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  1. How well do you think the course conveyed those takeaways?
  • test first, test during, test after, test, test, test
  • when designing algorithms, demand the weakest iterators (e.g. bidirectional vs. random access)
  • when designing containers, provide the strongest iterators (e.g. random access vs bidirectional)
  • build adapters on top of containers, iterators, and functions
  • always look for reuse and symmetry in your code
  • collaboration is essential to the quality of your code and to your well-being in producing it
  • refactor, refactor, refactor
  • make your code beautiful

I feel like this course was very effective in conveying the key takeaways for the class…


  1. What did you do this past week?

This past week, I worked on implementing the details of the Darwin project. I ran into some challenges with passing references to Species and Creatures, since I initially wasn’t storing them in a container and the Species/Creatures were going out of scope before my methods could access them (causing a seg fault). I was able to get 3/4 of the HackerRank tests to pass along with the acceptance tests in the public repo, however I am still having difficulty with the final optimizations.

2. What’s in your way?

Currently, the biggest thing in…


  1. What did you do this past week?

This past week, I worked with my partner on finishing Project 3. We were able to get all the HackerRank tests passing and then found some bugs while running other student’s acceptance tests. These were very helpful in pointing out issues with our code, and ultimately we were able to pass all the acceptance tests and finish documenting our code/writing our own unit tests. I also reviewed some of the basics of classes in C++ and consts, as I was not fully clear on these topics.

2. What’s in your way?

Currently, not…


  1. What did you do this past week?

I spent most of this past week preparing for parts 1 and 2 of the exam. However, after the exam, I spent some time with my partner working on the Allocator project. We were able to get the allocate and deallocate methods partially working, however we were running into some issues writing ints to the char array. After solving this we passed 2/5 HackerRank tests, so we plan to spend today trying to debug this.

2. What’s in your way?

Currently, the biggest thing in our way are the remaining HackerRank tests. We…


  1. What did you do this past week?

This past week, I started working on Project 3 with my partner, with us being able to get the I/O working successfully. We started looking into the starter code some more, but haven’t yet finished implementing the required methods. I also started reviewing some of the course material for the upcoming exam, but still need to do some more prep (looking through the HackerRanks and preparing a page of notes)

2. What’s in your way?

Currently, not too much is in my way. The biggest items for me are to start preparing for…


  1. What did you do this past week?

This past week, I finished working on the Voting project. I thought I was done with the project last week, however running the acceptance tests of other students helped me find some bugs in my code. I also worked on commenting and merging my own acceptance tests into the public test repository (initially these tests were also wrong due to my code being inaccurate). I spent some time reviewing pointers and references, as in previous classes we had not gone into as much depth as Professor Downing did.

2. What’s in your way?


  1. What did you do this past week?

This past week, I worked on finishing up Project 2, specifically writing my unit and acceptance tests. This ended up taking more time than I expected, as I realized there was a bug in my program when running everyone else’s acceptance tests, and as a result had to revoke my initial merge request and fix my code. I figured out the root cause of the bug was an error with passing the candidates vector by value rather than by reference, which meant I was modifying a copy rather than the original vector. …


  1. What did you do this past week?

The past week, I started working on Project 2. I was able to code up the basic solution with the optimization we discussed in class (adding a vector<ballots> to each candidate and reassigning when a candidate loses) and successfully pass all 3 HackerRank tests. One challenge, I faced was setting up GitHub CI and Google Test from scratch by myself, however I found the template files we were given for collatz very helpful here.

2. What’s in your way?

Currently, not much is in my way in regards to Project 2. The biggest…


  1. What did you do this past week?

The past week, I worked on optimizing Collatz to pass the second and third HackerRank tests. I also worked on the remainder of the assignment, writing my unit tests and using valgrind and astyle in order to ensure no memory leaks and consistent styling throughout my code. I enjoyed learning about CI and using pipelines to see if my commits broke anything that was important.

2. What’s in your way?

Currently, not much is in my way. I was able to submit the first project, today morning. I found the instructions given on…


  1. What did you do this past week?

This past week, I primarily focused on getting my C++ environment setup on my Windows machine. I was able to successfully install Docker and got Cygwin setup in order to make files. I also got VS Code setup with the correct extensions to code in C++.

2. What’s in your way?

Currently, biggest thing in my way is the assignment, specifically the optimizations I will have to make in order to pass the HackerRank tests. I haven’t yet attempted these optimizations, but plan to work on the homework this long weekend.

3. What…

Kush Jain

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