New Member Orientation

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Welcome to the Earlham CS Department!

This page's target audience is new students in any active applied group.

Overview

  • We want to provide ongoing experiential learning opportunities for as many students as we can while they attend Earlham.
  • There's generally a pool of projects available and ongoing at any time.
  • We perform maintenance as well as implement new projects.
  • Your specific hours and role will vary.

Workspaces

Most work is done in the Center for Science and Technology (CST) on the second floor. In practice, that looks like this:

  • CST 217: study space and small-group meetings
  • CST 219: classwork, occasional meetings and solo work
  • CST 222: warehouse and interactive work spaces
  • CST 227: bigger meetings and Iceland work
  • CST 108: shop and warehouse

Students can generally work anywhere they want because a computer with WiFi is often enough to do cool things. These are purpose-built community spaces and we encourage students to use and treat them as such.

Occasional work may take you to our older spaces (requires approval for keys):

  • Dennis roof
  • Noyes basement including servers

Keys

  • Key form is here, request:
    • Dennis roof, CAB 6
    • Noyes basement, CAB 13
    • Server room if applicable, CAD 3
  • You'll need a relevant faculty member (typically your applied group supervisor) to approve your request.
  • Public Safety should email you when your keys are ready.

Computers

You'll be given a username and password when you take any CS class. That will open the Lovelace computers to you.

In an applied group you will also be given access to a range of servers. Again this will vary by role.

Group Communication

  • Most groups have a listserv.
  • Notify the group about significant progress via listserv or in meetings.
  • Regular meeting notes are kept in Drive and generally shouldn't go here. Add meeting notes only if they are relevant to project completion.

Meetings

  • Regular group meetings will be scheduled. Typically they take place once a week at a lunchtime.
  • Your group may also meet for a collaborative project work once a week if desired.

Documentation

Documentation can be overdone but is important. If we don't know a project's current state, replicating or reproducing it can consume a lot of work cycles. This isn't valuable.

So please at least keep some basic notes and update the wiki occasionally. Faculty will do its part to remind you and keep up their/our share.

Here are some guidelines:

  • Inline code documentation helps readability.
  • Wiki articles are fast and helpful, so it is our preferred method of long-term documentation.
  • If it's in a Drive Document and it's important, it should make its way here at some point.
  • Please be specific. If X is wonky, so a student comes to the wiki to learn about X, and they read "X is wonky", that's barely helpful. Be specific about issues, fixes that have been tried, alternatives chosen, etc.

Wiki Basics

We'll get you a wiki account.

Some tips for how to use it:

  • use Wiki Syntax, and look at the syntax of other pages if you're confused
  • use the "Show preview" button
  • if a page doesn't exist, search for it and the wiki will let you create that page
    • make sure to click "Save Page" after you're finished editing

Styling tips:

  • Having too many headers can be overkill.
  • Lists are the simplest way to organize content.
  • Trim things down but be complete and specific.