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Reflections..

November 14, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

It’s over. Not for the time being but for real. CS3216 was offered the last time ever this semester and Prof. Ben wants a break and to be honest he really and truly deserves it. He has been nothing but awesome this semester and the amount of energy he put into this module is beyond belief. I would really like to thank him for this module simply because it was the only one where I actually attended lectures (and enjoyed it), didn’t have to read any random textbook and most importantly dealt with real world execution which quite simply is way more essential that academic knowledge. I don’t know if I say this enough but I love 3216!

Reflecting back on my first post on this blog, I am quite happy to write that I did satisfy almost all of the goals I set for this module and a bit more.

To improve my programming competence

Certainly am a better programmer than I was, picked up new languages like ActionScript and became better and more comfortable with PHP and JavaScript. When developing applications for the real world you need to be more careful and precise to avoid any loop holes and pitfalls and this meant a lot of testing, trying to break your own code over and over. I also got to work with beta frameworks like jQuery Mobile which had a lot of bugs itself  and I will always remember the amount of time Sesha and I spent trying to find workarounds just to make sure the app worked well on all browsers. The offline feature in HTML5 is quite cool and although it can’t truly match the experience of a native app at this point in time, its still evolving and am quite confident developers are going to tilt towards making web apps simply because you can deploy it across multiple platforms all at once => more moolah for less code, it just works.

How to apply D-Thinking principles to software engineering

How to make a good UI/UX? Observer people use you app. Prototype and test. Prototype and test.Prototype and test. Give your user nothing but the information about the purpose of the app and watch him use it, sit next to him and observe what mistakes he makes, what he presumes, whether he did what you expected or how he didn’t. This method really works, you will be surprised with the data you collect but this is how you refine your app and deploy the next prototype (with a better UI/UX). The main problem with this method is that its not scalable and you really can’t be doing this with 100+ users like you could do AB testing with google analytics but I did use this method for the first 2 prototypes for MoneySlate and it did help, a lot.

Work with talented designers

Kenneth and Aaron, I have learnt a lot just by observing you guys. I certainly have better taste and sense of design now than I ever did and I would like to thank you guys for that. Aaron, working with you on designing the templates for MoneySlate taught me some neat tricks in Photoshop & After Effects and also made me aware of tools like Kuler, this is knowledge gained on my part and am really thankful for that 🙂

Work on a real life project with the bright minded lot at CS3216 which will possibly lead to the birth of a new software service

This module is filled with highly motivated people and I just loved working with them. Although I didn’t really get to create a new service, I certainly did identify a problem and try to solve it better than the existing apps out there.

The module is all about execution and it really took me through a tough ride, I went through failure after my first report for final project, where we didn’t have a working application and our API was screwed all over and the front end was isolated from the back end but I learnt from my mistakes and pushed myself harder because I knew this was just a battle lost, the war wasn’t over and the important thing was to finish strong and we did..

I can honestly say that I learnt a lot more from this module than I did in my entire time here at NUS and this was the only module where I never really felt bored or questioned, “What the heck am I doing this for?”.

To wrap up, CS3216 -> Best.Module.Ever.

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