Tough.

Final project is going on awesome. Non-coding side, we had problems, such as unclear milestones and unclear priorities. However, UI/UX reviews give us a more realistic short-term deadline, thus we could evaluate our progress so far, then learn and improve from it. We have learnt throughout the way and now we have a reliable workflow. Coding-wise, we’re a bit off-schedule, but doing alright. We had a major change just last week, so both the front end and back end did a lot of major changes just this weekend. Going strong.

I’m not a really professional back end programmer (yet). I take some time to create the API needed by the front end, but during this final project, I try to keep my code clean and within the Django conventions. Last time I used it, I did a lot of hacks without knowing how it really worked. This time, I’m pretty sure code quality has improved a lot. Still need to learn a lot, but I’m pretty sure we all will make it anyway. 🙂

Personally, physical and mental drainage is kicking in. It’s been a painful month for me. My productivity dropped to less than 50% of normal, and I alternate between being sick and healthy. I really do hope this condition gets better soon.

Press on!

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We’re half way there!

We have gone through 7 weeks of a hectic lifestyle which challenges for our time and people management skills. There are fun times and freaking frustrating times, but the willingness to conquer this module while trying out the best possible app we could is what keeps us going on, I suppose.

Assignment 3 was finally due on the 25th September. It was an entirely different case from my previous two assignments – it was challenging. We had a hard time managing the deadlines – a lot of work was delayed. The front end guy was suffering. Being PM of this project, I wished I was wiser and stricter and faster. I learnt that continuous progress checking is CRUCIAL, recognized that managing a project and people is not that simple, and learnt a little bit of front end using Ionic framework. P.S. I’m not a Javascript user and I just learnt it swiftly to help a bit for the front end. I really hope I helped even if only a bit.

Since 16th September, my final project has started planning – we were pitching for Garena’s Project X. We spent around 2 days and nights to finish the high-level planning and basic UI mock up. And as we finally got the project, we now have created our proposal, with Google Drive and Trello ready for rolling. I decided to loyally go back to back end development. Not gonna mess up this time. Like hell no. My team is awesome and I’m sure we’ll make our final project COOL.

We’re half way there and we’re gonna make it – better, stronger, wiser 🙂

Week 4 of CS3216

Despite the fact that I could no longer parse the words “holiday” and “weekend” , this semester is awesome in its own way. CS3216 has greedily absorbed most of my time and I’m having fun. How cool is that?

NUSPaper

Friday, 4 Sep 2359 was the deadline and cheers to NUSPaper for finishing all the cards in Trello! It’s awesome how I enjoyed working with Haritha, Nathan, and Sebastian. We had our hard times – coding, testing, and writing documents, on top of every other modules. Yet, surprisingly, all our meetings have been cheerful and supportive. We spent a lot of time cursing how we have very little time left, but we did LAUGHED a lot, too. Everyone did their part, covering up for the others when others are busier, without thinking how painful the workload is. I’m so grateful for these three people who made the start of my journey through CS3216 beautiful.

Apart from natural team chemistry, I see this team as a good example of teamwork, support, tolerance, and open-mindedness.

Assignment 3

During the first meeting of Assignment 3, we had our idea ready, divided our roles, and the ball is starting to roll. We will be accelerating soon. I’ve decided to help with front end for the first time. Pushing myself to learn as efficient as possible before Monday night about Javascript and Angular in general. Suicide? I’ll make sure it’s not. 😉

Eyes on Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger extracts the chat function of Facebook app. Business Insider states that it has 700 million users in June 2015. The users are, obviously, Facebook users and this existing user base is enormous. Group 11 has described the awesomeness and the sore points of Facebook Messenger, and here I will be highlighting three points which, I suppose, are important for us to acknowledge.

First of all, Facebook messenger keeps itself simple where the app only focuses on the chat function. It covers all the basic functionalities of a chat app, sending text, voice messages, stickers, photos, and showing notifications. It’s also accessible in both web and mobile versions. We could simply log in using our Facebook account. It’s comparably speedy and simple when compared to their original Facebook app. By focusing on these chat needs, it turns out to be a very light, responsive chat app which is convenient to use.

photo_2015-09-01_23-09-46

Facebook Messenger

Speaking of the UI, Facebook Messenger has a pleasant blue and white colour scheme. As the group has mentioned, at one glance, you know what to do. For example, the unread messages are in bold so this catches the users’ attention, the profile picture and user name are shown so that users know with whom they are chatting with. However, there are some inconsistent UI, for example, some action buttons are presented a texts, while others are presented as icons, as shown in the example below.

Text          Icon

“Pin” and “Create” as texts                           “Search” and “Add Contact” as icons

Despite some glitches in the UI, it is not considerably horrendous compared to the good points that it has. These UI could be repaired, as it will require major changes to the app, in my opinion, such as the flow of steps within the app.

Furthermore, the group mentioned briefly about Facebook Messenger for Business. I read that Zendesk is partnering with Facebook through an integration with their Zopim chat. The first two online retail companies that uses this version are zulily and Everlane. This new extension allows their customers to interact with the companies and obtain order details, while these companies could respond support requests more easily. Facebook is expanding its scope from social networking to improving business communication as well. Personally, I am particularly interested in how the business version works – What functions it offers to users and how helpful is it? Will it survive in the market?

facebook-messenger-blog

Facebook Messenger for Business

All in all, it happens that many of my friends are on Facebook, thus a significant amount of my communication with my friends really do happen via Facebook. This Facebook Messenger app simplifies the need to talk with people without having to open the full version which contains the news feeds, notification, and additional functions we might not need at a particular moment. Personally, it allows me to respond to messages faster and easier. As group 11 has mentioned, I as well think that this app has no apparent bugs and it seems to be quite stable.

On a side note, the presentation has enlightened me of some details of Facebook Messenger that I’ve never noticed before, such as the plugins, function to send money through Facebook, and calling a phone number through Facebook. Perhaps, it is time to experiment with this app further!

Week 2 of CS3216

This is the second week of school but I’m already sleeping at 5am in the morning. CS3216 along with head tutor for CS1010S and Secretary for NUSSU commIT? Whoa. Just, whoa.

Assignment 1

I always thought that if I were to create an app, I wouldn’t be creating a game app or entertainment app. I feel lucky that my team members also had similar views. We ended up trying to provide a better platform for an existing one that doesn’t seem to be that user-friendly. Of course, we might be mistaken, and I suppose there are still many flaws within the idea. Yet, I’m really looking forward to the final result and hope that it could be improved and improved to become truly useful.

We have 2 front ends and 2 back ends. I’m one of the back ends. Working on Ember.js for front and Django API for back, the front end people just integrated some features this weekend and it seems to work just fine. Thanks, friends! 🙂 However, I do feel guilty for being MIA a LOT of times. I totally want to apologise. I was already warned by Yang Shun. He said he did the same thing – 1010s + 3216 – and he almost died. I remembered how I confidently said, “It’s alright if I almost die. Pain is good. :v” when I know that I’m far more rookie than him. I shall remember that spirit and keep it up. Now manual registration for tutorials/recitations is over and I promise to be more loyal to 3216. 🙂

Workshops

Saturdays are now productive. Go to workshop from morning until afternoon, learn and learn more stuff, then continue with Assignment 1. The workshops contain various topics, all brief, but they are useful to me personally. Some help refresh my memory, e.g. Git, PHP, HTML, CSS, while others are pretty new, e.g. user-centric design process, presentation skills. Especially the one by Su Yuen is interesting. I was looking at momocentral.com a few days ago and then she showed us the wireframes, etc.

The more we learn, the more we don’t know. It just popped up in my mind. There are so many things to learn in so little time.

Assignment 2

I find it’s really hard to juggle too many things. Less sleep it is.

Hi, CS3216!

This shall be my first post, as requested by CS3216. 🙂

People call this module one of the best modules in CS, and thus it will be very demanding and intense. “We had to code through some nights,” they say. Yes, that means there will be sleepless nights. In addition, looking at the overview of materials, there is still so many things I have yet to discover and explore. However, I realized that all these scary notions are really flying opportunities for us all to grow and develop.

Here we could come up with new, cool, crazy ideas, share and expand, and perhaps implement them. It’s time to come our from our comfort zones. We will have to face challenges. We will make mistakes. But remember, we should and will learn from it.

We are expected to team up with different people when some of us only know around a fifth of the class. Therefore, this means we are supposed to meet new people, exchange your skill set, choose the correct combination, and really work together for the same goal. It’s not only about the technical aspect, but also the teamwork, team management, being a responsible member, and many more worthwhile values for our own future.

The heavy workload will include consultations, testings, and reviews, which is definitely a chance for praises and critics to come. It is the time when we listen carefully and use the information from Dr Colin Tan and the entire teaching team for us to improve.

Throughout the process of rigorous practice, I suppose we could then discover our strengths and weaknesses effectively. It really is one of the best places for us to hone our skills and develop. I shall use it wisely. 🙂

I am truly excited and looking forward to its first lecture!