Is This The Real Life

What did you do this past week?

This past weekend, I went to UTD for a hackathon. HackUTD was not the most organized hackathon that I’ve ever been to, and there was not a lot of companies or coffee during that time, but I was able to work on a pretty nifty project with some friends during that time. Our project, SensorStrike, is a mobile app that replaces the keyboard and mouse with a phone, providing an FPS shooter experience in holding, aiming, and firing a gun at enemy CS:GO characters on a computer screen. You can see some demo gameplay of this project by one of my teammates here.

This project is pretty revolutionary since it provides a very accessible and viable alternative for gamers to simulate AR gameplay with a popular FPS shooter game with just the use of a phone and Bluetooth connection. On the technical side, there were a lot of obstacles that had to be overcome with this project, such as setting up a server connection between the Bluetooth connection/computer port and taking sporadic unreliable Android sensor data to transform into smooth cursor control through noise reducing algorithms. Overall, it was a fulfilling experience, and our team was somehow able to win “Mobile Track” with the idea, which is pretty sweet since this idea was never aimed towards winning anything in particular and this was the first MLH-based hackathon we’ve ever won. If you’d like to read more on the project, you can find more info on devpost and even pull the code and run it yourself on github!

(NOTE: You will need a high enough hardware based Android device to actually play around with most of the features of the project)

Other than that, this past week I’ve mainly been working with my SWE team in order to decide what teams we need (backend, frontend, database), decide who goes in what team, and organize all the tasks behind the project so that during Spring Break we can make sure that everyone finishes the tasks that they’re assigned. So far, we’ve finished the design schema for the database, and finalized on what tasks we need to take on big picture-wise, but within our teams, we still have a lot to figure out and work on, whether separately or together as a group. Fortunately, we have been able to gain more traction in working together as a team, and I have high hopes for the plans we have set out for the whole design of our website, both visually and behind the scenes.

I have started working on my 2nd fictional story for my fiction writing class. Here’s a preview of what the introduction as of right now looks like:

“Focus Johnny.” I open my eyes. Tickled by the sensation of prickly little caterpillar hairs crawling over my eyelids, I try to orient myself towards a familiar stern voice. With my back stretched out on an inclined surface, my head tilts against a semi-hard cushion and I gaze into a feather-free face; a human visage; an apple-skinned smooth complexion peppered with short stalks of black untrimmed hair that furrows into a distorted shape. “You have 3 more days left before you face the final verdict for court!”, it speaks, a voice that leaks with worry. “You need to stop faking this duck world you live in, and focus on the real world!”

Also if you’re interested in reading my first short story (which I consider very… horrible), here’s a link to the first draft.

What’s in your way?

Getting all the tasks done in Project 3 for SWE through swift communication and as little dependency holdups as possible.

I get the sense for the website that there are a lot of nitty gritty aspects that need to be taken care of. As a backend developer, I know a lot of discussion on design and countless edits will need to be addressed. For frontend, I have no clue what tasks need to be taken care of. My hope is that as my team works together, whether remotely or in person, that we’ll understand each other’s boundaries and expectations, and in doing so, find a way to maximize the time we have in order to complete the project, not only in a timely manner, but also smoothly with a very good and aesthetic design.

SWE Class Impressions?

As of right now, I’m enjoying a lot of the new things we’re learning in Python, but I find it difficult to remember all the details. Especially since the quizzes test over very arbitrary parts of a given concept, I find myself constantly failing in quizzes, even though I learn from it. Nonetheless, I think this is more an error on my part, in not reviewing the material as swiftly enough, and I overall still enjoy the class, it’s teaching style, and the dynamics in communication between professor and class.

What will you do next week?

Next week will be a blissful spring break. I will be going camping with my parents somewhere in Austin (specifics still to be decided).

Additionally, I will be going to SXSW’s hackathon, which I’m really pumped about not only because of all the sponsors there, but how I feel that the experience will really be spectacular in that the event is featuring SXSW itself. I initially didn’t have a teammate for that hackathon, and was going to have run Han Sol while finding some Chewbaccas at the event, but fortunately one of my friends from FreeTail Hackers was interested, and somehow we contacted the organizers and got him into the hackathon, which means I won’t be alone!

Finally, I will be taking a staycation Spring Break trip with my class year from church.

So pretty much a very busy, but hopefully fun Spring Break!

Tip of the Week

The week before Spring Break seems to bring a lot of news, so here’s some interesting reads I’ve found:

Written on March 10, 2017