Categories
Life

Easter Projects

Here’s a badly taken photo of Hull’s Paragon Interchange Station, taken whilst waiting for my train home

Friday was our final day at University and consisted of a Lab session and a Tutorial in which we talked about the coursework for ACW 2 for Programming 2 — A.K.A. Sweepy Cleaner. Almost as soon as the Tutorial was over I was on my way to the station to head home for two weeks off, well deserved after a busy term.

In an attempt to keep on top of work and hone my skills as a Software Engineer I have lined up a few projects for myself, to be completed over Easter.

The first of my Projects is to design and develop a custom website front-end and back-end content management system for a local bee keeper who offers Bee Keeping courses, bees for sale, honey products and a range of soaps and lotions. The system will need to allow the customers to edit their product ranges and content on their pages, it will also need to provide an attractive interface to customers and be SEO friendly in order to rank well on Google Searches for Bee related terms.

The Content Management System will be a fair bit of work, but fortunately I can use my previous experiences on projects such as Worldwide Lighthouses in order produce a better system, I also enjoy making user interfaces — particularly for the web, so I’m looking forward to working on this project and hopefully making my customers happy.

My second project is to complete Worldwide Lighthouses, a website run by my brother which uses a custom made CMS (Content Management System). Due to a data loss around Christmas a lot of the workings of the site remain unfinished, hopefully by the end of  Easter all functionality of the previous website will have been restored and even improved upon.

My third project is for my lecturer, Rob Miles, and is to produce an application for the Windows Phone 7 platform which uses the MetaBlogger API to allow people with blogs on blogger and other services to upload, view and edit posts on the go.

My fourth and final project is to create an Augmented reality game. It’s based off of my original proposal for three thing game —  a Tower Defence game which turns into an First Person Shooter once the enemy reaches the end of its route.

My aim is to have the “map” for the tower defence section of the game to be the actual location of the player, complete with enemies actually following the real roads to get to them,  I will do all this using the Bing Maps API. The FPS section will use the image produced by the back-facing camera as the background and the user will have to occasionally point their phone to the sky to fight back helicopters, and point it straight forward to take on Soldiers and Tanks. I think its an interesting concept, will be fun to play and is certainly technically interesting and possibly challenging to produce.

Expect to hear more about these projects soon!

Danny

Categories
Life

Olympic Games “Games Maker” Interview

Today was an long, yet exciting day. It could almost have ended in disaster several times, but in the end I felt it was a massive success.

It all started at 9:00 am with me getting up and dressed in my suit (got to look professional after all!) about 20 minutes later I was on the bus heading to the Hull Paragon Interchange Train Station for my 10:30 Hull Trains train to London Kings Cross.

Unfortunately I’m currently in the middle of a long spell of… issues with train companies and today was no different. Upon arriving at the interchange I was told it was shut for an indeterminate amount of time due to a gas leak, I was a bit annoyed by this but I took the opportunity for a Burger King break, almost as soon as I’d finished my burger the train station had re-opened and my train left only 25 minutes late, so alls well that ends well!

The train journey was uneventful, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that First Hull Trains offer free wi-fi for the duration of a journey — and I thought East Coasts offer of 15 minutes for free was good!

To get to ExCel, where the interview was taking place, I had to take 3 more trains, The Northern Line Tube from Kings Cross to Bank, a Driverless Docklands Light Railway train from Bank to Canning Tow, and another DLR train from Canning Town to Custom House for ExCel.

The feature image of this Blog Post is the Western Entrance to ExCel but it doesn’t quite show you just how massive the building is — it took me about 25 minutes to walk from the west end to the east end! After doing this and looking around for a bit I turned up to the Olympic Committee section of the ExCel building, still an hour early. Fortunately I was seen an hour early.

Whilst waiting around for my interview I was somewhat perplexed by the sheer amount of McDonalds advertising for what is supposed to be an event which encourages exercise and living well (and some people would argue fast food was counter-active to this). The “informal interview process” is outlined in the below picture:

The Structure of the Interview Process
The Structure of the Interview Process

Essentially:

  1. You check in by providing your name and a form of ID. You then get your picture taken for any further Olympic ID
  2. You are then held in the “Explore” area where you can read some information on the running of the Olympics and view some more fast food ads before being given a talk about possible jobs roles, ranging from camera operator to web design
  3. Once the interview group before you has finished you then go to the “Cinema” to watch some adverts telling you how Cadbury is the treat sponsor of the Olympic games (again, counter productive some would argue) before being given interview advice by some comedians and dames.
  4.  You have your interview where they ask questions about why you feel you would make a good volunteer.

I felt the whole process felt well and the interviewer said that it was “Great to see someone with ambition, who is so well spoken” and that they had “Enjoyed interviewing” me 🙂 So that can’t be bad.

After the interview I had to wait around for a few hours so I treated myself to a Nandos and a walk around London, including having a look at the brand new Skyscraper, the Shard before catching my train home. A great day all round, even if around 9 hours of it was spent on Public Transport. Below are some more images which I took throughout the day: