Dev Pool at Purdue Computer Science - TAs Jonathan Grider and Logan Kulinski talk about their experiences
Development Pool (or Dev Pool if you are in the know) is a centralized assignment and content creation and testing group utilized by Purdue Computer Science Faculty and Instructional Support Staff. The TAs in the Department of Computer Science work on a variety of courses with instructors to generate and test content that will eventually be used for classes like CS 18000. Two TAs, Jonathan Grider (BS in Computer Science, 2019) and Logan Kulinski (Senior in CS) were instrumental in creating a significant amount of content. “The development pool aims to produce and test quality assignments that reinforce the concepts that are taught in a lecture,” said Kulinski. On why a student’s perspective is helpful, Kulinski suggests, “Having been through the courses we work with, there can be topics that we feel should be covered in different ways. Seeing that the developers are students, the future students who complete our assignments will obtain different viewpoints that may aid their understanding of a topic.”
Professor Dunsmore, who teaches CS 18000 and is a faculty instructor in the CS Bridge Summer Program said this about Grider and Kulinski, “They have both set a very high standard for TAs and members of the Dev Pool to follow. Both are creative, conscientious, and willing to do whatever task needs to be done. Jonathan created multiple labs, projects, and exams while he was a student at Purdue and graduation has not ended his association with us. He continues to volunteer even though he has been a Software Engineer at Capital One for nearly a year now. Logan, as a senior, continues the creation of excellent labs and projects in Dev Pool and he helps me as a TA in CS 18000. He generates discussion about the homework assignments and projects the students are working on, along with sharing live coding demonstrations. We are fortunate to have such talent in the Department of Computer Science.”
Name: Logan Kulinski
Hometown: Crown Point, IN
Year at Purdue: Senior
Major: Computer Science
CS Tracks: Programming Languages, System Software
Favorite part about Purdue: I enjoy the architecture and atmosphere of campus.
Favorite topics in CS: Algorithms, Operating Systems, Compilers, Hardware/Software Integration
How did becoming a TA make an impact on your life and future career: While being a TA, I have learned how to explain things in a manner so that someone who is not in the field could still understand them.
What do you do with computer science that you wish others knew or understood: Computer Science has applications in a variety of fields, not just technology. The concepts and techniques can be used to solve problems from those fields in new and exciting ways.
Name: Jonathan Grider
Hometown: Auburn, Indiana
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, May 2019, Software Engineering Track
One of our favorite things about Purdue:
I loved going out on the weekends to visit local restaurants with my friends.
Favorite topics in CS: I really enjoyed learning about the software development practices used in the industry today and being able to apply those practices in my coursework (CS307, CS407 and CS408). I also enjoyed learning about mobile iOS development in CS490-iOS as well as in CS407 for my senior project.
How did becoming a TA make an impact on your life and career:
To say it made an impact is an understatement. Becoming a TA for CS180, CS307 and the CS Dev Pool gave me the opportunity to grow personally and professionally in and outside of the classroom. It helped me become a better communicator, giving me the confidence to speak openly with others, present information to a group and helped me learn how to explain technical details in a precise but concise manner. By having the change to work with different groups of people all the time, I think it also gave me a better perspective on how people learn and showed me that everyone thinks differently. It also helped me become a better problem solver; not only in solving my problems, but figuring out how to identify issues that others are having "on the fly" with little to no information. These are just two of many skills that I have been able to hone over the years, and being a TA helped accelerate that growth. In addition to improving my skills, it also gave me invaluable hands-on experience that led me to TA in other courses and eventually led me to my internships and full time career. Looking back, it almost seems like a snowball effect; I started out learning in my first TA role, then used that experience in my first internship, which I was then able to apply to my next few classes as a TA, and so on. Every experience opened a door to the next, and I truly believe taking that first step was the most important one.
What do you do with computer science that you wish others knew or understood:
I think most people view computer science and programming as just typing things into a computer. There is some truth to that, but it is actually very expressive, and there is a lot of creativity and design that goes into writing software, both "behind the scenes" (on a server) and "on stage" (on a webpage). As a developer/engineer you often have a lot of freedom in the way you approach solving problems.