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Blog Entry for the Week Ending April 7

by Broadnax, Levi A. last modified Apr 07, 2017 06:40 PM

This week I dedicated my time to self-reflection and the comparison of tools I am already familiar with, to tools I am uncomfortable with. The software development career path does not allow for people to remain stagnant; software developers are constantly learning and consistently changing. As a graduating senior, this is the most important time for me to realize this. The companies I have moved forward with in the interview process have all given me a final task before giving me an offer: To complete an assignment that does not retain the spirit of the company, but accesses the spirit of where they plan to go. These projects require me to utilize their current system, and additionally to utilize the software they are moving towards. I have only ever worked within a Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP) stack, and they all are making use of the MongoDB, ExpressJS, Angular, NodeJS (MEAN) stack in some way. Although I was not extremely familiar with the MEAN stack, I have utilized it in small personal projects throughout my college career. I was taught throughout my college career, from the beginning, that it is pivotal to continue learning outside of class during my college career.

This thirst for bleeding-edge technologies, although generally not taught directly in class, was fostered by using enterprise software systems that always felt overly complex. For example: in class on Wednesday we had a lab to extend a form module for OSS named OpenMRS. The extension requirement was simple, add additional attributes to user data and have them show up alongside the other user data. The blessing and curse of using alternative software systems during my college career allowed my resume to be noticed by companies I am interested in, but it also leads me to great frustration when using bulky software systems like OpenMRS. I have written simple software solutions to create dynamic forms using AngularJS and a MySQL database to track all of the electronic assets on campus, with dynamic properties tied to each type of object being tracked. Alternatively for OpenMRS, it was a ninety-minute chore to be able to add a single static attribute. It should be understood by all software professional as to the benefits of any software solution, because there is no single perfect software solution to all problems. The scope of solutions provided by software is constantly changing, from being used for mathematics in it's beginnings to being used for artificial intelligence now, there is no option for professional software developers other than to learn as much they can as often as they can.

By next week Cooper and I will have fixed out badge assignment bugs. I will also have finished some test badges and, finalized the scheme that I will use for displaying badges. We have discussed a customizable SVG that allows for easy to create and dynamic badge system, or using a static badge system for our proof of concent.

Until next time,

Levi Broadnax

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