5/5/16 Finished & Final Thoughts…

So when we first were introduced to the Radiology Module for OpenMRS  I was all excited.  We initially narrowed it down to an issue which looked to require minimal coding.  We were told that this issue might be ‘too difficult’, and we chose another issue, a simple task of deleting unused lines from a couple of files.  Simple, right?  Bang this out, move on to another issue.  Oh no….first getting OpenMRS and the Radiology module up and running, even for one of us, was crazy.  What that really taught me/us is that clear instructions are paramount.  This again was an issue because exactly what was to be done was vague via the ticket’s description.  Even after Matt asked for clarification multiple times, we weren’t entirely sure what the ‘right’ answer was.  Eventually we got an answer we took as concise enough to complete and actually finish the issue.  Unfortunately we do not know whether or not our fixes were accepted/utilized.


3/18/16 Chapters 4 & 5

Chapter 4  was about having the right mental state to code well.  Distractions many of us utilize on a daily basis such as music, cell phones, t.v., or when it’s late-night and/or you’re just plain tired.  While I understand his point(s), I also understand a bit about people, and how we all function differently.  Personally I find certain sounds relaxing, or in terms of being able to produce some form of work, distracting to the peripheral portions of my thoughts and allows me to concentrate only on the task at hand.  I think even if it were possible to create a ‘perfect’ environment, that the silence itself would be a distraction to me.  I also am very much NOT a morning person, and daytime is nice, but optional, I am often up, and completely conscious at 3 AM, so I feel that again, sometimes it’s more about the fit to the person, and what achieves the mental state optimal for producing excellent code.

Chapter 5 was all about that favorite recurring theme….TDD…everything should be Test Driven Development!  I know that while this concept has been shown to my classmates and myself, that it still is not a favorite for us.  I wonder if this concept shouldn’t receive its own class earlier in our curriculum sometimes considering the seeming importance placed upon it in the later courses because a lot of us seem to, and I certainly do, feel lost with this in practice, or at least more challenged than would seem necessary.  I mean I understand the idea that you can build the code around the tests, but I feel this is not necessarily perfect.  This of course could just be my limited experience and a limitation on my current model of thinking about this concept.

3/3/16 The ICU and You!

So I  did the Skype for class the other day…from the ICU at UMass!  I mean, how many other people can make that kind of blog post?  “Yeah, I died the other day….and still participated in a class Skype conference!”.

Chapters 2 & 3

These chapters deal with knowing when to take on more work/responsibility, and understanding when you should not.  Luckily I have some real world experience on both sides of the fence in these regards.  Mr. Martin stresses the professionalism aspects, such as assuring you will have all of the work you’ve committed to done at the time you’ve said it would be completed by.  I am well acquainted with the fact that it is often difficult to try and tell someone, especially someone who is your supervisor/boss, “No.”, or “I can’t make that happen in that timeframe.”, etc.  I think everyone should be realistic; standards exist for good reason (usually), but people are imperfect.  Understanding our own limitations often comes from testing those limitations and reassessing based on our results, and we almost always learn more when we fail.  I understand the author’s ideas on professionalism having said that though.


2/24/16 Open MRS and Chapter 1


We’re going to work on some project, or projects, in OpenMRS.  This has proven to be somewhat frustrating so far.  I’m not so sure anyone has had an easy time of it thus far, so at least I’m not alone.  I thought having things that were required already on my laptop (MySQL, Maven, Eclipse, VirtualBox, etc) would make the process more streamlined, and somehow easier, and that has not been the case.  I have downloaded OpenMRS from GitHub , which has been the only part that has seemed to have gone right so far.  Not using Eclipse and using IntelliJ has proven to be more of a challenge than I would expect.  Nothing about using IntelliJ has seemed difficult, but I can’t get it to recognize the packages…

In Chapter 1 of “The Clean Coder” by Robert Martin I mainly got the idea that professionalism is of paramount importance in the software development industry.  He reinforced other ideas developed for us in other courses; such as frequent testing and ‘cleaner’ and more versatile code.  Mr. Martin also reinforced the idea that enhancing your skills and widening your skill set(s) during your ‘off’ time will lead to better career potentials and paths, the idea of self-motivation was not lost on me. The points about/regarding professionalism seemed to be what resonated the most though.


1/26/16 Starting out in Software Development Capstone

Hello. I’m John, and I’m finishing up my degree, and this blog is related to our progress in our Software Development Capstone.  Despite me being considerably older than my classmates I still have the same air of excitement and concern many of them have.  It’s amazing to think that four years have just about passed, and I’m actually about to graduate.


In the beginning…

Golden crimson hues of sunlight break the horizon, cascading the dawn’s light upon the anxiously waiting world…

…or not.  Especially during the winter in New England.  Up before the sun rises to generally freeze and shiver while the car warms up to slide off to school.  Most likely having gotten far too little sleep due to work or homework.

I often wonder if my fellow CS peers get tired of the same things I hear…’Oh, so you can fix my computer/printer/laptop/digital device’, or some commentary on how hard CS must be and how we must be ‘smart’.  I wonder if I still involuntarily roll my eyes each time…

Let us wander upon this path, seeing if we arrive at a dream, or a nightmare…

My magic 8 ball says to try again later…