Thankful to be back at my desk in the Tysons office after being gone most of last week. Though I just found out that since this office is overcrowded, the group of engineers I’m part of will be moving to a different floor in the next few weeks. Just after I’m starting to get comfortable! This move is temporary as we are slated to move into our new space in Rosslyn (on the Potomac overlooking Georgetown, the Kennedy Center, and the Lincoln Memorial) in December/January. I’m super excited about that move because I will then be able to walk to work!
Today’s goal for myself was to earn a sprint point by accepting a task, making the necessary changes, submitting it for code review, getting it approved, and shipping it. I picked an easy task for my first one. Needless to say, this took me all day. The code changes I had to make are certainly in my wheelhouse. Basically, I had to change a class to use a newly created class from another team. No biggie. The challenge was to find the code I needed to fix among thousands of files, see how it’s all connected, and figure out the effects of the change. I had to fully test my code before submitting for code review, so it was important to learn what the user sees and how all the parts fit together. I know that this should have taken an hour, but since I’m new to this codebase, it took me all day.
My experience today made me wonder, why did we get rid of the case study in AP Computer Science A? I’m under the impression it’s because colleges don’t include a similar experience in their first year course. I always liked the idea of giving students a multi-class package, asking them to learn how it all works, and then make changes and/or additions to it. I believe this skill can be measured and is one that is important to our field. While some software engineers create things from scratch, many more use, refactor, and build upon existing pieces of code. This skill certainly was instrumental to my success today. CS teachers - my recommendation is to make use of assignments with multiple classes so that students will have to focus on big picture, seeing how it all fits together, and learn to play detective when they are given a task to refactor, add to, or modify the code.
And for today’s funny. One of the perks that comes with this job is free access to the gym in our building. I ventured down there today to sign up. As I was filling out the paperwork (you know the kind that says that if we die at the gym we can’t blame them), the man running the front desk asked me, “Do you work at Capital One?” I responded cheerfully, “No, I work at Yext.” He quipped back, “Oh, with all the kids.”
hours of sleep = 5; steps = 3,500; lines of code written = 5;