Google Summer of Code - Closure

By Indradhanush Gupta Comment

Its been quite long since my last post. The reason being, post mid-term my work schedule started to get more and more hectic. Last week I finished off my GSoC project and successfully cleared final evaluations. Yay!

So I think I ought to write this post describing my work over the summer. As described in one of my previous blog post, the target was to get a sync over ZeroMQ working and add resume and selective sync support.

But I was only able to implement the sync transport and get a successful sync working. This was trickier than it seemed initially. There were challenges, especially in maintaining backwards compatibility. For this we had to choose a blocking client. I have written a detailed report about the achievements over the summer, the challenges faced and the way to look forward. So I am not going to repeat all that here. You can read it here.

This post is more about the experience I gained over 12 weeks. In retrospection, I learned more than I could possibly have imagined. I learned at least 10 times more about software development than I did in my entire final year.

First off, I learned about git-flow. Now let me stress that this is something that every programmer and every organisation should follow for their projects. My mentor recommended me to follow this. And I did, only here I treated my master as my develop. I know it kind of breaks it but since we don’t have any releases yet so it kind of makes sense. And ofcourse, very soon I am going to fork off a develop and follow the git-flow in a more accurate way.

Talking about git, I always had a fear towards git rebase and this is something that I mastered over the summer.

I learned the hard way the importance of writing unittests. So much, that I am never going to do a project without them anymore. I lost a week hunting bugs in my sync transport. And this was very painful for me. Especially when I used to be stuck for hours with pdb hunting for that one line of code behaving badly. I’m not sure I am into TDD completely yet but I am going to write my tests as I develop. Not after I develop.

It was tough to get my head around Mock. In fact it took more than a couple of weeks actually. But once I understood it, I realised the beauty of it. And especially, my tests that often consist of sending data over the wire, mocking all that network activity and even mocking the endpoints became crucial for writing clean tests. Initially I was not using Mock for my tests, but once I got through it, I have used it as extensively as possible for my tests. The older tests still need to be updated to use mock though.

I learned many more things that are difficult to describe. You can only learn about them by writing code. In technical jargon, I understood about software paradigms. Why documentation is important. And how to write code that is easier to understand. Because code is more often read than written!

My personal recommendation is that every student must participate in GSoC. It is a program like no other!

Thats it for now. You are welcome to lend us a hand by contributing towards this. Come say hello at #leap in and ask for drebs, kaliy or me (dhanush). We will be very happy to see you there! Also, you can look up the README for the project and the conclusion report.

The latest code is in the branch benchmarks. Haven’t merged it into master yet. I will update the post once we do. Thanks for reading! Leave your feedback in comments!

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