CS371p Spring 2021 Entry 2: Dustan Helm

Dustan Helm
3 min readJan 30, 2021


1.What did you do this past week?

We learned about assertions, the gtest framework, a few other analysis tools such as valgrind and gcov, and then we introduced the first project, dealing with a problem adapted from the Collatz Conjecture.

2.What’s in your way?

I have not yet cloned the repo or set up my issues to get started going through the workflow for project 1, but I think it will be pretty smooth sailing once the initial setup work is done.

3.What will you do next week?

Next week I will get started on Project 1 and hopefully complete it.

4. If you read it, what did you think of the makefile?

It seems pretty standard; Even though the language of a makefile is relatively simple I still find that as the size of the build directory grows it very quickly becomes difficult to actually understand without carefully going through the various targets and actions.

5.What was your experience of Docker? (this question will vary, week to week)

I have used Docker in the past for project management to ensure universal environment across teams but ran into issues with specific Dockerfile versions and dependency issues with toolchains in OS, and in general I’m more comfortable with and used to my workflow running on SSH into the CS lab machines.

6.What was your experience of assertions? (this question will vary, week to week)

Though I had a working knowledge of what assertions do at the basic level, because they cause program failure I have historically almost never used them because I preferred to debug in what I thought was a more useful way. However, now I know that they serve an important purpose for maintaining side effects of a code segment within a larger repository that is subject to change or detecting bugs that might have been introduced elsewhere after the code was written, for example.

7.What was your experience of unit tests? (this question will vary, week to week)

I know what unit tests are and have limited experience implementing them from OS and Virtualization. However, most of my experience is in testing the whole or large segments of a program at once, rather than fine granularity unit testing suites.

8.What made you happy this week?

Hedge funds losing billions of dollars because of gamblers on a subreddit made me happy this week.

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

http://www.opengl-tutorial.org/ is a great website that was recommended to me by my Computer Graphics professor and contains many tutorials for learning OpenGl, a graphics API that fills the same roles as APIs such as Vulkan or Microsoft’s Direct X. I plan on beginning some of the tutorials with a friend of mine this coming week in order to prepare for our first project in the class on raytracing.

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