Friday, October 13, 2017

# It's hard to get a reply #

Been a few weeks since my last post. Now we are at the final stage of this module. Been trying various ways to draft email with my group-mates, a marketing friend and another who helps to audit my English. The response rate is quite low. But its a pretty useful skills I would say. During my internship, I was assigned to write tons of emails and invited to meetings with the managements at the start and later had to present my own case. Every time it gives me shudders because every email is a new problem. Also it is quite important to learn how to express myself clearly. Like interviews. haha.

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❤ Won left a digital footprint at October 13, 2017 | 0 Comment(s)

Monday, September 18, 2017

# Week 5 Reflection #

The external pitch was an interesting feat. There are a lot of things in the market that I did not know existed. What attracted me the most is the agriculture pitch. Personally, I have always wanted to work in the agriculture sector, but our little red dot does not have advanced technology for IT in agriculture. I have read an article several years ago that las vegas have advanced IT technology for agriculture that enable a desert area to minimize water usage with several other factors for maximum output. Too bad the agriculture is still engineering-orientated here. No time to type a detailed reflection. Bye.

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❤ Won left a digital footprint at September 18, 2017 | 0 Comment(s)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

# Mendeley Application Critique #

[Random sketch - NOT the real logo]


Team 6 (represented by SJ) is the first who presented and they analysed Mendeley app. SJ describe Mendeley as a one-stop app for researchers, educators and students to network, auto-citation, organize, import, share and publish research papers in pdf formats, backup with cloud storage. In addition, they have open-sourced parts of their codes to allow public developers to expand and improve on its services.

Since I can only select 3 points I will select these: This app is a one-stop tool to help organize and annotate research papers (1) across-platforms, (2) wonderful reference manager and (3) open sourced services

1. Cross-Platform
This point was briefly brought through in the presentation, in fragments like having chrome plugin and in the flaws where there is an inconsistency between desktop version and web version. I think this is an very important in an application as in a networking application, you should be able to reach out to a wide spectrum of audience. However there is also a flaw in my argument because you just need to reach out to the majority and not everyone. In a quick google search [1], Mendeley is actually not the best cross platform app.

(A bit side-tracking) For example, even for something like a compiler, back in Year 1, someone (also in CS3216 now) was showing me how to code something on his phone. To me, I would only code on a laptop because a phone keyboard is pretty small to me (or because my phone is too small). It would be good to reach out to another group of users who uses it.

2. Reference Manager
I personally really liked this. I did solo-FYP in my polytechnic days and have several reports in university that I have to cite. I'm thankful I took ES1102 which the key takeaway is really know how to cite in APA format. I still kept the paper in teaching me how to cite and referred to it several times because either the auto-generator database does not contain the document I needed, or it doesn't churn out the format I wanted. I've a group of peers in university who also faced the same difficulty and somehow we are all using the same site [3], which doesn't come in the same platform as where we typed our documents. The best auto generated citation format I've used so far is LaTeX, but I guess Mendeley beats it by auto-filling up all those information.

However, SJ mentioned a flaw in their reference manager which there isn't much verification. From what I understand from SJ speech, anyone can upload a document and claimed to their work. I believe this is a problem and also not a problem in a peer-review community, because a poor written journal can be rejected from other authenticated researchers. It is also a problem because plagiarism can be rampant and goes undetected.

3. Open-Sourced Services
To me, this is a job well done. By having public APIs and partially open-source the codes, they will expand their user base by improving their services, or free marketing from the public developers for free. There are successful stories from other social networking platforms and a very good example is the Assignment 1 we are doing. This is important because the user needs is constantly changing.

My Original Thoughts

(I really don't understand this question because I'm not sure am I supposed to write about my thoughts on the contents of the presentation, or about the application or anything under the sun related to this. I would just assume the combination of everything.)

I felt that this presentation was more like a business presentation to push for investors for this app, about the features, potentials, drawbacks and marketing, but lacking in user experiences and UI aspects which CS3216 tries to focus a significant part into. I'm not sure if I remembered wrongly but there was minimal screenshots of the features and most of the contents are filled by the speech itself. I am dearly thankful SJ was really clear with his speech by iterating the points.

There was one part that I was really confused near to the end of the presentation because it was touch and go without much context, was the mentioning of some poor UX because of manual syncing is required, and continuing on to suggest implementation like socket.IO and some database to solve it. I don't quite understand what exactly is manual syncing and my first impression was like how desktop files work, which the copy I opened will start from the state when I opened it, and the latest save copy will be the one stored in the folder. I understood better after I googled about it [2]; its more like a git control.

While I was typing this Application Critique, I found out a striking news about Mendeley [4] being sold out to its competitors (with a different business strategy) back in 2013. I felt unjust for the users when I was reading the article and it makes me a little emo about life is as uncertain, as I end this Application Critique.

Thank you for reading!

1. Comparisons of Reference Managers
2. Manual Syncing
3. Auto-Citation
4. Sold out

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❤ Won left a digital footprint at September 05, 2017 | 4 Comment(s)

# Week 4 Reflection - English #

I realized I'm not good with words and until today I still do not know how to write a valid argumentative essay because I was only taught narrative essay in Secondary school and writing thesis paper in tertiary education. The last time in one of the mods I tried to study hard the "good example" the prof gave us, but the first feedback was "I don't understand a single word you write" and she asked me if I actually put in effort. Feeling kind of sad because I went to sourced out a few thesis papers, reading them line by line from start to end, in total taking 7 days to draft out my arguments and summarized the examples. Thankfully CS3216 doesn't particularly pick on English, so I just write what I think without adding on much to my workload. Especially Application Critique and Mutual Critique. No time for the 7 days thing again.

Technically my English have made great improvements since my Secondary school days. When I was packing my room and randomly reading essays that I have wrote, I realized I couldn't even understand myself. Back then I staggered even in normal conversations, so I kept quiet almost every day and my English teachers recommended I listen to BBC radio. I tried really hard to listen to it whenever I'm free, but it was very tiring and most of the time I could only catch the words "BBC World News". I read a book about listening, language frequency and learning and it inspired me to take up German in my polytechnic education (to try out the science theory even though I really wanted to learn Japanese to watch anime without subtitles). After a year of learning German, on a random day, I went to listen to BBC again and suddenly every word was crisp clear. I was so excited that day I jumped with excitement and told my family about it. It was also around that time I started to be able to converse in decent English. Of course this is a really strange way to relearn English, and I hope I could further improve my English, by learning Russian someday.

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❤ Won left a digital footprint at September 05, 2017 | 0 Comment(s)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

# Week 3 Post #

Died. When tutorials started the workload just magnified 😵

This week lecture was considered fun. Presentation is pretty important and everyone sort of have different styles. However I've slight disagreement on one of the points that a person's presentation can never improve by watching several ted talks. It really depends on a person's learning style. To me, a practical approach is the best way for me to learn. Like if you have a topic of presentation, you prepare a speech, and then you compare with several other you find impressive talk on the same topic to get a comparison on where your speech stands. Then you get a vibe over time on how to improve your slides and speech. Stage fright cannot be helped though.

I read somewhere before that everyone start their learning by copying. Like a baby will mimic the people around him/her. That is how also how a baby learn how to speak. Over time after enough exploration, they will develop their own style and stuffs. Ok enough of the post, back to the other stuffs.

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❤ Won left a digital footprint at September 02, 2017 | 1 Comment(s)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

# Week 2 Reflection #

Sketch of a lazy cat by me
(How I'm feeling time-constraint but I try to stay awake)


its another week of school. Wanted to clear this blog post before I'm too busy and forgot to clear this. I like the lectures for CS3216 a lot so far! It is full of stories kind of remind me of another biology module. Don't really like to blog so much because I'm not really good with my words.

What strikes me so far this week is the tip on asking user feedback: asking only strangers and your best friends for feedbacks because your acquaintances and family doesn't want to hurt your feelings. I personally feel that this statement is true to a certain extent, like depending on how you behave to other people and the way you structured your questions.

First thing first, I need to think through what I type in blogs because its public and I don't want to sound blunt and offend people. That is so even for my blog week 0 because I want to appear formal and nice. This is the same with a certain group of strangers who also want to be nice to you and didn't want to hurt your feelings because they understand you are doing it for grades or they are just want to be nice and don't want any trouble.

Secondly, the way you behave to other people like criticism affects how people are willing to give you constructive feedback in the future. In my personal experience, because I appeared to be a calm and doesn't care person, and I share a lot of personal thoughts with other people (according to acquaintances and friends random feedback - without me asking them). There is a significant number of people, whether my close friends, so-so friends and even people I don't really know but I see them around are much more open to me, to criticize me, or share with me their personal thoughts as well. But I have to say I'm not the people person.

(updates: I just realized just briefly mentioning about the story of sensitive people I know of sound kind of offensive and not nice. Summary of the story is that common people who we know each other and I often have to think hard and think through what we want to say before communicating with the sensitive people. It feels stressful sometimes and to avoid trouble usually only the good stuffs will be talked about - the same feeling of not wanting to offend a potential sensitive stranger as well.)

Lastly, I feel that question structuring is important. Never mind, I don't want to complete this as I have 2 projects 1 lecture to watch (flip classroom). But a good example will be you don't go around asking strangers and best friends "This app is good right? right? right?" and they will probably smile at you sheepishly and nod their head. OK. Time for rest of my stuffs.


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❤ Won left a digital footprint at August 23, 2017 | 1 Comment(s)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

# What I hope to learn in CS3216 #

At first, I wanted to write a formal write-up but I'm not a language person, so I will try to make it structured. In my introduction, I would want to talk about the general summary. I hope to learn more up-to-date software engineering technical terms and technical skills.

Firstly, I hope to learn more up-to-date software engineering terms and tools. Personally, I feel that I am not yet competent enough to communicate technical details with other people. Perhaps because I am too focused in only one aspect of Computer Science and not diverse enough. I am hopeful I get lots of opportunity to pick up new terms here and there through communication with other students and activities in both critiques and programming.

Secondly, I hope to pick up technical skills like UI. I have not taken any UI classes or any project role where I have to create UI. My roles so far is either mainly storage or back-end. The first software UI role that I actually did was during my recent internship which ended just last week and I admit I'm not up to industrial standards. (If you are viewing this page on web, the sketch above is drawn with HTML and CSS from a simple UI program I written in java.) I heard from my peers this module places a lot of focus in UI which thus is a good training ground to force me to understand UI better, with guidance and peers feedback from my teammates.

Finally, I would like to conclude with my honest inner thoughts that I really don’t know what I will learn from this module, but I know it will definitely worth it. I really appreciate all the efforts and manpower needed to host this module. Hopefully my final semester will be exciting, unforgettable and fruitful! XD

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❤ Won left a digital footprint at August 12, 2017 | 0 Comment(s)