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Six Months Mark at the School of Information!

January 2015 – It's been a wild, thrilling ride so far at the School of Information at UC Berkeley. I am loving my time here in the Masters of Information Management & Systems program, particularly because of the amazing people I've been able to meet, work with, and learn from.

I was able to take a diverse and very full course load last semester, and each one of my classes has made me a richer person since I started. I became proficient with Python in INFO 206, where I learned how to work with MapReduce, binary search trees, Beautiful Soup, security protocols, and SQLite.

The feeling of euphoria and accomplishment I felt after successfully running my code each week was also the same in INFO 253: Web Architecture. I had a ton of fun developing our final project with my teammmates – it was a meme-based karaoke web app called Memeoke that used Python, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS to let you watch a selection of Justin Bieber GIFs while singing along to "Believe."

It's been a wild, thrilling ride so far at the School of Information at UC Berkeley... and I'm loving my time here.

I was at first daunted by the number of concepts presented in INFO 202: Information Architecture, but I soon began to "see 202" in everyday life all around me. Mentally, I found myself breaking down things I observed into organizing concepts I learned from class. Despite the difficulty presented by new articles coming out every few days about Uber, I enjoyed writing my final paper on the company and exploring the interactions between Uber drivers and app users.

For INFO 290M: Entrepeneurship Start-up Strategies, I will always fondly remember staying past midnight with my team to develop our startup idea into a fully-fledged, winning business model and pitch presentation. We talked to potential customers and service providers, learned how to "run the numbers" in our model, and pruning our pitches down to mere minutes.

Last but not least, in INFO 213: User Interface Design & Development, my team and I spent the semester talking to users, figuring out their needs, and continually iterating our project according to the feedback we received. It was an amazing experience watching our initial concept completely transform and evolve into TravelBites, our final project.

I'm really looking forward to making the most of my remaining time here at Berkeley! Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments at ssnipes [at] ischool.berkeley.edu