teaching machines

CS 396: Meeting 11 – Solomon Partners

Dear students,

This week we welcome Mike Citak from Solomon Partners. Mike has been in Wisconsin before—he got an English degree at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Then he found his way down to Iowa, where I had the honor of being his teacher in a class a bit like our CS 145. I shouldn’t tell you this, but one of the things that Mike did in that class was ask for more homework. He felt like too many ideas were jammed into too few assignments, and that made concepts more difficult to learn. I agreed, but I said I don’t have time to grade more stuff. Nevertheless, his comment is what ultimately led me to my current practice of giving out unit tests so that you can get feedback on the correctness of your work more quickly. Do not blame Mike if you don’t like them.

Mike brings us the perspective of a consultant. Instead of being tethered to a particular company and a particular salary, he takes on short-term contract work. He’ll discuss with us the costs and benefits of this different way of working.

Next week, Brian Hogan of Digital Ocean will be our guest. He has specifically requested a portion of his time be in an AMA (ask me anything) format, so please consider what questions you might have about cloud services.

Here’s your TODO list for next time:

  • Our theme for next week is cloud computing. Please read the following articles:
  • Discuss these articles in your small group Slack channel. Consider answering these questions:
    • What ideas from the readings are most interesting, disturbing, confirming, or life-changing?
    • Are there points you disagree with? Initiate a respectful debate.
    • What experiences from your life align or do not align with the articles?
    • What questions might you ask our guest?
    Please make at least two separate posts sharing your own coherent thoughts. Additionally, check out and respond to the posts of at least three of your channelmates. Complete these before next Tuesday at noon.

See you next class!

Sincerely,

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