I had an idea, two weeks, and some idea of where to start the code. What I didn’t have was a guarantee that this idea would even be feasible. However, I really didn’t have any other options, so I took my chances and devoted my full time to fleshing out my idea. After stumbling over a few roadblocks, I began to see that my idea was indeed working, in some ways better than I had expected. I also saw about 15 different ways that I could make it even better, but I knew I didn’t have time for most of them. That’s not a problem, since I knew if I delivered on this project, I would have the opportunity to continue to work on it once the school year started. So, I kept going on what I had, and finished the code during the hurricane (the threat of losing power was a good motivator). Now, I’m rushing to finish the paper in time for the deadline, and setting up a schedule to improve upon my initial results with my advisor. It was a bit crazy at times, but the seven weeks I spend on this project were seven weeks well spent.
A mad dash to the finish
August 29, 2011 by
So, when I stopped my research at the end of week five (weeks six and seven were completed right before school started), my idea that I had worked on for the entire summer had been recently published by a group at another university. I had begun to look for another idea that I could bring to completion in two weeks, but I hadn’t found much. Exploits in security are somewhat unpredictable, it can take two minutes or two years to find one. Whether it was luck or something else however, I came up with something that I thought might just work. By connecting a few dots, I realized that I might have a real exploit on my hands. The bad news that came with this discovery was that it had very little to nothing to do with my previous topic, and I would basically have to start over on the code I had written. However, I spent a fair amount of time at the beginning of my research reading other works and building some background knowledge. It was this that gave me the ability to quickly code up the new exploit with minimum delay.