For my first semester at Georgia Tech, I wanted to take two courses that were well-reviewed, challenging, and introduced me to new concepts but that also played to my strengths. The first two months of the semester were bound to be hectic as I balanced gracefully leaving my full-time job of the past 6+ years
Georgia Tech’s Graduate Introduction to Operating Systems (GIOS), a thorough review of the core concepts behind operating systems, came highly recommended by way of OMSCentral and it did not disappoint. The lectures (delivered through Udacity) are well-structured and concise, the projects are enjoyable and go beyond the normal client/server projects in an undergrad OS course, and the course TAs and community are key to making this a top-notch experience. In summary, if you have decent C/C++ experience and either have not taken an operating systems course before or it’s been quite some time since you looked at these dinos, then I’d strongly recommend signing up for CS6200.
Ada Gavrilovska is the course professor, but most of your interactions (asking questions about projects, tests, readings, etc.) are with her teaching assistants. Fortunately, one of the fun parts of OMSCS is that most students and TAs are full-time employees themselves. This means that while the course is driven by TAs, these folks have real-world experience to bring to the table, usually from similar areas of practice.
My first day with LexBlog was sometime in August of 2008. The previous summer I worked at a Hastings (a now, mostly defunct retail chain for movies, books, video games, CDs, and okay coffee), my last retail job. LexBlog, by way of Colin O’Keefe, provided me a route to take the first steps in my career with a part-time editorial position. I began by working on their content aggregator, LexMonitor, covering the work of the largest law firms in the country.
Fast forward eleven years and LexMonitor is a thing of the past at LexBlog, as am I.
On September 26th I walked out of a WeWork in downtown Seattle on what would be my last long walk home after a day at LexBlog. The walk was about five miles, something I’d done countless of times since moving to Seattle in 2013 to work for LexBlog full-time. It was a walk reserved for thinking through especially hard problems or after a long night (and sometimes early morning) of work. This time, it was a walk into a new branch of my personal and professional life.
This summer, I’ll wrap up a computer science degree from Oregon State University. The experience has been rewarding, difficult, and incredibly eye-opening.
After the first quarter at OSU, I was not sure that the program was for me. While learning C++ was a nice wrinkle, the “Introduction to Programming” courses that served as my welcome were underwhelming. In hindsight, this perspective makes sense as someone that was coming in with years of experience managing and delivering web projects for large clients with large expectations. Learning the structure of for loops, classes, and a brief dalliance into recursion was not really what I had signed up for. However, after the fourth quarter I was trying to plot a path to continue my education far beyond the 15 courses that were required to get another bachelor’s.
It wasn’t the fact that OSU continued to underwhelm that drove me to look beyond the program – quite the opposite. OSU provided a window into a world that I didn’t know existed. It’s fair to say that two years ago I did not know what a computer science degree entailed or what it prepared you for. Two years later and I can’t imagine a world where I don’t continue to explore the field.