Upcoming hack night; ASST3 office hours advice

(Brijesh Rakholia) #1

Hack Night Logistics

We will be hosting a hack night on Thursday (4/20) and we’ll start around 8PM just like the last time. Any TAs who would like to help are most welcome. Any suggestions to improve the hack night?

How to get the best help from TAs for ASST3?

If you are working on ASST3.2 then you would’ve realized by now that it becomes very difficult to track down bugs (even though you have GDB), and how big of a subsystem you are implementing. Don’t give up at this point, this is expected. Now obviously when you’re stuck at a bug you will reach out to the course staff (and please don’t hesitate to ask for any help), and let me tell you this, it’s also difficult for TAs to help debug a virtual memory implementation without looking at the entire implementation. So, here’s how you can help TAs understand your bugs so that they can help you better:

  • Get your design docs approved by TAs before you write a single line of code. Please understand this is super important unless you want to re-write the entire subsystem multiple times (I made this mistake, and ended up implementing ASST3.3 four times).
  • The more information you can give us about the bugs you are facing, the better. Spend time gathering as much information as you can using gdb, and spend time framing a good question.
  • When you approach a TA, keep your detailed design document handy, and keep updating the document as you update your codebase.
  • When a TA asks you a question regarding a specific implementation, please don’t answer without looking at your code because if you do so, and if that’s not what your code does then you just wasted time.
  • Sequence of events matter a lot with ASST3, so when you approach a TA with a bug, try to frame your question using the exact sequence of events that are happening when you run a test. This will help us visualize the problem better, and we can help you more.


You never fail until you stop trying. - Albert Einstein

So don’t stop trying, it will be worth it.

Happy Hacking!