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,

Image

 

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

Image

 

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,

Image

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:

Image

 

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

Image

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.

CS401: working screensaver

I now have the working screensaver (a slideshow with art images).

So I have this little script that we would have to put in all of our pages so that after some idle time (now set to 15 sec just for testing), it would go to the screensaver

$(document).ready(function(){
    var timeout;
    $(document).on(“mousemove keydown click”, function() {
        clearTimeout(timeout);
        timeout = setTimeout(function() {
             window.location = “./screensaver/screensaver.html”;
        },  1 * 15 * 1000);
    }).click();
});

I’ve only put this script in the “homepage” for now just to test that it works. And in my screensaver.html, I have this script,

$(document).ready(function(){
    $(document).on(“mousemove keydown click”, function() {
             window.location = “../index.html”;
    });
});

which will take us back to the homepage if there’s movement.

When I showed it to Tim, he said he likes how it looks. There’s also the possibility of putting videos as the screensaver too. After some reading i found that to put video in the slideshow, all I have to do is download jquery video plug-in and just put it as element of the slideshow (just like images). But I also want to do something like this, if we have really nice videos to show http://tympanus.net/Tutorials/BigVideoSlideshow/

But this is how the slideshow look right now,Image

Tim also gave me another feature to work on. So instead of “movement” would send us back from screensaver to homescreen, it would go into some kind of “introduction presentation” slideshow(?). So basically,

[idle] -> ScreenSaver -> [movement] -> IntroPage (user can skip) -> HomeScreen

I actually had some free time this afternoon, so I was working on this IntroPage and I think I got a lot done. I found a plug-in that will make it look similar to the Nike website. So far I got the background and textbox of each slide working, but I have problem positioning the second image on top of the background.

Will update again when I get this IntroPage fully functioning…

Just got back from Spring Break in Oregon!

Hello everyone of the CS department,

For this past spring break, I went to Corvallis, OR, for this awesome program hosted by the Oregon State University, http://web.engr.oregonstate.edu/mcai

Apparently there were over 200 applicants, and they only accept 20 students, and I got it (somehow)!! In this “short-course,” we learned about the Monte Carlo methods; essentially what the algorithm is about, how to implement it, as well as its wide range of applications in real-world computing problems.

To be honest, the course was VERY VERY difficult, as the professors tried to cram everything in one week, so I studied really hard every day…but it was WORTH IT! I felt like I learned a lot, and I had a really great experience there. Also, this is a good chance to network with other smart and motivated peers from other schools. Plus, everything was paid for (food, flight, hotel), so it was AWESOME!

I’d encourage every CS students (sophomore, junior, and senior) to try and apply for this program next year. I know it’s a spring break and all, and you will probably want to be in Miami, or some other beach and not study. But doing this will really help motivate you to go to grad school (if you are looking for motivation), and it would also look good on your resume as well.

Also, after attending this course, I realize that I am still lacking a lot of math for graduate school. So I would also recommend taking more math courses than the minimum CS requirement, if grad school is your goal.

Hope you all had a nice break from school, now lets get back to studying!!

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Week ending 3/2/13, part 2 (ScreenSaver & Slideshow)

So I think I found how to make it so that after some idle time, it will go into the screensaver.

We can do that with the function setTimeOut() as described in here, http://stackoverflow.com/questions/13907894/how-to-create-screensaver-like-screen-in-html-jquery

Also, I was thinking that maybe after the app goes into the screensaver, it should return to the homepage instead of the current page?

I also found this blog here that shows many different jquery plug-ins for slideshow, http://vandelaydesign.com/blog/web-development/jquery-slideshow/

So I think I have an idea of what to do now. I hope I can get something done so I can show the class tomorrow.