Patrick Lam

Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Director, Software Engineering Programme
University of Waterloo
email: (no unsolicited commercial email)
phone: use email instead!

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Random Anecdote

PSA: don't make assignment repos public!

November 30, 2016

The end (of the term) is near! As you complete your final assignments in your classes, I'd just like to send a reminder about assignment repositories on github and friends. It's 2016. You should be keeping your assignments in source control repositories, so that the dog can't eat your homework (as easily). But there's a caveat.

Don't make your assignment repositories public!

It's a ton of work to create an assignment, so instructors will often re-use assignments year after year. Future students may be tempted to look up assignment solutions on the Internet, and no one wins when a future student finds your solution.

Nuance: if it's an open-ended class project (e.g. SE 101; I saw some good demos yesterday!) then yes, do go ahead and make your project public, put it on your resumé, etc. I'm talking only about the things where unauthorized copying is likely to be a problem. It's quite hard to rip off someone else's class project.

Please, check your repos today and make sure they're not public.

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