Sander van den Oever

Sander van den Oever
Computer Science student

Track: Software Technology
Interests: Software (Web) Engineering
Occupation: PHP Developer

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November 2016
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Posted on November 20th, 2016

Hard Work Pays Off

Hi all!

By now we have reached the end of the first quarter. Next week the new quarter will start, with some new courses. But let me give you a summary of the past quarter first;

Mining Software Repositories

This turned out to be a really tough course. Initially we were a group of 4 (2 girls, 2 boys). Then one of the girls left unfortunately, got replaced by another girl, who left as well (both did not manage to keep up with the speed/level of the course). So in the end we were a group of 3, where we had to perform a tough project that was based on 4 students. From a given list of papers we had to pick an interesting one; this paper would be the basis of our own paper that we would write during the course. From the selected paper we should try to create an extension or replication study. In our case we picked the paper by Bird et al. called “Latent social structure in open source projects“. We had to perform a research, which included the analysis of several open source projects’ repositories. Thing we had to do as well were the formulation of research questions and our hypotheses, statistical analyses, critical thinking, etc. Next to our own paper we had to review the papers of some of our peers. All of this, put into a tight (frequently changing) schedule, was quite hard to manage. Still, I think this is a really interesting topic and you’ll learn a lot about writing scientific papers and performing the required research. We got some really helpful feedback there from Dr. Bacchelli, whom we met a couple of times during feedback sessions.

Seminar Programming Languages

The other new course that I took was a seminar. Within the Computer Science master you’ll have to pick either a seminar or a literature survey. I choose to do the seminar. Within this seminar we had to read scientific papers on meta-programming twice a week. We met twice a week, where we had to read and summarise the papers upfront and during these meetings we would discuss the papers. Although I felt kinda lost in many of these meetings (the level is quite high) I learned a lot (also on reading papers). Some of the papers were really easy to understand, while others even confused the lecturer. Due to the size of the group (10 students approximately) it was really nice to have discussions about the contents of the paper. We were graded on our input into the discussions mostly. It took a lot of time to grasp the message of the papers, but in the end it was totally worth it; I now know more about which direction I want to go with my thesis.

Compiler Construction

The course is pretty much the same as last year. The second part of the lab-work was different though. The Programming Languages group introduced NaBL2, which replaced NaBL that had been used in the past. NaBL2 is the name binding language that resolves name occurrences to declarations and similar stuff. It’s part of the Spoofax workbench. NaBL2 is brand-new so the documentation is still lacking, which put some additional challenges in the assignments. Last year, I didn’t visit the labs (conflict in my schedule), this year I tried to prepare before the labs and that way I could ask for assistance when I got stuck. I keep wondering why I do not visit these labs more often, I got some detailed explanations on how the (partially or undocumented) stuff works, I guess it’s because I tend to be a bit lazy. 😉

Dinner with the COO and CIO of ING

Remember the ING 24hCoding Hackathon that my team and I won last year (hint; this blog)? Well, we finally collected our prize last week. We were invited to have dinner at the Amsterdam Harbour Club with Peter Jacobs (CIO) and Bart Schlatmann (COO). You might expect a really formal dinner, but actually the opposite was true. They were really interested in our educational background and our personal interests. We talked a lot about their student lives “back in the days” (which is not that long ago), their experience with studying in the USA, their daily jobs, opportunities at ING, and much much more. It was a really awesome experience to meet and get to know them.

Last weekend (18-19 november) I’ve participated in the Hackergames. Within 24 hours we build the “Uber for package deliveries”; a nice API accompanied with a nice (prototype) Android app. Although we did not win this time, we had a lot of fun, pizza and drinks. Oh, don’t forget about the free karting from midnight to 3AM. Really awesome. 😉

Code being hacked
New technologies being showcased Lunch being served

What’s up next?

The second quarter is about to start. Starting next week I’ll be following Data Science for the 99% and Behaviour Change Support Systems next to Compiler Construction (which is a semester course). Next to that I’ve been asked by Rafa Bidarra to assist in a Computer Science minor course, so I’ll be guiding and assessing minor students too. In the next blog I’ll try to give you an impression of the new courses and happenings, stay tuned! 🙂

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