Sunday, January 30, 2005

A Timely Lesson

It was clearly one of those weeks. I can’t believe I did something so stupid. Remember that homework assignment that I spent 30 hours on? Well, I submitted the wrong set of source files to be grades. I removed the memory leaks from an older set of code, and because I had turned off the output of the report, I had no idea that I was working with a version that had design flaws in it. I made a bad assumption, by not even checking to make sure it all ran ok when I handed it in, and now I will probably end up paying for it by receiving a bad grade. I sent an email to the professor explaining that I really did complete the whole assignment, asking that this time he accept the real version in place of the one I turned in. He didn’t seem too pleased with the idea of accommodating my mistake, and understandably so. There may still be some hope for the assignment, if not, it will just be an expensive lesson, and I will be much more careful about making sure that what I hand in is what I intended to have graded.

Some days I really feel like a CS major, others I wonder what I am doing in this program. Any student with a brain cell would have made sure that the assignment he was handing in worked.

Lesson:
Make sure that when you are ready to say a piece of code is complete that you have run and verified ALL of the tests ONE LAST TIME.

Maybe this will help me to have a little more mercy upon the programmers at work. It sure is easy to mess up. I just wish I didn’t experience it with my grade hanging in the balance. Thank goodness this is only worth a fraction of my final grade.

On a more positive note, Derek Cuthbert said:
“Fear is prevalent throughout the earth. It stifles initiative, saps strength, and reduces efficiency. It weakens faith, brings doubts, and begets mistrust. Indeed, it tends to impede the very business of being. How negative, frustrating, and futile is fear.”

So rather than being fearful and worrisome, I choose to learn my lesson and move on.

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