Blog 2

Andrew Deng
3 min readSep 6, 2020


1. What did I do this past week?

I’ve had quite a busy week. In addition to getting adjusted to classes, I also conducted eight remote, hour-long, computer science tutoring sessions, which is my current side-job. Additionally, I prepared for my move to Austin (just moved in yesterday, Sept. 5), applied to a few internships, worked some LeetCode problems, and worked on an internship coderview.

2. What’s in your way?

Currently, my biggest obstacle is finding a balance between coursework, self-care, career development, tutoring, and staying sane. Fortunately, the workload from classes is still small, but as the semester churns along, it’s going to be a bit more difficult to manage. I’ve already reworked my tutoring schedule and cut down my weekly hours, so I’m slowly working towards a good weekly rhythm to settle into.

3. What will you do next week?

Most of the next week will entail the same things as this week. The differences include no more move-in preparation, a SWE project to work on, and a lot more cooking now that I’m living independently again.

4. What was your experience of assertions, unit tests, and coverage?

Learning more about more proper ways to use assertions was a bit eye-opening for me. I’ve previously used them in 439 somewhat haphazardly, so now I feel a bit more confident in where to use them effectively. Seeing unit tests in action also helps me understand more about the SDL. I’ve always heard about it before, but now I have a more solid understanding of how they work and help facilitate software development. And I never knew there was a way to test how much of the code we write is actually running. I think that’s really cool.

5. How are you doing and holding up? What’s been most helpful for you in terms of support at this time?

I’m doing fine for now. One good result of my move is the vast increase in real-estate on my desk. A lot more workspace and a lot less clutter really help manage the chaos. What I’ve found to be helpful is to keep calm and set realistic expectations of myself. I’ll only give myself things I know I can handle balancing with everything else I have.

6. What made you happy this week?

I’ve made a new friend in my Japanese class despite the online environment. That lifted up my spirits a bit. I also really like my new Austin apartment, and seeing my students get more enthusiastic about the programming curriculum is always a bit heartwarming.

7. What’s your pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

If you have a lot of bookmarks that you frequently use, I’d check out the Chrome extension FVD Speed Dial. It transforms your New Tab page to something like a bookmark desktop, where you can add bookmarks and give each bookmark a dedicated icon. I find it really helpful to put Zoom lecture links, Canvas, and course schedules as bookmarks. For this class, I have Perusall, Medium, and Piazza bookmarked. If you’re looking for quick access to frequented sites, I’d highly recommend using this extension.