Thursday, 4 March 2010

First Week up to now

Quote of the Week: Tusk Tusk Tusk - courtesy of Phils dad!

Nervous and excited, just some of the emotions felt upon arrival at our informal interview which quickly dispersed after meeting the rest of the team. We soon settled down and felt comfortable in our surroundings...too comfortable some might say. Our first day consisted of a group discussion in which we introduced ourselves.

Our first voyage into the world of programming was to design a phone application. The goal of this application was to utilise a camera to scan a barcode to find the price of an item. We all took on the role of an object which would allow the programme to work. We then proceeded to design the software based on our user cases. At first we found roleplaying slightly awkward, but soon got into the flow and within an hour and a half we had designed our first piece of software. The process of roleplaying not only helped us achieve our goal, but also to feel comfortable speaking in front of the rest of the team.

The next day, slightly bleary eyed but enthusiastic (so much so that half the team showed up thirty minutes early!) we planned the days events. This entailed designing and producing a widget application for our desktop (Snow Leopard OS) in Javascript. As we were given a task with no further instructions, we decided to research the process which would allow us to download and install the software needed to create them. Following a Youtube tutorial, we each created a widget application which ranged from a Google search application, to a Widget that showed the current BBC news headlines. We found this task enjoyable and were pleased with the end result. End of day two, first piece of software!

On day three, with strict instructions to not turn up until 10 a.m, we gathered out the front and discussed the previous days events. The conclusion of this discussion was that to date it had been a relaxed and enjoyable learning process. At 9:59 we proceeded into the building, which was surprisingly tidy after Mels cleaning spree. However, we were greeted by a piece of paper blu-tacked to the studio door, telling us to download "Eclipse" and "Android SDK". This wasn't as easy as expected due to our experience, or lack thereof, of using Apple Macs. We soon found that downloading three sets of the same files was a slow and unnecessary process (not to be repeated!. Once installed and running (About 3 hours later!) we used Eclipse to view source code of sample applications which we then ran in an emulated version of Android (LunarLander, the worlds WORST game). Although slightly daunting at first we realised the capabilities of the software and look forward to learning more and creating an Android application.

Today we have been concentrating on improving our surroundings. This has included the installation of whiteboards and general maintenance of the building. We were made aware of the "Huntingdonshire Business Fair" which we will be attending on Thursday the 22nd of April. As this will be the first time that the majority of us have attended a business fair we look forward to the experience and the opportunity to promote the company. The one negative of today would be the god-awful photo shoot in which it became apparent that a few of us are very uncomfortable with having a camera within a 20 yard proximity.

In conclusion, the week has been a funny, eventful and sometimes hectic welcoming to our careers as programmers. Something we did not expect, however, was the courtesy at Mels lunchtime restaurant. Our fine dining experience has included: Bacon and tofu sausage sandwiches on day one, Chicken Super-Noodles on day two, A subway lunch on day three and finally Chicken Fajitas today.

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