Closing Thoughts

A Look Back

This term has been incredibly hectic, and despite a remarkably rough, shorter than average quarter, you’ve written a large chunk of code base! In just several short weeks, you’ve written an entire search engine. Look back on the volume of code – roughly 4000 lines or so! That’s quite a feat.

You’ve learned

This course is not designed to be an easy one; it’s a grueling amount of work, and you’ve all done spectacularly well. Now that you’ve taking this class, you’re ready for a whole new world of upper level CS courses.

The Future

So where do we go from here?

Now that you know C, you’re ready to really blow the lid on this horrifying abstraction and find out what’s really going on in your computer.

Computer Architecture - Computer Architecture is a really phenomenal way to understand the inner workings of how your computer operates. How do all those 0’s and 1’s translate into computer operations? This is the heart of computer architecture.

Computer Networks - How does the Internet work? As it turns out, C is the magic glue that holds everything together, and now that you have a solid grasp of this glue, you’re ready to build your very own version of the Internet!

Operating Systems - You’ve all used operating systems, and you all have some idea of what Operating Systems do. But how do they work? In this course, you’ll build your very own Operating System.

Compilers - How does a language work? How is GCC implemented? Write your own stripped-down version of a C compiler and find out!

Final Words

I’ve enjoyed working with all of you. The wonderful thing about upper level CS classes is that students have more of the Hacker Spirit. You’re willing to grind through incredibly difficult problems and stretch your mind. You’re willing to learn. Despite hours of debugging insane Heisenbugs with threads of inexplicable leaky abstractions, you did not go running to lab hours begging for help. I’ve seen countless cases of students only approaching me after hours of debugging and perseverence.

You’ve been a fantastic class, and you’ve made being a section leader seem more like fun than work (perhaps not for those that actually had to deal with me ;)). Best of luck in all your future endeavors!


Sometime, one day when you’re bored perhaps, I do hope you read the class assignments on Joel’s blog. It is a fantastic read and he is a great writer.