be
  • Discovering new tools and libraries relatively simple
  • Learning git to a higher degree.
  • Different coding backgrounds coming from all over the place
Things I Disliked
  • Waiting for previous issues that I could do myself to be done before I could proceed
  • Conflicts, and people cheating the system.
  • You can just as easily join and leave a community
  • Hard to understand the overall work flow of the project
  • Hard to communicate in real-time on projects
  • Individuals who aren’t owning the repository making executive decisions (in terms of coding style.)

Well, then…

Keep in mind these were spent over a short period of time, and just the problems I saw for the probably 20 hours I put into working on both my internal and external request.
I don’t feel like either the pros or cons will go away. The exception being when I worked on visual studio code. Someone from microsoft has to approve or disapprove your pull request and issue. However, many of the projects don’t have that level of service. It’s actually odd that microsoft does, huge corporation that has billions of dollars utilizing on an open source community to help push them forward is a really weird conundrum, and I’m assuming it’s probably to not stifle the level of creativity that can be input into their product that they look at as the best approach to stay ahead of the curve.

What were the pull requests?

You can see the two ones I did here and here.

Visual Studio Code


The first one, Visual Studio Code, is adding the Cntl-shift-C feature and Cntl-shift-V feature to Windows terminals. Now, who uses it? Well, apparently it’s becoming standardized in many terminals, and I believe already the standard way of practicing in Linux. When an individual has to switch back and forth through systems, thats where the issue lies. Muscle memory fails them.

Now, I initially got stuck because the issue read cntl-shift + *. You can see the issue here.

So I scoured the internet, far and while for this mysterious combination of cntl-shift and *. Yes, I couldn’t see a tree from the forest…or a forest from the tree. I’m not sure the saying. The * representing an infinity possibilities. It wasn’t a specific function attached to ‘*’.

Now, eventually I tried somethings, and my code was actually incorrect, however due to a custom setting I had on my computer, it did not work in the submitted copy, so I had to make some changes.

I found working with visual studio code, very simple, easy, super helpful staff, and I hope to continue to work with a project that has a very nice working structure. Great use of maintainers, little hassle for the merge, and very clear cut coding guidelines.
I enjoyed this despite some of my wasted time setting everything up quite a bit.

Telescope

This project is far more interesting, created far more issues, and made me re-think about opening or starting a project on open source. And to clarify, open source can be a really good thing.

Well, because this was a brand new project, I felt there was a lot of growing pains that the open source community isn’t as equipped for. A lot of problems are stumbled through or on during the start of a new project. Now, these aren’t problems that can’t be fixed, especially with the amount of people working on this however, depending on where you are at, and when you want to contribute thats where this will let you down. For my particular times issues exploded, like a volcanoe.

Everyone trying to jump on the issues that are easiest, ones with large amounts of code easily added or ones they felt comfortable doing. The issue? Well, a good example was the “express server.” This was something that I believe was done, almost a week later after the issue, and done extremely well. However, the parts that I wanted to interact with did not need that same level of quality. I needed a rough express server, just so we could move forward faster with SAML introduction. This was an issue that directly affected me, and depending on how long or the other individuals time, would dictate what I could have done. However to deploy my own express server, would have taken me less time, and easier to test. Frustrating experience as I don’t necessarily think in open source that doing more is always better. It’s staying within your issue and accomplishing your issue I feel is more important. The faster that issue is dealt with, creating your next issue should be relatively simple, this allows for a much simpler flow.

There’s also the case that I saw others run in, which is styles of code. Well, early contributors got to kind of “dictate” this, or individuals who chose the large amounts of code. This is an odd scenario to have happen, and one that only is kind of near the start of the code when so much code is flying around. I almost feel like its better to have some ground work set-up before an open source project is opened to the public for this reason, as I think there are some questions that need to be answered prior too the start of a project to lessen the growing pains to a ton of devs that are relatively new. I do envy the next class that gets to work on this project. As a lot of these things will be dealt with by the time they are up to perform.

They’ll also not have to hopefully deal with the crazed package-lock.json file, and its ever changing ways because hopefully by the end all the packages we need will be installed. Although thats an issue, I don’t think it’s one that will pop-up on the regular due to the vast amount already added.

To say these weren’t great character building scenarios would be dishonest, they definitely helped me think more critically on how I would like to manage my own future projects. And for that I am greatful, while someone else may jump into a similar situation, perhaps if we didn’t have the great David Humpries at the helm who was more knowledgeable, I truly do feel the ship could just as easily sunk with someone with less experience.

Limits

My last post talked about my limits, and I do feel like I was able to push through these issues, however much like Dragon Ball Super ended, the truth is, you push through these limits through the help of friends.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2zMzspzbEM
For a scene that accurately reflects my feelings which are that Jiren (The bald headed super muscle-y dude.) is the problems we face, and goku is the embodiment of pushing forward and the impact friends can have on us.

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