Upon writing this blog, I had two thoughts: 1) this will be the last blog I write for OSD 700 and 2) this may be the last blog I write as a Seneca student so let’s make this a good one.
I also thought about whether or not I should start with the beginning of my journey with Open Source from September 2019 or if I should go all the way back to the beginning of my journey at Seneca from September 2015. Picking starting and ending points is hard because every decision I made led to another decision and another so I can’t really just pinpoint a point in time where I can say “this is when it all began”.
But let’s go ahead with the summer of 2015, I had given up on my accounting studies at George Brown because I realized that an career in accounting would not be fulfilling. I had already spent years pursuing this career that just wasn’t for me. I never liked to compete and my introverted nature made it difficult to deal with extroverts on a regular basis and just thinking about how I would have to deal with them on a much larger scale once I graduated was a nightmare to me. I remember I had this Organizational Behaviour class where the prof divided us into groups based on our MBTI personality types (I’m an INFJ btw :P) and there was literally like 5 introverts in the entire class of 60 students. Thankfully he put most of the introverts into the same group and I realized I really enjoyed working with introverts. Anyways, after cutting my ties with accounting and GBC, I needed to find another career path so for convenience sake, I looked into colleges near my house and what interesting programs they offered. I picked Seneca because it was a 15 minute bus ride and I was optimistic about a career in computers. I applied to CPA, CTY, and ASE (yes, this is the Aviation program because why the hell not? I can totally lift people’s luggage and drive golf carts around the airport). I was put on the waitlist for CPA and got accepted to CTY so I just went with CTY. My first semester in CTY was amazing, I learned how to do basic installations/configurations for Windows Server 2008/2012, I built a computer from scratch, learned UNIX command line and a bunch of other things but those courses were the most memorable. I finished my first semester with more A’s than I’ve seen in a while and wanted more but ofc just when I was the most passionate and motivated to get my career together, I found out I was pregnant. I was 23 at the time and I was no where near established in my career so the timing was not good at all. However, my boyfriend and I agreed that even though the baby was unplanned, it was not unwanted. We tried our best to finish our second semester of studies but I think I ended up only passing like one class because I had a really bad case of morning sickness and he failed ULI101 so he was a semester behind me and couldn’t help in any of my courses besides the one elective we had together.
I think when becoming a parent, you go through this internal transformation that no one else can see and I don’t mean physical changes like my organs moving around to accommodate this baby growing inside me, I mean like “holy shit, this child is gonna find out I don’t know how to cook or do anything on my own; this is gonna be a disaster”. I had to stop being a loser like yesterday. I slowly thought about ways to be the parent I wanted my parents to be. I raised the expectations for myself so that I could be a better role model for my kid. I had a lot of people ask me if I think I was having a boy or a girl and I was really hoping for a boy because I didn’t feel like I was gonna be a good role model, not yet anyways. At 20 weeks, we found out we were having a girl; my boyfriend was ecstatic because he was begging for a girl the entire time and I just sank into the chair like “omg this girl is gonna be so disappointed that her mom doesn’t know how to braid hair” etc etc. I was such a tomboy growing up so I thought that we might have compatibility problems if she turns out to be a girly girl and she wouldn’t like me. She is 3.5 years old today and turns out I was right, she is a girly girl. She loves her hair, she loves wearing dresses every day of the week and she really loves to sing but I was also wrong about so many other things. I’ve always been blunt and rough around the edges but she turned out to be amazingly gentle and she is surprisingly good at reading emotions. I didn’t even realized how much I valued emotional intelligence until I noticed it in her. I’m at a point where I’m like I don’t even care if she’s academically dumb as a brick but if she can use her emotional intelligence to brighten someone’s day and make a difference in someone’s life, I’d be so proud of her. She deserves the best me and the best opportunities but I can’t deliver all of that the way I was. So when she was 11 months old, I decided to go back to school and finish my studies. OSAP made me reapply because I was out of school for over a year but this time, I was accepted into CPA. I didn’t really know the difference between CTY and CPA since they shared some courses in the first few semesters but I slowly learned what CPA was all about. I had to take a lesser workload because I still had a child to take care of so I knew it would take me longer to graduate but my thought process was “I could be a 30 year old without a diploma or a 30 year old with a diploma”. The latter was obviously much better. It was a tough decision because it meant being away from my daughter and I remember coming home thinking “I hope she will forgive me for not being there for her today”. It was so rough the first few semesters, especially when I failed OOP224 which meant I delayed my graduation by a whole semester. I actually failed OOP345 too so it was delayed even further but there were times where I needed to be a parent so I let assignments slip because I rather to be a good parent than a good student.
So yeah, I failed two C++ courses and I hated Java so what’s the deal? Why did I stay in this program I’m obviously not good at. The answer is web development. My very first web development professor was Christopher Markieta whom I don’t see around anymore unfortunately but he got me interested in web development. Unlike my other courses where it was more coding logic, I get to actually see what I build on a web page. My next web course was suppose to teach me about the backend but I didn’t learn anything and I really need to get around to learning it properly on my own time. I’ve gotten away with avoiding it so far but I know my neglect will bite me in the butt later. I learned most of my web programming in WEB422 in @humphd‘s class. I liked his style of teaching so much that I took OSD600 solely because I knew I was gonna learn a lot from him and I was right!
Git has such a steep learning curve but once I learned it, I cannot stop. It makes my life so much more easier. Contributing to open source projects was also uncomfortably challenging but boy, it is rewarding. I thought more people felt the same way so I was surprised to see that only 5 people enrolled in OSD700. When I checked Blackboard, I recognized a few names on the list but I never worked with any of them or remembered their faces. In the Fall, our goal for Telescope was “we need to create a pull request and have it merged before so-and-so due date”, we didn’t dig deep into what Telescope really needed. In the Winter, we were finally able to discuss what we wanted Telescope to be. This meant ripping out a lot of dead code, modifying and adding code. I had a good habit of reviewing PRs but I believe it stood out a lot more once our team was reduced to 10 developers. I’m not a strong coder so I like to study what my peers have written and doing reviews was the perfect place to ask questions since no one is really expected to know/understand every line of code written by another person.
For the first 3-4 weeks of OSD700, I audited our documentation because 1) I wanted to make sure our environment setup docs were accurate, any mishap in this area would discourage new developers from contributing if they can’t run our application locally. 2) I also wanted to scope Telescope (ah see what I did there), I’m a vivid people watcher, not in a creepy way. I just like watching people interact with each other and how they do things. Like one of the things I enjoy about taking public transportation is watching how people use their phones. Some people text with one hand, some with two, some swipe with their thumb, some swipe with their index finger, some think it’s appropriate to do video calls right in the middle of the bus, etc, etc. I’m deeply interested in how people use software and I found out recently this is called “User Experience”. I wanted to see who I can work well with and what areas needed more loving. The frontend design and team were not well established yet and yes, I was again surprised to find that not a lot of people were interested in the frontend. I think they were discouraged by the lack of direction and because we have not solidify the design. We honestly got really lucky that Ana choose to stay in the course because the alternative would’ve been Miguel’s 1990’s design with the super cool starry background *sarcasm intended* and we probably would’ve been stuck building React components from scratch. Which I cannot do. I still have nightmares of my first implementation of the Hero Banner. Her designs convinced me to join the frontend team. As I people-watched further, I learned that a lot of our Telescope developers are multi-talented (is that a word? idk I’m just gonna make up words as I go, I already made up two words in this sentence). Like Ana is a really gifted designer (not just in UI and graphics but also architectural design in The Sims 4). She also bragged about her archery skills in Wii Sports. James is an ex esports pop sensation and could probably pass off as a stand-up comedian. These two have learned the art of communicating with their eyes, I’ve seen them do it a number of times
and it’s honestly kinda hot. Ray, who is not in our class but I also have the privilege of getting to know, is a really talented musician. 
I didn’t think I was gonna take so long to write this blog. Anyways, the point I was trying to make is: we come here to code but we stay here for the people. Sorry about the disappointing ending, it’s getting late. I may or may not finish this properly. Not making any promises here.