Week 8: Waiting and a Surprise Presentation

Week 8: Waiting and a Surprise Presentation

Sorry I’m posting this a week late, but here’s what I was up to last week:

Remember those two errors I’ve been trying to fix? The false positives and the encoding issue? That’s what I’ve been working on this week. Tuesday I did research on Internet protocols as they pertain to XML, and Wendesday I spent the entire day researching a module that could be used in place of defusedxml that could mitigate the false positives issue. Because there was no meeting last week, this was a pretty slow week. I did more research than coding, and coding is the fun part. Research is definitely necessary to write quality code though.

I also emailed my presentation from Big Sky to Dr. Hariri, Chintan, and Mr. B to get some feedback. I thought they would look at it and respond in an email. Dr. Hariri had another idea.

I’ve had trouble sleeping this week. I think it’s a combination of not exercising as much as I gured outhave the last few weeks but still being as hungry as I have been the last few weeks. Regardless, today was one of those days I hit my alarm too many times, rushed through my morning routine and got to work still trying to wake myself up. Thursday is meeting day, which means I usually sit quietly and listen. Dr. Hariri had another idea.

What better way to get feedback on a presentation than presenting? This was Dr. Hariri’s idea: present your paper at the meeting. That woke me up. I was going to present a paper on cyber security in front of a half-dozen people whose experience levels exceeded mine from four to forty years. No pressure. Oh, I hadn’t even looked at this presentation in two weeks either. By the end of the meeting and the beginning of my presentation, I was running on nervous energy. Thankfully, I didn’t make a complete fool of myself. Dr. Hariri gave me feedback and suggestions on which slides to fix, add or remove, and I now have a better foundation for my SRP presentation. Greg even offered some encouragement. All the critiques were definitely helpful, even if that presentation was one of the most nerve-wracking 20 minutes of my life.

The meeting was also important because I was planning on asking Greg about the encoding error in my borrowed function. I sat down and went over the function one more time before asking him, and realized something: the error was in the most nested (a function within a function) function, which was built in to Python. The error was that that nested function couldn’t handle UTF-8 characters. I looked up its documentation, and happened across a similar function as I was reading through it. This function was exactly the same but ran through the Unicode codec, which included all the UTF-8 characters. I swapped out the function, and it worked like a (py)charm. My list of files the parser wasn’t effective for dropped from 119 to 9. This was another time I celebrated for a solid five minutes. I had fixed an error that had been plaguing me for weeks, and I was that much closer to completing the parser.

One more error for next week before I’m finished with the parser and can move on to data analytics: the defusedxml/elementtree module dilemma. Hopefully I’ll have as much luck with that as I did the borrowed function.

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