Alexander Beletsky's development blog

My profession is engineering

CS101 Building a Search Engine: Week 2

Disclaimer: this blog post expresses some impressions and details of Udacity CS101 “Building a Search Engine” online course. If you are either currently participating it or plan to do so in nearest future, this blog post could be a spoiler. Even though, I’m trying to make it generic as possible and do not spoil important things.

This week I’ve concluded Unit 2 of CS101 Building Search Engine class. As a previous one it was very basic. We did went thought programming fundamentals on if statements, while loops, conditions and boolean operations. In contrast to Unit 1, I haven’t got any really new information for me. All the information given very nicely, preparing listener to do some more serious stuff.

I think I started to get used to Python a little bit. Unfortunately I do not practice it much now, so I have to find simple project that I could accomplish in Python, besides the search engine. As always doing code katas is very nice for introduction to any new language, so I can do that.

Homework was simple enough, but again as last time I got one problem that made me think some extra time. This is “median search” issue. Say, you are given 3 numbers - (1,2,3). Median is the one between bigger and smaller number, in this case it’s “2”. In (9,3,6) it’s “6” and in (7,8,7) it’s “7”. As a previous time I started with something I don’t suppose to know, like lists and sorting. Solving this problem just with knowledge I got so far more problematic. So, I spent some time on that.. and was really happy than I found simple and nice solution for that. You should try to solve that, pretending you know only procedures and conditional operations.

Now, I’m looking forward for Unit 3. It’s still basic, but there we suppose to create some simple crawler. I hope it will be fun!