Episode 5 – Pitch of salt

After two sessions of pitches, internal and external, somehow it seems that the internal pitches were done better! *CLAP* Well, not all the external pitches were bad, some of them were pretty awesome, but the comic sans and the cyan colour on white was awful!

Some of the ideas that caught my attention are:

Garena’s Collaborative ordering of food idea – In fact, years back when I was involved in my own start up, I had a start up that was similar to FoodPanda, so anyway while doing market research I came across this platform that contains features which fits exactly what Garena pitched, I cannot remember the name of the platform though. Here’s a cute logo of my start up back then! It died eventually as we couldn’t convince enough merchants to get onboard with us.

PlanIt sounds like a cool idea, I always wish that whatsapp/telegram has a feature that allows consolidating of attendance for meet-ups in group conversations and PlanIt seems to be solving the same problem. However, I feel that there might be too many features in the idea and can be misleading. From my experiences, I feel that a project should have a simple and clear vision and the direction of features should follow that vision, something that many people do not see. Personally, I experienced that when a project grows, people tend to lose focus on the direction of the product and implement features that could be redundant.

For the internal pitches:

I kind of like the NUSDollar idea, I think that the currency can be used for more stuff relating to NUS, however the economy would be critical, how to ensure that the currency is regulated properly.

I also like the idea of creating a match making application that takes focus away from the superficial aspects of humans, but I am not sure if this is even possible, as personally I believe that the outer appearance would still be a deciding factor to a certain extent.

I also pitched a mini-hack project that me and Jingwen did over the election day. Personally, I was shocked at the responses we got back, I was certainly not expecting any positive comments, and was all ready to be shot at. The responses certainly got my group to seriously consider the possibility of the idea for our final project.

Well, a thing I learnt from my past experiences and the pitches is to take feedbacks with a pinch of salt. In some occasion, some people might say certain things simply to attempt at wavering your decisions in their benefit. What I learnt is to be critical of things and to not plan for your success ahead of it.

Cheeers!

Episode 4 – A new beginning

I know I know this was suppose to be posted weeks ago. Ask for forgiveness not permission right? Heh.

Anyway, so Assignment 1 ended, and I guess things went pretty alright! We manage to complete all our targeted features by the deadline, fixed major UI/UX issues and I guess the overall appearance had improved greatly as it progressed.

What is HawkerHub?

The initial vision of HawkerHub is to provide a portal where people are able to get recommendation of food near them. Compared to other food review sites where they tend to be more restaurant-centric, we were attempting to focus more on the food as well as the location. However as it progressed, we kind of lost of direction and became more of an Instagram for food.

My team for Assignment 1 appears to have 4 developers. However, we eventually only really had 2 developers, 1 designer and 1 business guy/PM.

Andhieka was our designer, I believe he is new to designing, and had managed to come up with some pretty impressive design.

Evan was the front-end coder, his code is super neat and tidy however he doesn’t seem to agree with that.

I was in-charge of the back-end, nothing spectacular.

Kiwi was the business guy/PM, however he did help out with backend at the beginning!

I personally think that the final product is pretty decent, and I am happy at how it turned out at the end. 🙂

Cheers!

Spotify Critique

I wouldn’t say that I’m an avid fan/user of Spotify, and neither am I a premium user of Spotify. In fact, I’ve only started to use Spotify recently (early this year). I use Spotify mainly only when I require a constant stream of music without having to choose my songs (while coding), for some of you that might be wondering, YouTube simply takes up too much resources due to the video playing. With that, I find that some of the points presented conflicts with what I feel about the application.

Dark is bad. Not something that everyone likes.

Well, personally I’ve no issues with the theme. In fact, I like the dark theme as it is softer on the eyes and helps differentiate itself from other application. However, then again it is impossible for everyone to like the same things, maybe in this sense, Spotify should have an alternate theme just for the other block in this party.

Spotify is like a radio, because of the many ads.

As someone whom uses Spotify for its constant stream of music, the advertisements are far from annoying. After using YouTube without ad-block during internship, I begin to appreciate Spotify even more, YouTube advertisements were of different volumes and could end up choppy due to loading times, whereas in my experience of using Spotify, the advertisement seems to fit in well, subtly and the song continuous without any pause. Occasionally, I might even fail to notice that there was an advertisement inserted.

Free streaming allows for wider market reach.

I have to agree on this point. Free streaming was the only reason why I used the application and will be the only reason why I’ll use it. As a free user, I’ve no issues with Spotify inserting advertisements inbetween songs (as long as it remains subtle to me) as long as it helps them stay afloat and remain freeeee!

Up till this point, it seems that Spotify has been all good and no bad. However, I’ve to admit, I’ve had my bad experiences with Spotify. When I first started using Spotify, I signed up using Facebook, downloaded the application, and tried logging in using Facebook again, lo and behold, I couldn’t login and had to register for a new account.

In conclusion, personally I feel that there has yet to be a song/artiste/band that I am unable to find on Spotify (subjective to my own range of songs), this makes Spotify my only source of music now, and I certainly do not foresee myself using another application for my music needs soon.

Cheers! Thanks for reading!

Episode 3 – Shit gets real.

The talk on growth hacks was more of like a flashback for me. Before CS3216, I had the opportunities to be involved in multiple start-ups, and to develop applications in other modules. When Bjorn mentioned some of the “unorthodox” methods he used to garner views to his product, it reminded me of some of the methods I used to achieve the same purpose.

Back in the days, I remember having to resort to creating fake activity so as to attract real users to communicate/refute me on my product. I also remember having to use multiple Google Ads accounts to exploit the free $100 credits given, so as to place advertisements for my website. Desperate measures for desperate times, heh.

Now, let’s talk about assignments, after the mid-term critique for assignment 1, I guess my team realized how bad things were going, the first critique did not mention many improvements, which I guess was due to the fact that there were nothing much to critique on. I guess this might be due to a lack of time allocated to the front-end for integration. Also, we did not employ the use of any tools to aid us in managing progress and issues efficiently, which might be the reason why the time allocation was badly handled.

Apart from those issues, there seems to be some kind of misunderstanding amongst the team. However, upon realization of the issue, I chose to step up and attempt to clear the air with the team, we had a discussion over Telegram and managed to settle things amicably and professionally. One lesson I learned from this incident is to always ask for permission before delving into a teammate’s/someone’s code, or you might risk insulting the person.

All in all, it has been a great learning experience and I hope that my team will be able to complete our features and all enhancement before Friday. 🙂

Thanks for reading! Hope you didn’t fall asleep.

The second episode

This week’s lecture started to include more content on Software Engineering, with the first portion of the lecture on the different types of life-cycle in Software Development. Personally, I really prefer Agile over waterfall, as Agile allows for modification to specifications and requirements throughout development, and most importantly less designing prior to the start of development, which I guess was better for the lazy me.

The second portion of the lecture was to me an introduction on the various useful tools for development, and I have to admit, some of the tools are really useful. Since the lecture, my team has begun using Sketch, SQLEditor and Apiary for the first assignment. Kudos to Christopher for the recommendations!

Assignment-wise, things got escalated pretty quickly, groups were formed, ideas were conceived and mock UI were drawn. Initially, each member of my team came up with an idea, and together we voted to work on our final idea; this idea seems like a copy of a famous application, but in fact it solves an actual problem that Singaporeans will face daily. We have yet to do any form of idea validation with our target audience, but we will definitely do it after our first iteration.

For this assignment, my team decided to try out Docker, a platform that supposedly makes development easier. However, to my horror, there were so many issues with the setting up of the platform itself, I must have spent at least 1 day troubleshooting the set-up. My opinion? Don’t use Docker, unless you have someone in your team who is experienced with it! Then again, we must all start somewhere right?

First episode of CS3216

The first lecture for CS3216 was less of a lecture and more of a sharing session. The adventures of Colin was captivating and brought across the idea of being adventurous in our projects as well as in life.

“Ask for forgiveness, not permission”, that was the key idea that I brought home with me that evening. Often in many projects, even before development begun, I would begin considering about legality/copyright issues and due to the considerations, many projects died even before it started. After the first lesson, I felt that I should not be shooting down ideas due to legality issues even before development; like what Dr. Colin said, “if you do get into troubles with the law, it would mean that you have already succeeded”.

I also agree with the point of having to always validate the idea with the users, as what I personally view as acceptable may not be acceptable to the users, and the users are the reason why an application would succeed. Therefore, we should always look to create an application for the users and not for ourselves.

I really liked the superheroes and the show and tell session, it was a quick method for everyone to get to know each other as well as to find group members to work with.

I really enjoyed this first episode, and am looking forward to the weeks to come!

What I hope to learn in CS3216?

Through CS3216, I am looking forward to discover my upper limits, and to explore areas that I haven’t had the opportunity to.

This is afterall a software engineering module, and as such, I am looking forward to learning more about software engineering, as well as methods/tools that allows for easier collaboration between multiple developers.

In addition, I had dabbled with HTML5 in the past, and am looking forward to learning more about it.

Most importantly, I hope to be able to learn something new, and at the end, produce a product that would survive past the module.