CS401: (additional post) what I found at the last Career Fair

So for my last post (probably EVER)…I would like to share what I found out at the last career fair I went to, which was the Boston Startup Job Fair held at Microsoft NERD Center last month.

I think there were about 44 companies there, can’t remember the exact number, all of them are startups, with size ranging from just 2-man company to like about 100 people. And every company was looking for either UI & Web (both front & backend) developers, and Mobile App developers.

I plan to go to another Career Fair definitely after the summer, to see what the bigger companies or corporations are looking for in the developers. But if you want to get a job for the Startups, definitely start learning (if you don’t already know) either web development or mobile app development.

Now there are pros and cons to working for a startup. The startups are small (obviously) and so the employee’s benefit may not be that great (maybe no dental?…just kidding), they probably will not pay for your training or certifications (since they are startups they might not be able to afford it) and the salary is possibly lower than working for bigger companies. On the contrary, some of the benefits…are listed here http://theyec.org/14-top-benefits-of-working-for-a-startup/

But I think I personally might be interested in working for a startup (for a start of my career) because you can actually grow with the company as you keep working, and you won’t be “just” another employee like you would for working at a big companies.

Anyways, good luck for all my graduating classmates, hope you get the jobs that you want!! and for the ones that I’ll be seeing again next semester, have a nice summer vacation!!!

CS401: (additional post) my summer plan 2013

After counting the blog posts, I have only 12, and the course requires 14, so I will write 2 more random, CS-related, but not course-related, ranting posts.

So as titled, I will now describe what my summer plan for this summer is like!

For this summer, I got accepted for the REU program at Depauw University located in the beautiful town of Greencastle, Indiana. The title of the project I applied for is “Problem Solving using Parallel Programming.” here is the link & description http://my.depauw.edu/univ/reu/projects.html

This is a 10-week program. It starts next Wednesday the 29th, and I have to be there on the 28th. They provide up to $600 for traveling expenses. At first I was going to take a plane there, but then I google the town and found out it’s relatively(?) countryside, and no public transportation. Since I will be there for basically 2 1/2 months, I think I’ll need my car so I decided that I will drive there. Google Map says it would take around 15 hours, minus the traffic, to get there. So I will begin my 1-man solitary road trip this coming Sunday. Please wish me luck!

So far, we have not decided on what kind of problem we will try to solve for the summer. But I know that we will be programming in Erlang language. Erlang is a functional programming language that is mostly used for Parallism…or so Google says. Now I have started reading the book on Erlang, just to get a bit of a head start so I won’t be super lost next week, and it is quite different from (what the book calls) “imperative” language like C++, Java, etc. For example, it is highly similar to real mathematical equation in terms of the use of variables, like lets say, x = 5; you cannot say x = 5+1 now, because 5 != 6.

Anyways, then I was researching whether learning this language would make my resume look better and help me get a job after graduation, and the answer is…”depends.”

So Erlang is mostly used for solving problem through parallelism to speed up the computation time exponentially. But most of the time, this only happens in research institutions, not really business corporations. So if I want a research job, or grad school, knowing functional language will help upping my candidacy a bit. Although I guess more and more companies are starting to utilize parallel programming and more functional programming jobs are becoming more available, and the pay is quite good (w/ experience of course). So if it turns out I am able to pick up the language and I like it, I might as well stick with it, since some article said that non-mainstream language programmers hardly ever get laid off….so we’ll see!!

*EDIT: after some more googling around, I found that there are quite a few of jobs available for Erlang with OTP and databases…so yeaa I will see how far I can understand the language after the summer!

CS401: LAST CHANGE (…hopefully)

I just had to make a couple of changes to the Introduction Page as Tim requested. All I had to do was, moving the navigation (left+right) buttons to the center of the page, and also have it say “next” and “previous.” That is all!

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This course has been a very valuable for learning what it is like to work in a real development environment, as well as working in a large group. Working in team is not new to me; at my internship we work in a small team of 3. But working with a team THIS large is quite hectic, and requires much more planning, strategizing, and coordination. Overall, we got the work done, and it is a very rewarding feeling to see our “idea” turning into a real product.

Also, since this is most likely the last change i had to make, and is conclusion of this class. I will probably most likely never blog again. Thank you!🙂

Week ending 5/11/13: Fix more things & How-To doc

For this week, there wasn’t much left for me to do.

After I showed Tim the recent version of the Introduction Page, he tested it and told me that the transition between pages is a bit sluggish. So I’ve read up on possible solution to fix this, and it is to change the transition value of the .in, .out in the jquery-mobile css file (default to 350ms). So after I did that, I found that the “transition effect” is faster, but the transition is still “slow.” I think this is due to jquery mobile recognizing the “swipe” motion, so there is really nothing else I can do with my little knowledge of javascript.

And Tim said that if this cannot be fixed then it would be ok if I put the button back and choose the transition effect with the least delay. So I put the left & right navigation button back, with the default transition effect of “fade” for those buttons. However, the “Help” button is still there, and we can still navigate the pages by swiping.

I also wrote up a short document on how to change the contents of the Screensaver and the Introduction Page, and it is very simple so I think Tim should not have a problem understanding it.

Week of 5/6/13: Bug fixing

This past week, I just fixed some bugs in my files

1) screensaver links to the wrong document name (easy fix).

2) IntroPage: left & right navigation buttons are (much) slower than swiping fingers, I’ve tried playing with the values in the jquery-mobile.js file to make the transition faster, which it did make it faster, but the transition was still not seamless like when swipe the fingers. So  I just decided to get rid of the navigation buttons, and replace it with “Help” button to give user info on how to navigate the pages. Now it looks like this,

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and when you click the Help button, the pop-up dialog looks like this,

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Now I will work on writing a How-To document to give Tim information on how to change the content of my pages, for future reusability.

CS401: IntroPage finished!

I finished the IntroPage and it currently looks like this,

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There are 3 buttons at the bottom for navigation: “previous”, “next”, and “skip to home.”

You can also swipe left and right to change the page. I initially wanted the slide up and down, since that is the style that Tim likes, but jquery mobile does not support slide up + down.

Also, I decided to make this with jquery mobile, and not just jquery, like the previous version, because this would make it more tablet compatible (and I won’t have to worry about the sizing and this also has multi-touch support, e.g. “swipe” motion).

CS401: IntroPages

I am now working on making the introduction page for our Orantes Project.

I had done two versions of the IntroPage (as I call it) and showed it to Tim, to see which one he prefers.

First one is the basic jQuery Mobile page with left, right, and home buttons to navigate between pages, like this:

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The second one is the slide up-down one, like this

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Tim said he prefers the sliding one, and he gave me a website that he likes, http://bttls.com/, which has button you can press to slide down or up to the previous or next page, respectively.

So I am now working more on the sliding version IntroPage. And a few days ago Tim also sent out the photos for both the Screensaver and the IntroPage. Unfortunately there have been so many events going on last week so I have not had the chance to continue to work on this much, but I will definitely have more stuff to show Tim tomorrow in class and I will update the blog again very soon.