TrafficSpy Retrospective

Introducing…THE WEB(…and DATABASES)!! The Traffic Spy was a challenging project because it brought to the table what seemed like a lot of new concepts, two of the biggies being, the web and databases. I now have a better idea of how developing for both of these things works, but there is still much to be learned, and I am sure there always will be. Once again, I must say that the lifelong learning aspect of programming is very appealing to me. My project partner and I decided to pair at the beginning of the project to get the wheels rolling. Subsequently, he took the reins on the database side of things and I lead the Sinatra and front end side of the project. We had to maintain good communication throughout the project to make this kind of delegation worked. For example, it was important that I know how the databases and tables worked so that I could implement their logic in the Sinatra code. It will be interesting to see how much I actually grasped the concept of databases when we kick of the next project, which will likely build on the concepts that we explored in Traffic Spy.

Regarding the Obama for America peeps, it was inspirational to hear them talk. This isn’t to say that they said anything groundbreaking in their talk, but there were a few things that they said which resonated with me. For example, it was great to hear them talking about databases, how they used them, and how they created scenarios where databases failed in order to prepare for the worse in the final days of the election. They also mentioned error pages and how they attempted to make them informative/helpful to the user. Both of these things resonated with me having just finished my first project that dealt with databases and error pages. Hearing them talk about those things immediately after finishing the TrafficSpy project was inspirational to me because I got to hear how those concepts play out in real world situations. It was also inspirational just to see the faces of the people behind a campaign that I was in favor of and connected to online prior to the election. I could possibly see myself going all in for politics, if I felt like what and who I was working for were worth working/fighting for. Another thing that resonated with me were the comments and the overarching notion of using technology to bring people together around a cause, to advance the common good. Amidst learning something so technical, the idea of being able to make what I build with this knowledge facilitate human connections and positive change in the world continues to be a big motivator.

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