Distributed Computing – Goodbye and thanks for the wonderful semester

I just finished Spring 2021 at Georgia Tech OMSCS and published a farewell note on the classroom’s forum (i.e. Piazza platform) and would like to share that here:

This was one hell of a semester! Hats off to professor Ada and our great TAs — I learned a great deal about both theoretical and practical distributing computing knowledge, experiencing first hand how tweaking a retry timer by a few hundred milliseconds can make or break your day.

But above all else, thanks to all the other students in this class, I felt extremely supported, more supported than any of the 8 courses I had previously taken in the program.

More than once throughout the class I contemplated just throwing in the towel. The last couple projects in particular really wore me out mentally and emotionally (e.g. 10 hours troubleshooting for a one-line fix to pass one single test) and if it wasn’t for the constant support of all my peers over Piazza and Slack, I would’ve probably not only dropped from the course but the journey itself would’ve felt a lot more isolating, especially in the midst of the pandemic.

Now, there are definitely rough edges with this course, particularly around pacing on the last couple projects. But given that this was the first semester that distributed computing was offered as part of OMSCS, I anticipated minor bumps coming into this class and have no doubts that the logistics will get smoothed out over the next couple semesters.

Finally, for those of you graduating this semester, congratulations! Way to go out with a bang. And for the rest of us, see you next semester!

Thanks again for all the support and let’s stay connected (contact info below). Now, time for a much needed nap after taking the final exam: